Last week, the hubby and I made our annual pilgrimage north to Drummond Island. As in the 6 previous years, I packed a lot of sewing projects and a lot of books. (You never know when things go faster than expected and nothing is worse than a day spent THINKING about the sewing you could be doing! I learned from my mistake the first year!)
The trip up seems to take forever, but the scenery is beautiful. We cross the Mackinac Bridge (sorry, no photos - hard to get a good one because you can't stop!) and then head east across the upper peninsula of Michigan, skirting the south shoreline and getting glimpses of the lake through the pine trees.
When you reach the edge of the peninsula, there's a ferry to take you just a little bit more east in the state - not quite to Canada! Cars, boats and all board and let the amazing ferry crew maneuver that boat like nobody's business!
It's not a big ferry, but it can carry a lot of us with boats or campers attached to trucks!
Once off the ferry, another short trip to the interior, then north to the shore where the cabin we've rented stands. This year we had a larger cabin and a later week than years before...not sure we liked either more, but sometimes you gotta mix things up!
The hubby put the boat in the water for the week and then came the chore of unpacking the truck. But the first unpacking (unlike the getting back home (second) unpacking) doesn't seem too awful. It's the start of vacation and you might as well dig in, get dirty and get it done.
With the chores completed, the hubby set out to find the fish and I unpacked my (large) suitcase of projects and supplies. (I take two suitcases - the smaller one filled with clothes and such, the larger with my sewing stuff - even the machine fits in there!) I took over the "dining room" table, as expected, and selected my first project: UFO #3 - "Boxes and Crosses."
This was a kit I purchased at the AQS show last year and though I love it, it languished in my stash for lack of assignment or deadline. Putting it on the UFO list was definitely a good idea, even if I wondered at myself for choosing a WHOLE quilt to put there. (It's not the only whole quilt on the list, but so far, so good!)
The pattern comes from the book "By the Bundle" by Emma Jean Jansen.
(a little wrinkly here, as the sewing stuff didn't get unpacked as quickly as the food and clothing - hey, someone had to work the next day after returning!)
This book has very modern quilts, but I think I love all but one in there! It was in the package with the kit, so I didn't even know what else I was getting with the purchase. This is definitely a good book and more projects may just happen from it...someday...
I failed to take a photo of the whole kit together, but at least remembered the stacks of fabrics!
It struck me as pretty amazing that the color for this months Rainbow Scrap Challenge is also orange, but I promise, this was not anything I engineered. (And I still have to make the last 9 dreaded Patchwork City blocks...soon...)
Let's lay those all out because those low-volume backgrounds...O...M...G...!
Words! And maps. And newspaper ads. And don't forget dots!!!!!
The oranges (and grey) are no slouches either. Paperclips! Clothespins! (And I think that one under the grey is a Tula Pink print, but the selvedge I got was the wrong end to confirm my suspicions.)
It was almost to hard to cut into these, but I managed.
First, though, was the task of pressing out about a years worth of folded-neatly wrinkles. Good thing I have a wonderful (though not very expensive) steamy iron. AND I remembered to bring proper water this year!
The quilt is quite simple, just squares made into 9-patches and arranged just so. But there are a LOT of squares to cut! (529 if my math is right...) That took the better part of the day (that and the de-wrinkling), but it's okay. Any progress is progress.
Unfortunately, I was so excited to be sewing, I failed to take ANY progress photos until I had all the blocks made!
Perhaps not the best lighting for that photo, but you get what you get when you rent! The space I had for laying this out was almost not big enough, but I got it in. I also stubbed my toe on the legs of the table about 45 times during the week. They stick out just a little, but apparently I'm also unaware of where my feet are? (And who wants to wear shoes when living on the shores of Lake Huron!)
The blocks got sewn together and then the borders were added. And then I took the quilt outside for a photo shoot.
It was windy all week, but I did my best...
Under the deck of the cabin is no fun sight, but at least the deck was high enough to accommodate the quilt, which the book claims finishes 69"x69". (Mine might be a little smaller because, in transit, the dial that turns to move your needle got moved over a click. For this quilt of all the same size squares, it didn't matter. I did a little ripping at the start of project #2 before I thought to check it. Because it's a manual dial and doesn't generally move itself, why would I check? Ah well, fixed in time and project #2 went smoothly...well...we'll call it that...after!)
But we're on the beach, so let's take a little walk while the neighbors are away and can't wonder what that crazy lady who never leaves the cabin except for dinner is doing...
A little trouble with the colors here - my phone washed out the oranges and when trying to edit them back to a good color, it made the skies look stormy. Though we did have some rain, it was not the case this day.
To the left you can see the marina where large boats (well, not TOO large) come in. And to the right is the dock for the cabins where we stay. (The hubby has his boat on the other side of the cabin, at another dock where there is electricity - permission given by the rental folks, of course.) Straight ahead is Harbor Island, a national wildlife refuge that has no people living on it! If I didn't get seasick so easily, I'd have been out there hiking this year, as the weather wasn't too hot. (Some years...ugh!) It doesn't look far, but even calm waters on this big lake are a questionable for me in our little boat.
So here is where I tidied up (I even brought a small vacuum to suck up the inevitable strings!) and started gearing up for project #2. I'll blog about that soon - I hope. The boss-lady at work has scheduled me 41 hours this week because a few folks are out, so I agreed to step in and help since I know they covered for me while I was away. But that leaves little playtime. And I do have today off, but found out the nieces (and now a nephew!) we've taken shoe shopping every fall are due to start school in a week. There goes my day off! But we'll have fun and the kids have a blast, too. (Plus, I know they have quality shoes for the school year, not the kind that come from Wal-Mart and fall apart by winter, when they really need the shoes to be shoes...I've never been one for cheap shoes...I mean, I have my share of flip-flops and fun shoes that you wear for a few hours here and there, but real shoes? Treat your feet! You'll not be sorry!)
I'll also try, in the next post, to share the short side-trip to a quilt shop I managed on the trip up!