Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Home from the Beautiful MidWest...

I've been almost two full weeks away!

My visit to my childhood home on Lake Michigan was everything I knew it would be, filled with family, friends, lots of walks on the beach, great food, sunset viewing, and of course, stitching on that Best Porch in the World. The weather was perfect, too.
But before I even got there I had the supreme good fortune to stay with Pat Winter at her gracious home in Chesterton, Indiana. What a warm hostess she was!!!! Meeting Pat was a deep joy...we hit it off instantly and discovered ourselves to be true kindred spirits. I will always treasure our walk on the beach, where she had an eye like an eagle for the lucky glass we were hunting for. (She calls it "sea glass", or "mermaid's tears", and has literally gallons of it in her collection.)
Her crazy quilt work is just incredible when you get to see it "up close and personal". What a talent and inspiration she is....I am already looking forward to next summer when I will see her again before my annual trek to Michigan!

Here is Pat laying out some cards of fibers for me to choose from for the projects I was taking to the cottage. So generous is she....and beautiful!

Pat's studio....the place where dreams come true. Her organization is definitely inspiring to this packrat.....

Pat's lovely 1880's brick farmhouse out in the country...it's graciousness reflects her spirit. (Stop blushing, Pat, it's true!)

Here we are at the train station in Michigan City, about to say good-bye. It was hard not to cry....

But on I went to Michillinda, where the cottages were built 110 years ago, and remain almost completely unchanged. The place is timeless....one of my neighbors there has spent every one of her 95 summers looking out at the lake. My own family has been there since the 1920's.

Here is a morning shot. There is a wide area in front of the cottages (about 20 of them in a row, on the longest stretch of flat ground above the lake between Chicago and Mackinaw)....that leads to the edge of the bank. The beach is 60 steps below...

The view from the top of the stairs going down to the beach. The lake was very calm that day!

But on to the sewing. I had pieced some little jewelry bags for my gals to embellish. They loved it--first time embellishing for all three of them! I enjoyed my role as teacher, too.

My sister-in-law Laura, and cousin Carol, are hard at it here.

Lovely niece Amaleah was a natural. It was so fun for me to see these ladies get into it!

Amaleah's project.

Laura's project.

Carol's project.

And here is mine. Pat, do you recognize those sequin butterflies? ;-) And also the little blue and pink flower sequins?

Here is a detail that shows my first attempt at using waste canvas to enable me to try counted cross stitching onto my block. The motif is from Pam Kellogg...thanks, Pam! I loved doing this and want to use this technique alot more. It is so satisfying!

It was sad to leave Michillinda. It always is....but it is good to be home. I am still "digging out from under", but hope to visit all my blogging friends' blogs soon!

.....................sigh.....................................................................................

14 comments :

Vicki W said...

Everything about your trip looked like the best fun!

Gerry said...

It sounds like you had the time of your life! The photos tell much more that you would think. Pat's studio certainly is an inspiration. Welcome home :-)

Gail said...

Allie, what a wonderful time, I felt like I was looking in as I read. Lots of wonderful stitching went on, so very glad you had such a great time. Welcome home.

Marty52 said...

So glad you had a wonderful time... but I'm "gladder" that you are back and posting again!

Susan said...

I was just thinking yesterday that it was about time for you to be home. Welcome back! Thanks for all the pictures, from Pat and her sewing space to your lovely spot and the things your ladies did. What a great vacation! How nice to meet Pat in person and find that the two of you were kindred spirits in real life, too.

Barbara C said...

It looks like your trip was perfect all-around. Your "students" did some lovely work and I'm sure you forged some wonderful memories together.

Kay said...

What a beautiful place, and how fortunate to have such a family tradition.

Next year, think about making an even longer trip up to the lake, and maybe we can meet!

Debra Spincic said...

I am soooo glad you are home! Been missing ya, Gal!

It looks like an enriching experience for all involved. I am sure this is one vacation you will remember dearly!

Possibilities, Etc. said...

Sooo good to see you back!! Love the pictures and family members.

Rian said...

What a great trip! That sounds like my kind of holiday. I would love to visit the places where my ancestors were and see the things they saw. How special.

Great pictures, looks idyllic. Glad you're back, you were missed.

atet said...

Oh what a fun trip -- and a beautiful place to be. We actually had decent weather on this side of the lake -- looks like you did too! I've been lucky enough to spend some time in South Haven on that side -- love falling asleep and being ablle to hear the lake!

Pam Kellogg said...

Allison, so happy to see you back! It sounds like you had a wonderful time. And what a nice photo of you and Pat!

Your x stitch butterflies are beautiful! Glad you enjoyed the pattern.

Samantha said...

What a fabulous trip! I am drooling over that studio space...

Pat Winter said...

Allie, Welcome back to blogland!!! Boy did I miss your posts. Naturally I got very busy this past week and haven't had a chance to browse or post much. I so enjoyed our visit. I think my favorite part was our evening on the swing. What a peaceful night.I will always remember your visit and anticipate the next,and the next, and the....