Relax and Recharge

Typically my relaxation getaways, and recharging my spirit, involve quilting buddies and retreats… but this time it was our annual northern Minnesota lake trip, with two wonderful families, one of whom generously shares her family cabin with us one long weekend a year. 

We didn’t do much the three days we spent there, really… slept A LOT, swam a little, took a long walk with my sweetie every morning, ate home cooked meals that are way too good to be considered camping fare, took the paddle boat out for a long ride, road the ski boat and motor boat at least once a day; but mostly, relaxed and breathed deep.  On the last day we drove slightly north to Duluth to retrieve sweetie’s youngest, who spent her summer as an interpreter in Manitoba, and we paid a visit to my favorite quilt shop, Hannah Johnson Fabrics:

This was only my second visit, I first went there LAST August, but knew I needed to return… the shop is so colorful, full of inspiration, and potential projects:

I walked out with just a few yards of fabric and a new bag pattern, and thinking it’s probably a good thing (for my pocketbook, at least) that I live over six hours from the shop! 

The day before we left on our trip, I ran to Ames to pick my Janome Horizon up (finally had her cleaned!) and stopped in the antique mall across the street.  I bought a few vintage sewing patterns for practically nothing, a vintage embroidered luncheon set, and this gem:

It’s a plastic sewing box, c. 1950, (in my favorite color, no less!), that worked just perfect to hold my hand-piecing tools as I sewed on the drive North:

The pegs in front are meant to hold small spools of thread, but this time kept my thimble and scissors from sliding off my lap.   There is an intergrated pin cushion on the left, and a magnetic shelf on the right to hold my needles…ideal!  What a find for $4.00!  I made eleven more Candied Hexagon blocks on the trip, for a total of 67 completed hexagons (37 to go!)

A closer look…

 

Coming home is always hard, it’s not that I don’t “like” home, it’s the idea of returning to work and everyday life not-next-to-a-lake-in-the-woods.  However, finding a mailbox full of Bee blocks as lovely as these helped to soften the blow:

(notice Kato in the corner trying to decide which area of the new quilt to “settle in on”–he went for the yellow block)  Still waiting for my red, orange and green blocks… and looking forward to sewing this top together!

A Week of Progress

This past weekend, I kept a promise to one of my favorite six-year-olds.  Last year, at a church picnic, we saw a rock climbing wall.  He thought he might want to give it a try, “next year, when he was bigger…”  I told him next year I would do the rock wall with him.  So Saturday, he and I did this:
My arm muscles are still feeling it, four days later.  Let me just tell you, it’s more difficult than it looks. (Unless you have super human upper-body strength. Which I do not.)  After four attempts to climb the 36′ wall, we spent an hour playing one-on-one basketball.  I’d say I definitely got my exercise for the day.
While I could have spent the day at home sewing, I spent it with a six-year-old who decided hanging out with his Aunt Doris was “really pretty cool”… he even asked if we could go back to my house when it was time to take him home, “just so I can spend a few more inches of time with you… pleeaaasseee?” He can play the heart strings just as well as he did when he was three. Time well spent, I’d say.
Last night, with the help of my sweetie doing the pressing of my pre-washed fabric… 

I managed to cut out a new quilt…

I’m making this as a store sample for the shop, out of a pattern from Living Large 2, by Heather Mulder Peterson.  It’s been quite awhile since I’ve cut out a quilt like this, you know: cut two strips by wof…cut into 15 4″ squares…cut in half diagonally twice… cut 36 1 3/8″ x 3 1/2″ rectangles… cut 20 1 3/8″ x 4 3/4″ rectangles….  etc., etc.  
People that sew with me at retreats and such know that I have an issue with repetition.  I get bored easily.  This will be a good vacation project for me, chain-piecing mindlessly while sitting by the lake…

Sittin’ On the Dock of the Bay….

At least, that is what I was doing a few weeks ago…and am daydreaming that I am doing again now….  See don’t I look like I was enjoying myself?

We had eight wonderful days away…fabric shopping our way North (My sweetie is almost TOO willing to find the quilt shops along the way, not so good for my wallet!)  Taking in the sights…

Getting lots of fresh Lake air…

Taking some steps back in time…

Enjoying the waters…

and eating some fabulous meals!  This was my sweetie’s Bison Burger, by far the prettiest plate of burger and fries I ever laid eyes on (tasty too!)

I did alot of reading by the water, some hand-sewing (pics to come soon!), staring out at the lake, a little swimming, went for a boat ride, or two, fell off a JetSki (I really do not like those things.), and had an overall fabulous time.

I’ve been back to reality for a week now, am just starting to get my sewing mojo and my work mojo back.  I think I may need another vacation.