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Sunday, August 02, 2015

West Union, Iowa & Kiss in the Corner!

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Little pieces, precious patches, swapping strips and squares with new found friends and having a wonderful time down in West Union, Iowa!  That is what retreat is all about!

This adorable little town was founded in the 1840s.  Many of the buildings in the downtown area around the courthouse square boast the year of their building right there on their fascades.  It was a booming time in America’s heartland when immigrants were finding their way to the central states in America, willing to work and farm and earn their own piece of the promised land.

As quilters, this little retreat center holds a lot of promise for us as well!

Approximately 20 miles from where I was previously in Oelwein –we are set up here at Moonlight Stitching Studio and Sisters Retreat Center!

Kiss in the Corner came back out to play for the second time this week.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

A Sneak Peek at Lou Ann’s Quilt Garden!

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Have you ever had a dream of owning your own retreat center?

There are ALL KINDS of different retreat situations out there, and this week I have come across not only one, but TWO places that have brought life back to small quaint towns, turning older neglected buildings ((But still with oodles of character!)) into gems, bringing folks into town ---you know how commerce works?  Bring people in and they need a place to stay!  They have to buy gas, food, lodging, and of course, they shop!

These small sweet towns are PERFECT retreat getaways..

And I absolutely loved my time at Lou Ann’s Quilt Garden and retreat in Oelwein, Iowa.

Favorite thing right off the bat?  Originial wood floors and rustic old brick walls.  The feeling of HISTORY updated.

Midnight Flight in Oelwein, IA!

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Retreat day #2 was an absolute blast!

What’s not to love?  A fabulous retreat center, friends from all over the planet ((Yes, we are international, we’ve got CANADIANS! HA!)) and time to sew and sew and sew!

Not only that, the weather here has been absolute perfection ---After Tuesday’s continual storms, the humidity broke and it has been just lovely --

Yesterday’s workshop in Oelwein at Lou Ann’s Quilt Garden and Retreat Center was Midnight Flight – an absolute favorite workshop.

There are so many things we can do to make our quilts come out “just that much” better – and we go over them all.

Of course, THAT SEAM ALLOWANCE ---but once that is down and we can visualize WHY things have to be a certain way, and we do it – things just start falling into place better than ever before.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Kiss in the Corner in Oelwein, IA!

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Iowa Retreat Day 1!!

We’ve got this retreat going in two different nearby towns, Oelwein, and West Union –with fabulous retreat centers housed above shops –nearly 60 women (And one hubby that I know of!) participating!

It’s a roaring good time, and we had a wonderful start yesterday morning.

Yesterday and today you will find me in Oelwein at Lou Ann’s Quilt Garden and Retreat center, while Jo & Kelli of Jo’s Country Junction are with the other group at Moonlight Stitching Studio and Sisters Retreat over in West Union!  Both of these cute little Iowa towns are a haven for quilters…and they are each getting four days of workshops, as Jo, Kelli and I will swap locations on Saturday morning!  I’ll be in West Union, and they will take my place over in Oelwein to continue the fun.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Little Stop at Connie’s Quilt Shop!

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Quilt Shop #2 stop on our way from Cedar Rapids to Oelwein & West Union, Iowa ---Connie’s!

This little shop might look like a small package from the outside but there is a lot inside that you won’t want to miss!

We were told about Connie’s from Minnesota Debbie and Barb who we kept running into around every corner –either we were heading to where they had just been, or they had just arrived to where we were and it was so funny!

I’ve learned to trust their traveling wandering quilter’s intuition explicitly, so into the GPS went Connie’s address and we were on our way.

It was on our way, any way!

Shopping Hopping thru Iowa!

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What do two quilters do when they only have a bit over an hour to go, and all day to get there?

We find quilt shops!

We find antique shops!

We run to Michael’s with a 50% off coupon to buy beads for making beaded sewing stilettos!

We hit Target to pick up “just a few things we need”  only to buy MORE than we need….

And then about halfway to our destination we stop at Walmart because we remembered some things we’d forgotten.

It was a ramble down the road kind of day including lunch out at Chilis and then root beer floats at a small hometown drive in once we reached our destination because we could.

It was just this kind of perfect day!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Texas Tumbleweed in Marion, Iowa!

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These are the kind of smiles that make my day!

And what a fun day we had in Marion, Iowa with the Eastern Iowa Heirloom Quilters!  Our class project?  Texas Tumbleweed from my book MORE Adventures with Leaders & Enders.

it was a bit dicey at first –it was pouring to beat the band as ladies were arriving to unload their cars….Mother Nature seemed intent on soaking us through to the skin!

But what’s a bit of water –when we are going to be inside sewing away all day!

Let the sky do what it will…we were safe and dry, or mostly dry after an hour or so – of being inside!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Love from Cedar Rapids, Iowa!

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You just KNOW you are in for a good time when you are greeted by a happy quilter ((In this case, Peggy!)) holding a sign made of over-sized Wild & Goosey blocks!

There was no missing her as my guild transport and sister-of-the-cloth!

Bags arrived as scheduled, and we were off!

Where to?  LUNCH!  I was starving…I’d been up and going since 2am Iowa time – and even though it was only 11am – my body was saying FEED ME!

We went to the culinary institute!  How fun!  and delicious…  I love going places that I can’t get at home.

And yes, there is Culvers here..but we are saving that for later.  I’ll have plenty of time for that during my week here in Iowa.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Off to Iowa–GIVE-AWAY!

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Goodness Gracious, it was an early morning this morning!

3am can barely be considered “morning” at all by any stretch of the word..

4am departure from the house to the airport was not much better!

We touched down in Atlanta at a still very early 6:24am.

This place already has some hustle and bustle going on -people going this way and that way, all on their way to their next connection, wherever their destinations may take them.