Little Quilt Block Goes to a Quilting Retreat

Retreat arrivingEvery January I take a break from the snowy weather here is southeastern Michigan and go to a quilting retreat for the weekend. I really do not get away from the snowy weather as the retreat is in Fremont Ohio at the Our Lady of the Pines Retreat Center and it is still snowy there too but at least I do not have to go outside and shovel the white stuff. This year I had a tag along, Little Quilt Block. Here he is arriving at the retreat. I did pretty good this year on my packing. I was able to get all of my supplies besides my two sewing machines and my notion bag in my red wagon. Yes I take two machines, you just never know when one of them will decide to have issues.

This is a wonderful old building full of lots of little rooms to sneak away to for a little quiet time or to lay out a quilt where no one will be walking on it. Here is a quick history of the center.

  • 1874 ~ The main building was built as a Mansion by Lewis Leppleman, a wealthy local jeweler

  • 1890 ~ Purchased by Charles Green, a gold miner and prospecto 

  • 1925 ~ The Sisters of Mercy purchased the 63 acre estate from the Green Family for $50,000 and added on to the original home

  • 1926-1936 ~ Sisters of Mercy Novitiate

  • 1931 ~ First retreat is open to the general public

  • 1941-1960 ~ Mother of Mercy Academy for Girls

  • 1943 ~ Fire destroyed third floor of the building 

  • 1960 ~ Present – Full time retreat center

  • 2009 ~ Facility renovated and reopened with extensive conferencing and retreat capacity


Retreat shopping

At this retreat we always have a garage sale of miscellaneous quilting and sewing items for sale. Little Quilt Block quickly joined in the festivities and went shopping. Here he is checking out what was for sale. He found all kinds of fabric, patterns and books to choose from.

Retreat snacksWhile the staff at the retreat center took care of preparing our meals and cleaning up after them what quilting get together would be complete with out snacks? We had everything from healthier choices of fruit and pretzels to chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.  Of course Little Quilt Block had to check out the snacks to see what looked good.

Retreat exercisingNow retreats are not always all play. I usually try to take time out for some walking exercise. While the grounds where the retreat center is at are beautiful this was January and I am not a cold weather walker. So I take an hour or so a couple of times during the weekend and walk the halls both upstairs where the rooms are and downstairs where our main sewing room is located. Little Quilt Block was good too and ventured into the basement to see what the exercise room there looked like. I caught him working out on a stepper machine.

Retreat massageBut after a good workout Little Quilt Block got a great reward. A massage! Now this was the first year I have taken time out of my sewing time for a massage. Boy was it worth the time away from the machine. I had mine in the afternoon on the second day and I felt so rejuvenated afterwards. I was raring and ready to go late into the night.

Retreat visiting 1Of course Little Quilt Block made the rounds to all of the tables to see what projects everyone was working on. He made some new friends while he was there. Here he is in the middle of the action at this table of five quilters. These ladies meant business they all had extra tables at their sides for pressing.

Retreat visiting 2He made friends with another quilt block at the next table. Looks like all kinds of quilting fun was going at this table if all the fabric and the pile of quilt blocks is a good indication.

Retreat visiting 3And here at this last table he made two more friends. These two gals are also inspiring us at the retreat as the spend part of their time making things for different charities.

Little Quilt Block had fun at his first quilting retreat. If anyone is going to another retreat he would love to tag along with you too. Just send me an email and we will see if we can work out a sleep over for him. Or if there is anywhere interesting that you are headed to let me know and we will see if he can come along with you.

Have a creative day!








Little Quilt Block Explores the Local Area

Well now that little quilt block has done a little exploring and decided maybe he wants to see the world he thought he should start by exploring where he came from and what is in the local area first.

Ancestral home landFirst stop is to see his ancestral home land at Sonflower Quilts in Sylvania, Ohio. www. This is a great little shop run by Cathy Frick and Kathy Walch. I have spent a lot of time in this shop for the past 12 years. All of the fabrics used to create the quilt blocks for this project were purchased here. These ladies have created a nice selection of fabrics along with tons of patterns. They will both admit to their pattern addiction. They have a great selection of notions and embroidery supplies as well.

QuiltFoundryNext stop was the Quilt Foundry in Maumee, Ohio I could not resist taking a picture with the fish outside of the shop. Another nice shop in the local area. Really good batik collection too.

With Creative Grids rack at CheckerI took quilt block along to Checker Distributors when I had a pattern order to deliver. Always looking for a good place to hang out Little Quilt Block made friends with a whole lot of Creative Grids rulers. While Checker only sells wholesale to quilt shops they have a great website that anyone can look at. Most shops get at least some of their supplies from Checker and many will special order anything from them. So if there is ever a book, pattern or notion that you are looking for and cannot find take a look at the Checker website and see if they have it. If so ask your local quilt shop if they can special order it in for you. This is a great way to support your local quilt shop rather than buying on line or from a catalog and you can save on shipping cost too.

Have a Creative Day!





Little Quilt Block Goes to Blissfield

Blissfield antique mall 1One day Little Quilt Block decided to see if he could go out and see a bit of the world around his place. He ended up in Blissfield Michigan. There he found some great antique malls to wonder around. “Wow,” he though “you spend hours here just looking at all these great antiques.” Suddenly he spotted an old blue and white quilt. He just had to get his picture taken with this one.

Blissfield antique mall 2In another shop he found a green and white quilt and got his picture taken again. “This is fun,” he thought. “I wonder if there are any more of these old quilts here.”


Blissfield antique mall 3Little Quilt Block did find one more quilt on his trip that day. An old faded double wedding ring quilt. This got Little Quilt Block dreaming. Wouldn’t it be great if he could grow up to be an antique quilt too!

But before Little Quilt Block can do that he thought that he should go out into the world and see what is out there. Find some adventure!

Raisin River Valley Railroad 1While he was in Blissfield he found another interesting place to stop and spend some time. The Raisin River Valley Railroad. There were lots of trains and displays to look at. Little Quilt Block had fun watching the guys as they played with the trains and they even let him join in the fun and took a couple of pictures while he was there.

Raisin River Valley Railroad 2

This got him to thinking that maybe someday he could ride on a real train…………


Stay tuned as the adventures of Little Quilt Block continue.


Have a creative day!


Quilt Block Travels

In my studio2While thinking about what I wanted to do on my blog I thought it would be fun to create a quilt block to hang out with me this year. Here is Little Quilt Block hanging out on my sewing table. Looks like there was lots of creativity going on this day.

In my studio1Then he went to the cutting counter to see what was going on over there. Of course he found some projects that are not quite done here.




With some of my quiltsLittle Quilt Block continued down the hall and found some of my quilts to hang out with. The blue and brown one in the foreground inspired a block of the month that I hosted at my local quilt shop. and the brown and peach log cabin quilt in the far background was made for a 4-H project a loooooong time ago. It was made back in the days when I was hand quilting all of my quilts.
In the fabric room


Next stop was the fabric room. I am lucky enough to live in a big farm house with lots of little rooms. This is both good and bad. Good because I have lots of rooms the spread out and bad because I have too many rooms to spread out in! This table actually has a couple of stacks of quilt tops that are ready to have the backings put together and the tops made into full fledged quilts. He found a jellyroll to hang out with for a while too.


In the fabric closetLittle Quilt Block decided to get brave and see what was behind the door of this cabinet and what did he find…..SURPRISE…..more fabric! One of my spare sewing machines is up there on the top shelf. On the inside of this door you can also see some of the rulers in my collection. That collection will probably be the subject of another blog post latter on. But you can see that I put command hooks on the inside of the door and hung many of my rulers here. The hooks have held up well for quite some time holding as many as three rulers on one hook.


Have a creative day!