Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Retreating in Galena

May found myself and Lorna cruising to Galena, Illinois for a sisters' quilt getaway with our sister-in-law Nancy in....

Lorna, Elisa, and Nancy

Beautiful Galena, Illinois. Regretfully, the week long rain was not conducive for fabulous pictures of this lovely town, but it did motivate us to stay inside to sew!

Nancy booked a lovely timeshare about 5 miles out of town that had a great room, wonderful lighting, and the most awesome bath tub to relax our aching bones! So relaxing!

Lorna is working on her first quilt!

Lorna and Nancy

Now THAT is a quilt notion!

Can't have a retreat without a gift basket

We spent most of each day alternating between sewing, listening to podcasts, reading a book or two, trying new restaurants, geocaching, sightseeing, and (Lorna and Nancy) enjoying a little of the local wine. 

Galena is known for its funky, fabulous retail establishments housed in (sometimes authentically shabby) historic buildings along Main Street. While the girls tried various wines down the street, my fixation was buying bath bombs to test out the new oversized tub back in our rooms.

Lorna is bath-shopping, too!

Stopped off at the local ice cream parlor
We were also lucky enough to enjoy several fabulous restaurants in town. Be advised during tourist season reservations via Open Table is a must!

Historic DeSoto House - oldest restaurant in Illinois

Lobster Ravioli with squid ink from
Fried Green Tomatoes
We crashed a wedding at Frank O'Douds (yummy Shepherd's Pie and Paddy Melt!). Our waiter was a hoot, too!

We ran into the couple later during their photo
shoot at Grant's Hosue!

Although we each brought smaller projects, too, our main goal was to work on memory quilts. It was a novelty working on one remembering someone still alive! When my Dad had his stroke last year, we moved him into a senior residence and cleaned out his old house of 27 bags of used clothing! 

My first blocks

Nancy did a lovely job with her portion of Dad's stack. I may need to make another using shirtings to compliment his plaids.

Nancy's completed top

Another scrap project by Nancy

This one tickles me the most! I started this quilt at a retreat in New Hampshire. I worked on it in Maine and Michigan and finished it over the weekend in Illinois. As someone reminded me, you can get a lot done just working 15 minutes a day. This one took 17 years to complete!

17 years later... done!

It wasn't until the end of the trip that we made our way to the Grant House -- just south of Grant Park along the Galena River.

Ulysses S. Grant House
Grant Park

Unfortunately, all good things come to an end. Can you believe this all fit in Lorna's car?

WOW! We brought a lot of crap!

We capped off our weekend at Otto's Place before hitting the road. I definitely recommend the homemade Cinnamon Rolls and Corned Beef Hash!

Ending our adventure at Otto's Place
Last stop at the Scenic Overlook before heading out

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Quilt Shop: Phat Quarters in Galena, IL

Lorna, Nancy and I were in Galena, Illinois for a fabulous quilt retreat -- I'll post details later.

While there, we visited the one and only quilt shop within many, many miles: Phat 1/4's on Main Street.

Admittedly, the shop was not to our tastes. It was laid out a little odd and didn't have a great amount of stock. However, it was attached to a local art gallery next door in a former bank!

The bank vaults were really cool, and we were able to walk in there to check them out.

Unfortunately, we left very little money in the bank or the quilt shop. The shop owner was very pleasant, but maybe they hadn't received their summer stock yet? We'll have to go back and find out one day.