Monday, October 10, 2016

My Visit on the Beaver Island with Gwen Marston and Lynn Harris

Where was I?
Last time, almost two and a half months back I was here and somehow summer months took over. 

From Gwen's book and collection "37 Sketches"
Lynn Harris, a good friend of Gwen, a prolific quilt artist was kind to come along. Lynn has participated in Gwen's retreats since 1998 or so! Lucky Lynn! I am forever thankful for her generosity for taking the time out of her already busy life and agreeing to accompany me to the island.

We started our road trip the day after my second workshop at the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild. As we got closer to the lake Michigan, I found out Michigan is another state famous for producing cherries. The orchards were loaded with fruit. On our way to Charlevoix airport we had a great time talking quilts, families, books and being a first time author. Those of you who don't know, the only access to the island is a ferry or a flight. We decided the flight would be extra fun and will save time.

We were like kids in a candy store!

Our ride to the island
Gwen came to pick us up at the airport in her red truck! This picture alone tells how happy we all were to see each other.

Gwen and Lynn
Next two days we spent talking, sharing and more talking. Gwen was so generous to show us both her antique quilts, textiles from around the world and her own quilts from her numerous books. We spent time in her studio looking at her collections of antique blocks and many laughs.
Gwen's Liberated Log Cabin

She is all smiles!
One of my favorites!

Stack of Sketches

A Sunset to Remember!

Moments I will never forget!

The Cover Girl
Lynn and I slept in Gwen's guest house covered in quilts made by her. I am still in disbelief when I think of the time I spent on Beaver Island. Gwen is a gem. Not that we all don't already know it.

Those of you who have had chance to attend her workshops are fortunate. As Gwen wraps up her teaching years, I am going to continue studying liberated quilting through her books. I wonder what is next for Gwen. We often talk about - What next.. I sure hope she continues writing and inspired us all.

Speaking of which, Have you got Gwen's latest book A Common Thread? I highly recommend this book. It is a collection of quilts from many years, takes you on a journey through her entire quilting life. You must visit here to read more reviews of this book. 

There is a little bit of sewing going on my kitchen table inspired by this book. Hopefully there will be enough progress to post it here soon.

Hope you all are enjoying early days of fall. I am stitching away my Square in Square quilt from the book. It is an after thought I love very much!

Happy Stitching,




  1. What an amazing experience to spend time like that with Gwen . . . and Thank You for sharing your Beaver Island impressions with us! (p.s. I met Lynn last month when she taught the Liberated Quilting classes at AQS Chattanooga - she is wonderful!)

  2. What a great experience for you! Love Gwens books and the wonderful inspiration she has been to me since I started quilting. Thanks for sharing this post.:)

  3. I longed to take that last class, but getting there was impossible for me. I hope you soaked up a lot of knowledge and will teach a class in the Northeast again in a place I can get to. I have always admired Gwen's work (and yours, too!). So thrilled you got such an opportunity!

  4. Reading this post made my heart smile to think what a wonderful and special time you all had together.

  5. What a dream come true, and you'll have memories to smile about for years! Thanks for sharing the gorgeous photos.

  6. What a dream come true. I can imagine how you must have felt. I know if it were me, I'd have left black and blue from all the pinching myself just to see if the experience was real! Were it not for reading Gwen Marston's first "Liberated Quiltmaking" book, all those years ago, I am not sure I would have continued with quilting, and even if I had it certainly wouldn't have been with the same level of joy and creative expression that her words and work inspired within me. So happy that you got to experience this Sujata, and how wonderful to have Lynn along for the journey!

  7. What a fantastic opportunity. The smiles say it all.

  8. Several days?! Wow!!! So happy for you, Sujata! Thanks for the pictures and trip memories!

  9. Oh my, my, my... a dream come true and memories to last a lifetime. Thank you for sharing. That one in the middle is a favorite of mine too.


  10. What fun to see you all with such great smiles. I can almost feel the thrill of being there at Gwen's home with her. I'm sure it was at least as much fun for her as it was for you! She is a gem, and she has given so much to all of us.

  11. Magical days, and that beautiful sunset - I know you love those! Thanks for sharing your special weekend!

  12. what a wonderful opportunity. Brings back such great memories of my visits to BI and her quilt retreat.
    Aren't her collections of quilts amazing!!

  13. Wonderful! This makes me want to rung (and possibly hop, skip & jump down to my studio. I do plan to get there this AM but shower & yoga stretches first. Challenge will be to focus and not let brain ponder quilting!

  14. What a wonderful adventure you have had; seeing all her quilts in person must have been awe-inspiring...hugs, Julierose

  15. Wow! good for you. I signed up to take Gwen's class at AQS Chattanooga but she cancelled for health reasons and so I didn't go. still sad about that.

  16. Oh what fun! So happy to hear you had such a good time with this delightful person. Life is so short, we must spend it surrounded by good people. Thank you for sharing.

  17. Sujata, Lucky, lucky you. I have so enjoyed Gwen on her trips to the NW. Will miss her immensely when her teaching/traveling comes to a "stand still" She truly is a quilter's gem

  18. Oh how wonderful! Thank you for sharing your once in a lifetime adventure with us!

  19. Oh how I like the big quilt laying on the floor. The flower one that is in red and cheddar.

  20. What memories to treasure! Looks like a grand time!

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  22. Just catching up on your blog after watching you on The Quilt Show. I really enjoyed your segment. How funny to see that you visited Gwen on the heels of my husband’s and my visit to Gwen on October 5, 2016! We had such a lovely afternoon with Gwen..such a special lady. It was cut short due to weather and we flew back and got caught in the front of the storm! Now, that was an experience!!! Glad to land on solid ground.


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