Road Trip: Mackinac Island, Michigan

We recently took a quick Quilt Shops and Photo Ops trip to Michigan. This included taking the fast route (interstate) up to Mackinaw City, a visit to Mackinac Island, and then working our way down the west edge of the state for viewing coastlines and lighthouses. This gave us a flexible 4-5 day agenda, with plenty of time to relax and enjoy. And to find Quilt Shops!

Today, we’ll talk about Mackinac Island, and the Photo Ops side of things. Quilt Shops and other fun will be in future posts. So, here we go:

Downtown area from the Shepler’s Ferry dock

Mackinac Island is a small (4.35 sqmi) island located about 6.5 miles northeast of Mackinaw City, accessible only by ferry (and private airplane). There are no cars, no chain restaurants/hotels. Lots bicycles, horse drawn carriages and walking. The entire island is listed as a National Historic Landmark. It is a very cool place.

Round Island Passage Light, and the West Breakwater
East end of Haldimand Bay

Following the “State Highway” around the east side of the island lead to some really beautiful spots:

Water’s Edge. Lake Huron, with Bois Blanc Island in the distance
Looking north, along the eastern edge of the island with Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the distance
Kayaks in the open water of Lake Huron
Selfie, Arch Rock, from Highway 185

There’s a long set of stairs up the bluffs, leading to plenty of trails through wooded areas. And several natural features and historic sites.

Sugar Loaf Rock

We really enjoyed Mackinac Island, and are talking about going back.  There’s a lot to do that we didn’t even touch on.  We will probably stay on the island next time, to be more immersed in the experience.

Note, some of these photos have appeared on our instagram site, along with other photos from the trip. Check them out here.

Ireland In My Dreams

This was my first quilt made after we moved to the Midwest, a long time ago! It was also the first large quilt I had ever made. We enjoyed it on our bed for many years, but it began showing its age (heavy use!) and was retired.

Ireland In My Dreams, completed early 1990s

The quilt pattern is “Evening in Ireland” by Trudie Hughes.  (Found  in Even More – Book Three of the Template-Free Quiltmaking series.) Fabrics were from a local quilt shop and a big box store, and it was machine quilted with an edge-to-edge design by another local machine dealer/longarm quilter.

The pattern incorporates the Variable Star, the Puss-In-The-Corner, and the Irish Chain blocks. I had never worked with strip sets before, and “fast triangles” were a completely foreign concept. With all these new challenges, I also added “go big” and made a king-sized quilt!

Quilt and Sew at Golden Threads

In the Fall of 2018, we were driving west across Tennessee, and decided to take some backroads to bypass Nashville. We went north then west, through towns like Gallatin, Cross Plains, Cedar Hill, into Kentucky at Guthrie… Lots of cool towns and scenery, including “Smoking Barns” which was a new thing for us. Apparently, they smoke tobacco leaves (like smoking food) before processing into chewing tobacco.

We ended up in Trenton, KY, where we found Quilt and Sew at Golden Threads. A great find in a small town off the beaten path.

Smoking Barn, and tobacco drying racks near Gallatin, KY – October 2018

Recently we were headed south along I-24 again, through Kentucky towards Atlanta. Trenton KY is only about 10 miles off the highway, so we decided to visit Quilt and Sew again. This time we got to meet the owner, Denise Shivers, and learned some of the history of her shop and her philosophy as shop owner. “It’s not about the product, it’s about the people. I want to be a place where people enjoy getting together.”

Quilt and Sew at Golden Threads
Main Street, Trenton, KY

This strip of buildings, which make up most of downton Trenton, date from the late 1880s. Originally, the taller section of the building (with the yellow door) was the end of the row, a pharmacy with a doctor’s office in the back. The doctor then added on a larger suite at the end. Quilt and Sew at Golden Threads includes both buildings. The former exterior wall runs through the store, with the brick hand-scraped clean by Denise!

Quilt and Sew at Golden Threads first opened about 10 years ago, 2 doors down. Denise then renovated the current location, but keeps a large classroom in the original space. Denise’s favorite class to teach is Quilting 101, as she loves to get beginners started and excited about quilting.

Quilt and Sew boasts a fabric collection of over 4000 bolts from various vendors. The fabrics, samples, and kits are grouped by theme: the Batiks room, Christmas room, Americana corner, etc. A wide variety of notions, patterns and gift items make shopping here a treasure hunt!

Since our last visit, several new shops have opened in the rest of the block, which is nice to see.  A sandwich shop, florist, and yarn/needlecrafts shop add to the charm of the area.

Linda and Denise

Quilt and Sew at Golden Threads

115 South Main Street, Trenton KY 270-466-5000

About Us

Welcome to Quilt Shops and Photo Ops. We are Linda and Larry Lawhead. We met in college, married and created our family. We settled in the mid-west United States a while ago. We’ve always enjoyed road trips- spending time together, sharing the back roads and experiencing life- and sharing our hobbies. At some point we started saying our travels were all about the Quilt Shops and Photo Ops, and recently decided to share our adventures. So here we go!

Linda: I am addicted to fabrics, fabric arts, sewing machines and technology, and car trips with Larry! As a child, my mother made just about everything I wore, until she taught me to sew around age 10. Since then I have created garments, quilts, home decorations, accessories and more. I have also taught sewing, English Smocking, French Lace by machine, machine embroidery, and of course, quilting. I am blessed to share my life with a husband who appreciates my creative side (and sometimes dabbles along.)

Quilting is cheaper than therapy.

Finished is better than perfect. ” – Angela Walters

Larry: I’m the “Photo Ops” part of the equation. I am a husband, father, grandfather, electrical engineer, and manager. My many years of photography began a teenager, all the way back in the days of film and “wet” darkrooms. After shooting for my schools’ newspapers and dabbling in stock photos (including microstock), I decided to enjoy “shooting” for myself for a while. I’m a strong believer that the best camera is the one you have with you, and that the creative process doesn’t end with pressing the shutter.

Anything that excites me for any reason, I will photograph; not searching for unusual subject matter, but making the commonplace unusual.” – Edward Weston