One Week Until Grand Opening!

The winter has gone by in the blink of an eye, and here we are one week away from Opening Day 2015.  Construction on the Cupola Suites is nearly complete.  Furniture, draperies and fixtures are being installed and every room is set with new Grand Hotel Touch of Softness mattress sets from Capitol Bedding in Lansing, Michigan.

Tulips are poking their little heads through the dirt in search of sunshine.  Finishing touches are being made, and every room is cleaned top to bottom.

Our pre-season guests are arriving on carriages drawn by adorably fuzzy horses, still wearing their winter coats. Flower boxes are being put into place on the Front Porch and the first Grand Pecan Balls are being prepared.  Things are moving along and we are ready to get the 129th season started next week.  We hope to see you soon!

Join Gyleen X. Fitzgerald for Design Studio

Gyleen Play Modern
Gyleen Play Modern Design

Today’s blog is from  Gyleen X. Fitzgerald who specializes in redefining quilt patterns with colorful stitches. Gyleen is a published author and is inspired to redefine colour by creating contemporary quilts which are rooted in tradition. Gyleen uses drawing and quilt making as artistic expression.  After receiving a degree in chemical engineering, she opened a quilt store “Colourful Stitches” in 1999. Her quilts blend color, pattern and texture to provide a contemporary essence to traditional quilting. Her strength as a quilter is demonstrated by the infusion of engineering tools and techniques to simplify visually complex quilts. She shares her enthusiasm for quilting through interactive lectures and workshops. Her written works center around haiku poetry, quilt project books, patterns and magazine articles and of course the crème de la crème, children’s books.  Gyleen opened a publishing company in 2005 where she has published her written works of poetry, quilt projects, patterns and children’s books.  She has appeared on Lifetime TV where she has promoted finishing antique quilts and traditional quilting.  Gyleen is very active in social media and is featured on “The Quilt Show” website.

What are you doing in May?  Time to relax?  Pamper yourself? Learn something new?  Please join me on Mackinac Island at Grand Hotel for a fabulous quilting retreat, May 1 – 6, 2015 for the Annual Grand Hotel Spring Needle Art Seminar.  I’m so looking forward to my 2-day Design Studio workshop.


Blog by Gyleen:

In this workshop, I become your PDQ (personal design quilter).  What does that mean?  Glad you asked.  For design studio,

You bring:

  • any 12 blocks, they could be antique, newly made, block of the month, odds and ends or from a project that you just need a new jump start
  • any fabric that you would like to use
  • some concept of the final size you would like
  • any particular special rulers or tools you want to use

I’ll bring:

  • all my fun rulers and tools
  • books with great design layouts
  • my sketch pad and calculator
  • my laptop

From there, I with your participation will design the quilt using what you brought.  This is a live design on the fly one on one event.  You get to see not only your quilt being designed but other workshop participants as well.  This may include creating secondary patterns, pieced borders or adding new complimentary blocks.  If you have an idea and just need to know how to execute the design that works too.  I would be glad to do the math and sketch brief assembly instructions.

Description:  It’s fast, it’s quick, it’s geometric and it’s free-style piecing with control.  We will start with having fun and explore design possibilities by using tumbling blocks as a launch point.  The technique uses the Polygon and Polygon2 Tools and Butterfly Seam to create a BOLD wall hanging that shouts, “Modern” or “Contemporary”.  This workshop is about you!

Day:  Monday/Tuesday

Project:  “Design Studio”

Class Level:  Confident Beginner and Beyond

2 Day Quilt Workshop

Description:  Students will bring one collection of quilt blocks, vintage, friendship, former BOMs or odds and ends.  Gyleen will work with each set of blocks to help students “design” an amazing NEW quilt from old blocks like “Saw Blades”(shown below)…and then the fun begins!

Saw Blades by Gyleen Fitzgerald
Saw Blades by Gyleen Fitzgerald

We made the workshop 2-days to give you plenty of time to watch designs come alive and execute your design with me onsite as your coach.  Let me help you…this workshop is all about you.  Come join me on Monday and Tuesday for Design Studio!

In Colourful Stitches…Gyleen

2015 Arts Weekend – Featuring The Book of Liz


Today’s guest blogger is Dr. Ann Folino White, Associate Professor of Theatre Studies at Michigan State University. She teaches stage directing and American theatrical and popular performance from the late-nineteenth to the twenty-first century. 

Dr. Ann Folino White
Dr. Ann Folino White

The Book of Liz

Mr. Peanut and cheese balls don’t often come to mind when thinking about great American drama. But if I were to mention David Sedaris, the beloved essayist who mines the mundane aspects of life for its humor and beauty, you might suspect a connection. Sedaris teamed up with his sister Amy, a chameleon-like actor who has created some of pop culture’s quirkiest characters, to pen The Book of Liz. It is one of the sweetest and most oddball comedies ever written about an archetypical dramatic theme: the journey of self-discovery.

The Book of Liz follows Elizabeth Dunderstock, a member of the isolated Squeamish religious community, on her adventure to discover the world and her place in it.  Along her way, Elizabeth meets a cast of kooky characters that show her great kindness and help her to see her own value.

With a mere four actors playing fifteen characters–from an Ukrainian immigrant couple to recovering alcoholic patrons of the Plymouth Crock restaurant to the faithful Squeamish–the audience is treated to virtuosic character switches, as well as the delights of ridiculous costume changes and scene flips.

I hope you will join us for The Book of Liz on Friday, June 26th presented by the MSU Department of Theatre as a feature of the 21st annual Arts Weekend presented by the Michigan State University College of Arts & Letters. It is perfect summer fare: heartwarming and silly, poignant and absurd, and sometimes both at once.