Just back from a four day retreat!! Oh man, oh man – it was great and worth all the hassle of remembering everything you’ll need. And then packing, driving 4 hours, unpacking, then trying to find the fabric / tool / thread that you KNOW you packed!! It’s always crazy - but oh-so-worth-it!
Retreats are my favorite thing. Just the time alone with your quilting peeps and your favorite activity. They cook for us. The phone is rarely for us. Giggling 24-7 with friends, even without the benefit of Mike's Hard Lemonade!! Not much money spent unless you go shop-hopping! And win-win – you get stuff done!
On Wednesday, we arrived at the Big K Ranch in Elton OR in the afternoon – first project: I started repairing my DGD’s Halloween quilt. What a pain in the patooty! So, after hours - a whole side border, I called it good until I got back home. (Today’s update: All broken quilted lines are sewn over. I only have 4 squares to tack down by hand. Tonight during tv!!)
Thursday, I started the funner(?) stuff!! My machine was already threaded with orange … so what better time to stitch up “Peek a BOO!” A Jenny Doan pattern for a twin sized quilt. P made the twin quilt earlier, it was darn cute, but P and I reduced those 4” squares to 2 ½” and me 2”. Makes a mighty fine wall quilt! Together they look like big brother and baby Boo!! Too cute! L got a kick out of how we were making the same project but with totally different processes!! All was well for me, until I forgot about the column of “Peek” resting on the table and kept sewing! Yep, P helped by ripping that seam out and I got the errant column in. Much cuter!! And yes, there were games, or photo opps! A Scissors headgear was a huge success - "Now where did I put those scissors?"
Friday, was the ‘funnest’ stuff! We bought Applique with a Twist from Meg Manwaring. (we meant to buy Daily Dose of Applique in the same set up! It’s hard to keep your focus when you are excited to find it and you’re 69 years young!) But the pattern is practically the same! Kind-of, sort of!! The sashing is scraps sewn into ‘ticker tape’. Yep, that’s what I call it and I’m keeping it! Ticker tape is FUN to make! You chain stitch, of course, just add another strip of whatever color attracts your eyes!
The final ticker tape (in our version) is 2 ½”. So we sewed! P’s scraps were longer, mine were from an age old project of mini log cabin blocks. I’m sure you remember the grocery bag full of ‘pieces too little to use, but too big to throw away!’ I moved them to Oregon and had a ball with them. I have enough log cabin blocks made to create a KING-size bed quilt!! That sucker is going to be H-E-A-V-Y!
No need to make more, so I magnanimously donated my log cabin scraps to ticker tape! Still so fun to see all those favorite fabrics! Sigh! We each pieced ticker tape until we had a dozen or so – laid them out on a table and took turns picking out strips. Ended up with a pile each! And yes, we have as many scraps left as we took! Scraps are famous for ‘fluffing’!
That evening I wanted to get started with a Boro wall quilt I’ve wanted to do since before COVID. P and I went on a QuiltTour trip to Japan in January 2020. Yes, COVID was there, and we were touring around with crowds of tourists. But we were lucky, got to come home as scheduled; and I don’t believe anyone in our group ended up with COVID.
It was a grand tour, ending up at the Tokyo Intl Quilt Show. We bought a few fabrics (not as many as we’d liked to – big hassle to get them home.) So time to gather those beautiful fabrics, some we bought from Yoko Saito herself! I played with what I’d brought, but I needed more lighter fabrics. So took pictures of the arrangement so far, and packed it all up again. P thought we were going to work on Kantha – also from the Orient, but very different. You think you are communicating but sometimes you’re not! Mostly my fault, I’m sure!
I made an improv forest wall quilt earlier this year for ModSquad – I love it! But I ended up with lots more trees than needed. Yes, they are that addictive! The Newport Guild has a Charity Benefit silent auction at their August Quilt Show. This year there is a ‘tree’ theme for donations for Re-Foresting. You can donate a small quilt for the silent auction OR you can display it and make a donation. This is going to be a close call – it’s still in 3-5 pieces, but I already love it! I was going to donate the 'second favorite' tree quilt - …. But I may go with a donation!! I’ll keep you informed!
P, L and I had been working on improv birds this spring. We all brought them to the retreat. They are stinking cute! So cute that 2-3 more retreaters started them too! I cut so many stripes so we would have a choice of stripes for bird legs. Well, we couldn’t use them all - so I sewed them end to end and made a border I dearly love! You just can’t go wrong with these birds!! Here are the online directions! Start on a free day … it’s addictive!