Absolute FUN Fall Retreat 2019

Thirty very creative and talented women gathered in Blowing Rock, NC this past week for a very productive and fun-filled retreat!

We played games:

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Made stunning quilts:

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Charity blocks were sewn by all to make Hospice quilts:

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There really was some serious work going on!

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Show and Tell – always the main highlight of the retreat. SO MUCH talent!!

(There are a few pics missing that I will post soon.  Unfortunately I was taking pics from my I-pad and not my phone which was not a good thing!)

 

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Thank you to our host site, The Meadowbrook Inn and to an amazing group of women for a memorable retreat!

 

 

 

Prep & Progress

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Lots of prep has been going on here.  Saturday I leave for the mountains for the Fall Quilt & Sew-In! Even though I’ve been doing retreats for thirteen years, I still get a little antsy and anxious a few days before it begins.

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Blocks have been prepped for the charity quilts from the bin of precut scraps above. There are a couple of layout possibilities for one:

And here is the layout for another quilt:

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A bucket of blocks with instructions are available for anyone who chooses to complete one or more blocks. They then put their name in for a drawing and on Show & Tell night names are drawn for prizes. I and another quilter put the blocks together for a quilt –  it certainly helps to get more Hospice quilts completed!

My projects – I always bring more than I could possibly complete. When you are the facilitator, time sewing is reduced. I love it though, and wouldn’t have it any other way! First and foremost, I plan to work on my Tula strips.  I already have several blocks complete and all is very organized (completed block above).

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A nine patch I worked on at a recent sew-in is also in the queue.  The plan is to do a disappearing nine patch, but I just haven’t decided which pattern I will be using.

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For when I don’t want to actually sew, there is this bin of half-square triangles that need to be trimmed to size.  There’s a bunch, so trimming a little at a time will make the task less daunting.

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And finally, a bin of 3 1/2″ squares for a leader-ender.  I recently spent two (exhausting) days sorting my batiks by color.  There is now a bin full of scraps, and six bins of larger pieces.  The batik squares will be paired with black and white squares.  I think this will be quite stunning. I love to have a leader-ender project going – makes me feel so productive!

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A fun and productive week is ahead! I can’t wait to share all that is Quilt & Sew-In!

 

A Finish & a Bonus!

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In May of 2018 I finished my Big Shabby Chic.  There were lots of blocks leftover – enough for a small Hospice quilt and enough for a throw. Good news for me, another WIP is done! The long armer used a pretty swirly pattern.  Unfortunately, rain outside left me no choice but to photograph this quilt indoors.  It is definitely a low volume quilt and its destination is going to be as a gift.

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And now for my bonus! Several years ago my daughter acquired an antique chair and had it upholstered with Kaffe fabric.  I have always loved this chair! She recently decided that it no longer brought her joy. Good news for me – it now sets proudly in my living room.  AND…it’s comfortable!

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I have no doubt that this chair will bring me joy for a very long time!

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Week Two

On Saturday I came home from a sew-in and on Sunday left with Hubby for Richmond, Virginia for some sightseeing.  The city is so rich with history. We walked many, many miles each day and found ourselves constantly looking up at the amazing architecture.  There are also many phenomenal historical statues. Below left is the city hall and the third is the state capital.

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On day two we had a few hours of rain so we headed to the Richmond Museum of Fine Arts.  What a treasure filled with exquisite exhibits!  AND…there was a special exhibition of quilts: Cosmologies from the Tree of Life: Art from the African American South with a quilt display of Gees Bend.  All were made of silk or corduroy and hand pieced and quilted.  Such a treat especially since I have long been a fan!

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On day four we headed to Southport, NC for some R&R.  Walking, bicycle riding and enjoying the waterfront for three days was so relaxing.

I DID NOT sew a single stitch by machine or by hand for the entire trip! Now that I’m back, I best get busy!

Two Weeks – Week One!

Whew! I’ve been gone for the last two weeks.  The first week I went to a sew-in with some great gals, came home on a Saturday, and left on Sunday for a week vacation with hubby! Some careful planning made it doable and it was all totally worth it!

First, the Sew-In.  A good friend planned this time for us at the same place where I have the Quilt & Sew-Ins – at the Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock.  This place is like a second home to me so I was thrilled that we gathered there.  How convenient it was that my sleeping room was just around the corner from the sewing room!  There were only six of us so it made it very intimate.

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Another Debbie creation.  This pic does not do this beautiful log cabin justice. The fabrics were just glorious!

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Pam’s wine fabric casserole carrier sure is classy!

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Yes, Debbie was quite productive. This flimsly was mostly done before the retreat – a few more seams and border – colorful and fun!

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Pam made this bag using a preprinted batting and precut strips.  I love the way the strips meet on the sides. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll be getting some of this batting.

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Love this scrappy block pattern that Sue was working with. The block is rather time consuming and she made several. This is going to be one beautiful quilt!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three table toppers! Sheranna tackled the 10 minute table toppers – one Christmas, one St. Pattrick’s Day and one very elegant and formal.  Full disclosure – they take a bit more than ten minutes!

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And yes, I did sew.  I worked on blocks using some of my batik stash for a quilt called “Katsura” from Modern Quilts Illustrated.

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I also put together a pile of nine patches with a pile more to go.  I’m going to split each block but have not decided which method to use yet – something different from the most used split nine patch.

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I also managed to complete a flimsy for Hospice.  This will be a 2020 contribution. How nice to have a bit of a head start!

It was a great week! Along with sewing I enjoyed talking, laughing, swimming, walking, dining at a few fine restaurants and lots more laughing.  Now back to reality…

Baby Strings

In May I worked on a string quilt while at a retreat.  The leftovers have now been put to good use.  Originally, this was the layout:

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I decided, however, to change the layout and I like this much better.

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The string sections are quilted with a loop pattern and the white sections are done with straight lines.

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Another finish feels really good, but I don’t want to just add it to my pile of finished quilts. It’s too small for a Hospice quilt, so I will be donating it to my guild because they  give quilts to the hospital. I’d love this to go home with new parents and their precious little one, or a baby in need of extra TLC.

And here’s my September wrap-up.  Much of my time has been spent sorting through stuff some reorganization.  Sewing has definitely taken a back seat. I enjoy sewing more when all is in order!

Sept WIPS

Linking up with:  Oh ScrapMonday Making

Aiming for Accuracy

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That’s the name of a pattern from Craftsy several years ago. I fell in love with it and it being a free pattern, it made my decision to do this quilt a lot easier. I immediately ordered the fabric, Bobbins & Bits batik. Interestingly enough, this fabric also was in a non-batik and yes, I originally ordered the wrong one. Thankfully that mistake was easily corrected.

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The fabric is bold and fun with graphics of buttons and scissors.  I did all the cutting and began to put several blocks together when I did my artist in residency at Wild Acres about three years ago. When I brought the project home, it sat, and sat, and sat.  Finally I put what was done on the design wall and was motivated to get this baby done! My aim at accuracy was a bit off in places, but overall I’m good with the results.

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There is  an excellent long arm quilter in South Carolina that I met last year and I gave her the flimsy in May.  She travels a lot and I was willing to wait because I knew she would do a great job. And a great job she did! The red thread on the back fabric is quite bold! And as an extra bonus she squares and trims the finished quilt!! I machine sewed the binding on as soon as I got it home. Usually I completely machine sew on my bindings, but this one begged for me to hand sew the one side. For a week I dog sat at my son’s house so I had the perfect project to keep me busy!

This for me is more than just another completed quilt. It was a quilt in my must do because I truly love it quilty bucket list.  It’s done! And hung! I love it!   YIPPEE!!!

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Linking up with:  Moving it Forward Monday,  NTT