Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Retreat--Nashville, IN (1)

I am blessed to have the chance to attend several retreats during the year. Right now, I'm in Nashville, Indiana, for a retreat. These ladies meet at the Cornerstone Inn twice a year. Nashville is such a pretty little town with lots of shops and restaurants. I enjoy the retreat, I enjoy visiting with friends, and I enjoy shopping and eating here in Nashville.

This retreat is a good mix of people from Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota, and (I'm sure) other states. Everyone works on their own projects. Several of the ladies work on charity quilts and Quilts of Valor. There is usually one or more product/technique demonstrations going on in the room at any given time. There are many stories told and lots of laughter coming from our room during our time there.

Let me share a few pictures with you from the last couple of days.

We started out with spool cookies complete with needle and thread.
So far, I have finished six of my 365 Project blocks I brought with me. I have another project going, but it is a secret--shhhhhh...
Robin finished a wedding quilt and a baby quilt (for different people).
Jan finished a charity top.
Bernice finished a quilt she said she has been working on "for awhile."
Sissy brought back a project she had worked on at the retreat last January.

We always enjoy going out to eat and doing a "little" shopping in Nashville.
There are lots of other things being completed; it is hard to get pictures of them all. I'm hoping to get some pictures during Show & Tell (if we have one), so I can share some more with you in the next few days.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Is It Finished?

I have been working on a 1/2" hexagon quilt off and on for approximately four years. I did a lot of the work on it when my husband and I were traveling. It has accompanied me to Niagara Falls, many times to Arkansas (where my son lives), Tennessee, New Orleans, Virginia, Colorado, New England, Chicago, Lake of the Ozarks, numerous quilt retreats in numerous locations, St. Louis, and MANY other places. This week I FINALLY added the last pieces to the original design.
You think I would have been anxious to finish this piece, but I was surprised to find that I really procrastinated on finishing this quilt. I think I didn’t want it to end. Why would that be? Well, I have given this some thought and have found a couple of reasons.

Maybe it is because the quilt is an "odd" shape, and I really don't have any idea how to do the finishing. (The edges are VERY irregular with big red spiky things sticking out on many sides.) Or maybe it is because this project has been my fairly constant companion for the last four years, and I'll miss working on it. (When I finish a BIG project like this, I find myself a bit lost. Do you?)

Anyway, it is time for me to consider what I need to do to “finish” this quilt. I’m thinking I have two options. At first, I was thinking of doing some more hexis to finish off the edges so they would be a bit more regular. I drew up a design to see if I would like it and have decided against this. I just didn’t like how it took away from the “simplicity” of the original design.

My second option is to appliqué the piece to a background. There are a few drawbacks to this option. I’m worried about there being too much "blank" space around the outside of the quilt because of its shape; although, that might be a nice place for some beautiful hand quilting.

Another drawback is the physical part of actually lining up this BIG (85” X 91”) project onto a BIG piece of background fabric—getting it straight, getting all the wrinkles out, actually finding a place large enough to lay it all out and work on it without hurting my already aching back.  Another concern is how to remove the papers from the edge pieces of the hexagons. I’m thinking that if I go with the appliqué option, I could cut the background from behind the pieced hexis and remove the papers then. Would that work?

Here is my last concern. What color background will make the piece pop? One of my friends says that she has always seen it on white (when I take a pic of it on my design wall—my design wall is white), and she likes that. I think I’ll try some fabric out on my design wall, rehang the quilt on those different fabrics, and photograph those to see what looks good with it. Any suggestions? I’m thinking I’d need to use quilt backing fabric since I don’t want to have seams to deal with. Would that limit my choices for a background too much? Is the quality of background fabric as good as other quilting fabric?

Please weigh in with some answers. I’d really like to get started on this new adventure!