Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Patoka Valley Quilt Guild 2014 Winter Retreat

The guild retreat was last weekend at the Spring Mill State Park Inn. We always have such a good time. Of course, I pack more projects than I'd ever be able to get done. I always like to have a variety of projects, because I never know what I'll be in the mood to do. I did finish a couple of projects I needed to get finished for gifts. That was my primary goal for the weekend.

This is my quilt for Holland. She will be getting this sweet little flannel rag quilt for her 4th birthday.

This quilt is for Sebastian; he will be turning 11. As you can see, he has divided loyalties when it comes to favorite baseball teams. For this t-shirt quilt, I had to scavenge for Cardinals shirts. My daughter and my husband are Braves fans, so I collected some "old school" Braves shirts from them. I had to turn to Facebook for most of the Cardinals shirts--my friends came through for me. Thanks Kim and Greg!

For this quilt, I used a lightweight fusible interfacing on the t-shirts before I cut into them. I cut them each into 18 1/2" squares. I backed them with fleece and quilted an "X" in each block. I didn't use any batting in the blocks; the quilt is PLENTY heavy the way it is. I made half-blocks for the top and bottom of the quilt. I needed it to be a bit longer and thought this would be a good way to finish it off.

I also worked on some more blocks for my scrap quilt. I hate to say that I don't have nearly enough blocks finished--I don't even have HALF of them finished for the size I need! I'll be working on this one for quite some time.

There was a wide variety of projects at this retreat. I have a few to share with you.

First, for the overachiever of the group...Mary Lou finished these three quilt tops. They are all the same pattern, but she finished them in different colorways. She did get some other things done, but I didn't get pictures of everything.

Yellow version

Red version

Green version

Vicky finished a couple of tops and spent a lot of time on blocks for a foundation-pieced Pickle Dish quilt.

Gerri finished her foundation-pieced string star. Wow, there are a lot of different fabrics and tiny pieces in this one!

Jane finished these two projects. You can find this bib pattern at the blog.

A different Jane finished these two. This quilt is from a pattern called "Trees Up, Lights On" from Pieces from My Heart.

Rosemary was determined to get this Southwestern quilt top finished for her son.

Ann finished this I Spy quilt.

Gwen's quilt is finished except for the binding.

A quilt retreat is different things to different people. Some people work on projects of all kinds large and small. Some people spend most of their time socializing and helping other people. Some people only bring hand work to do. I find I can't work on anything that takes a lot of concentration, I can't do a lot of cutting, and I can't work on my art quilts--these are all things I need to do alone. I also don't like to work on anything very large because of the limited space at our quilt retreat (and I'm spoiled with all the space I have in my studio at home). I usually work on small projects that I already have cut out, and I work on blocks for larger quilts that I'll put together at home.

If you get the chance, go to a quilt retreat. It gives you some uninterrupted sewing time and the opportunity to get to know some of your fellow quilt guild members a bit better--and no matter what, a quilt retreat is a whole lot of fun!


Friday, February 14, 2014

Sochi Patchwork

If you are curious about the patchwork you are seeing on the outfits of the Olympic participants, check out this website. Sochi Olympic Patchwork

You will see some beautiful patchwork and find out where the idea of the patchwork came from. I found it very enlightening to find out that the patchwork represents something from each of the 89 Russian regions. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Travel Tip

My husband and I just got back from a trip to Florida. It was a great time to be away from Indiana and the snow, ice, and cold. Anyway...I don't like to go anywhere without some sewing to do. I am never sure what the TSA rules are about scissors, snips, and such, (I know I could go on line and find out, but I'm just too lazy.) so I needed to figure out something else that would work. I tried using the thread cutter on my needle threader. That didn't work because it left the end of the thread too frayed to go through the eye of my quilting needle. Then, I thought I'd give this a try...

My fingernail clippers worked GREAT! I took the best clippers I have; they make a clean cut of the thread and I could also use them to clip the thread close to the quilt when I ended a line of stitching. (I was VERY careful not to clip into my quilt.)

Give this a try on YOUR next trip. Let me know how it works for you.


Monday, February 10, 2014

What If?

For me, getting ready for a quilt retreat takes WAY longer than it should. (I have the same problem packing for a vacation.) It is like I have quilting Attention Deficit Disorder. I am pulled in every direction about what things to take with me--should I take one of my MANY UFOs, should I take the embroidery piece I'm working on, should I take my hexagon project, should I take my latest art quilt. I always think I don't want to drag my machine along; but when I get to the retreat, I always regret that decision. SO...I have spent the last couple of days getting things together.

I cut out pieces for a flannel rag quilt for my three year old granddaughter. (I am making each of the grandchildren, who don't already have a quilt from me, a quilt for their birthday this year.)

I cut pieces for some blocks for my latest scrap quilt. I pinned the pieces for each block together. I'm hoping to get several of those blocks done.

I'm also taking my latest art quilt. I'm hoping to get some more hand quilting done on that piece.

For good measure, I'm taking my hexagon project along. (Oh, did I mention that I am delusional about what I can actually get finished during the retreat?)

I never know what I might want to work on. I have decided to call my "disorder" the "What If Syndrome"--what if I want to work on my scrap quilt, what if I want to do hand work, what if I get tired of working on my art quilt, what it I feel like machine piecing, what if I want to cut out a project, what if, what if, what if...

Do you have "What If Syndrome" too?


Friday, February 7, 2014

It's Official...I'm Doing a Block of the Month

Years ago one of my stitching groups decided to work on UFOs (Unfinished Objects), PhDs (Projects Half Done), etc. We worked on our unfinished pieces each month, and we all managed to finish LOTS of work. We haven't done that for awhile now and thought we needed to do another project together. We decided to do a block of the month quilt. Each month, the goal is to finish the block for that month BEFORE the meeting. We chose a project called "Penguin Cheer" from "Sindy's Stuff" blog. I finished the fusing yesterday. I think I'll take it along to our guild retreat (later this month) to finish the stitching I need to do around each shape. (I like to use a REALLY small zig zag stitch to finish it off.) This is Block 1. (It measures 14.5" X 12.5".)

If you'd like to join me and my friends in making this really cute quilt top, pop on over to Sindy's Stuff. Leave a comment and let me know you are following along. I'd love to see YOUR blocks each month.