Monday, June 29, 2015

Quilt Retreat--The Third Retreat for the Month

Retreats are just the best--spending time with friends, doing what we love to do, eating great food. Obviously, I just can't get enough of them. Eight of us got together last weekend (June 2015) at Eleanor Burns's Retreat Center in Paducah, Kentucky. Most of the attendees are from Tennessee; I'm from Indiana, and Robin came in from St. Louis. These are the girls. (Don't even ask what Tanja (in the pink) is doing in this pic!!!)

Show & Tell at retreats are THE most fun. I am always amazed at the variety of projects everyone brings to work on. Here are my pics from this retreat...enjoy.

I worked on eight "postage-stamp" blocks (each block consisting of 36 two and one half inch squares) for a Block of the Month. I finished my "Science Fair" quilt top, and ...

I got this piece cut out, the half-square triangles made, and the layout put up on the design wall.

Several of us chastised Pam for BUYING a UFO (Who needs to buy them? Everyone I know has plenty to spare!); however, when it was finished, we were all jealous.

She got a lot done; here are her other pieces.

We were all coveting her fabrics.

Debby (award-winning machine quilter) is another one who gets a lot accomplished.

This is a community project quilt for which PUPs guild members made the blocks. It turned out beautifully.
This little wallhanging was made with a leftover T-shirt from a T-shirt quilt Debby made for a lucky girl. This will be a surprise for the recipient.

Tanja was REALLY focused and worked on HAND quilting the ENTIRE time.

She got a lot done. Her hand quilting is REALLY beautiful.

Robin loves handwork. She worked on an award ribbon that will be given at one of her guild's shows. I know I'd be happy to win this.

This is her latest wool project.

She also worked on binding a quilt.

Jan makes lots of quilts for her friends. This is a gift for one of her lucky recipients.

Judy worked on this quilt for her grandson. It contains LOTS of activities for him to do and includes a backing made of "road" fabric to use with his cars.

She also finished a batik quilt top.

When I started putting pictures in this post, I realized that I didn't get ANY pictures of what Pam R. was working on. She worked on several projects including (but not limited to) an English paper pieced hexagon project and a very intricate Judy Niemeyer pattern. I HATE that I didn't get A SINGLE picture of her gorgeous quilt blocks. Sorry Pam!

Some retreats are good for quiet reflection and work on art projects, some are good for working on traditional pieces, and some are good for working on VERY simple things to give your mind a break. Retreats are ALWAY good for renewing friendships, getting great tips, and rejuvinating creativity. If you get a chance to go to a retreat, JUST DO IT!


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Just a Little Scrappy Work

Awhile back, I worked on using up some of my HUGE scrap pile. I recently "rediscovered" the blocks and put them up on my design wall. I think I'll go ahead and sew them together at my next retreat. I like the interplay of darks and lights. I'm thinking I might use it as a background for something--we'll see.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Weekly Pattern Wednesday--Number Three

This is the third drawing in a series of 100 I'm working on. I'm linking up with Lynn Krawczky's Weeky Pattern Wednesday. Come on over and take a look; better yet, join us.

This is a drawing of a quilting design I often use. I like the curvy flow of this design.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Finished Table Runner

I finally got something totally finished. I have been working on a table runner for my daughter-in-law for awhile. My goal was to have it completed in time for us to take it down to Arkansas for her birthday--mission accomplished!

Since my new Juki sit-down quilting machine was delivered, I hadn't had any time to play with it. I was home for a little bit, so I thought I'd give it a go. I know it will take a lot of practice and some getting used to, but I have a few complaints. I had trouble with the tension. I'd get it to a point where I thought it was fixed, and I'd have trouble with it again. That happened throughout my whole quilting session--very frustrating. The other complaint is that I can't find out where to lower the pressure on the presser foot. Maybe it doesn't do that. I had trouble getting over anywhere that several seams meet. If I could reduce the pressure, I think that would help. Anyone know anything about these two probems? Of course, there was lots I loved about the machine--nice stitch, lots of table room, lots of room from the needle to the machine head. Quilting is MUCH easier; there is WAY less pulling and pushing the quilt around.

Anyway, I persisted and finished the table runner. I'm hoping I get LOTS better with my Juki, but (all in all) the table runner looks pretty good. I hope she likes it.

I even used lots of the leftover fabric for the back.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Thread Catchers

I had made a "thread catcher" for my travel hexagon bag. I had to make it smaller than the original I had seen, so it wouldn't take up too much room in my bag. This is a picture of my travel hexi bag with a little hexagon pin cushion attached with a snap. My sewing kit is in the front (made from an Altoid tin), and the mini-thread catcher I made is on the right.

In this next picture, you can see how the thread catcher collapses to make it smaller and easier to store and to keep the threads contained.

At my last retreat, I showed it to Lora, and she wanted to make one. She gathered enough materials for everyone at the retreat, so almost everyone decided made one. We made the "normal" size. If you are interested in making one, I found the "pattern" on a YouTube video here.

These are the thread catchers we made at the retreat. I think they are quite colorful!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Weekly Pattern Wednesday--Number Two

This is my second in a series of 100 pattern drawings I'm putting in my sketchbook. I'm linking up with Lynn Krawczyk's Weekly Pattern Wednesday. Check it out and join us.

This one may have some potential.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Quilt Retreat--Two Down...One to Go

It doesn't get much better for me than to be able to go to quilt/art retreats with friends. As I age, I find that I appreciate my friends more and more each day. This June, I had the opportunity to attend THREE quilt retreats; I jumped on it! I just got back from my second retreat and wanted to share what everyone worked on. I think the "Show & Tell" is such a fun part of retreats. I sure wasn't disappointed in the variety/number of items made during this retreat and hope you enjoy seeing them.

I worked on a hexagon quilt top that didn't get finished. (I DID get further along than this by the end of the retreat.) This is the top as I was putting it up on the design wall.

Keep in mind that I didn't get pictures of EVERYTHING. People worked on making binding, worked on making blocks of all kinds, and cut out new projects.

Anna worked on several things. This sweet, little owl/frog quilt,

this log cabin signature quilt (signatures are in the squares of the border),

and some fabric postcards.

Debbie worked on several quilt tops--a throw to go with her new living room furniture

and some quilts for little ones.

Mary Lou got lots done--a snowball top,

a table runner,
a table topper, and
this jellyroll quilt. Mary Lou has experimented with adding several shapes to her jellyroll quilts. Here, she added triangles. She randomly pieced the triangles into the jellyroll strips. It is always interesting to see where those triangles end up.
Jane made these adorable pincushions. She gave one to each of us at the retreat. Thanks Jane!

She also finished this quilt top and made several charity quilts I didn't get pictures of.

Ann finished several projects--two purses,

an apron,
a 30's print jellyroll quilt,

and a special quilt for her hubby.

Nancy worked on LOTS of string-pieced scrap quilt blocks. Can you imagine...these words came out of her mouth, "I might run out of scraps at some point!" Hmmmm...I don't think that will happen; they multiply in their containers when we aren't looking you know!

As you can see, we had a great time and were very productive.