Tuesday, June 28, 2016

"Retreating" Again

I am SO fortunate to be able to go to several retreats a year. I get to be with friends, enjoy uninterrupted time to work, and eat great food. This year my quilt guild decided to try a summer retreat. It was not well attended, but those who were there had a MARVELOUS time--we had LOTS of room (I had two large tables to myself, which is good since I tend to spread out a bit!), and we had four full days to work.

I worked on my newest art project (which I'll talk more about in another post) and my 365 Challenge blocks. I was VERY happy with what I got done. It doesn't look like a lot, but I DID figure out HOW I am going to make my art piece--which is HUGE. (Oooooo, who does that sound like?) Just figuring that out took quite a lot of time.

Here is my progress on that. (I have A LOT to go.)

The white around the outside edge will be gone when the piece is appliqu├ęd to the black background. I was so excited when I figured it out that I "forgot" to eat lunch that day!

I only worked on my 6-inch, light 365 Challenge blocks for one day. I got these blocks finished and two others almost finished. (I cut some of the pieces incorrectly for those two and didn't bring any extra fabric along to make the corrections.)

If you would like to see what everyone else did at the retreat, click here.

We always have people who drop in to see what we are doing. I'm amazed that people will just walk into a building (uninvited) that is clearly marked with a "Private Event" sign. With that being said, we really don't mind to share what we are doing when people do drop by and a FEW of those people were told about the retreat and invited to drop in by the workers at the event center. We particularly enjoyed a visit by a young new quilter. She was VERY enthusiastic and wanted to learn all she could. She visited one day and came back to spend most of the afternoon with us the next day.

Everyone gave Taylor a mini-lesson on what they were doing. (Wish you lived closer; we'd love to have you as a member of our guild.)

Another big plus for me was that my name was drawn out first for an attendance prize! Wooohooooo! I won 17 solid fat quarters. I often use solids in my art pieces and was thrilled to increase my solid fabric stash.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Stash Builder Box

I can't remember how I found out about it, but I ordered a Stash Builder Box last week. (First off, I should say that I am not being paid for anything I'm saying about the box. I just like the box idea and the cause behind it.) I think I might have originally heard about them from Suz at her DesertSky Quilt blog or maybe I read about it on Sarah's Confessions of a Fabric Addict blog. Regardless of where I heard about it, I received my box this week. It is packaged very nicely and contains some really fun items (one of which I was about to order anyway). Here is how it comes.

The box is really nice and sturdy and filled with all kinds of quilty goodness. I found out that 20% of the price of the box goes to help kids in need. This information below comes from the Stash Builder Box site:

"Currently, we are donating to: MY STUFF BAGS

The My Stuff Bags Foundation provides comfort and a message of hope to abused and neglected children entering crisis and foster care through its unique program, My Stuff Bags.

My Stuff Bags are bright blue individual duffels filled with brand new personal items and a warm, often hand-made “security” blanket – all theirs to keep. Packed with items they desperately need as they adjust to their new surroundings, My Stuff Bags provide things to do and to hold during this difficult time.

The My Stuff Bags Foundation is the only organization providing rescued children nationwide with new belongings in duffels that they can keep."

This sounds like a worthy cause to me (and who doesn't like quilty goodness). There is more information on the site about what you can do to help more directly if you would like.

This is what it looks like when you open your box.

There is a cute little sack containing goodies and below that there is this...

another level of goodness. Here is what was in my box.

If you are interested in getting the next Stash Builder Box or finding out more about what you can do to help the cause, click here. Use the coupon code FRIENDS to get $3 off your first box.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Back to Work, a Big Win, and a Finish

In a previous post, I told you about falling and hurting my hand. Well, when I got back from Florida, my hand was still hurting; so I decided to have it checked out at the doctor's office. (I can't take a chance with my sewing hand!) He sent me for an x-ray and found that nothing was broken or cracked; it was sprained--4-6 more weeks of soreness but (thankfully) no cast. He said to take Aleve, use moist heat, and take it easy with it. Of course, my question was, "Will I hurt it if I work on some hand sewing?" He said I could do as much as I felt like doing. Yeah!!! So...since June 12th I have spent nearly 21 hours hand quilting. I think it actually makes my hand feel better. I tried cutting out fabric for my 365 Challenge blocks, but that really did hurt my hand. Needless to say, I'm pretty far behind on those now.

Now, on to my big win. I commented on Sarah Craig's blog, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and won an LED light base and three quilt light panels from the Classic Metal Company. I got to choose which panels I wanted and chose those you see below. Wooooohoooooo!!!

Each of the light panels is clear; the color comes from the led light in the base. You can chose the color you want your light panel to be from several different available colors or pick the option to run through all the colors. It is VERY cool. Thank you Sarah and Classic Metal Company. If you'd like one of these for your very own (or something else from The Classic Metal Company--like a metal quilt block for your house), check them out here.

I finished this month's game board for the Play with Me QAL. Alida's instructions are easy to follow, and it was a fun project. The game board for this month is called Ludo. I've never heard of it, but that is part of the fun with this QAL. Alida gives you instructions for the game board, instructions for the game pieces, and explains a bit about the game.

I used a black piece of fabric that was rather thick. I had a hard time pressing the seams to one side, but I think it turned out okay. I like the block and think it would make an interesting quilt.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Withdrawal and Blessings

I'm here at the beach; it is beautiful, and you'd think all would be well but... I'm REALLY missing something to stitch. Do you think there is such a thing as stitching withdrawal? Anyway, yesterday's sunburn is keeping me from heading outside today, so I find I'd actually have some time to stitch. My idle hands yearn for the feel of cloth and thread beneath my fingertips.

Alas, I realize I wouldn't be able to sew anyway. My hand/wrist still ache from my fall. I guess I'll read and watch The Quilt Show and The Wire while all of the kiddos are at the pool and beach.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of gratuitous pictures of some of my family. Every other year my husband and I rent a big house and invite our kids and grandkids down to the beach. So far, everyone has been able to come each of the years. It is really special since we all live so far apart; it is one of the few chances we all have to spend time with each other. I feel so blessed to be able to do this.

Cade saw his first sunrise this morning. My DH got up early with him and took him to the state park to see it. He told me it was orange!

June Beth (the littlest one in this picture) came out onto the deck with my DH and I last night. The sky was REALLY clear and the stars looked close enough to touch; she was very excited by them. She and I sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star over and over. As soon as we'd finish one song, she'd say, "Again, again." Did I say how blessed I feel?

Monday, June 6, 2016

Travel, Accident, and 365 Challenge Update

Have sewing will travel. Does that sound like you? Every time we get ready to leave for a trip of some kind (and that is pretty often now that we both have retired) I start to panic a little bit. Will I have enough sewing to take along? What is the least intrusive sewing I can take? Should I even take sewing along?

I have a lot of hand sewing projects, but most of them tend to take up a bit of room--my "forever" hexie project, the quilt I'm hand quilting, even my extreme embroidery piece takes up more room than I'd like because I need to carry lots of different colors of embroidery floss.

I know that part of the problem is I'm a "What-If" kind of gal. What if I don't have the color floss I need (so I bring way too much)? What if I don't want to work on that embroidery project (so I bring two or three)? What if I spill something on my quilt (even when I drag it along I don't work on it)? What if I don't bring something to sew and I really need something to sew? What if I'm sewing and people think I'm rude by doing that?

I didn't have to make a decision; it was made for me. I had a little mishap the day before we left. I slipped on some water in the garage and landed hand/wrist first on the concrete. I didn't have time before we left to have it X-rayed; I'm hoping for the best. There is no way I could sew (so no decision had to be made). That's giving me time to catch up on my reading. I'm on the third book in the Game of Thrones series; those books are REALLY long.

I do have another 365 Challenge update. I have been working on those blocks whenever I get a chance.

These are some pretty intricate blocks; I'm really liking them.