Sunday, October 30, 2016

Some Hexie Work, a Prize, and Procrastination

Lately, I have had several people ask me about my progress on my "forever" hexie project. I, regrettably, had to say that there had been no progress for quite some time. The piece has gotten so large it is hard to work on (and impossible to work on when I travel). To refresh your memory, here is a picture of the project. (I HAVE added one more row to the bottom of this piece but haven't photographed that.)

I decided I would divide the remaining work into several (what I hope are) "doable" sections. I figure I can work on the sections while I'm on the go and add them to the BIG piece when I'm at home. In the last couple of days, I have completed two of those sections. (The basting stitches have not been removed yet.)

This piece will be added to the bottom--right in the middle to complete the red star points. The next piece will be added directly under that.

I know it doesn't look like much, but this represents several hours of work.

I received a prize from a drawing over at Alida's blog. I participated in her game board quilt project (Play with Me QAL) and was one of the winners in her final drawing. I won a free motion quilting CD, a pattern, and a binding tool. Thank you Alida! If you haven't checked out her blog, you should definitely do that. Check it out here.

Yesterday, I finished the quilting on my Scorched Earth art piece. Now, I have to square it up and face it. I'm really dreading that work and have been procrastinating. Maybe I'll get to it today or maybe not.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Patoka Valley Fall Retreat 2016

This past weekend my local quilt guild (Patoka Valley Quilters Guild) had their Fall retreat at Saint Meinrad Archabbey. This was just a beautiful place to have a retreat--great views, rolling hills, impressive buildings, and a sparkling lake.

I got a few more blocks of my 365 Challenge Project done, a pillowcase made for a charity project (using some of my recently purchased bargain fabric from Ben Franklin), and 30+ blocks for my next children's charity quilt (which are not in the photograph). The first and third blocks in the second row took a LONG time to make. I worked on one of them for an ENTIRE afternoon. I'm hoping my pillowcase is considered "cheery/happy" and not considered something that would keep a child awake!!!

Our room was a large and well lit room with lots of windows. Everyone had a big table (some of us spread out over a bit more than our share).

There weren't many "tah dah" projects (finished projects that were shown), but everyone remained busy with their individual UFOs (unfinished objects). Here are a few of the pieces I managed to get a picture of.

Retreats are just the best. I don't have any more retreats until December (when I have two). I'm looking forward to them. Do you go to retreats?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Quilting--Hand & Machine

I haven't had a lot to post lately, because I have been traveling and quilting. I've been working diligently but have little to show for it. Most of my projects take a LONG time to complete. Between my 365 Challenge (with TINY pieces) to my "forever" hexagon project (with LOTS and LOTS of 1/2" hexagons) and hand quilting in the meantime, my "art" quilts have taken a back seat.

I have been busy quilting two on-going projects. I really enjoy hand quilting when I have the time. It is VERY meditative for me. I love the slow rhythm of it; I love the feel of the needle and thread coming through the cloth. There is nothing that looks like hand quilting; I love the texture of a hand quilted piece--the "dimples" it makes in the cloth.

To date, I have hand quilted over 100 hours on my "Bouquets for a New Day" quilt (and have a long way to go). The Quilt Show hosted a BOM (block of the month) quilt awhile back; this is my version.

I wanted this one to have LOTS of quilting. Well, it does!

I'm also working on getting my latest "art" quilt (Scorched Earth) machine quilted. I have the main portion of the piece quilted and am now working to finish the background. I am quilting it on my Juki QVP sit-down quilting machine. I could not have quilted this one on my domestic machine. I tried that first--I thought I would use my walking foot to quilt straight lines on it., but that DID NOT work. The quilt is rather stiff (almost like leather), so getting this big quilt through the harp of my domestic machine was impossible. It turns out that I'm glad the domestic machine quilting didn't work. I am happy with the quilting I've done on my Juki, and it forced me to practice using that "new" machine. I get a bit more confident with every hour of quilting.

What are you up to? Do you like this cooler weather (if you have it)? Does the change in weather change what you work on? I know I do more quilting when the weather is cooler and more designing when it is warm. I am REALLY loving this fall weather--my favorite time of the year.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

MORE Fabric!

"Hello. My name is Beth Schnellenberger, and I am a fabric addict!" Yep, I said it. When you look at my stash, you would think I don't need any more fabric. Well, I bought some more fabric.

On the left, you can see the contents from two of the other baskets I bought at the live auction at the PUPs Retreat in Memphis. (They auction off baskets of goodies to raise money for their next big retreat. I always buys a basket or two to support their efforts. If you'd like to see my "Kiss Me Goodnight" basket, check it out here.) I bought a basket of mostly yellows ("Hello Sunshine") and a miscellaneous box ("This & That"). I did give away some of the fabric, a ruler, and a couple of patterns from the two that I didn't think I would use. Besides the fabric, the basket contained some hand-stitched coasters, ten cloth hankies, some thread, and a Curtis Boehringer pattern. I am a collector of Curtis Boehringer quilt patterns; I have all twelve months of his snowmen patterns. I was excited to see this one included in the box.

On the right you can see MORE fabric. Unfortunately, our local Ben Franklin store is closing. It is the last place in my town to purchase good quality quilting fabric. I stopped by before I went to my latest quilt retreat and found that the fabric had been marked down 80%. The fabric had a pretty good presale price, so 80% off made it irresistible. I bought all that was left on these bolts for $1.29 per yard. I figure I can use most of the fabric for charity quilts. I like the bright fabrics for the kid's quilts I make.

Hopefully, I'll have a chance to get another charity quilt top made at my next retreat. We'll see.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Cabin Fever Autumn Retreat-Spring Mill 2016

I just got back from my latest quilting retreat. It was held at Spring Mill State Park in Mitchell, IN. Everyone tells me to be sure to share what the attendees do at the retreat, so her you go...

Here's what I got done. (I know, I know, it doesn't look like much.) But...

I got a dozen 6 1/2" blocks and two 3 1/2" blocks for my 365 Challenge done, one 15" block for a BOM, ten 6 1/2" blocks and LOTS of partial blocks for charity quilts (not pictured). I'd like to have gotten more done, but those 365 blocks take FOREVER!!! I'll be working on more of them at the next retreat in a couple of weeks.

We have such a nice room at the Spring Mill Inn. We each have a big table (although, that isn't enough for some people). LOL!

I don't know if they do it every year, but this year a group of these quilters made a challenge quilt. They really look different based on the fabric selection. Some got totally finished with the quilts--quilted and bound. Some just got their tops done, and some people only finished some of the blocks.
There are almost always children's quilts at a retreat. The owl quilt was made by some little children with the help of grandparents (I think). The rest of the quilts below are baby quilts.

There were LOTS of different projects.

Robin worked on some table runners/table toppers.

We all always have a good time at this retreat. I look forward to it every year.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Getting a Little Work Done

I have spent the day working on getting things ready for my next retreat and machine quilting on my latest art quilt (Scorched Earth). I also spent a bit of time washing fabric purchased at my last retreat. The "Kiss Me Goodnight" basket of red and black fabric I purchased for $50 contained approximately 35 yards of fabric--what a GREAT deal! Check out the pile of fabric that came out of that little red basket. (It was rolled as tightly as it could be and STUFFED into that basket. I had NO idea there was that much fabric in there.) I see a red and black quilt in my future!

Last night I had a chance to quilt a few hours on my Bouquets for a New Day quilt. I'm really liking the texture created by the hand quilting.

I have a long way to go on this quilt, but I really enjoy hand quilting. I look forward to sitting down with Nate in the evenings and spending time with him and this quilt!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Fall Retreat 1 of 3

I am SO fortunate to be able to do a lot of quilt "retreating." I have three retreats in October; the first of which was last weekend. That retreat is put on by the PUPs Quilt Guild and is held at a retreat center in Bartett, Tennessee. This guild knows how to put on a retreat! They have a group of people meet you at the door to unpack your car and deliver ALL your "stuff" to the appropriate room (sewing room or bedroom). That is worth the price of admission right there. But that is not nearly all they do.

When we arrived in our classrooms, our places were marked with a name tag, and lots of "swag." It included a bag of M & Ms, a home-made cell phone/tablet holder, a fat quarter of fabric, a Frixion pen, a ball point pen, a ruler, a plastic storage bag, a paperweight with the guild logo, and a home-made mat with pockets for our sewing machine.

The retreat committee worked for two years on raising money, making items for "swag," snagging a well-known teacher, accumulating items for the silent auction and the live auction, putting the baskets for the auction together, putting the guild teacher classes together, putting together and quilting four quilts to give away at the retreat, and SO much more.

This retreat (offered every other year) has a "feature teacher." This year's teacher was Denise Green a certified Judy Neimeyer instructor. The first night shd had a trunk show.

Her classes are included in the price of the retreat. I chose not to take any of her classes, but the people who did RAVED about her as a teacher. You can check her out at her site. Here are pictures of the work from her classes.

Classes were also taught by guild members. Here are pictures from those classes--a string quilt class, a 3-D pillow class, and a modified Dresden plate class.

There was also a thread play class.
They had a challenge this time too. The theme was time. Julie was the big winner.
They have a silent auction and a live auction at the retreat to make money for the next retreat. I got two items from the silent auction--a plastic thread keeper/case for $2, two yards of heavy duty stabilizer for $1, and a Moda Frivol tin that included the pattern and fabric for a small quilt for $10. I was thrilled! At the live auction, lots of different baskets were available. I think there were more than 65 items in all. I scoped them all out and listed the top six or seven I was interested in. I ended up getting three baskets--This & That, Kiss Me Goodnight, and Hello Sunshine. (They gave all the baskets very clever names.)
I love this retreat--I get to visit with friends, learn something new, buy quilting supplies at a great price, and have a truly wonderful time. I'm already looking forward to the next one.
I'm leaving for my next retreat in less than a week. I'm hoping to get some more of my 365 Challenge done and work on my "artsy" string quilt. Stay tuned.