Saturday, January 14, 2017

retreat recap

I have been thinking all week that I should go unpack my quilting stuff from retreat and take photos.  I didn't do it until today!

(To be fair, I was catching up at home and getting stuff done to advertise my guild's quilt show in March - must have flyers out early!)

Today I finally tackled the suitcase and was a good girl - I took one thing out at a time and put it away before taking out the next.  So my sewing room doesn't look much worse for it...perhaps it even looks better because I tidied up a few things as I went!

So let's do this in chronological order, shall we?

Thursday my ride arrived at 8:30am.  They laughed at me trying to wedge my suitcase behind the driver's seat in the car because that was the only space left.  Well, they were getting cold while I was doing it, so it wasn't all fun and games for them!  A few hours and 150 miles later we were there - reverse loading process, which went smoother getting it out than in.

My roomie didn't get to go - she was having some health issues and had a doc appointment Thursday afternoon.  I told her if she got a go-ahead to come up late.  Turns out she developed an awful cold on top of her health issues (which the doc said could be treated with meds, no worries - whew!) and decided to just stay home and save us all her germs.  So I had a room to myself.

Too bad because the elephant quilt debuted on my bed - no one to share it with!  (And I thought at least a few times I should take a photo, but did I?  Nope!)  Oh well, it will have another chance at my guild's show in a few months.

I wasted no time in getting my sewing stuff set up and digging into Project #1 - Arcadia Avenue blocks #5 and #6.  I had debated cutting more, but decided against it.  I kinda regretted that because I had both, yes both, done Friday night!

Here are blocks 1-6 - 6 on the left, 1 on the far right.

They're coming along nicely.  6 more to go.  I still don't like paper piecing, but being halfway done, I'm not going to quit.  It might take a while longer, but I'm going to finish these.  Having them at retreat was probably a good thing, though, because I forced myself to work on them.  At home I can find excuses to NOT sew them!

Friday, day two, I started on Project #2 - Brick Wall/Max & Whiskers jelly roll project.  I'd purchased some white-ish Grunge to do sashings.  I thought I had the right one (there are about 300 whites, I think), but after unrolling the jelly roll, I saw I had a slightly different one.  It wasn't too different (the little flecks of color in it were different, but the underlying color was the same), and I figured it was sashing, so it was all good.

Uh oh...project #2 completed before bedtime Friday!

Well, let me amend that.  The main part of the top is done.  The pattern calls for using the remaining parts of the jelly roll - enough for two 2.5" squares from each fabric - to be cut into squares and added as a border on the sides (top and bottom in this photo) with a grey border between them and the part you see here.

I'm not sold on that idea, so I have these bits left and I'm thinking on it.  No rush, I just should probably make a decision before I lose the extra pieces!

By this time, rumors of a new-ish quilt shop just a few miles from the retreat center were circulating and some gals had already been.  My group decided not to go with a group that ventured out earlier, but by this time not only was I getting low on projects, our driver was out.  O.U.T.  She sews fast, but holy cow!

Saturday after breakfast we headed to the new quilt shop.  My two friends both spent a lot more than I did, but the friend out of projects found something she truly wanted to make and the other friend bought a few different things, but left them in the car to avoid temptation - she was assembling the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt that just finished.  She was determined, but got all of the main blocks and sashings assembled - no small feat!

I didn't need anything (though I was a little concerned that my last project wouldn't last me two days), but found the pattern and ruler for the curvy log cabin.  While I know there are instructions for this online that don't require the ruler, this will (I hope!) make it easier for me.  I really do like what I've seen done with this ruler and the project is on my Pinterest/bucket list, so I bought it.

And I bought a few more pins.  Yes, those really do say $4.  I've not seen them that cheap anywhere and I've sewn over enough that I'm getting low on straight pins!

This quilt shop was really nice and had a lot of bright, modern fabrics and I really liked it.  If I'm up that way again, it will definitely be a stop!

Saturday mid-morning I started Project #3 - Candy Bracelets.  I thought I'd pressed all my fabrics.  I hadn't.  So iron something like 5 yards of white and carefully fold it.  Easier said than done, but much easier when it's not extra-wide (and I'm glad to hear some others of you have made this same mistake - I feel a lot better now, even if my fabric is still sketchily folded).  Iron each of my 27 fat quarters before cutting, too.  That made things take a lot longer, but I didn't mind other than the white.  I got to enjoy the fabrics a little extra this way.

But it turns out the pattern calls for 28 fabrics.  It's written with a layer cake in mind and I had fat quarters.  No big deal, I can cut pieces, but I had only 27 different fabrics.  And only one pink.  So I could either make double from the one pink or sew and sew and sew and get another pink when I got home.  I decided to wait.

I didn't get the blocks done Saturday.

I didn't get the blocks done Sunday before we had to leave either.  But I did get them mostly done.

From each fabric, you make two blocks.  Here they are with the strips sewn to the sides to make them square and not ironed.  This is where I left off Sunday before we packed it all up to come home (and the struggle with the suitcase was repeated...).  Turns out having that extra pink wasn't necessary...I didn't get anywhere near the top assembly step!

I stopped at my local quilt shop today and bought this one:

I think this one will do nicely - I put it next to the other pink and it's very similar in color and print, but different enough that I'm happy.  Her selection of pinks wasn't as diverse as I expected, but I found what I needed, so it doesn't matter.  If she'd had more, I'd probably have had trouble choosing which one, so it's all good.

But now I'm at a point where a decision has to be made.  These blocks get the corners lopped off again with the lost corner technique and when assembled, you end up with a square, on point, in the corners where blocks meet.  (see previous post for a photo - it's consistently light green in the original)

I thought about using grey and have a grey polka dot fabric.  What do you think?  Too modern for the 30's prints?  Too grey?  Too busy?  Perfect?

I don't want to hate it and have to unsew and redo I'm still thinking...suggestions welcome!

So that was my weekend.  Plus good food, good company and NOT being at work!

I think I've almost caught up from being gone (somehow I didn't want to come home and wash dishes and do laundry and grocery shop and clean the bathroom all at once, so I took my time - plus the quilt guild stuff took a bit of time) and now that I'm unpacked, I can go take a, wait,, no,!

(we'll see...)

Or maybe contemplate quilting my Christmas Pickle quilt some more?  (I keep hoping one of these mornings in the shower - where this always seems to happen - I'll just KNOW what it needs...)

Happy quilting,


a good yarn said...

What a love fun on retreat! You always get so much done ( I doubt I could achieve half as much). Glad you are persisting with your paper piecing project. Those blocks are stunning! Do you think that the grey will dominate the 1930s prints? I went back and looked at the pattern in your last post and they used a soft green. You could use leftover fabrics and make each lost corner a different colour/print.

Ruth said...

What a fun retreat! All your projects are great, but I especially like the candy bracelet one with the 30s fabric. Grey might work, but I think I would go with a red or blue that is different from what you have. Anything would probably look good with all the different colors. Good luck!

A Left-Handed Quilter said...

I laughed out loud - need 28 - have 27? - Oh, gee - I've NEVER done that - haha. Seems I'm always coming up short or missing ONE piece of something. The "gray"? - if you're questioning it - I'm thinking that it probably isn't the one you want - keep looking - you'll find it. All in all - sounds like you had a VERY productive weekend - good for you!! - ;))

canuckquilter said...

Sounds like a perfectly lovely weekend. I need to find myself one of those retreat things :) Your arcadia blocks are coming along well. They'll be worth it in the end. As for the thirties quilt - I might go with the grey dot. You could cut a few squares, fold and press in half diagonally and audition the corners on a few blocks to make sure you like it before you go to the effort of sewing it up.