Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Rest of the Retreat Story

I prepped all my projects ahead of time for retreat so I could just sit and sew and talk and not have to cut or think too hard or do any "dreaded math."  Each project was cut and put into a ziploc bag along with the pattern or instructions. The first thing I worked on was this "Cross Weave" pattern by Sweet & Simple Quilts from Martingale.

In case you haven't noticed by now, lately I've really been into using a complementary color in the sashing or border. I think it makes it more interesting.  (And different -- you must know I like my quilts to be different!)  I had a really cute backing fabric I had bought when I was in Paducah in April for the AQS Show.  

Except for the backing this quilt was made from stash and scraps.  In fact, this is my entire supply of oranges now. I've been doing some serious stash-busting!

The second thing I worked on was this pattern, "Easy Starburst", by Missouri Star Quilt Company's Jenny Doan.  

I had never made Half-Square Triangles using the method in her tutorial.  Starting with two squares, one print and one white-on-white, right sides together, I sewed a quarter-inch seam around the edges then cut from corner to corner to make four HST's.  It worked well and went together fast, but I ended up having to work with all bias edges which is not my favorite thing.  

(Note:  I used 7" squares instead of 10" squares in order to end up with a smaller quilt.) The HST's were then stitched into four large blocks, using the same layout .....

..... then, starting at the top right, each block was turned clockwise in order to create the star.  

I added a border and used fabrics from my stash for the back and binding. 

How about that?  Two finishes in one week!  Not only that, but two more quilts for Choose Life of North Alabama.  

See what happens when you get to go on a retreat?  

I'm linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.  Check them out and read about the projects others are working on.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Retreat Fun

I had the opportunity during Halloween week to spend a few days with some very dear quilty friends, ladies I have known a long time and have really missed since our move to Alabama six years ago.  I was used to meeting with them monthly before our move, and I have been on retreat with them only once since, so it was good to see them and catch up, laugh, gab, and oh, yeah -- sew!  We met at Spragues Kinderhook Lodge in Barry, Illinois for the best retreat ever!

Rita quilted a baby quilt she had prepped at home and then made three more baby quilt tops.

Darlene (Dar's Patchwork Garden) finished her Celtic Solstice top.  (A Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt.)

Joan played with her beautiful batiks, as she usually does.

Pat found out she doesn't like making "made fabric" for her blocks.  

Ree taught a lesson on making aprons from men's dress shirts.

Lee Etta worked on three (THREE!) different scrappy quilts.

Colleen made "see through window" craft bags for a friend.
Katy worked with colors that "don't go together" and then found out when the blocks were made that they do.
Jeanne won all our batik fat quarters when we played Right-Left-Center .....
..... two nights in a row!
Since it was Halloween the Grim Ripper showed up .....

..... and led us in a few games of Halloween Bingo.
I even got into the spirit of things!
Wonderful food, comfortable accommodations, beautiful scenery, late nights talking with old friends, lots of laughing, and sewing all day.  What could be better than a quilt retreat?

Next time, I'll share some of the quilty projects I worked on at retreat!


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Disaster Averted

You may remember (but probably not because it's been so long ago) the infamous "Rainbow Disaster" quilt I talked about in this post.  Fairly quickly after starting I had to give up on it. Everything was turning out wonky, and I was getting completely frustrated.  I finally figured out it was because the pre-cut jelly roll strips were cut out sooooooo badly.  See?

I had never bought a kit before.  I got as far as having some of the blocks partially made then decided to replace the planned inserts with eggplant colored strips.   The eggplant was included with the kit and was intended for the binding.   

This is the mess I ended up with.  

Into the UFO pile it all went.  And there it stayed.  Until now. Since one of my goals for this year was to complete some of my UFO's (Hmmmm, I think that's a goal every year!)  I pulled it out and decided to just get it done.  In my own way, of course.  

First, I played with the blocks I'd already made to see what I could come up with.  I tried several variations .....

..... then thought about using that eggplant in the blocks instead of just saving it for the binding.  I'll worry about binding later.  You can't think that far ahead when you decide to just play.  

I decided that half-square-triangle blocks didn't actually look too horrible .....

.....but then again, they didn't look so great laid out together on the design wall. 

What to do, what to do.  Play some more, right?  Grab all those rejected insert pieces .....

..... cut up all those strip sets .....

..... and start really playing.  Now this is fun!

After a few days of moving things around, stepping back to look, thinking and re-thinking, I ended up with a flimsy I'm really happy with.  It has gone a long way from this .....

..... to this!

I had a lot of pieces left which I could have used somehow to make it a little bigger, but honestly I was kind of sick of looking at it.  So I offered all of it to whoever wanted them in my online quilting group, and Alice spoke up first, so they are outta here!

The quilt will be a decent size for a throw, about 55" x 55" so that's not too bad.  Plus, as soon as I decide how to quilt it there will be one less thing on the dreaded UFO list.  I can live with that!

I'm linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I get a Whoop Whoop?
Check out other bloggers there!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

T-Shirt Quilt - A Good Start

Finally, it's time to get going on this T-Shirt Quilt. Sometimes it takes me a while to work my way up to it when I'm starting a new project and it's something I haven't done before.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm really excited about making my first (First?  Does that mean more will follow??) T-shirt Quilt.  

The first step was figuring out which of the 33 (!!!!!) shirts Josh wants me to include in his quilt.  Actually, there are 30 T-shirts, 1 sweatshirt, and 2 Hawaiian shirts. 

Because we don't live near each other we went through the shirts by text message.  I sent one photo at a time and he decided whether to "Keep" or "Get Rid Of" it.  It wasn't until we were almost finished going through all those shirts that I realized it would have been easier to just Face Time.  Next time, right?  In order to keep it all straight and not toss out a shirt by mistake, I immediately pinned a "Keep" tag on each of the keepers.  

I put most of the "get rid of" shirts into a bag to take to the thrift store.

Two poor shirts with lots of puff paints on them went straight into the trash.  

I think they were from elementary school, and I was secretly glad he didn't want to use them.  I just wasn't sure about those puff paints!

Surprise, surprise!  The "Keep" pile was a lot bigger than the "Get Rid Of" pile!

I have enough stabilizer to get started, so now I can really get going.  I had to trim one of them just so I could feel like this journey has begun.

Let the fun begin!

I am linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Check it out!  There a lot of great quilt projects to read about.