Retreat Review

Happy Sewing Bees
Happy Sewing Bees

It has been awhile since I was able to attend a CQFA Retreat – 2 years, I think. I was so thrilled to be able to attend the current retreat, which was held over Mother’s Day weekend. Isn’t that a great Mother’s Day gift?? As a bonus, I sewed so much!

I feel like I really made some good progress on projects that were languishing:

It was fantastic!

First of all, I, pretty much, threw projects and parts into project bags starting about a week before the retreat. This helped me not forget critical fabric and supplies. The only thing I forgot was a lamp and my sewing machine’s light kept me from going blind.

Next, I made sure I had plenty of blocks and parts that would make good leaders and enders. Using the leaders and enders technique, I made 20+ Nine Patches for the octagon 9 Patch on which I have been working and 27 (!!!) Box Full of Letters blocks. In addition to significant progress on two projects, I am pleased with the progress I made on the leaders on the leaders and enders projects.

Oliso ironing surface
Oliso ironing surface

The other thing I did was try out the Oliso iron I bought. I finally dragged out the June Tailor ironing surface I bought for the Dale Fleming Circle class as well. It was a little different because you don’t set it up on its end, it just pops up away from the ironing surface. Also, the steam and basic functionality are a little different. Friend Julie tried it also (we shared a table and a mini ironing surface) and gave me her feedback as well.

Sue's Baby Quilt
Sue’s Baby Quilt

People made great projects. Bron and Sue were working on baby quilts for friends. I liked the ideas they had and may use the ideas for donation quilts.

Sue’s (left photo) quilt is made from strips and a background. She said she cut strips and then sewed them together in rows. She said she used different widths of strips and I think that gives the piece a lot of movement. Lucky kid, I say.

In thinking of different ways to make this quilt, I could use strips, cutting them as I cut into new yardage. I would save up strips until I had enough and then get Gerre to quilt it. 😉

The other thing I could do it rummage through my scraps and get pieces large enough to do something similar. My mind is reeling.

I didn’t get a photo of Bron’s quilt, sadly, but what she did is wacky sew pieces together, then she cut the pieces into squares and sewed them together with sashing into a baby quilt. She used a white dot on yellow for the binding, which I loved! It would be a good scrap project.

Gerre's art quilt
Gerre’s art quilt
Gerre burning her quilt
Gerre burning her quilt

Gerre was working on an amazing art quilt. She put layers of fabric together with tulle on top, then quilted it then BURNED it! It was awesome.

Reva worked on a flower quilt.

Angela was doing some improv piecing based on a piece she started in a class.

Julie's Tumbler
Julie’s Tumbler

Julie worked on 3 or 4 pieces, including a self portrait and a couple of pieces she started in China. She also sewed rows to her tumbler quilt top, which is nearing completion. It was so great to see her so productive as well.

Rhonda worked on handwork all weekend, including an applique’ project inspired by Kevin Kosbab. She showed me the Valdani Pearl Cotton collection she bought from MassDrop, the temptress! I love Valdani Pearl cotton. I may have to start another quilt like Beach Town. Or just pick a project on which I can embroider. Hhmm.

Maureen's Mid-Century Modern
Maureen’s Mid-Century Modern

Maureen worked on a piece that I thought was made from a pre-cut, but she picked all the fabrics herself. I really think that she should put pre-cuts together for Moda. Her piece looked like a mid-Century modern quilt or painting.

Maureen worked on a plaid piece as well. She found the fabrics at FabMo and turned them into improv blocks which she was playing with when we all had to leave.

Dolores was working on dolls from a class she took with Susan Else as well as the piece from the online class she is taking.

Caroline made pillowcases and worked on a crazy paper piecing project. I think the one section she worked on had 58 pieces!!!

Amy's Landscape
Amy’s Landscape

Amy was working on a kind of landscape with flowers. I loved it!

There was also a “free stuff table” and I picked up a couple of pieces of fabric. There was something about the colors and imagery that attracted me. There were a couple of pieces of Kaffe Fassett and some others. I tried to exercise restraint. It was difficult, but I seem to have succeeded. The purple dandelions were kind of a surprise, but they will come in handy somewhere.

CQFA Retreat Free Fabric
CQFA Retreat Free Fabric

In addition to the sewing, it was great to see other people’s projects and chat with my friends. There was never enough time to find out everything I want to know about other people’s process or what is going on in their lives. I didn’t take nearly enough photos and wanted more time to sew.

Still I am glad I got the time I did, especially at this time of year. I felt like I was really productive and that feels good. I need to sew more.

Author: Jaye

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.

4 thoughts on “Retreat Review”

  1. It was so great to have you there again this year. I find that having an entire weekend dedicated to something I love doing with people I am so inspired by is such a great way to remember the important things in life. It was good timing for me too because I was having a rough week with work and general life stuff, so once I got into the groove of the creativity around me, I was renewed! I left feeling so much better and I have all of you wonderful ladies to thank for it! Let’s do it again next year!

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