Retreat Project

I brought 4 projects with me and only worked on one. The project I worked on was the Running with Scissors tote I cut out last week at Sew Day. The project is pretty complicated and had a lot of steps. It was complicated and I really enjoyed working on it.

Running with Scissors pieces and parts
Running with Scissors pieces and parts

As you might remember, I cut out all the pieces last week. My first step was to do all the little things: install zippers, make pockets and handles, etc.

That took a long time and I started to feel  like I wasn’t making and progress until I started to install the parts. The thing about making bags, I find, is that all of a sudden the bag starts coming together.

I really like the supplies I got from ByAnnie. First, the zippers were really nice. Good quality, operated as advertised. I also got the supplies two days after they had been shipped. It was amazing service.

Running with Scissors inside of bag
Running with Scissors inside of bag

This one took longer than others, but it is complicated. More complicated. The inside of the bag required a bunch of pockets and some of the pockets had zippers.

One thing I didn’t like was that I had to manipulate the zippers. One I had to cut up and remove one of the slides, then put it onto another zipper. I don’t want to have to do stuff like that. I think it is a good skill, but I’d rather buy zippers that were correct.

Rotary cutter pocket
Rotary cutter pocket

I did modify some of the pockets this time. I don’t always do it when I am making a bag, but I decided I wanted space for a rotary cutter this time. I might put a small piece of binding over the stitching on the rotary cutter pocket. I am not sure if I did something wrong. It seems somehow unfinished, but I’ll have to believe the pattern.

I am pretty far along, but the bag isn’t done yet.

Back from Retreat

Back from Retreat stuff
Back from Retreat stuff

I had organized a class with Rosalie Dace. Due to circumstances beyond my control, we couldn’t have her teach, so we had a mini-retreat. We basically sewed for two days.

Due to more circumstances beyond my control, I brought home more stuff than I took with me. I took plenty with me, too, so I didn’t really need to bring more stuff home. Still various people needed me to bring stuff to the meeting next Saturday, so I have to house a few things until Saturday.

Lots of space and projects
Lots of space and projects

We moved the retreat to the place where we normally have Sew Day. There was plenty of space for people to work and people brought some serious projects on which to work. I liked the little chest that Maureen brought. 😉

Marie S.'s quilt
Marie S.’s quilt

Marie made this quilt and was contemplating the quilting. I really like the way it looks like some squares a flying away from the center of the quilt to the lime/chartreuse border.

Colleen came to the Retreat as well. She is doing great work. I have seen some of her finished quilts, but never her in process quilt. I love what she’s doing.

Colleen's duvet cover
Colleen’s duvet cover

First, she finished the top that will be a duvet cover. I love the way she has gradated the colors. I also like the way the rings interlock

This is a John Flynn Double Wedding Ring pattern. The intersecting section looks cool and is made from a pinwheel type block. It makes the centers look better – more spinny, I guess. The thing that always bugged me about John Flynn’s patterns was the blockiness of those intersections. Those pinwheels take care of that and make it work.

Colleen's Tucker's Taco Loco
Colleen’s Tucker’s Taco Loco

Colleen was also working Tucker’s Taco Loco pattern. This looks like my  Interlocking Triangles quilts, Spiky Stars and Interlocking Triangles quilt #1. You can get this pattern from her website – you may have to email her and tell her you want it. I don’t know if the templates are on her website yet.

Now that I know Colleen can get templates made, my mind is spinning about Interlocking Triangles quilts again. Rotary templates would prevent me from having to make these quilts with paper piecing.

More on my project later.

 

Quilt Shop: Thimble Towne

Thimble Town, Visalia
Thimble Town, Visalia

The other day I wrote about the Calico Mermaid. The second shop we visited was Thimble Towne. It was closer to the hotel, but we went to it second. I think SIL #2 was right in going to Porterville first. It was a long drive and I might not have done it if we had visited Thimble Towne first.

Thimble Town, Visalia
Thimble Town, Visalia

Thimble Towne is a large shop. They sell BabyLock sewing machines, have a large amount of fabric, embroidery designs and projects as well as notions and tools for both quiltmaking and embroidery.

It is nice to see shops with lots of fabric. Again, I didn’t buy anything, but I was tempted by some Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics.

Thimble Town, Visalia
Thimble Town, Visalia

I did like the embroidery patterns and projects. They had a number of ‘in the hoop’ patterns. I no longer have an embroidery machine, but I like the idea of embroidering something that can be immediately made into a project. The projects were small like key chains and change purses. I might like to have an embroidery machine available to me to make projects like this whenever I felt like it. I don’t want to invest in a machine, though.

The shop had a fair number of batiks. They didn’t have as many solids as I would expect, but, perhaps, they are not following trends like the Bay Area shops do. I saw a wide variety of fabrics and think that they do a good job catering to different types of quiltmakers.

Travel Tote, Thimble Town, Visalia
Travel Tote, Thimble Town, Visalia

The shop had a class sample for a travel notions tote. There was no pattern with it, but I am hunting for one, because it looked like a super useful bag.

I asked about a pattern and the shop owner (worker bee?) said that there was no pattern for sale, but that someone taught a class regularly on making the tote. This is not a convenient option for me, but I might try to collaborate with Lynette to make a pattern of our own. It might be a good bag to give to officers.

I worry that I just like the challenge of making the bag and don’t really want the bag. After all, I have the Tool Tote waiting to be filled. The tote at Thimble Towne has some very useful features, however, including a small pressing mat, many zipper pockets, slip pockets and mesh pockets. It might work well as small project tote – or a tote for various small projects. The tote has features that other bags I have made have. I think the construction may be similar to the All Rolled Up Tote, in part. The slip pockets and other pockets could be customized, but I have made similar ones before.

Thimble Town Classroom, Visalia
Thimble Town Classroom, Visalia

Thimble Towne also had a large classroom (sorry about the vacuum cleaner! I didn’t notice it until we were already gone). Not only is the classroom large, but it includes high quality chairs. I also saw cutting and ironing stations set at a good ergonomic height. The shop really takes good advantage of the space they have.

Thimble Towne has two locations and I recommend a visit.

Visalia Location:
400 West Caldwell, Suite F
Visalia, CA 93277
Ph: (559) 627-5778

Bakersfield Location:
2841 Unicorn Road, Suite 103
Bakersfield, Ca 93308
Ph: (661) 399-5778

Visit to Calico Mermaid

I recently returned from a week in the beautiful Central Valley where I attended the Native Sons of the Golden West Grand Parlor. Grand Parlor is the organization’s statewide convention. As you may remember, my DH was Grand President in 2016-2017, so he is now a Past Grand President. He has a lifetime vote, which is one reason he enjoys attending. I enjoy seeing some of the ladies I have met in the past. Mostly, I go because DH and I get to spend a dedicated week together. I have gotten him interested in audiobooks, so we listen and have book discussions on the drives.

Calico Mermaid outside
Calico Mermaid outside

What I enjoy when I go on these trips with him is visiting quilt shops. While I didn’t buy anything (shocking, I know), I did visit two shops. Somehow I missed the outside sign in this photo. Not sure what I was doing.

The Calico Mermaid is in downtown Porterville. It was about 45 minutes from where we were staying in Visalia. Google Maps got us there, though some of the roads seemed a little odd. Also, not all of the roads have street signs so we had to go on faith a little bit.

The Calico Mermaid - inside from back to front
The Calico Mermaid – inside from back to front

The shop is very bright and cheerful. I think it was all painted white and the shelves were see through metal. The wooden shelves were white. The local area was very bright, but the decor and furnishings of the store made it light-filled.

In the photo, left, you can see the umbrella, which I thought was a unique and fun touch.

The Calico Mermaid - inside from back to front, left side
The Calico Mermaid – inside from back to front, left side

There was a lot that I liked in the store. I was particularly drawn to the area with violets this time. I am not sure why. That isn’t a color I use particularly, but I saw some fabrics I would have purchased. I didn’t feel like I was in the mood. I was also thinking of my fabric spreadsheet and how much I have used recently.

I felt like they had a lot of fabrics. In addition to the violets, there was a great shelf of dots that was very tempting.

The shop had a wide variety of notions and patterns. I didn’t see a lot of bag patterns, but, perhaps, I missed those? My SIL was my partner in crime on this outing and she was able to find some nice fabrics.

Calico Mermaid class
Calico Mermaid class

There was a class going on. It was some kind of finishing class or UFO class. The people were laughing a lot and it seemed like they were getting things done. I am a big fan of quilt shops using their classrooms. Finishing/UFO sew time are a really good way to get things done. Sometimes having people around really motivates me to make progress on my projects.

 

Visit the Calico Mermaid, Downtown Porterville’s Quality Quilt Fabric Shop
122 N. Main St
559-793-2510
georg@calicomermaid.com
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10 – 6, Sunday 1 – 5

Quilts, etc in the Wild

Pillowcase and quilt in the wild
Pillowcase and quilt in the wild

As you from my post the other day, I was in Portland. While there I saw a quilt and a pillowcase in use at my YM’s house. A friend was in town for graduation and she stayed on the couch at his house. Yay! I was thrilled to see him using a pillowcase and a quilt.

This is one reason I make quilts and give them as gifts. To see them in use is a joy.

Inspiration in Portland

We spent a long weekend in Portland last weekend. The main reason was to see our son graduate. We didn’t do a lot of other stuff, but a little. I was able to see a couple of friends and do some sightseeing around downtown.

Books at Powell's
Books at Powell’s

Of course we went to Powell’s! I saw the most amazing collection of books. They were informational and inspirational and slightly ominous looking. Of course, I wanted them all. I didn’t buy them, though since I have no shelf space. I will look for them at the library.

SIL and I discussed a misguided family who paid $6 million to get their kid into Stanford. Thereafter, we had an ongoing discussion about what we would do if we won the lottery and had skads of money. We agreed that we would create an amazing library. SIL had the great idea to start a publishing company. I already have an idea for a book!

CQFA Retreat Projects

I talked a little about the CQFA Retreat a few days ago, which discussed a lot of the projects on which I worked. A number of projects were worked on and finished.

Drawstring Gift Bag
Drawstring Gift Bag

Angela, of course, made the bag in which they placed my birthday gifts. I was not suspicious at all, because I didn’t think anyone besides Julie knew about my birthday. I crack myself up sometimes. 😉

Bron's Elegant Wrap
Bron’s Elegant Wrap

Bron found a wonderful piece of fake fur at FabMo. It isn’t fur like a fur rug, but was like velour, but had longer hair. She made a shawl out of it and it looked elegant and fantastic.

A friend of hers is going to a wedding in St. Petersburg and will get to wear it. It is so wonderful that we told Bron to make sure she gets it back. I have to think of a place to wear it so I can borrow it. 😉

Julie’s first finish was an apron. She bought the pattern and fabric after seeing it at PIQF. She wrote about it on her blog. She did great fussy cutting on the pockets.

Lynette's batik squares
Lynette’s batik squares

Lynette worked on a batik quilt using squares. I love the sashing she worked on. I also think the lavender background was an innovative choice.

This is a good choice for a retreat project IMO, because it is something that takes a lot of time. It can just be worked on the entire weekend. It also doesn’t need a lot of attention to detail so the maker can pay attention to the banter around her as well. I know Lynette machine quilted one of her mom’s small quilts first.

Rhonda worked on a piece she started at Craft Napa and we all kibbitzed on that project. We also saw her finished Dropcloth Sampler squares. FANTASTIC!

Carolyn-Bron piece
Carolyn-Bron piece

Carolyn, one of our far flung members, sent Bron some squares. Bron brought them with her to make a quilt. She started out by redoing some of the squares in an Improv kind of way.

We all thought the fabrics were ‘very Carolyn’. Bron added a lot of the angles and worked to make the pieces around the same size. She got to about this stage when we had to pack up. Again there were lots of opinions about the blocks.

The quilting fairies were watching over Angela as she machine quilted a donation quilt for BAM. She ran over a safety pin without even noticing and there was no harm done to her, the quilt or her machine. WHEW!

Nancy worked on some embroidery for a class she is taking. Dolores worked on beading. Jen was putting together silk squares and was planning to applique’ some of her wool work on it.

I really like seeing everyone’s work and how they are working. Well worth the effort.

Creativity posts will return soon.

CQFA Retreat 2019

Sidewalk art, Pacific Grove
Sidewalk art, Pacific Grove

The CQFA Retreat took place January 18-20**.  Angela organized everything. She is a great retreat coordinator. It was held at Asilomar (yes, the same place Empty Spools is held ) and I had a great time.

Since I live an hour north of almost everyone else in the guild, I got there somewhat later. The retreat started at noon and I got there around 2. I left at about 10:30 and drove straight through. I finally stopped in Pacific Grove. First, I went to Tuesday Morning to see if I could find a wheeled tote for my travel sewing machine. Amy of BAM got a great one at TM and I am desperately trying to find one. No luck. I may decide to buy one at full price.

Back Porch birthday purchases
Back Porch birthday purchases

Next, I went to Back Porch. I have been there a number of times and love that store. I wanted to get lobster clips, because I have a bug in my ear to make another Roadtrip Bag. I didn’t find them but I did find a few other things. 😉

I also stopped and got some Thai food since lunch wasn’t provided on Friday, then headed to the location. Friend Julie,  Angela, Rhonda and Lynette had already arrived and were working away. Once I brought all my stuff in and put my car away, I got to work also.

Pet Bed - olive and brown plaid
Pet Bed – olive and brown plaid

The first thing I did was make a pet bed for schnibble collection. CQFA doesn’t really do pet beds, but I really dislike seeing all that fabric (scraps) go into the landfill.

Then, I started in on Serendipity Lady. I really just needed some space and a chunk of time to fiddle with the tiny pieces. I had planned to just get her to the point where I could satin stitch  her later. The fusible I used was too old, so I ended up spending the rest of Friday and about 6 hours on Saturday satin stitching. Now she is ready to quilt. I have decided to baste and quilt her soon. I want her finished and have made so much good progress that I don’t want to lose momentum. I have limited wall space, but may frame her like Kissy Fish.

After getting as much done as I could on Serendipity Lady, I worked on the City Sampler. Yes, I am digging out UFOs and going to town. This was a good move. I just did something and while I changed some of what I did when I got home, it wasn’t wasted effort.

I continued to work on the City Sampler until we had to start packing up. 🙁 I could have used more days. Of course. I am happy – REALLY happy – with what I got done and, as mentioned, want to carry over the momentum to my workroom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**the weekend of my birthday! YAY! What a great way to spend my birthday!

Handwork Week

Heading home
Heading home

As you may have noticed, I have spent a lot of time this week talking about handwork. That’s because I have been doing handwork. I had to drive to Portland (1468 miles there and back) at sort of the last minute to be with the YM while he had a second surgery on his ankle. I’ll spare you the close-up of the stitches and previous scar.

I did a few things while I was there, but no major sightseeing or anything. I spent a lot of time sitting around while he slept and making sure he had enough to eat. I did manage to visit a couple of my favorite quilt stores- one in Portland and one in Ferndale.

Wool felt eggs at Pioneer Quilts - patterns available
Wool felt eggs at Pioneer Quilts – patterns available

I have been to Pioneer Quilts and Stitch before. I was able to visit both because I grabbed the opportunities when they presented themselves. I really like both of those stores. Pioneer Quilts has a wide selection of fabrics, but they also have the biggest selection of wool felt and patterns to go with the wool felt that I ever seen. I don’t need any more handwork projects, but I couldn’t resist these eggs. Aren’t they fantastic?

Most of my gifts were finished and you will see them in the next few days after they are opened. Anything I had planned to do this week, the DH had to take care of: gift purchases, wrapping, shopping for dessert ingredients, tidying, etc. It is kind of nice to sit around. I feel a bit guilty, because I feel like I should be doing something. He did a great job and finished up some of the shopping, etc. yesterday.

I have been listening to books and podcasts while I drive and sit around. I got caught up on the QuiltFiction podcast. I am really appreciative of the sensitive way Frances is handling major themes such as race and independent women. I am seriously behind on other podcasts, because all I seem to do is listen to books. Recently I have finished all the books in a series. The author has several series that are related to the main series, which is really interesting. I am all about character development, so these multiple series, with their overlapping characters give me more of an opportunity to’ engage’ with the characters. I recommend:

  • New York Dead by Stuart Woods – this is the first in the Stone Barrington series. I actually read one in the middle of the series. I thought I would go back and just read the first one, but I ended up reading the entire series. Not every book in the series is great, but they are not too obviously formulaic and are very entertaining. This particular book is very good.
  • Smooth Operator by Stuart Woods
  • The Money Shot by Stuart Woods

None of these are great literature, but if you are looking for escapist entertainment, these are your books.

By the time you read this, I should be home and will have to dive into pie making.

The YM at OHSU, December 2018
The YM at OHSU, December 2018

 

Portland Shop Hop: Sharon’s Attic

Sharon's Attic: front doorSharon’s was a surprise. We happened across it as we were preparing to go back to downtown Portland after visiting a few fabric stores. I wasn’t quite ready to stop looking for fabric. I was pleased that so many shops were open on a Sunday.

Sharon's Attic: Moda fabrics and precuts
Sharon’s Attic: Moda fabrics and precuts

The first thing we saw when we walked in was a display of Moda fabrics, precuts and gift items. Yes, I was tempted by the  V&Co ombre dots fat quarter pack and yard pack. I resisted, because I have some of the fabric at home already. The shop had quite a few fat quarter packs as well as jelly rolls. I walked around the display a couple of times even though I am not much of a fan of the Moda greige goods. I do like their designers.

The shop reminded me a bit of Always Quilting, except that it was tidier. Sharon’s was a really big store. There was a large classroom in the back and a space with two longarms, one of which was being used to quilt a quilt.

I saw a lot of possibilities for creativity, including a number of specialty rulers, embroidery supplies as well as a full selection of patterns, notions and, of course, fabric. There was also a well stocked book area. I was able to look at the new Kim Brackett book, Scrap Basket Bounty.

Sharon’s Attic Quilt Shop
2950 SW Cornelius
Pass Rd., Suite 100
Hillsboro, OR 97123
Ph: 503.259.3475
Email: ssrice991@integra.net
Web: http://www.sharonsatticquiltshop.com/

Random Portland

There were a number of things in Portland that I wanted to mention, but just didn’t fit in a post of their own.

Pittock Mansion, Portland
Pittock Mansion, Portland

Mom and I went to the Pittock Mansion on Monday as a foil to shopping. It was a blustery day, but we avoided the worst of the rain by looking at the mansion. They have a butler’s pantry that I would love to have. The rain had stopped when we went out to the garden. One of the things I love about Portland, which were in abundance at the mansion, are the leaves. They are a million different warm colors and wonderful shapes.

Pittock Mansion sewing table
Pittock Mansion sewing table

There was a sewing room at the mansion with an amazing table. I have never seen one before and think every sewist should have one. It would be great to have some of the sewing furniture companies makes small pieces like this. Some clever spaces for modern tools could be designed. Alternatively, the dividers could be reconfigurable.

Pittock Mansion Turkish smoking room ceiling
Pittock Mansion Turkish smoking room ceiling

I also enjoyed the ceiling of the smoking room. The smoking room looked like another foyer. The information provided said that there must not have been much smoking, because the wallpaper and paint wasn’t very dirty.

Fabric Depot closed. We heard the saga from an artist friend who would buy a lot of her floss there. Abby Glassenberg has a post about it.

I visited both Modern Domestic locations. I wish I had bought some of the V&Co ombre black dot I saw at the Lake Oswego location, but I didn’t. I stopped at the Portland location hoping they had the ombre there, but they didn’t. I bought a couple of fat quarters for the Ring Toss quilt I am contemplating. While I was there I saw a couple of political quilts. I wonder if they were part of the Threads of Resistance. I don’t remember seeing these particular quilts when I wrote the review, but they may not have stuck in my mind.

I bought a couple of pincushions from the artist friend. They were to go to an art sale, but now they will go to my sewing room and I will enjoy them there.

We also stopped at the Crafter’s Warehouse. I was surprised at how large it was and how much stuff they had. I think it had more for sale than Michael’s. The store about four rows of fabric and for the first time, I saw a roll of 2.5 inch batting strips. The lady thought I would need two for a Jelly Roll Rug (yes, I am slowly gathering the supplies), but I just bought one and think I will cut strips from leftover batting for the rest. CW has 40% off coupons. I didn’t sign up, but I found one on the web that I used.

We also stopped at a place called Quilter’s Corner. It was a tiny shop, perhaps in Hillsboro, but it was closed (Sunday, I think) and had a sign on the door saying it was closing for good. Sad.

One of the things I do when I am in Portland is eat like a pig. There are two restaurants I can walk into and order anything I like without worrying I might get sick. I went to both. Amanda told me about a third, but I didn’t visit. Kyra’s Bake Shop in Lake Oswego is my favorite and I bought a supply of cinnamon rolls for my freezer. I ate a BLT on the spot followed by a maple glazed donut. The BLT was amazingly good. I also visited Petunia’s Pies and Pastries. It is a very cute cafe that makes gluten free and vegan food and baked goods. I shared a piece of the sour cherry peach pie and that was delicious. I also tried the rhubarb berry pie, which wasn’t as good.

Church on 12th in downtown Portland
Church on 12th in downtown Portland

Remember I said the leaves were gorgeous? They were.

Portland Shop Hop: Mill End Store

Yep, I was in Portland last week to go with the YM to doctor appointment. While I was there I saw friends and family, went hiking, bought a pincushion, saw some artists, ate a lot of good gluten free food and visited a few quilt and fabric shops.

Mill End shop: quilting fabrics
Mill End shop: quilting fabrics

The Mill End store is an all purpose sewing store. It is the size of grocery store, not small and cosy. There are two Mill End shops in Portland and we went to the one near Beaverton. It was big and focused mostly on fabrics for people making garments and household decor, I think. They had a big quiltmaking section, but the fabrics were not like the ones at quilt shops. Lots of novelty prints and not many familiar lines. Still, if you need Mickey Mouse or Spiderman fabric for a quilt, they had some. The people were very friendly and the atmosphere seemed to be good.

Mill End shop: cork grocery bag
Mill End shop: cork grocery bag

There was quite a bit of non-quilt fabric. We all have to make some things with other fabrics (Halloween costumes, anyone?) and Mill End store has all sorts of garment and costume fabrics as well as upholstery fabrics and some scary looking machines that I assume cut upholstery. I was interested to see a cork grocery bag sample along with several different types of cork on bolts. I have only heard about cork from people who make Sew Sweetness bags. I have never actually seen bolts of cork in person. I didn’t buy any (have you seen my project list?), but I was sorely tempted.

Mill End shop: notions
Mill End shop: notions

There was a huge wall of notions, but nothing really special. I’d like to see a really nice display of zippers – lots of colors and sizes all in one place and organized. This shop had a lot of zippers, but I found them hard to access and gave up.

Mill End store entrance
Mill End store entrance

The cashier area was large and well decorated for Halloween. I was there the few days after Halloween, but the decorations were still lingering. I did not feel crowded in this store.

Attached to the Mill End store was a Monte Villa Sewing Center. This is part of chain, Amanda explained to me, where they sell sewing machines, accessories, embroidery thread and, in this case, Accuquilt accessories. I assume they sold the machines, too, but I didn’t see any. I bought a new mat for my 2.5 inch die as well as a pick to get the threads out from between the blades. I also picked up some bobbins.

Mill End Store
4955 S.W. Western Ave.
Beaverton, Oregon 97005
(503) 646-3000
Fax (503)786-2022
OPEN 7 DAYS • Mon-Fri 10-5:30
Sat 9:30-5:30 • Sun 12-5:00

Retreat Day 3

I slept better on the Saturday night of Retreat, but got a slow start in the morning. I ate too much the night before and my stomach was unhappy.

BAM 2018 Retreat Nametags
BAM 2018 Retreat Nametags

Helen took a lot of great photos, including one of the nametags made by the committee. Even though we weren’t asked to, everyone wore their nametags religiously throughout the retreat. As a bonus, nobody who attended the retreat has an excuse not to wear a nametag to a meeting.

 

MetroScape Block n.3
MetroScape Block n.3

I was still feeling like I didn’t get enough done, so I thought I would start sewing on the All Rolled Up Tote. I like the Crafty Gemini method of teaching, but the requirement to watch the videos can be inconvenient. I found it not to be conducive to a shared sewing environment so I switched to working on the next MetroScape block. This was a good call as it inspired questions about the ruler and about curved piecing.

Group Sewing
Group Sewing

People really made progress. I documented a bare sliver of the massive number of projects on which people made progress.

Bonnie made a pouch
Bonnie made a pouch

I admired Bonnie’s California poppy/quail pouch. The wide mouth pouch was a retreat project led by Theresa. I didn’t make one at the retreat, but a number of people did and they came out very well.

I shared the photo with SIL #2 and she wanted to know where the fabric came from. Bonnie and I looked at the selvedge and came up with Suzan Ellis for Northcott LL#655 State Birds California quail. I remember this line, I think. Bonnie said it was from a few years ago. I did a quick Google search and didn’t find any yardage to speak of.

One organization to which I belong would go crazy over that pouch, but I did not suggest that  she donate it to them. One thing I don’t like is when people don’t value handwork and Bonnie spent a lot of time on it so I don’t think she should donate it. I do think that she should join the NDGW and I proposed it.

Nicki showed off her dual merit hexie and 9Patch challenge piece. There was a lot of well deserved praise. She is using her 2017 merit hexies to embellish her 9 patch challenge. It is wonderful to see all the different ways that people are using their merit hexies. Very different from mine.

Mary's quilt
Mary’s quilt

Mary finished the top for her linking-design quilt. I know that quilt is a pattern with a name, but I don’t know what it is. Except for the half blocks on the side, it is a very effective design. She picked great colors as well.

You can also see the BAM merit sash. Every year there is some kind of hat or sash that people get to embellish and wear after finishing a project. This is in addition to the extra raffle tickets we get for finishes.

Gerre's donation top
Gerre’s donation top

Donation tops get 4 extra raffle tickets. Gerre put a top together and received more tickets. The top she put together is similar to the one that I put together.

The blocks are from kits put together by Peggy and Michelle and were fairly easy. I think the tops are too small, but Peggy assures me that they are a great NICU size. I know I feel the way I do, because the quilts I make are large. Even my small quilts are large.

Sarah's quilt
Sarah’s quilt

Sarah, the famous Sarah of Planned Improv fame, finished putting together another stellar quilt. Why do I like other people’s quilts better than my own?

BAM 2018 Retreat Group Photo
BAM 2018 Retreat Group Photo

We were able to take a group photo to memorialize the event. It was a great time and I am glad I was able to attend.

Retreat Day 2

I didn’t sleep well after the first day of the retreat. New bed, weird noises, the usual. Nothing crazy, but I do like my good sleep.

Retreat prizes
Retreat prizes

The Retreat Committee started off the day by giving out retreat prizes. They had amazing prizes this year including a Daylight Slimline standing lamp. I really wanted that, but someone else got it.

After that I was focused on the V&Co Aurifil thread box. We get more raffle tickets when we finish things, so I got some for the charity work I did (described below).

Quilting the Sea Life quilt
Quilting the Sea Life quilt

I am almost never alone now after years of spending a lot of time working alone, so it was a novelty to be in a hotel room alone and I stayed closeted away for quite awhile on Saturday morning. After finishing my tea and writing in my journal, I had very few excuses to stay in bed, so I got up and got moving. After a big breakfast and a small walk, I got busy on quilting the Sea Life quilt-let.

Yep. I did my own quilting. I finished as much as I am going to do, quilting-wise, on it, but I do need to make and apply the binding.

The Sea Life quilt was my major activity. I was ready for some piecing, so I made a charity top and put together some 16 patches. The charity top (bottom right) blocks were made by someone else and I just put them together. Three seams and I was done. I used the charity top and blocks and to get over all that quilting on the Sea Life quilt-let.

The time has really flown by. It isn’t enough and I don’t know that I have accomplished enough. Of course, I accomplished more than I would have at home, but, still, I had hoped to accomplish much more.

 

Retreat Day 1

Cramming my stuff into the little car
Cramming my stuff into the little car

BAM’s retreat started on Friday. I did not go to the gym Friday morning, though I did go for a walk. I could have gone to the gym and that was my plan, but I decided I wanted to relax a little bit and not rush around.

The night before DH decided he needed our larger car on Saturday to ferry people to the football game, which left me with our small car. I pared down projects a little bit, though not much. We packed some of my gear on Thursday night so I would mostly be ready to go. I had space, but used most of the available area to cram sewing supplies in.

BAM Sew Happy Retreat
BAM Sew Happy Retreat

Rhonda was kind enough to save me a seat. I sat between Sonja and Liz while I was across from Gerre and Rhonda. Our side of the room was relatively quiet, compared to the Mary-Amy side of the room, which was hilarity personified. We did talk about the Supreme Court nominations quite a bit. What a fiasco.

BAM pillow swap pillow
BAM pillow swap pillow

One of the first things I noticed was that Maria brought the swap pillow I made for her. She is using it to make the hotel chairs more comfy. Gerre also had a pincushion I made and the EPP kit I made. She was showing them off, which was sweet. I am really glad to see people like my work and use what I make.

The tables filled up quickly as people trickled in throughout the day.

People also started working on charity right away. I made a block as I pieced my MetroScape blocks.  I used my own fabrics, but it doesn’t really matter. I’ll make more tomorrow. Claire finished a Spiderweb quilt that Liz had made.

Peggy's Improv Flying Geese
Peggy’s Improv Flying Geese

Peggy made a really cool quilt top from the additional blocks made when we used the Chevron design. It is kind of improv Flying Geese-y.

Thanksgiving tablemat quilting
Thanksgiving tablemat quilting

After finishing the purple dot MetroScape block, I turned to the Thanksgiving Tablemat. I started quilting the center. I didn’t have the right green for the background, so I stuck to the lines in the center.

As I put on the binding, I saw the back and realized that the tension was terrible. Not anywhere near good enough to salvage, so I ripped it all out, finished putting on the binding (still need to join the ends) and called it good. The piece doesn’t have a ton of quilting, but it has enough for its purpose.

The Retreat Committee is really well organized. Everything is going very smoothly. We have a HUGE array of prizes that will be distributed throughout the weekend. We got a bunch of raffle tickets just for arriving. I put most of my tickets in the cup for a Daylight Slimline lamp. I don’t think I really need it as my lighting situation at home is good, but it would improve the situation so much. It is making me think of reorganizing and revamping my workroom. That is such a HUGE project that thinking about it when I am not anywhere near home is the only way I can deal with it.

On to Day 2!