Archive for the ‘Quilt Retreats’ Category

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41.8 Sewing in Spurts in Summer 2017

October 27, 2017

This past summer, I have not been exactly away from my sewing machine. I’ve not exactly been glued to it either.

The last post of personal sewing was in May, when I was working on Grandma’s Footstool quilt, which you saw in full as a quilt in the Kansas City Regional Quilt Show.

The quilt now rests in the sun of these shorter fall days while I contemplate where it is going to permanently reside.

This next piece isn’t a quilt, but a metal “barn quilt” that I had to purchase at the show. I promised myself it would make it outside in my yard, but this wall still had an empty space, and I think I still like it here. For now. Maybe this is where Grandma’s Footstool will reside more permanently if I do move this block outside.

In June, I attended a mini quilting retreat, a weekend away with my sewing machine and several “mostly new-to-me” friends, although I am starting to get to know some of the ladies better the last year or two they are in my guild. The group of ladies I joined for the retreat have been sewing together for years and years and go to retreats every month. I got lucky last year in hitching a space at the retreat last year, and attended this year, and am going to try to plan to attend next year.

On that retreat, I used some leftover pieces to make a nice scrappy small quilt. This was actually made the last thing at the retreat.

I had the aqua and maroon four patch squares from so long ago in addition to the one in the middle with gold, I had brought with me the gold pieces and decided just a nice scrappy quilt (my size) with it. I am improving the borders as I rarely do a “plain border”.

The color in this quilt isn’t near as wonderful as what it could be in actuality. Something about the photograph tones down the colors here to ‘real life’.

During the retreat, I worked on quilting the small quilts I have had here ready to baste since earlier this year during March A Long.

This one was mostly “fish-scale” aka clamshell quilting. As I put these random pieces together last fall, I saw the main piece as a fish head and tail. One block got away from the design so it was going to be its own miniquilt I might as well put them together. Currently it’s just a pin holding the piece on the bottom together, but I like the flow of both pieces visually. The quilt above was leftover blocks from someone’s other quilt that I took the scraps. I can call this quilt something like Fish Scraps. Or Fish scraps and heads. If I ever get the gumption to put a quilt in my bathroom, I think this might relocate to there. Right now it’s got a great small space next to my design wall.

This mini quilt is super mini, like 1.5 feet by 2 feet. The half square triangles used were 1.5 inch bonus blocks. Isn’t this a nice setting for these tiny blocks? I couldn’t decide on a flange color so I went with three, blue sides, pink top and bottom, and purple corners. This is currently in the entrance to my quilting room. Simple. I was originally thinking of donating it to my guild show, and I still can, but I think I will have a hard time doing that.

The other quilt that was from the same leftover pieces from the same quilt. These were a little larger 1.75″ each half square triangle. I like the setting on these, and yes, the oranges/yellows cut through the diagnonal here. No name on this one yet. Again couldn’t decide on binding, went with a highly contrasted choice since that’s what this quilt told me it wanted. This quilt is a little larger overall, about 2.5 feet by 3.5 feet or so.

This quilt I have had pieced for several years but never had the edges pieced. I originally intended this quilt to have wonky borders and binding, and then maybe it was a year ago, I decided to add the black triangle border. Now on retrospect, I could have added another black border to the quilt before quilting and binding this.

The binding is a gold and black inner flange, set quite wide to get the effect of the pattern better, I had drawn out a year ago what I originally wanted the quilting to look like, but I never until this year decided to do the actual quilting in such a high contrast color.

This optical illusions quilt started off its life as a single ombre fabric that graduated from green to black. I was specific in how I cut the fabric up to piece back together, and most of that was done in 2012 – according to my notes and pictures. I am glad I went simple and bold on the center of the quilting, I like what the gold brought into this quilt, even though it was scary to quilt. Most of the quilting was done still at the retreat, but in the wee hours of the morning when there were no eyes on me at the time. Then I just got to sit and stare at this quilt for the rest of the retreat.

Speaking of sitting and staring, I finally got my applique hot air balloon sewn down to a white piece of paper. For a while this summer, I had the balloon floating over this scenery piece I picked up from a guild member at one of our guild quilt shows. I do like the affect, and I kept searching for tree fabrics until I realized that we are supposed to be looking at tree tops here. I am thinking I may not match these two pieces up this way anyway, and go with a different background even yet from what I here for the hot air balloon. I have stalled out on the basket, something I didn’t draw already, and I have sorta one made, but not really liking it yet so far.

 

The piece on the right on the top, was from way way back with a tilted four patch swap with Quilt Cabana Corner Sandi that I made for myself as inspiration. I was making a quilt top the way I always do, and I decided to cut it and I am wanting to quilt it and somehow attach the three pieces together. Possibly. I had this out to remind myself to quilt it, but this didn’t happen.

Also, this might seem less impressive, but I expanded a scrap quilt this summer to be bigger than it already was!

I believe this scrap quilt that you already saw pictures of last fall was on my design wall like this until I realized that if I turned it, I would get to use the whole design wall more efficiently and get a better chance at not duplicating too much.

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I did have other sewing adventures this summer, but I am going to break them up into other posts. It worked well for me last month to write several posts all within the span of a few days, and I am currently on the same kind of roll here.

Several of these quilts were finished, but none of them are really large in size. It helps me to stay motivated to get small things done. And then they can be moved around my house and displayed there!

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40.2 Binding, Binding … Bound

July 31, 2016

Forgive my lateness in this post. I started writing a month ago and didn’t get any pictures transferred over until the July 31st weekend. I thought I had set this up to publish already, but now I see it’s still a draft. Many things have happened, not many of them actually quilting related however, but there is a huge post waiting to be written about my experiences with my local guild! This post is not it (yet). And now a massive, fun, quilt trip to write about. Any event, here is quilt “news” from me frome early July.

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My quilts are finally “going, going … gone” from their Work in progress status!

Thanks to my days at the retreat center, I finished the birds of the air quilt blocks, sent 40 off for the swap, keeping 8. I will get back 39 of the blocks since one is a “donation” block for Frances who has written a quilting book called “Birds in the Air.” I did get back 39 blocks, one being a donation block for Frances, which she has since received, but there were like 35 or so swappers (I forget how many) and so some of my blocks are done by the same quilter. I may add more blocks to what I have done already. This was easy block and a very fun swap!

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The local quilt show on pushed me to get some finishes beforehand. I had 7 quilts before the quilt retreat at the Creative Place without binding on them, in addition to 2 very mini hot-pad sized quilts. Most were trimmed down prior to the retreat, but a few were not.

I also quilted & stitched down my challenge quilt for the guild show.

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I didn’t mind free motion on the quilt with everyone in the room with me. It was a nice topic of conversation, and several people commented on how they liked how unusual the quilt was. And boy it’s artsy. I personally don’t like the frayed edges on the solids. But I don’t do much raw edge applique. My other attempts at raw edge over needle turn are my Don’t Panic Quilt done in batiks (higher thread count), or a few other quilts where I had satin stitching on the edge. I think it may have been exacerbated by the fact these are “lower thread count” since they’re solids.

Anywhoo, the birds in the air done, and the quilting on the challenge quilt done, means that duh,duh,duh, duhhhhh – binding was left on several, several quilts. Not large ones, thank goodness, but I do bindings a special way, and usually finish by hand. Luckily the focus provided at a quilting retreat leads to just that. I could get the fronts sewed down in the early morning before most people are awake, and then handsew later on, when everything is put away to pack up to leave.

And I just loved seeing all these little lovelies. Together was a blast!

Did I say little? 🙂

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This is pre join on one quilt that ended up going for charity quilt.

It has a life and a story that I haven’t told, but even so, it went out to the charity quilts for something colorful for our guild show. It was a hard decision, but I think the right one to let this mini,mini quilt go.

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Did you realize how many of my quilts have the “hidden underneath”/kicker/flange binding on them? A LOT! And I love it since it gives off the extra little something needed to color frame the quilt.

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Like this one in yellow. This block was given as a paper piece practice from my guild for a name tag. I put the block into use by multiplying it (the original block was just one square) last summer I was going through bright scraps, and my only criteria was “make it bright and saturated in color” for chosing color. And small pieces are a plus here.

Sadly enough, I donated this one too. I love this little guy, and hope it brightens up someone’s day just a little bit!

I don’t think I individuallized the other bindings I was working on, but here’s the quilts ‘en mass’.

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Ok out of the 4 quilts you see here, 4 quilts have the kicker/flange on them. Clockwise from the top left, flange in: true deep blue (not turquoise), dark purple, dark coral, and bright pink.

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And this quilt was finished quilting (except for the very corners) a few years ago and just needed corners and binding. The binding was set aside special years ago. This one is a decent sized bigger than my other quilts, but even this is only like 3 feet on each side. I am sure I talked somewhere about my card trick quilt. No flange appropriate for the card trick quilt. But I thought about it. Briefly.

No more individual ones at all. Luckily, I can spread out when most are still asleep. All these yummy quilts to bind. Mmmmm.

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Like a multilayered hero quilt sandwich with all the toppings available, all these stack up quite nicely in a small quilt stack! With only binding showing on most of them!

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I am thinking about it, and a couple of choices I would have changed the “outer binding” to be a little less wild if it wasn’t for the kicker to ground the quilt and the binding together. Like the yellow calms down the crazy purple/orange binding on the bright quilt, and the tie-dye nostalgia print has a dark purple to ground the binding in with the quilt and gives it just the right movement.

Now if only I could be making these quilts bigger on the scale of 1:4 or so then maybe others would take these little quilts seriously.

Or not, they’re fun quilts. I got the quilt made out of “purina” leftover blocks in this stack. Purina, like the logo of red & white checkerboard. For the dog food etc. I can’t ever not call the quilt that now. Quilt on the left below. 

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40.1 Thoughts on The Creative Place in Spring Hill

July 31, 2016

Hey blog readers, this post is a month back, but finally got pictures uploaded. I anticipate being able to post again this week now that computer pictures have been transferred over. A majority of this was written almost a month ago, and if edited correctly, you wouldn’t notice, but please forgive future & past tense switches that do not make sense if I missed an edit.

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After my March – A – Long this year where I decided to focus on free motion quilting, several miniquilts of mine were quilted in time for our local quilt show in early July.

At the end of June, I was asked to attend a local mini retreat, which was perfect timing for the last bits of quilting needing to be done before the local quilt show.

In Spring Hill, Kansas, in a small downtown area (one block), quilter Kelly Ashton has a building she is calling The Creative Place, a retreat center for crafters.

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Kelly has thought of almost everything a crafter/quilter would want, and frankly, I can’t figure out what she is missing.

I did miss meeting Kelly herself. She came the 2nd night when I was sleeping, and as I was driving away at the end of the retreat, I saw her just outside the front door with the last few remaining retreaters. I did however, see her hexagon presentation to our guild last year (or was it the year before?) and was impressed with her thought process and design even then.

Anyway, this place is great. It’s all one level, so it’s inhabiting like 2 “store fronts” of the downtown Spring Hill area.

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The sewing space is huge. We had 16 – 18 people there One was a grandson who was visiting on one of the days, so mom could get some sewing time in (grandma was at the retreat). We could have had more day-trippers up to 25 may not feel that crowded. We weren’t actively using 7 tables for sewing, so they became quilt design “walls” and holding areas for fans.

But, Kelly also has her own movable design wall (out of PVC pipe), which most of us didn’t need, so sat unused behind one of the main cutting areas. Maybe the 2nd design wall was also hers, or maybe that was someone who brought one.

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What also sat unused, but could have had lots of use, depending on the group, was a huge light table. A large handmade table with lights underneath and plexiglass top that several people could utilize all at the same time.

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What sat underneath the light table, was a GO cutter, but no one also worked with that. I believe it was Kelly’s too, and I believe she wouldn’t have minded we use it either, but that was uncertain to those of us who noticed the cutter in our sewing area.

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In the main sewing area, two bathrooms, with cute decorations, a front area next to the windows, several large ironing surfaces with storage available for use underneath, a back area with lots of local food menus / suggestions, a fridge.

In the front there was also a carpeted sitting area, which would be nice for sitting and chatting with handwork for some of the weekend.

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Moving from the front room, to the left is the kitchen/bathroom/shower/area.  Toward the back of the place were two more bathrooms with step-in showers with handicapped railings.

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Just along the hall were numbered hooks for towels, so each overnight guest wouldn’t get them mixed up, and provide a place for them to dry.

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There were cubbies with extra blankets, and open spaces for people to store their things. Nice ikea shelves with lots of room!

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The dining area is in the same “room” as the kitchen with four smallish tables and four chairs around each.

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Kitchen was stocked with lots of plates, bowls, a brita water pitcher, general kitchen items, two coffee pots, electric water kettle, dishwasher, microwave etc. This was the first retreat that I have personally attended, where we didn’t have “set meals” where we got to go sit and eat together. People could come eat whenever they wanted, they did have to provide the food for ourselves, and there is enough places nearby for those who wanted to eat out.

The ladies coordinated suppers together, first night lasagna, second pulled pork, those meals were sit down with each other, but the rest was “on your own”. Totally different atmosphere than what I’ve seen at other retreats, but totally worth it! More sewing time!

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The only minor downside was the sleeping area. It was very well done, but it was one large room with 16 beds. The only way I am calling it a downside is if there is a majorly loud snorer or if light sleepers have a hard time with noises.

Each bed had its own footrest where the bags/shoes/clothes would be kept. Each bed also had a numbered locker with a key on a bracelet so we could store personal/sensitive things. And on the locker were these low level lights so there could be “walking around” lights during the night that were enough to see to move around at night, but not too distracting for people who were sleeping.

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Behind the sleeping area in the other window store-front was another sitting area with a couch, a couple of more chairs. We had it closed due to the heat. We ended up sewing on one of the hottest weekends of the summer (so far). Fans going constantly. Everywhere.

Also for the person sleeping next to the door to the kitchen area, if the light was on in the kitchen got a blast of light. Light was also a small problem for bathroom trips from the dark sleeping area if people were up and moving around the kitchen, it was sorta jarring due to the bright kitchen area lights. This could potentially be fixed with placement of some mobile kitchen lights that could be turned on during the normal sleeping hours, so the bright overheads could be shut off and the kitchen still be usable. Perhaps they were there and I didn’t see them?

So for those very, very small issues, the rest of the place here is amazing! Highly recommend a group to sign up for this retreat center!

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Across the street was a quilt shop, the Quilted Sunflower, who opened up special on Friday night. Saturday afternoon, the group took a couple of hours going to a neighboring town’s quilt shop in Paola. I missed out on the trip into town because I was on a roll and I have been downsizing my stash a little this year. I did go to the Quilted Sunflower in Spring Hill.

And there are several quilt shops within 30-40 minute drive, for people out of the KC area to use.

This place was just so wonderful, I posted in another retreat’s FB page in case they need to move or want to add an extra retreat. Price seemed reasonable, the experience was lovely! Would do it again in a heartbeat.

Personally, I knew 5 of the ladies sewing with the group that was there, the rest were new to me, but some of them familiar – probably seen them at local quilt shows etc! The lady across from me brought a pattern and fabric for these cute strawberry blocks she was making! In strawberry jam jars! I didn’t realize she wasn’t staying on Sunday and so I didn’t get to say good bye.

Anyway, I highly recommend this place to stay. Reasonable price, lots of thoughtful decisions made on Kelly’s part make this place a really special place for quilters and other crafters to stay as a retreat center! 🙂

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