Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Quilt Retreat 2014

Our guild's annual quilt retreat was held in February.  This is truly one of the high points of the year for me!  We go away for three nights to a hotel.  We set up all our sewing machines and irons in one of the conference rooms.  Then we sew away!  All day and sometimes all night.  We do, however, take breaks for food, happy hour, and hot tubbing.

Here are a couple shots of our little sweat shop, with people busy, busy, busy.  It's really a treat for us to be away for 3+ days with no cooking and no bed making.

One of the projects I worked on this year was quilting a Quilt of Valor.  These are quilts that are given away to wounded veterans to help comfort them in their recovery.  I was actually given this quilt top already pieced, so I can't take credit for its beauty.

I'm happy I was able to get this quilt sandwiched at home before I went to retreat.  I like to use a quilt like this as a way to practice my free motion quilting.  I used a variety of quilting patterns on different areas of the quilt.  I did simple loopy lines down these red stripes (below).

Here I have marked a removable line down the center of a border strip and am quilting a different design.

Unfortunately it doesn't show up real well, but I found a cute design to use in the square star centers. It is called "circuit board" and is made by making random square-cornered meanderings.

* * * * *

After I had all that quilting done, I started on a baby quilt.  This one is made from 5" charm squares that I received from Bear Patch Quilt Company.  I belong to their Bear Patch Bits club, where I receive 20 charm squares every month.

I chose 72 of my blue squares for this quilt.  Then I sewed them into half-square-triangles.  This is a photo of all the half-square triangles placed on my design wall, before I sewed them together into rows.

Then, of course, there is always a tremendous amount of inspiration to be found at our retreats.  Everywhere I looked I saw beautiful quilts in different stages of completion.  And I always want to 
make each one for myself!

My friend Gail's beautiful color combinations coming together.

This is Dee's quilt, pieced from very small bright scraps that she stores up.
 I just love the brightness of it!

I just adore the beautiful colors--and the color combinations--in this
quilt started on a design wall.
These small squares were appliquéd on, rather than pieced in, in order to preserve
the beautiful prints in the background fabrics.
Isn't this amazing!?!  Circles appliquéd to small white squares.

Saturday, February 15, 2014


There is beauty all around us, isn't there.  Here are just a few photos I've taken from some of my recent walks around my neighborhood.

These bright red leaves really caught my attention in the undergrowth.

While we aren't always fond of the effects of thistles, they really are a pretty flower.

The following photos are of a single small tree I saw at Gualala Arts Center.  I was struck by how the colors gradually shaded from one hue to another.  Bright red at the top through orange, with golden and bright yellow at the bottom of the tree.

I'm thinking this tree photo might be inspiration for a quilt.  Colorwash, maybe?  Or perhaps lots of little hexagons?  The possibilities are there.

Monday, February 10, 2014


I'm still making 1-inch paper-pieced hexagons!  A few months ago I told you about the gift SisterStitches had given me of a cute little plastic container she decorated and filled with 2 1/2" squares of fabric.  You can see the cute container here.

Here you can see  one of my stacks of hexies. I'm steadily making my way through all the little fabric squares.  Here are some of them.

Lots of cute and colorful fabrics.  
I'll soon be done basting, then I'll have to think of a way to use them.
That will be the fun part!