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Retreat Report: A2MQG Retreat

About a dozen folks from the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt guild and some friends went on a retreat last weekend.  It’s at the same B&B where Camp Stitchalot is held, so it’s like a home-away-from-home for me at this point.  In fact, I try to do certain things in order to not become too set in my ways and inflexible…like always chose a different table to work at and a different room to sleep in!

I’ve learned a few things as I’ve gone on retreats:
(1) if you’re not going to have a design wall, don’t bring a project that requires the use of a design wall!
(2) projects where you can chain stitch block after block work really well because you can stay in your spot and not constantly be waiting to use communal resources (ironing boards, cutting mats).
(3) bring more stuff than you think you need!  it’s fun to switch projects and sometimes you make quick work of a project and need more to do!
(4) bring projects that are close to being done, finishing something early on is a great boost!

Here’s what I did at the retreat…

First, I pulled out all my projects and contemplated where to start.  I thought about starting with a brand new bit of patchwork using these fabrics…
Fabric Fun
…but then decided I should baste my larger quilt while there was extra space (Thursday is an optional add-on date and only half of us were there!)

That first evening, I basted this quilt top and then quilted it!


This little quilt top began as a way to play with the Andover textured solids to see how they quilt and wash, but ended being far more than a test block! I will post more about it after it is bound and washed!


The next morning, I started a new X & + quilt top with that stack of fabric from the previous day (you can see my previous X & + super-sized blocks here).


The new version is meant to be a picnic blanket for those summer hikes…meaning I finally found the perfect home for that pink tomato print from Jay McCarroll that I stashed oh so long ago!


By the end of the night Friday, I had 18 finished X & + blocks and many more subunits.  These blocks are 8.5″ so I’ll need many more, but I’m not worried! I find these blocks to be so much fun to make and they are perfect for chain stitching!

Having run out of the low saturation prints needed for the backgrounds in the X & + blocks, I started a new project Saturday morning.  I’m made HUGE flying geese blocks out of my favorite solid fabric Kona Curry.  I have a bolt of that stuff!

Anyway, I can’t show what I’m doing there as it is destined for a magazine!

Kona Curry & Moda Bella Off White

Once that was wrapped up ( just made the blocks, I didn’t piece the whole top) I made a lining for this swoopy tote bag and then put the whole thing together (the exterior was already done).

Swoop Tote Bag

If you know me, you’ll know I’m looking pretty tired by this point! Puffy face!  Maybe that’s why I could only quilt half of the Camp Stitchalot Sampler Quilt before I had to call it a night (I broke the thread like four times in ten minutes!)


I managed to finish the quilting on the final morning of the retreat!

Camp Stitchalot August 2013  Sampler quilted

I’ll post more photos and details on the quilting once I get it bound, washed, and photographed!

Having finished that project, I sorted scraps, packed up, and shipped out!  I just love spending the weekend sewing and quilting with others, but boy was I tired when I got home!

Thanks to Emily for driving and helping with the last photo and Ronit for taking that picture of me with my new bag!

Update: see what happened to those huge flying geese on this post: Prill.

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. I like those tight corners in the quilting! I've been thinking about trying something like that, but was concerned it would get wonky. Seems like it CAN be done after all. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Interesting how you used the reverse side of the Jay McCarroll print on two of the X & + blocks. Was it a deliberate choice, or the happy result of an accident? I like the idea of looking at both sides of fabric as the "right" side.

    1. That was a happy accident. Though I do sometimes do things like that intentionally! I like the look, too, or I would have unpicked and resewn!

  3. I came here to thank you for posting the announcement on the FMQ board about the Modern Quilt Love forum and see you're just down the road! I am in A2 at least once a week. How funny!

    Anyway, thanks so much for posting the announcement. We aren't getting many takers and I fear the giveaway I posted about will end up being a dud. Oh well, I tried. Guess people aren't into talking so much anymore.

    Enjoy your day!


    1. A couple of months ago I was in A2 when the meeting was being held so I asked on the blog if I could pop in. I didn't hear back so I didn't go. I'll have to check another time.


    2. Cool! Sorry that no one got back to you. Guests are more than welcome at the meetings, we just ask that you join or start paying per event after you use your free pass.

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