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