Last Wednesday, Thursday, and part of Friday, I went on my second quilt retreat since moving to Florida. About 25 quilters from Bradenton Quilters (a chapter of Quilting Guild of The Villages), went to Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center in Leesburg, where we sewed in the Education Building, and slept in the Evergreen "hotel."
It was a lovely venue for a retreat! This is the view from our sewing room.
I'm still impressed whenever I see sand hill cranes, who are always in pairs. Though they look moderately-sized, they're really quite large... like five to six feet tall.
On Friday morning, my friend Karen (also formerly from Iowa) and I were were the first to arrive in the sewing room (we were also the last to go to bed each night), and blessed by this glorious sunrise.
Being late go-to-bed-ers, and early risers, we managed a lot of sewing. Heavenly.
The first order of business was obligation sewing. These are the October and November bee blocks for Anne and Elizabeth (foundation paper-pieced Pineapple Block) in our Mid-Century Modern Bee. And because my Australia friend, Jeanette, is celebrating a birthday in November and asked for blocks from her friends, I obliged. I hope she likes the FPP Palm block made in my favorite colors.
My big accomplishment at retreat was turning this pile of cut fabrics...
"Urban Abacus" is a pattern from Sew Kind of Wonderful, made using the Quick Curve Ruler. Students who enroll in my next Beyond First Time Quiltmaking class (see teaching schedule in above tab) can make this pattern, or one of two other options.
While I love a pretty fabric collection, I've never been one to use only one collection in my quilts. I used several prints from the Terra Australis collection (Ella Blue Fabrics, by Emma Jean Jansen) and also some random prints from my stash. I had to include that print with oranges. It says, "Florida."
I also finished sewing 336 string diamonds needed for the "Picket Fence" quilt by Elsie Campbell that's for our king-sized bed. This project has been in limbo for about four years now, so it feels good to have finally finished stringing diamonds.
Strings came from this bin, which remains so full, the lid doesn't fit!
So, instead of sewing during last Saturday's Central Florida MQG Sew-In, I spent seven hours cutting strips into one-inch strips that I'll sew together to make a "yarn" ball for another crocheted rug. I can't tell you how good it feels to be getting these strings under control!
And, in an update about the grease on my QuiltCon Bias Tape Challenge quilt... these are the before and after pictures.
After treatment with Zout, Dawn, and Grandma's Secret Spot Remover, the quilt looked like this. I also tested lighter fluid and bleach on another grease-marked piece of white Kona, just to see if they worked. This was as good as it got. Better, but not acceptable.
So, during retreat when brainstorming with Karen about possible fixes, she suggested an appliquéd hexagon. I ran with the idea, deciding to make the hexagon shape with bias tape. I cut a plastic template using the 4-1/2" size of the Hex N More ruler. The bias tape is hand-appliquéd and machine-quilted. I'll do this several more times, so it looks like those hexagons were planned all along.
Now it's back to machine quilting with a vengeance. I have a deadline to meet, and before then we're taking care of two grandsons for a week. 'Nuf said! Linda