Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Retreating Means Lots of Sewing

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...
into this quilt top.

"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.
before treatment
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


  1. Glad you enjoyed the retreat! You sure got a lot done. I'm just loving all those colors. That was quite a grease mark. I didn't realize it was so bad. But, you managed to hide it very nicely. Good job!

  2. You made a wonderful fix for that grease! Fingers crossed that it doesn't ever happen again, but in case someone else needs a tip, Goop, hand cleaner in auto parts store might be a solution...the hubs has had really good luck getting grease out of cotton shirts with it, fwiw :)

  3. I am really looking forward to seeing how your grease solution plays out! I'm sure it will be brilliant! You have certainly been busy sorting and sewing!

  4. Wow Linda you have been busy again. Nothing like a retreat to give you lots of sewing time!
    Picket fence will be an interesting design. Can't wait to see it together.
    Great solution for the grease spot. If you can't hide it make a feature of it.

  5. That hexagon is perfect! I wish I could have been at the retreat. I need to carve out some time for sewing!

  6. What a great solution!!!Hooray!
    I love your Abacus quilt and the sunrise is beautiful! I think I like sunsets more than sunrises only because I usually see more colors at sunset.

  7. Such a brilliant fix! I can't wait to see the whole thing!

  8. I've never been to a quilt retreat and I can only imagine how wonderful that must be. Nothing else than quilting and being with like minded people. Heaven indeed. What an interesting quilt top you made during the retreat and I like that you didn't just use one fabric line but mixed it up a bit. I have a bit of an aversion to those kind of quilts. And you did brilliant with fixing your little problem. Well done.

  9. Quilt retreats are so refreshing and productive. I love the Abacus quilt. Well at last- a solution, and a good one, for the grease stain. You sure tried everything possible. But this will be part of the design and in a good way. Lovely.

  10. The curved ruler quilt is awesome....love your colors! The hours you kept at the retreat sound just like what I do...sure wish we could sew together that way!

  11. You really did make your retreat count for you. I got a lot done on my retreat too, but did not document it as well as you. I like your "fix" for the grease spots. Love the Picket Fence project fabrics too. You are the energizer bunny for sure!

  12. So glad you had fun, your projects look great, and that sunrise is incredible. How did the legs do??

  13. Glad you had such a great retreat. I'm going on one this weekend. Loads of fun. I love the abacus quilt. Your quilts inspire happiness and an "I want make something" feeling. What a terrific way to cover up the mishap on the back of your quilt. I looks like it was always a part of the design. Great job, Linda.

  14. You had a great week, so productive. I am so glad the hexie applique worked. I am looking forward to seeing the finish! You definitely made lemonade!!

  15. What a wonderful opportunity to get so much done! Love all your string blocks. Those 1 inch strips would be just perfect for an Omigosh! The curved quilt is beautiful too. So many pretty quilts.

  16. I'm so glad you solved your challenge quilt dilemma! What a beautiful solution too! Fun to have three days of retreat sewing in such a pretty location. You made the most of your time there!

  17. Wow . . . you busted out a lot of work on your retreat. I really like the Urban Abacus. Enjoy the grandson and don't let them wear you down too much.

  18. Great fix for your bias tape quilt--I've seen the other pix on IG and I just can't tell it was a "fix."

    Loved seeing my block in your post! And now I have it behind me on my pin wall :). I love it. Thank you so much!

    Lastly, those photos from your retreat are simply gorgeous. Such peaceful pictures. (And I need to bottle some of your energy!)


  19. I'm so glad you found a way to "fix" the grease spot! Love the sunset picture, so peaceful.

  20. Goodness! What a spot.

    I grew up in Bradenton. In fact I worked at the Bradenton Cloth World years ago when I was 17-19. How little did I know I would be doing all my quilty-ness with little kids underfoot now, way back then.



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