Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Retreat and Back, Texas and Back

It's been so long since I've posted that I had to go back and read my last post to figure out what to share!

Since March 21 I spent four days on a quilt retreat in Luther Springs, Florida, returned home for one day, and the next day (March 27) flew to Austin, Texas, where I visited family until this morning (April 3). My Southwest flight from Austin didn't arrive in Orlando until 11 pm. I was on a flight with the Texas A&M dance squad who were heading to Daytona Beach for the National Cheer and Dance competition. I then road the airport shuttle with dance squads from Purdue and Northwestern!

Anyway, it was 12:45 am this morning until I was back home. But, it was worth the loss of sleep for having two direct flights that cost only $145.

Retreat was fantastic, as always. Twenty quilters working mostly on modern projects, and enjoying one another's company. How much better could it be? (See retreat pictures here.) Personally, I would have liked to accomplish more, but my preparations for making didn't work out quite as I planned.

I thought I was going to lay out and piece my Cascade quilt, the one for which I'd cut out more than 500 curve braid pieces. I quickly learned that it wouldn't happen on retreat. For this quilt I'll need a really big design wall, and lots of time to lay out pieces that will need arranging and re-arranging. This is as far as I got before taking the pieces off the design wall.

The whole quilt will need to be laid out and then each column of pieces is assembled from the bottom up! I couldn't even sew to join the pieces I'd laid out at retreat. Not being able to work on it was a big disappointment.

So, I moved on make the wristlet I'd cut out before leaving home. This is my favorite Dog Under My Desk pattern (The Essential Wristlet) made with a Tula Pink jellyfish print and lime-colored vinyl, and lined with another Tula seashell print. I love how it turned out.

Next I worked on a wedge quilt that I will teach in a few weeks at a workshop with the Jacksonville (Florida) MQG. This is the 34" X 34" quilt top called "Carousel." Two more wedge quilts are in the works so I'll have samples to share. The first quilting stitches are by hand, with pearl cotton. Next I plan to FMQ the wedges.

Luckily, I also took a couple "just in case" WIPs on retreat that are long-term, ongoing projects. I pieced more leaders/enders 16-patch blocks, and made half-square triangle squares for the Sunny Path quilt. Free tutorial and download here.

Following retreat, I spent one day at home, did a quick repacking job, and flew to Austin, Texas for seven days. Three-and-a-half days of those days were spent taking care of eight year-old Austin, and five year-old Luke.

In between school, swim lessons, soccer, a sleepover, and getting haircuts followed by ice cream treats,

we baked fluffy banana cookies,

(Luke was excited about these cookies because they weren't Christmas cookies!)

made a road with tape,

made slime (recipe uses liquid hand soap, cornstarch, and oil), 

and played with Legos. I also read to them every evening. We read three Roald Dahl books: The Enormous Crocodile; The Twits; and The Magic Finger. The first two titles stayed behind for re-reading.

DIL Lyn wanted to make a Bowl Buddy, also known as Soup Bowl Cozy, so after a trip to JoAnn Fabrics for Wrap 'n Zap, we followed this tutorial to make two of them for her parents. I'm glad to see her using the Bernina I gave her a few years ago.

Back at home, I found an Instagram giveaway win had arrived, a print copy of the UK magazine Love Patchwork and Quilting. I also learned I'd won another giveaway, and have already received a digital copy of Sylvia Schaefer's new book The Quilter's Negative Space Handbook. I'm collecting quite a few e-books, and love that they don't take any shelf space in my already too-full closet of sewing-related supplies! If there's anything I want to reference or make, I can simply print out only what I need.

I also learned that my "Quilt" entry in Curated Quilts "Well Said" challenge was not accepted for publication. Guess I didn't say it "well" enough. :-) 

Today has been catching-up - unpacking, putting away, vacuuming (Hogan seems to be shedding more than ever), taking a much-needed hour-long power walk, and anticipating an evening in the sewing room. Linda


  1. You have been busy!!! I'm behind reading posts but glad you had a productive and fun week or two!!

  2. After your ultra-busy week, I'd be flat out in bed sound asleep. I sure like what I saw of your design wall with those curved Cascade pieces. Those little grandsons are just precious. Watching cookies bake in the oven rather than taking off on another adventure, that is Concentration!

  3. A whirlwind of fun! Got a kick out of your grandsons enthusiasm for cookies and slime!

  4. Enjoy your time at home, now, as you've been gone quite a while. We love to go and we love to come home, don't we? Fun to see all the activities with your family, and to see your DIL sewing up a bowl cozy. (I need to make some more of those.) At any rate--welcome back!!

  5. Fun to hear what you have been up to...... it's spring and Hogan's hair follicles know it!!!

  6. Wow, Linda, your life is like a whirlwind! I'm exhausted just reading about it! I can comment from my laptop but not my ipad. Hmmmm. I don't boot up my laptop very often, since I haven't been posting on my blog lately. I really love that wristlet. The fabrics you chose are perfect. I guess I'm going to have to order that pattern. It looks like a keeper! Cant believe how big the kids are getting!

  7. I can see how it would be hard to work on that quilt at a retreat. It's going to be a fabulous quilt when you get time to piece it. I often have things on my design wall that just aren't feasible to take to a guild sew day because it's more trouble than it's worth to remove from the wall. You have been quite busy. Your grandson's are lucky to have an active grandma come visit. Hope you can relax a little now.

  8. Oooo, Cascade is going to be so pretty, and yeah, I can see why it would want different attention than retreat work. I can't believe how big your grandsons are! It looks like you had a very nice trip to see them. The chair in front of the oven cracked me up. :)

  9. Oh What fun, Linda. I love playing with the grand kids. Mine are still babies but they are so much FUN and very very cute. Aren't we blessed.
    I am glad that all of your excursions went smoothly and you are back home.


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