Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Retreat Prep

With QuiltCon submissions submitted, and teaching gigs completed for 2021, it's time to go on a quilt retreat! A real one. Central Florida MQG is hosting, and 18 of our members will be attending this coming weekend - Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. I've got to think about what projects to take because I'm just now finishing up my Chips and Charms Challenge quilt (due November 13).

It's been walking foot quilted, free motion quilted, and then ruler quilted in spits and spurts, and it's looking texture-y, isn't it? This is only the second time I've used Hobbs 80/20 cotton-wool batting. It was a bit of a struggle to quilt because my Bernina 770QE kept bending and breaking needles! Good 'ole Schmetz needles and then Klass√© titanium needles! Ergh. After changing needles seven times, cleaning the machine, and basically trying every trick I could think of, Saturday morning I took it to my friendly Bernina dealer - Al at Sharky's Vac' n' Sew. I asked - pretty please - if I could get it back by Thursday afternoon to take on retreat, but I didn't get any promise.  

In the meantime, I've set up my Bernina Aurora 440 to continue quilting. This may be the machine that goes with me on retreat. 

I started another Kawandi. It's the eighth small one I've made.

This is 14" X 19" and I'm still using my grandma's vintage scraps. I'm hoping I can find another family member who will want this when it's finished. 

Also, I DMed (direct-messaged on Instagram) to be a pattern-tester for Sarah Ashford @sarahashfordstudio (UK), and was happy to be one of eight people she chose to make and review her "Dresden Porthole Pillow" pattern.

I've cut out my fabrics, using an Emma Jean Jansen "60's Scrapbag" print as my color inspiration. 

I also decided what to put in the 3½" porthole... a small embroidery. I traced some of the flowers from the 60's Scrapbag print.

Mentioning QuiltCon... I read on Instagram that the MQG received more than 2,000 quilt submissions for QuiltCon 2022! Isn't that incredible?! It's a record number of entries. Given that only between 450 and 480 quilts are displayed, those jurors do not have an easy job ahead. But, as my friend Karen pointed out, it also means that the display of modern quilts at QuiltCon will be awesome!

Book Recommendation 
Two teenage girls living near The Trace (Mississippi) - one the daughter of a  sharecropper, and the other the daughter of a hunter/trapper swamp-dwelling couple, find common ground when a murder happens. Though the death eases their minds, it also presents problems. Secrets must be kept to keep Matilda safe, and Ada must learn how to fend for herself in the stilted swamp shack she finds herself alone in. She doesn't know any other way to live.  

This story is about rough men who have a violent over "their women." Though I felt frustrated reading about their situations, it's probably how life really was for black and white women in the early 1920s. They had few options for accomplishment or fulfillment. But my hearted warmed when Ada discovered a love and talent for sewing. When she gets a sewing machine she realizes she may have a way out of her situation.  Linda's score: 3.8/5.0

Sunday's virtual worship at Lutheran Church of Hope was, as always, spirit-filling. Since it was Reformation Sunday, the sermon focused on the Catholic priest, Martin Luther, and his conviction that church indulgences were wrong, and that people needed to be able to read the Word of God.

Pastor Mike showed a clip from The Chosen - when tax collector Matthew was called by Jesus to become a follower. I was reminded of what a powerful series The Chosen is. Have you seen it? 

Today I learned that in December The Chosen is releasing a special movie-theater production: Christmas With the Chosen. This is a link to the movie trailer. With all the shortages that are anticipated in the coming months, this might just be what returns Christmas to what it was meant to be - a celebration of Jesus' birth.

This afternoon, Big Cypress Quilters held a baby shower for Children's Home Society of Florida, an organization our chapter has supported for the past three years. It's always heart-warming to see the donations our members bring. Lots of diapers, quilts and other baby paraphernalia. 

Now, it's back to prepping for retreat! I've never attempted to do improv at a retreat, but those African wax prints are calling. Linda


  1. Have fun at the retreat, Linda!! Sorry that your main machine was giving you trouble. :o((
    What an incredibly generous bunch those Big Cypress Quilters are!!

  2. Have a great time at your retreat Linda. 4 days hey? Don't run out of things to do. haha! We in NZ were still enjoying ourselves, when you in US were having so many Covid issues with lock downs etc. Now we are having those issues. I have just missed a retreat,( cancelled) and another late November also due to be cancelled. Where I live we have been in lock down for 11 weeks, and we are slowly climbing the walls. Fortunately for us we live on acres so we are not hemmed in by other houses. Miss going out for lunch and having coffee! I love all the donations for the Childrens Home Society. Aren't quilters a great bunch of people. :)

  3. You're going to have such fun at your retreat. Hopefully you get lots of talking, eating and laughing done over your weekend (and maybe a little bit of sewing). Fingers crossed your machine comes home in time too.

  4. Have a great time at your retreat. Hope you get your machine back in time.

  5. SEVEN needles broke? Oh I would be crying by then!
    Yay for retreat tho - hope you have a terrific time! Also awesome about a new kawandi....another is on my list for one of these days!

  6. Enjoy your retreat, so great to be able to go ahead & actually meet up. And I love your little kawandi quilts, gorgeous fabrics!

  7. Love your chips and charms quilt! Enjoy your retreat.

  8. How wonderful that you have some of your grandmas's vintage scraps, perfect for the Kawandi. I do hope you're having fun on your retreat

  9. I always feel like I’ve had a good afternoon chat with you after reading your posts—like others, I hope that you got your machine back in time for the retreat. Have a great time this weekend, and hope you get a lot done!


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