Friday, November 12, 2021

So Much to Catch Up

The days have been zipping by! I can't believe it's been more than a week since I wrote a blog post! That's not like me, but is certainly a testament to how full each day has been. 

Retreat was marvelous! Luther Springs, a Lutheran church camp in Hawthorne, Florida is where Central Florida MQGers have retreated for the past six years. This was the first time we set up in the camp's new chapel, a room designed with quilters in mind: six large windows (no blinds/curtains); great lighting; electrical outlets in the floors; and nice, padded chairs with two legs on wheels. In this panorama photo, everyone was doing "a seventh inning stretch." 

My four-day perspective was this (lower left in the photo above). I spent most of two days quilting and binding the Australian jelly roll quilt I'd pin-basted to take along.  I ended up taking my Bernina 440QE because my 770QE was still being serviced. 

Here is my finished 58" X 65" Australia Jelly Roll quilt which is going to our daughter (she lived in Sydney, Australia for several years). As you can see, once the jelly roll quilt top was made, I cut it apart to make five vertical sashes through it, using seven different color values to create a wash of color.  I like that these strips made the quilt larger. 
Australian Jelly Roll quilt, 58" X 65"

I used a walking foot to straight-line quilt through the solids. 

However, in the busy-ness of the prints, I free motion quilted snail-trail swirls which definitely show up better on the back than the front. Binding on two sides of the quilt was made with the seven solid fabrics, to match the vertical sashing. 

I put my Canon camera on a timer to take a few pictures of all 18 of us who retreated. This is our "goofy" shot. As you can see, we were dressed a little warmer because the temperature turned cool for us heat-loving Floridians. It was 45℉ (7℃) a couple mornings. 

Also while on retreat I finished making the 18" X 18" Dresden Porthole Pillow, a pattern by Sarah Ashford Sarah Ashford Studio in the UK, that I made to pattern-test her design.

It was nice to embroider again. I used 12-weight variegated Aurifil thread to do backstitching, make Colonial knots, and blanket stitch.

When I was home again, I finished my Chips and Charms Challenge quilt. This picture is a collage of the steps for machine-sewn binding corners: "No Tails Binding: Mitered Corners by Machine."

I also picked up my Bernina 770QE from Al at Sharky's and was stunned to learn all the things wrong with it! Keep in mind, it had been 16 months/2,500,000 stitches since it had been serviced. I know; I know! It's NOT like me to let a tune-up pass by. Because I use my machine so much, every six months is how often I should have my machine serviced.

Anyway, these were the problems: 
  1. Tension was way off which caused the seven bent/broken needles I experienced while quilting my Chips and Charms Challenge quilt. I had to finish quilting it with the Bernina 440QE.
  2. Big wad of lint in the upper section, by the take-up lever (I vacuum out the bobbin area every Friday.) When I told Al I use Aurifil because it lints less than other thread brands, he recommended switching to Wonderfil (!)
  3. Something sticky was inside. Al asked if I use basting spray. I rarely do, but I have used homemade basting spray. In the future, I'll keep pin-basting my quilts.
Hubs and I had our COVID-19 booster shots on Wednesday, and while I didn't get nearly as ill as I did after the second injection, the booster sure wiped out my energy! I lost a day and a half because I felt sluggish. And, my arm hurt. All better now, and feeling comfortably safe about continuing to participate in activities without wearing a mask. 

On Thursday I spent several hours writing, printing, washing, fabric-framing, and hand-sewing labels to five quilts! It's definitely time to buy more EQ Printables. 

During Thursday evening's "Sip 'n' Sew," a two hour social/chat time on Zoom with South Florida MQGers, I finished my latest Kawandi. It's 14" X 19" and is the fifth piece I've made with my grandmother's vintage fabric scraps. 

I saved this little fussy-cut frond print to put "just so" in the center. 

I still plan to share my QuiltCon entries in a blog post, but I'm waiting until "challenge reveals" are over. First there's this Saturday's Central Florida MQG meeting with reveal, followed by next Saturday's South Florida MQG meeting with reveal. I made challenge quilts for both chapters and after sharing them with the chapters, I'll share them here. 

Book Recommendation
Rose's Vintage by Kayte Nunn is the second book I've read from this Australian author, and it didn't disappoint. The narrator does an excellent job of speaking with British, Australian, and Austrian accents, and as a toddler. 

Rose goes to work as an au pair for the owner of Kalkari Wines in Australia's fictional Shingle Mountains. She's meant to be sleuthing for her brother who's interested in buying the property for investment purposes. But as Rose becomes comfortable in her new home, cleaning neglected rooms, cooking for two adorable children, befriending the nanny, and getting to know her boss, within months she's experiencing an unexpected fondness for her situation. When the owner's estranged, and demanding, wife returns without warning, reality hits Rose. She must face her true feelings - decide whether to take a stand and stay, or if it's time to leave.  

Linda's score: 3.8/5.0 



  1. Retreats are always fun, especially if all the food is supplied! Your Aussie jelly roll quilt looks great, I wouldn't have thought to slash and add strips, but it worked out well. As usual, your quilting is superb.

  2. The quilt is lovely and the accent stripes are great. Glad you had such a wonderful time.

  3. What fun your retreat was? What specific Wonderfil thread did he recommend for piecing and or quilting?? I have Bernina also!

    1. Hi Heidi! Yes, retreat was delightful. Miss Sarah, the camp director, is a wonderful hostess and fabulous cook. And being in the new facility was great! Can’t say enough about how good it was to spend quality time with friends.

      As for Wonderfil thread... I have no idea. I'm not a Wonderfil thread user, so don't know about different types. Aurifil has been my thread of choice for at least 15 years, and I have at least 60 spools of it. I won't be switching brands any time soon.

      I hope you see this reply! You're a "no reply commenter," so I'm unable to respond to you directly by email.

  4. Love retreats. They are so much fun! I am looking forward to one in January. Our retreat space will be attached to a quilt store.
    I love the idea of doing the strips in the jelly roll quilt. What a great way to make it larger.

    Can’t wait to see the reveals.

  5. Happy for you that you were able to retreat. Looks like you got a lot done. I've never been very productive at retreats. Too much socializing and not enough time concentrating on sewing is my norm. Hope your machine is well now.

  6. The addition of the multi-hued vertical strips really takes this jellyroll quilt to the next level. Just what was needed to further highlight the wonderful Australian prints. Love the kawandi as always. Those vintage prints are always so intriguing.

  7. Hi Linda, As always, I am so admirative of your finished projects. Thank you for sharing a close capture of your quilting. My goal for 2022 is to include more FMQ and rulers in my work, so I have recently been paying close attention to quilting. As for learning mitered corners? That is my goal also, but in a more distant ( far away) future lol. Good luck with the challenge reveals! I’ll be watching on Saturday!

  8. Your jelly roll quilt is lovely, and how nice to have concentrated time at the retreat to get it "rolling"- pardon the pun. Pretty pillow. Oh my, wasn't the service report a surprise! Cautionary tale about the spray baste products. I'll put some pics up of our quilt show on my next post.

  9. Love the quilt! Looks like a great time was had by all. You know I love the Kawandi quilt. I’m hoping to try one by the end of the year.

  10. Wow. What busy times for you! Yay for finishing the quilt for your daughter AND another Kawandi!

  11. The vertical sashing greatly improved the jelly roll quilt! Hooray!

  12. That retreat looked like so much fun for you--love that photo of all you, with all of those smiles. Happy Times. I was quite interested in what your machine repair man said about all the things that he fixed on your machine. I have mine in the shop now and I know lint will be something he mentions too. I do use cotton thread, but after what you wrote, sounds like I'll be switching. Your Kawandi is beautiful and even sweeter with scraps from your home. I continue to remain impressed with your industry!


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