Tuesday, November 20, 2012

it's a wrap

Sunday morning came and went far too quickly.  A flurry of gathering up, hauling out and loading in preceded many rounds of farewell hugs and well-wishes.  Some of the group will see each other regularly, others will not have contact for several months until the next retreat.  Everyone always hopes that the others will be able to make it to the next scheduled event, and usually they do, come hell or high water!

Many quilts and bags and tablerunners and wallhangings were started and/or completed, many more than I have been able to capture here for you.  What I have shown is just a sampling of the fabric fun that we had.  Here's a few more:

Marilee's Story Territory quilt, full of potential for a special little guy.  There were 4 new 1st time grandmas on this trip, so plenty of oohs and aahs over little baby pictures.

A good use of the Quilt MN fabric, and now I've forgotten for sure but I think this was Mary's!

Again with the Christmas quilt for Margaret!  She had more Christmas fabric in her stash than anyone else!

And a return to Thimbleberries for Lois--

Lots of little eye-popping zig-zag on this little snowman for Mary--

And Cindy P. put together the blocks for this quilt, and selected borders to go with it.

All in all, a lot was accomplished.  As for myself, I have some work to do to finish up my Lattice Quilt and get it quilted soon so it can be offered on the winter class schedule.  Once that's done, I can go back and complete the 3 things I have started for a ruler demo workshop.  That's the plan!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

running in circles

The colors don't look true in my huge circle, it really doesn't look so drab in real life.  But I do like the effect, and once I figure out what to do with the big bump of seam allowances in the middle, it will move to the next step.  I think I am going to trim out the very center and then applique a circle on top of it to cover that problem spot.  And then the question is do I leave it circular or add a square background?  It's a work in progress to test out the Creative Grids 15 degree wedge ruler.

The BQ2 assembled by Margaret, to be donated for a church raffle---

Leisl managed to put together this nice little tote bag/purse before departing to pick up sister Linda at the airport last night.  Hope they are having a good visit today!  We miss you!

 This is the completion of the applique piece I showed previously, from Kim Diehl's book Simple Charm.  Marva did a great job, don't you think?

Here are 2 versions of the same 5-yard quilt pattern, looking completely different with the fabric combinations.  On the left is the "up north cabin woodsy" look by Jean, and on the right is the "summer garden cheery" look by Geri.  

And below is my Bucket Bag, almost finished except for some topstitching details  It is going to make a great tote bag and perfect knitting bag with pockets all around the inside.  Very detailed instructions from Around the Bobbin.

Friday, November 16, 2012

happy friday!

We are putting the treat back in retreat!  Fun with creativity is all around, people trying new things and just making it up as we go--

Teri has joined the retreaters for the very first time, and she is a welcome addition.  Even more fun is that I used to work with Teri in another life.  The nursing life, that is.

 Peek-a-boo bag by Amy--

 Christmas presents by Cindy--

 Here's Leisl, Marva, Jean and Mary--

 and Sandy, Anita, Deb--

 Nancy, Sue and Mary--

It is always a different experience from the every day routine to be away from home with the chance to relax, laugh, learn and create in many ways.  Sometimes it is fabric, sometimes food, sometimes life experiences to learn from - always a good thing!  Stay tuned for more!

fabric fun

This has been a very busy group, lots of seams sewn (and a few ripped!) and much sharing of ideas.  Several Christmas gifts are in the works and some, in fact, are done!  We love that 4-letter word--DONE!

This is the Fire Escape pattern by Atkinson Designs, made by Amy who always works at full volume!  That's her down below, literally, crawling on the floor for measurements.  Check out those borders!  So straight and flat, she's a pro.  

A wonderful applique project that Marva is putting together after taking a Kim Diehl class from Fabrictown.  This is done by machine, but could be done by hand if that is preferred.  I think she is doing a great job and learning a lot.

Cindy is beaming over finishing this one, great color combo.

This last one is something that I made from fabric donated and recycled into a little boy quilt for donation to Quilts For Kids.  The brown strips running crosswise were cut from a well-aged fabric from my own stash.  I had to laugh when I started working with it, I found some cat hairs here and there.  My cat died in 2001.  So it was a good thing to finally use it!  And now I can get it finished up and some little boy can enjoy it when he is feeling under the weather.  Don't worry, I will wash all the cat hair away!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

a hodge podge of quilt retreat

I am living the good life at the Stitchin' Trips retreat at Bridge Creek Cottage in August, WI.  A wonderful group of ladies are here who have all become friends over the years that they have been brought together by the lure of time to spend with sewing, projects galore, and lots of laughs.  Here's a little re-cap of a few things:

My lattice quilt met her little cousin!  Nancy is assembling the same design with smaller strips and batik fabrics.  Both of us are thrilled by the thought of many, many little seams!

 A completed quilt top for Marilee that has been layered and pinned for quilting.  There's a lucky girl waiting for this one to be done!

A t-shirt quilt, part of a trilogy, getting some finishing touches.

My fancy pants heating pad cover, custom designed with a pocket for my feet.  I won't even show you the gross old cover that went into the garbage!  Every time I used it, I was disgusted, and finally realized that I could probably replace it with very little trouble.  Now my warm tootsies are happier than ever!

Some pieces for my applecore quilt using the 11" template and pattern from Country Fabrics and Quilts in Brainerd, MN.  More pieces are cut and waiting for my attention.

A still life study of the tablescape--

A plucky little chicken--

And the start of Urban Beads--

That's all for now--
My machine is calling me!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

a minor change makes a big difference

Not very long ago I showed this picture--

And shared my thought that I wasn't altogether happy with it, the gray solid was the problem.  I replaced it with white and I like it so much better!

That's sort of what I thought it needed, but I thank Debbie for giving me the nudge to make the change.    Today I had sewing time with some of the women from my Ham Lake Piecemakers group, and I started sewing the rows together.  Hard to tell from the picture above, but it is assembled with partial seams on the horizontal rows.  That's why you see those strips sticking out to the right.

I get to embark on a quilt retreat in just a few days, and I will finish it then.  Along with the numerous other projects that are bagged and packed to go!  Looking forward to the time away, plus Thanksgiving on the horizon and a trip to Montana after that.  I have been researching quilt shops and yarn shops in the vicinity of Whitefish so I will be able to give you a field report.  And this trip will be even more special because we are visiting son Dan in his new place in Whitefish, and riding the train to get there!  The train ride is something like 22 hours, so I plan to have some reading and knitting ready to go.

This scarf, though lovely, will not be riding the train!  I keep getting stitches and rows mixed up in the pattern that makes the diagonal lace rows, so I have to work on it when I can work undisturbed.  I am making slow progress on it.  The yarn is fantastic, super soft, and given to me by Dan after a trip to Alaska.  It is partially made of muskox hair.

 I have finally finished all the sewing on this star quilt--
shown here before all the stitching was done and a few blank spaces can be seen.  It is a great quilt and will make a great class to learn precision piecing, because believe me when I tell you that this one took attention to detail.  Borders have been added and it is on the quilt frame.

We enjoyed a great afternoon here with some sunshine following the rainy start to the day, and pleasant temps that let me go without a jacket--woohoo!  An experience that won't be happening much for the next few months.  Time to dig out the winter gear and get the ice scrapers tuned up!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

the bonus hour

I find myself with an extra hour of life this morning, so I am on my keyboard to update both here and over at the Bear Patch blog.  This comes after a yummy and what-seems-like-decadent breakfast of almond croissants.  Easy almond croissants from the frozen food section at Trader Joe's.  I had not tried them before, but they turned out great.  Also from my last trip to Joe's--

Very tasty!
Here's a little sewing tip and another good excuse to go to the office supply store!  I read about this from someone else but can't remember who.  Scotch, maker of all of those adhesive hooks and hangers, also makes these adhesive patches.

They actually have adhesive on both sides and are thick, like maybe 1/16th of an inch.  When I need to sew something that requires a seam allowance other than 1/4" this is the perfect temporary tool.  I was sewing a hem on the back of a pillow cover, and wanted to make my stitching line 7/8" from the folded edge.  I peeled the adhesive from one side of the strip and put it on the bed of my machine after measuring the correct placement.  Then I could run the fold right against the edge of the adhesive pad and get a nice straight stitching line.  When I was done, I put it right back in the package for another day.

 That hem was on the back of this pillow cover--

which now is complete except for the lack of an 18" pillow!  Previously posted here.

Another pair of mittens for my favorite little guy--

These are quick and fun, and no doubt he will need more mittens in bigger sizes so I should have no lack of knitting!