Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Quilting Retreat

I went on my second quilting retreat this past weekend.  This was 48 hours of quilting, eating, sleeping and chatting.  Well, I did take a break at one point and took a walk to stretch my legs and enjoy the glorious New England spring weather, but really the rest of it was quilting, sleeping and eating in that order of the time I took.

The two things I like best about a quilting retreat is that I get a huge block of time to indulge myself in my favorite hobby, and a lot of space in which to spread out.  At home, it's a few minutes here and there or an afternoon if I'm lucky.  And right now, my sewing room is doubling as a storage area for most of the stuff that was stored in the basement while we remodel that.  So, it's not really usable for large projects. 

I went on the weekend with two quilt tops, and a few smaller projects in mind to work on.  My goal was to get both tops basted, one top quilted and make a  cover for my new Kindle.  I got that all accomplished and a little more.  I made the back, ironed, basted and machine quilted a UFO that was originally just a scrap project to keep me busy.  Then I was going to complete the top and donate it to a raffle for my troop.  But that never came to be, so I decided the quilt would be a Christmas gift for my sister.  That is not complete with the exception of a label and hand stitching the binding down.

The second project was to make the backing for and baste the maple leaf quilt top.  I had made 140-ish 4 1/2" maple leaf blocks by hand because I was looking for a hand work project to work on.  In addition, there are about 10 9" maple leaf blocks that I got as part of a box exchange project with my guild.  This project will be machine quilted and as of now, has no specific home.  But, I'm thinking I should be giving more of my quilts away, so this one will go to another relative.  I just don't know who yet.

The third project I did was a little, scrappy sleeve for my kindle.  My "table-mate" was making a lap sized quilt of bright colors and a white fabric with black swirls on it.  The method she used for the blocks made a lot of good sized scraps left over.  So, I scooped some of them up and put them together in a random fashion to make this sleeve.  It probably took me all Saturday morning to make, but it's bright and cheery and will protect my Kindle which is all the criteria I wanted for the item.

I found that Sunday morning is a perfect time for small, mindless sewing projects.  Sunday morning before lunch is a great time to gather up what I've worked on and just putter with little things.  I took some cut out applique flowers to make pot holders and sewed them to a background.  I've made a few of these before, but they aren't very heat resistant.  I have some heat resistant batting at home, so these three tiny projects will be finished up later.

Oh, and I also did some prep work for the last of my Florabunda applique blocks.  I don't enjoy using the iron, but being surrounded by other quilters makes it tolerable.  So now I just have the stitching to do on that block and it will be done.

The worst part of a weekend quilting retreat is that it ends.  I was tired because I don't sleep well in a strange place without Wayne, and I had a room mate that I didn't really know well and I didn't want to annoy her, so I was very self-conscience of  what I was doing.  So, coming home to sleep in my own bed is the good balance to coming home to real life and work.

I'll post pictures soon.

1 comment:

  1. Mair, I enjoy reading your blog - you always have interesting things to say. Would love to see you post more often. I know - easier said than done LOL :)