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.