Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mini Quilting Retreat

It's another gray November day here, not really the best for taking pictures, but I wanted to post these because I'll be busy for the next few days and I probably won't have a chance to blog again for a while.

My little sewing group had a retreat over the weekend and I got a LOT accomplished. This stack and whack had been languishing in a project box for too long. The hold-up was that my cutting mat is too small to cut out the 22 inch squares I needed to make the setting triangles. Not that I couldn't have found someone who would have let me use their large cutting mat, but I never thought about it when I had the opportunity. I cut the squares at another retreat (two retreats in one month, yippee!) but didn't get a chance to put the whole thing together.

Now it's done. The irony is that I took this stack and whack class from a friend and got every block done that day. Every. single. block. A speed sewing record for me.

Sewing the borders on was a real bear. Sewing width-of-fabric borders to length-of-fabric borders is tough! One gives and stretches while the other won't budge. I persevered, though. That's one of the advantages of sewing at a retreat--no distractions and no excuses to quit when things get hard.

I really love kaleidoscope blocks and will probably be making lots more of these.

One of the activities that we had planned for the mini retreat was making little bags, and I even brought fabric which I intended to use. Those plans changed for me when I started putting together this little quilt. Now, I don't buy a lot of patterns, but this one just caught my eye last summer. I blogged about it here. It's called "Winter Retreat" by Pam Buda at Heartspun Quilts. I fell in love with these little blocks. The whole thing will finish out at about 35 x 35. (I am planning slightly larger borders than those called for in the pattern.)

When I started this on Sunday morning, I got on a roll and couldn't stop. It almost seemed as though it was sewing itself together. It needs two more borders which I have already cut out, and I plan to use it as a table topper this Christmas season. Well, some Christmas season, ahem.

The mini retreat was wonderful. There is nothing like a whole weekend with my sewing peeps. The retreat takes place at a quilting shop, so there are no worries about running out of supplies or sewing ideas. One of my friends lives nearby and loves to cook, so we were treated to Saturday night dinner of Julia Childs' beef bourguignon and Queen of Sheba chocolate cake. We've already planned another retreat for some time in February. I can hardly wait!

I have tomorrow off and I will need to spend it house cleaning, because my family will be coming here for Thanksgiving. It's been months since we were all together, so this is a weekend I am really looking forward to. I hope all my U.S. friends have a wonderful, safe Thanksgiving. For everyone else--have a great weekend!


Chris said...

I love your stack and whack. It is one of my favorite patterns to make!!

June Calender said...

Thanks for leaving a note on my blog. This way I got to see your kaleidoscope blocks and I love them! It IS addictive! Two retreats in a month sounds absoluted decadent lucky you. I'm a Hoosier too by birth.