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Do You Really Rest on a Quilt Retreat?

I just returned from the Thumbstall Quilt Guild annual retreat at the Watson Homestead http://www.watsonhomestead.com/ in Painted Post NY and was greeted by a friend with, “You look so rested!!” Rested – I don’t think so…. I came home exhausted but rejuvenated at the same time.

It’s an extended weekend that I look forward to as soon as we leave the current weekend. Friendships are nourished by quilting retreats. A weekend quilting retreat is full of laughter and being able to actually talk to with my quilting friends. We normally see each other about once a month at our membership meetings but there is so much that needs to be accomplished there that we don’t actually get a chance to talk with one another. We definitely change that at the retreat.

Quilting with Friends

In addition to the fun we actually do get some quilting done. By far the most important part of the weekend is the camaraderie. I can quilt as much as I want at home – but these friendships only grow when we get together like this. Nothing outside to get in the way. No meals, housework etc. etc.

Some of us spend the weekend shopping and some just get in as much as quilting as possible. I tend to try to do the later. One shop I have to visit though while in the area is Witches Stitches in Big Flats, NY http://witchsstitches.com/. They carry a great variety of quilt fabrics and supplies along with cross stitch, embroidery and my favorite wool. I couldn’t resist a new snowflake pattern and some wool to go with it. Can’t wait to get started.

As far a quilting on the retreat was concerned I was able to complete the blocks for a new great-granddaughter’s quilt who is due to arrive in March.

Almost Done!

All in all I considered – it a very successful weekend!

There is always time to quilt!
RVing, Travel quilting

75 Days to Spring?

Here we are stranded in the middle of a Walmart parking lot in Savannah GA. We decided to take our newly acquired camper South to visit friends and family over the holidays. Traveling from a vIsit with friends in Florida to my son’s home in North Carolina, today we are caught in the middle of an ice/snow storm. So we decided to fill the propane tanks and water jugs – and wait it out

Kids everywhere are the same!

Of course my husband couldn’t resist his turn in the snow

 

Only he could find something to photograph in a Walmart parking lot

To make matters worse we’ll just found that the weather in our hometown, the “snow capital” (Syracuse NY), is sunny and the roads are clear!

One of many

Luckily I have my iPad and more projects with me than I could finish in a month.There is always time to quilt!

Scrap Quilting, Tips

Leftovers

Have you ever thought that there must be something that could be done with the half-square triangles that are left over after trimming flying geese.  Well I finally have completed a project that I think turned out pretty well.

If you ever forget to hold both top and bobbin threads when starting to sew a seam with your machine,  you may very end up with sewing machine ‘vomit’ on the bottom fabric.  Yuk!  I sometimes use a leader fabric (a fabric scrap at the beginning and end of the block I am sewing.)  So why not use these leftovers for the leader block?

I now have started a collection of scrap triangles.  Many of my fellow quilters have been giving me their scraps.  (Lucky me!)  

What to do with them?  I like the look of a scrappy quit that looks what I call ‘scrappy coordinated’.  An internet search turned up a plethora of half-square triangle block quilts.  A few sites are:

Churn Dash Blocks

I decided on making a churn dash quilt using the discarded half square triangles from a quilt that a friend is making for me.  What a find this turned out to be!

Finished Quilt

 

I got so caught up in the process that I had to make the backing scrappy too.  The result a reversible quilt.

Quilt Back

 

What a find!

 

 There is always time to quilt!

RVing, Travel quilting

Now This is Camping!!!

 

We have finally replaced our travel trailer and took it on its maiden voyage last weekend!

Now this is really my idea of camping.  I love to set up my sewing machine in the campground, outside – it’s quite a conversation starter.

 

We decided to really make this camper our own with some of my quilts and Tom’s pictures.

 

 

Since it’s so late in the season, we only have plans to take the camper out two more times this year: a trip to Seneca Lake next month and down south during the Christmas holiday to visit friends and family.  Of course we may have to plan another trip if Mother Nature decides  to extend the season.  Who would have thought that the temperatures would be near 90 the last week of September in Upstate NY and that we’d be running the air conditioner.

I definitely will have hand quilting projects to bring with me!There is always time to quilt!

Quilt Backings, Quilting and the Internet, Quilting tools, Scrap Quilting

Quilt Backing – The Easy Way

Having shied away from using pieced and directional fabrics for quilt backings for a number of years, I finally decided it was time to test ‘new waters.’  So off to my most easily accessible source I went – the internet. (Not sure how we managed without this immediate source of information.  I remember doing research in school at the library with  a supply of index cards, etc.  – but that’s another story – and certainly is dating myself).

I found a post on Sylvia’s Stitches that made the process easy:

  •  I put some permanent placement marks on my cutting table so I can easily place skewers in the appropriate spot whenever I am sandwiching a quilt.

  • Using painter’s tape, secure skewers to table.
  • Press the backing, batting and top length-wise and width-wise to find the center.
  • Lay the backing on your table and line up the center with the skewers.  You can line up the center of the fabric easily as you feel the skewers on your table.  Repeat with batting and quilt top.
  • Pin or spray baste your quilt for a perfectly aligned sandwich!

How easy is that!There is always time to quilt!