Friday, November 20, 2015

Jen Goes to Retreat

This October I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a retreat for the first time!  It is sponsored by my local quilt guild and really quite affordable.  The last two years I haven't been able to attend because it actually fell on the weekend we got married and then our one-year anniversary and since I figured my then-fiance/now-husband wouldn't appreciate me missing both of those events to go quilting..... well, you get the idea.  But this year it was the weekend after, and damn it all, I was going!  

I think I brought every WIP I have to retreat to work on and even some soon-to-be-WIPs but did manage to get a lot accomplished.  I started with several mini quilts that I needed to baste/quilt/bind and a block for a sampler raffle quilt for a local charity.

When I was done with the mini's I moved on to binding a large quilt that I'd been putting off for ages.   Jane introduced me to glue basting the binding before I machine quilt it and I am officially now a convert.  I stopped at Keepsake on the way home to get some basting glue for myself.  It made finishing this large quilt off so much easier.  It's a gift that I hope to give at Thanksgiving this year so watch for pictures soon shortly after!

Friday evening I laid out another huge quilt, this one is 90' x 107" and finished piecing the top.  It's also a gift that is long overdue for giving but because of it's size I literally don't have a room big enough to lay it out in.  I'm so excited to gift this one at Thanksgiving also.  I'm picking it up from my long-armer in about an hour and can't wait to see it!

The next day I had some help squaring up this massive quilt from Lynn who showed me a genius way to use the floor boards to make sure my quilt is straight and taught my how to use two rulers to make sure my long edges are even.  At some point, I'll try to show you what I learned.  When I was done with that it was finally on to Leann's Round Trip Quilts.  It has been languishing in a corner of my room for far too long so I was happy to finally take it out and work on it.  I designed a fun star pattern and used four of them across the bottom of the quilt.  The star was a really happy accident overall.  I found a paper pieced pattern for something similar online, but couldn't print it any where.  So I enlisted the help of Lynn, who is a Deb Tucker instructor, and Erma who was making a similar block and worked out how to do it as a pieced block instead.  I know I say this a lot but I REALLY love how the star turned out and can't wait to make a full size quilt out of these.  With the Deb Tucker rulers, it was so fast and easy!  I never got a picture of the finished top for Leanne so the layout picture will have to do until she gets it in the mail and can show us.

On Sunday I pieced three quick baby quilts for some neighbors and friends that I hope to finish up in time for Christmas.  They just need to be be quilted and bound now so that shouldn't be a problem.  When I was finished I wanted to try something really new so I pulled out the Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters and a pile of fabrics I brought with me and tried my hand at Score #1.  I found the process both stressful and liberating at the same time.  I'm excited to keep working on it and see where it goes.  Honestly, I'm not sure what the ladies though of it.  We tend to be a more traditional guild so it was WAY outside of most of our comfort zones.

I clearly can't leave you without showing you some photos of the beautiful location we got to sew at all weekend.  It's right on Lake Winnipesaukee so we were not lacking in scenery.  We also took turns cooking meals so there was not a lack of good food either.  I'm so glad that I got to go this year and can't wait for next October to come around so that I can go again!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts at Finish It Up Friday.


  1. Wow! That was a very productive weekend!! I can't wait to see my quilt...the layout shot looks amazing! Improv is pretty far out of my comfort zone too, though I do admire it when other people do it :)

  2. You got so much done! I am glad you enjoyed your first retreat. Ours always spark hilarious conversations late into the night.
    What would we do without the ability to borrow other's floorspace?
    I use my floorboards as guides sometimes, but only in the most basic way.
    Great stars!

  3. Oh my goodness, you got *so* much done, that is awesome! I hope that the quilt you picked up from the long arm quilter today turned out beautifully, and I am excited to see some awesome finish posts rolling through soon. :)

  4. Retreats are such fun, and you accomplished a lot. I like Sherry Lynn Wood's book, her tips for fixing "crooked" lines are quite helpful. I like some of her later "scores" better than the early ones. Claire aka

  5. You worked a lot !!! I would love to be so productive ... Congratulations on your score #1. It looks great !

  6. Holy productive weekends! I've been known to glue-baste my bindings as well, but I've only ever used Elmer's school glue. Is there an advantage to using the fancy stuff?

    We should touch base about the facility you had your retreat at. My guild is always looking for new places to retreat at. : )


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