Friday, March 30, 2012

Swoon Quilt

I will stop going on about Retreat soon- I promise. But first I wanted to show you Ellen and her quilt. It is Swoon by Thimble Blossoms and is pretty big on Flickr right now
( I am sure I am the last to have discovered this).

I love the colors she chose.
Click on the picture for a better look.
Ellen has this amazing ability to make colors and pattern work.
 Plus she is a hoot to sew around!!

Honestly, when I first saw that yellow background, I was skeptical, but seeing it together-
it was amazing. I wish these pics did it justice.
Alas, they are all I have.

I am now the proud owner of this pattern
 but am so stuck on what to do for the background color.
A lot of quilters used white. I don't want to go that route for this quilt.
I was thinking a grey with black/gray/ blocks and red for pop.
But I should probably go a little more scrappy for the blocks.
And I want to come out of my color zone.
What do you think?

Thursday, March 29, 2012


As I type this he is nestled under my feet.
He was my graduation gift.
Oh he loves me.
Pretty much just me.

He is cute and sweet and is constant.
He may even speak French.
He does speak fluent Wookie especially
when he Really wants something.
That here,
choose Chewbacca, then the Aargh-arghoo.
Did you do it?...yup that is how he sounds.

Sometimes he's naughty.
Sometimes he knows it.

Sometimes he just looks silly.
Always he loves me
Always I love him.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Three Year Quilt


Oh this neglected baby, I put the top together in May of 2009, and then folded her neatly and set her aside so I could find the fabric for the borders and sashing. Which I did the following summer and then they sat again waiting patently. And wait they did.

Until I finally put the boarders on and created the back last summer. Then I loaded it up along with a ton a few other UFOs and off to Retreat we went. I pinned and quilted it at Retreat.

Since I so wisely left my binding fabric at home I finished that this week.


I am a bit of a binding purist, I love to sit and sew on the binding by hand. However, at Retreat I watched as a binding was attached by machine using 1/4 inch Steam a Seam. I wanted this baby done so I gave that a go.

I learned a few things with the process but am pleased with the final result.

The Particulars:
Quilting: stitch in the ditch using Aurifil thread
Binding: Kona cotton Sour Apple- machine attached
Fabric: Flutterby by Tula Pink- 2 charm packs
 And the Three Year Quilt is done.....check.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Return from Retreat..... the sequel

I thought I would share my Retreat purchases.
 It is an interesting phenomenon to have a store right next to where you are sewing.
I did not need the store, I brought tons from home. None of this I would normally go to the shop to purchase unless I needed it. Plus, I have been on a strict fabric diet since the Christmas binge. Ahem. Above is the montage of what I got.
 Below is our name tags, seriously how cute are they.
 I am telling you there was not a detail left out.

So remember this picture of my sister in her pizzeria get up-previous post?
She was selling sealed pizza boxes of fabric and what-nots.
She had them stacked on a rolling cart for Pete's sake.
Being the sucker I am a for a grab bag and knowing that the contents of each box exceeded the price. I bought one.
Many of us did.
Many of us succumbed!
There was a point when the other girls exclaimed warnings about said sister,
 "Do not look in her eyes"

Above is the contents of my pizza box, however, not the original one i purchased.
I scored this bunch through a shrewd trade with another quilter who envied my score of a civil war jelly roll and coordinating pieces. I am going to turn this bunch into kitchen towels and may hap be the envy of the neighborhood.

This lovely little bit of randomness I just couldn't resist, besides it was a frenzy when the shop declared a 20% off sale from 3:00-3:30.
 The bandwagon was loaded baby and I got on.

The Dr. was also in the house and I was really excited because I really really wanted this when it first came out but missed the boat and at 20% off.... Oh the glee.

There was all this cuteness sitting around the place
made from the patterns they were selling. I just could not
resist the tea cozy and the hot pad.
 It was a hoot I tell ya.

And last but not least this little tip.

 Upon arrival we each received a goodie bag filled with lovely little necessities like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, nail files, chocolate etcetera. Plus these little toe separators. Then
my sister (the one in the chef hat :) gave out tips periodically at our meals.
One was to use these little separators for bobbin thread.
 I love it.
 It it quick, cheap and easy...Perfect

I am hoping that for tomorrow's episode I will be showing what I actually accomplished,
since I cannot show the belly laughs - there was many-
and the enduring conversations- so great-
I will stick to the few things I actually produced-ish.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Return from Retreat

That title sounds a little like a double entendre, or double negative- or something. Anyway I HAD to share the best long weekend I just experienced. I only hope I can capture the greatness of it with words!!!

Quilting of Flutterby...whooot

First I finally celebrated the return of my machine from the fix-it place. YES.
Second, I had so much fun that leaving was almost painful. Okay I will get to the highlights in a minute. Not to mention the highlights that are now in my hair. See at Retreat you can get a haircut, massage, mani-pedi, or a facial. And if you are really lucky the sweet hairdresser, who cuts 8 inches of your hair off, will offer to do highlights the next day so- you can sport foil wrappers in your hair while you sew. (which incidentally prevents alien signals from infiltrating the quilting plans in your head)

 I have a new do complete with highlights. (apparently I now look younger...bonus)

Edited to add: the pic below is my sister Cindy (so sorry to confuse) anyone!),
what she is doing I will explain tomorrow!

(Disclaimer:I have several group pics but out of respect for those who are squimish about on-line photos I will leave those out. )

Okay, Back to the beginning...I have never been to retreat before. My sister (above) has been working at retreats for 11 years. . In January the fabulous Susan Brown, creator of the SIMPLI-EZ Bias Ruler and The Binding Tool, invited me to go. My sister did as well and as it turned out my other sister joined us. So awesome.

Even better the Retreat had its own shop right there open all day and night! Jan of Firefly brought half the store. My pizzeria sister and Jan worked from sun-up to sun-down. Not to mention entertaining and demo's.

On to the highlights (not the ones in my hair):
The wonderful talent you get to meet.....
Madeleine above- from here and Ellen can be found here (pic below) were so much fun. They both are embarking on a joint venture over at The Printed Bolt. These girls oooze talent and were a blast to sew with. Both have a keen eye for color and I found myself re-evaluating my stubborn long held beliefs about combining color. They made fabrics come together in this crisp fresh way. Both girls are graduate (Ellen almost) students in textiles.

(sorrry Ellen I loved your shoes and my only other photo of you is with your quilt and I didn't want to post it w/o your permission:)  

The girls sported the table directly behind me.
I was so lucky to sit by a women named Linda from Nebraska- we hit it off imediatly. We sat three or four at a table. Linda's sister Carol and her friend Heidi also shared our long table and made me laugh so much that my muscles still hurt. Plus my sister Tami sat right across from me and she is awesom. I have the best sisters.
There are three rooms of quilters/sewists at Retreat and I believe that they had 60-70 women register. Oh and one man- Joe. Who hysterically requested that while he didn't mind if the women used the men's bathroom he would appreciate it if they would put the seat up! Ha

Every detail was attended to by Susan. Including chocolate on our pillows at night.
At every meal there was a gift and everyone was given a prize. Yes- we were so spoiled!

I won:

This beautiful group of fabric sporting these lovely girls. Amazingly- this fabric grouping was right up my alley! LOVE IT.

Above are some of the gifts we received: small quilt pattern with a fat quarter, notepad, rubber duck, felt pincushion kit and the french paper pad. Our table also won the Word challenge and recived a beautiful tea towel. The theme of the weekend was slumber party which meant that we spent three lovely days in jammies!

The Retreat was held at Lake Okoboji in Iowa and it was so lovely. The campus is located on the lake in a beautiful setting. We slept (a little) in cabins or dorms that were quite comfortable. Except for the tiny coffin showers where if I ate anymore one would need the jaws of life to get me out. I amy talk about this for a few days- I still have to show off what I purchased and what I created. Bare with me.

Okay I have to unpack my goods!


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