Fun at Quilt Retreat

Three days of sewing with friends, what could be more fun?  I could have really used the time to get farther along on the Scrap Dance Minuet Mystery Quilt Along, but Step 2 hasn’t been posted yet (coming next Friday), and I didn’t want to give any sneak peeks, LOL!!   So, I took a bunch of other projects and made some great progress. I was fortunate to sit next to a sweet friend, Madeline, whom I do not get to see very often. She had her Featherweight to sew on, and I took my little Janome Gem. Each person had one eight-foot table to themselves, plenty of room to spread out and sew.  It was a day retreat, where you can leave your machine and all your stuff set up, sew all day, then go home to eat dinner and sleep, then come back the next day.

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On the side, a classroom was set up for two pattern classes, one on Tuesday and one on Wednesday. Friends Sandy and Carolyn (in the front row) love to take the classes to make a new pattern.

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OK, so getting down to work, I began with the blocks for the Carolina Hurricane Quilt Project. I still have enough left to do two more tops, and this is after the five queens, two full and one twin already done.  I sewed mountain peaks, making seven to a row, and six rows.

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Before lunch, I had a top done.

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I got busy on the next project, a Quilt of Valor.  I had no plan, just a bunch of things I could use.  So, I began with jelly roll strips, sewing reds and blues to beige lights.

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I crosscut all the two-strip units, and sewed a red unit to a blue one to make four-patches.  I counted 48, enough for 12 blocks if I use four to a block.

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I had some layer cake fabrics, and I used the Moda Cake Mix papers set #3 to make some HSTs.  Actually a lot of HSTs in just a short time!!

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Sewing goes fast and these make 18 per page.

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So in under 2 hours, I had 144 sewed and cut.

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By the end of the day, I had finished taking all the papers off and pressed the seams to the dark side.

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Day two had most of us getting there early, and machines were humming.

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I began the day with putting the half square triangles into flying geese, with a red and blue on each one.

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Some of the triangles had a lighter background that didn’t work with the four-patches that well.  So, I picked out 48 that went together and made a square in a square for the center of the block.  I did have to make a few more HSTs to have enough blue-beige combinations to get the centers consistent.

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Using some 4-1/2-inch squares I brought with me, I auditioned several designs but I didn’t take pictures of all those.  Here is the final design, with red patches and orienting the dark blue on the four-patch units to the center.

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I did it the opposite way for the blue patches, orienting the red on the four-patch units to the center.

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I had to go walk around a bit and chat some more.  Here, Carol Preston is laying out her class project on a design board.

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Linda Lou showed off her completed project.

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I got back to sewing, and made 10 blocks before the end of the day.  On the morning of Day Three, I had to make a few more four-patches as I guess I miscounted, plus I sewed one backwards and had to rip it out and do it again, so it took a bit longer.  By the end of the morning, I finished off the 12 blocks, throwing in a few with a medium blue just for interest.   Of course, there was a fair bit of time walking around and chatting that morning too.

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After lunch I started work on the last blocks I have for the last hurricane quilt I will make.  These were all cut down to 12 inches to accommodate a large group that did not come out at 12-1/2 inches.  There were some at 12, some at 12-1/4 and some at 12-1/2.  In order to use them all, they had to be the same size, so they were all squared up at 12 inches.  This gave me 43 blocks to use.  I used 42 and gave one block away.  Once again, I sewed most of them in pairs to make dark points, with an extra on the right hand edge of all the rows.

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Laying out the rows, I rotated the even number rows to create the zigzag pattern.  Two blocks that had mostly purple ended up next to each other, so I changed the rows around a bit to distribute the colors as best as I could.

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Rearranged and then pinned in three sets of two rows, it was then end of the day so I took this one home to finish.

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I always get so much done at retreat. Given the amount of time I spend talking and looking at what every one else is doing, it is amazing that I get anything done, LOL!! I came home with one completed top for the hurricane project, 12 blocks done for my next QOV, and the rows pinned for a second hurricane quilt. Plus I made some new friends, and got a new customer too!! Time well spent, and I cannot wait for the next one in October!

Have you done a retreat?

Moda Cake Mix Papers Set #3 on Amazon a great deal if you are a Prime member.

24 thoughts on “Fun at Quilt Retreat

  1. I love getting together and have dedicated sewing time at a retreat. I skipped the 3 night/4 day guild retreat last month in favor of a cruise. We have a 3 day “day only’ coming up in May and I hope to go. I get a lot done in spite of all that walking around visiting stuff. I think you pick up so many tips and ideas when gathered together. Congrats on getting so much done.

  2. It has never worked out for me to go to the local quilt group’s retreat, but hopefully someday! I have been sewing up some blocks from Lori Holt’s vintage block quilt along, and have cut off so many triangles! I am using them for leaders and am getting a rather large pile in a variety of sizes, hope to use them somewhere. I have also started cutting small bits into 2, 2.5 and 3 inch squares instead of putting them back in the drawer. Have not even started cutting for the minuet yet, but I’ll get there!

  3. farmquilter

    I love retreats! My little guild has a 5 day retreat every year at the Palouse Divide Lodge. Wonderful room for all of us to easily fit in, nice rooms with double/triple occupancy and the most wonderful breakfasts and dinners that we don’t have to prepare or clean up after!! The owners are wonderful and we enjoy getting to see them as well. Then there is the view…my idea of heaven! I always make sure to take several more projects than I think I will need because it is amazing how much I can get done, even with the fun games we play!

  4. Debbie Miller Meyer

    Hi Carole, Wish we had retreats here where I live, but I don’t know if any nearby. I have a dumb question, I know, I know, there is no such thing as a dumb question, but here goes. When you made the HST’s with the papers, how do you do that? Do you just take a big square of fabric, put the paper on, sew on lines and cut? Please let me know. I love all the beautiful quilts you worked on especially the Quilt of Valor one. Looking forward to the next step on Scrap Dance Minuet. I cut enough fabric for two runners. Have a blessed Sunday! Debbie

  5. I have never been to a quilt retreat, I think I would really enjoy it. I work alone in this craft as I live in a remote area and spend many hours commuting, working and taking college courses. YouTube is my friend for perfecting technique.

    It would be a blast to meet people I follow online (you are one of them). I once met a group of bloggers up in Vancouver, B.C. It was so much fun!

  6. Maureen

    I have been to numerous retreats at Amigo Centre in Michigan, not too far from Shipshewana. I love them! My church has a Friday/Saturday craft event almost every month. We bring food to share and can leave everything set up overnight. Women do whatever craft they want.

  7. June Neigum

    Our Scrap Happy Quilting group meets every Thursday in the morning. We usually have a two day “retreat” with prizes and food once a year. This year we decided to have a No Frills retreat. Everyone eat breakfast at home and bring their own lunch and we sew all day for two days. Its great to sew with friends with the same interest and passion for sewing. This will probably be a quarterly event as it is a great way to finish up projects and everyone can sew and not be in charge of food or prizes and such.

  8. Hello Carole, No, I have never been to a retreat. I once again, sew alone. Yet, I have all of my blogging friends to keep me company! You did a marvelous job at getting so much accomplished. Plus, the Quilt of Valor project is going to be another beautiful quilt. I really like that you used the cream instead of a white. It makes it so much calmer and has an “aged” effect. I have always loved the crispness of the bright white, but seeing the results in the blocks you have shown has really opened my mind to this combination. Thank you so much for sharing all of your fantastic quilts. Have a lovely day!

  9. Pat Evans

    I go to two retreats a year and always wind up taking more projects than I can finish. I enjoy being with quilting friends and seeing what everyone else is doing, but I’m also happy to get home to a little solitude. There always seems to be at least one participant who insists on sharing their whole family history with everyone.

  10. Felicia. Hamlin

    Wow! You really got a lot done! I have only been to a retreat once. I had fun, but I didn’t get a lot done. I didn’t know what to pack and I visited a lot. Retreats are usually to expensive for me, but the next time I go. I will know what to pack.

  11. Brenda @ Songbird Designs

    Awesome!! I’ve done a couple of retreats, but now my grandkids keep me busy during the week with helping out with car rider, so I don’t get to go as often as pre-kiddos!! But that’s OK!

  12. Melanie

    Oh yes, I go once a year in September far enough away that I don’t go home for 3-4 days. It’s wonderful meeting more guild members and having fun sewing and seeing what everyone is working on. Last spring 3 of us gals went to the coast for 3 days of sewing, shopping, and spending quality time together. So fun. Hey, I think I recognize one of the blocks I sent for the hurricane project! Fun to see all the different fabrics. Sounds like you had a great time!

  13. I’ve never done a quilting retreat but I’ve done art retreats before and they are wonderful ways to connect with new people and ideas. Quilts of Valor are so special. This is wonderful.

    Thanks so much for popping over to Marmelade Gypsy. It was delightful to “see” you and read your lovely comment.

  14. You accomplished a lot at your retreat. Yes, I’ve attended several retreat. Every year our guild has a retreat and I also attend the Jane Stickle retreats twice a year in Shipshewana, Ind. I also accomplish a lot, the secret is in prepping before going. Have a wonderful week!

  15. Sue H

    Totally agree with you — I get so much done at retreat too in spite of the chatting and nibbling here & there. I love the one that I attend three times a year which is set up like yours: sew all day, go home to sleep in your own bed, leaving the sewing set up all night. But I also like another one that I attend twice a year: set up on Friday morning and sew all the way through until Monday afternoon, sleeping at the retreat center. So much sewing done and yet still to do, all the while enjoying the company of fellow quilters.

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