Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Retreat Quilt

At our guild's retreat earlier this month we each signed and wore a nametag that Erin made just for the retreat. We asked each person to bring 3" squares to make some scrappy 4-patches using the leaders/enders method of Bonnie Hunter. We collected all the nametags and the 4-patches at the end of the retreat because Erin had the idea to make a quilt from them, and then to give that quilt to one of the attendees. This past Wednesday and today Erin came over to my house and we put together the quilt top. Here we are working on the top Erin and Nancy with retreat quilt and here it is finished. Retreat Quilt She has backing, I have batting, we just need to write a message in the center block and get it quilted. I had never done a quilt on-point so it was great to learn how to do that. She had a book that showed how to determine the size of the corner and setting triangles. I also found a good description of how to do it on Janet Wickell's site. It was lots of fun to work on the quilt together, and to spend some time visiting too. Erin, it was fun working with you on the Retreat, and the Retreat quilt!

Monday, May 19, 2008

OC updates and our Senior Center Sampler

I am happy to report that I finished all of the blocks for Clue #3 in the Orange Crush Mystery and got a start on #4. Here are all of Clue #3 Orange Crush Mystery Clue 3 Group and 2 of them up close. Orange Crush Mystery Clue 3 And here are the 6 I've done of Clue #4. Orange Crush Mystery Clue 4 For #4, I have all the strips cut, then lay out one of each as Bonnie suggests, cut them with the Easy Angle ruler, sew one strips' sets together at a time, position them on the cutting mat, then place my 4-patches into those 4-5 blocks, trying not to have the same fabric twice in one block ~~ guess that makes mine a "controlled scrappy" arrangement. I'd like to move along on this project some more this week, but first I need to do some work on the sampler quilt we are doing at the Senior Center.

Last Wednesday at the Center we (read that as "I") got the 4 rows sewn together on the fronts. We are doing this as a quilt-as-you-go so each block has already been quilted. Senior Center Sampler Quilt - sewn together Now I need to begin the work on the back, positioning the batting, trimming off some of the batting, and figuring out how to fold one side of the backing pieces over the others so that it looks neat when finished. I am hoping some some of the other ladies will be able/willing to help with the handwork of stitching the backing pieces together. I've not done this before except on a sample, so we'll see how it goes. This quilt will be given to the Center to hang when we finish. Then we are going to start work on some Turning Twenty quilts.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Back home from Georgia; OC and GFG update

We left here Tuesday, May 6, after work and went to Johnson City, TN, for a night with my mom, then on to Atlanta on Wed. We checked into our hotel and met one DD and her husband at the Braves game - a tradition for us whenever possible when we are in ATL. Thursday morning (while DH was attending his conference) I met oldest DD to get her son, and his carseat; he and I drove to Zoo Atlanta and met DS and his son there for several hours at the zoo with the boys - 4 yr old and a 3 1/2 yr old. Fun, fun, fun, and very heartwarming to see my son's parenting in action. He is a stay-at-home dad and very good at it! Here he helps Jack and Atticus share some "fluff" - I think this was the highlight of the zoo visit for the boys! 'Sharing Thursday evening there was a reception for the conference where we managed to get enough food to count as dinner. Friday morning I relaxed around the hotel a bit, then DH was thru with the conference and we sat out to explore. He grew up in Chamblee, and we are back there several times a year, so the area is not all that new to us, but it keeps changing! We went up to the Perimeter Mall area, detouring by the house in Chamblee that his family used to live in. Then we decided to try to get to Marietta without going on I-285 ---- and discovered that there may be a way, but the way we went was not quick and might not be the best way! We did eventually find our way to Red Hen Fabrics, after being on Marietta Parkway much longer than was necessary. I've been to Red Hen several times, and like to go back there frequently when I am in the area. They will be moving their shop to another location about 1 mile away at the end of the month. Oldest DD and her family live in Marietta and we spent Friday night and Saturday morning with them - even got to babysit her 2 while she and DSIL did a little shopping. Here I am with Reba and Jack more resting Then to McDonough to visit middle DD and her hubby. Marietta DD and her family followed us there, and DH's mom and one of his sisters came down from Flowery Branch, plus McDonough's DSIL's parents, grandparents and sister were also there. Good times, great food from the grill; we spent the night there and then it was back to Lexington on Mother's Day. We got home just in time to quickly grill some steaks for dinner. I've posted quite a few pictures from our trip on our Flickr page.
Quilt-wise I worked only on my Grandmother's Flower Garden -- it is so portable when you are working on the individual flowers. Here it is now - 18 sewn together and 3 (far left ones on rows 1, 3 and 4) ready to sew on. GFG 18 +3 I've now had a few days to get re-oriented to being at home and trying to catch up a bit on stuff.
Thursday I got off my part-time job a bit early, and spent some good time working on the OC quilt. It will soon be time for Clue #5, and I was still working on #2. Last night I finished Clue #2 Orange Crush Clue #2 and got all the pieces cut for #3. Last week I jumped ahead to make one block of Clue #4 to see if I still like the fabric I selected for Bonnie's "red" - I do like it! Orange Crush Clue #4 Can't post it on the Quiltville Group yet since I don't have but one made - but I can post it here! I'm hoping to get all of Clue #3 done today.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Orange Crush Mystery Update, GFG

I think I am now in the "Lagger's" Group on the OC mystery. I finished the Clue 1 blocks - 150 4-patches - before Clue 2 was given, but have slowed down since then. DH and I were in DC last Sunday-Wednesday for him to attend a library meeting, and I brought along my OC fabrics and sewing machine. Bonnie's instructions were to cut our scraps into strips prior to starting the steps, but I had not done that yet except for what I used for the 4-patches. So I had all the fabrics with me at the hotel that I wanted to use for this step. I got the strips cut for Clue 2, all of the large triangles cut, all the squares cut, and some of the little triangles. I had already sewn a few together at home and after measuring them I realized they were a bit smaller than they should have been, so I decided to make my seam allowances slightly less than 1/4" when sewing the "wings" to the squares. I was able to get about 27 of the 142 finished while at the hotel -- and still had time to eat all meals with DH, go to a reception one night, a Braves game one night, etc. However, very limited time on Internet so was pretty far behind on reading the messages in the Quiltville group. I had seen just a mention of the way you are supposed to cut and sew on the "wings." When I got home Wednesday night I read all the messages that had come thru while I was gone, and realized that I had cut the small light triangles incorrectly. I am using strips of 30-40 lights, so don't need that many from any of the fabrics, and therefore I am cutting them pretty much as I need them, and cutting them one at a time with the fabric always facing up. Now I see that that is wrong - the points on the corners don't match up, so .............. this afternoon I started over on assemblying Clue 2. I don't have enough done to photograph yet - 3 to be exact! And we are going to be out of town this week from Tuesday afternoon to Sunday night, so I will be even farther behind when I get back. I will have time to work on my Grandmother's Flower Garden - Grandmother's Flower Garden - 18 flowers a great thing to work on in the car, but I won't be taking the machine with me on this trip. We are going to Atlanta area for another of DH's conferences, but will be seeing kids and grands too ~~ and another Braves game.

Guild Retreat is History Now

How can it be 4 weeks since my last post? So many times I have thought - "just let me finish this next thing then I will post about it on my blog." Silly me!!! Most of the past month has been spent getting ready for my quild's Quilt Retreat - I was on the committee to plan it, and we had decided to make a "saddlebag" for each attendee. Here is a picture of all 9 that I made All Nine Saddlebags and a closeup of one laying flat Full View of Saddlebags and of the same one hanging on the arm of a chair Closeup of Saddlebags for Retreat One of the other committee members had been given one and she drew out the pattern for us. It took more time to select the coordinating fabrics than it did to actually make them! We had been given some fat quarter/fat eighth bundles by one of the other guild members, and I made 10 more of them so we'd have one for each saddlebag. Here are the bundles I made - Fat Quarters and Fat Eighths Packets for Guild Retreat Again, it took longer to decide on coordinating fabrics than it did to make them. I also made 4 Toasty Toe Warmers to give as door prizes. Here are two of them. Toe Warmers for the Retreat They are made by sewing 3 sides of 9 pouches together (a 4.5" flannel square and a 4" muslin square with a tuck in each side of the flannel piece), filling each of the pouches with 1/3 cup of aromatic rice, then sewing the pouches carefully together on the 4th side. Sew them together like a 9-patch, then assemble them as you would to "birth" a quilt.

Marty Moon from Culpepper, VA was our teacher. She taught a class on Friday on making Drunkard's Path blocks. She has just recently started using Quiltz Dual Arc Drunkards Path Templates. We had not seen them before - I think she saw them for the first time at a recent quilt show in Atlanta. They are made by someone in Bowdon, GA. It is a set of 4 fluorrescent green acrylic templates that you use to cut both of the shapes for the drunkards path. Each template is used to cut both the pie and the L shape - and each one makes a block of a different size. Some people were able to finish piecing and sewing a top before we finished for the day. I was not one of these, but I did get 16 blocks made, and an idea for what I want to do next. Here are photos of 3 different designs I considered for my drunkards path Drunkards Path pattern 1 Drunkards Path pattern 2 Drunkards Path pattern 3 She also showed us how to make coasters by folding and stitching 5 blocks together, then flipping them inside out.

We played a version of Strip Poker after the workshop was over. Thanks to Jen for the link to her post about it. We had decided to make it fairly simple for all, so we just played Five Card Draw and the most you could lose in one hand was 2. We told the members to bring 15 or so 2.5" strips, but Erin and I, the other committee person in attendance, brought extras. I had 43 strips - all neatly rolled up and tied with DMC thread - when we started. I gave 10 to one of the gals who didn't bring many, and by the end of the poker hands I had 6 left. I had never played poker before so the night before the retreat started I practiced at home with several hands -- I don't think that helped! But it was fun and enjoyed by all who either played or watched -- and revealing about who among us knew ALL about playing poker! We also had two local massage therapists come to give 10-minute massages to all who wanted them - what a great treat --- shoulders, backs, arms, hands - we were all so relaxed afterwards. Erin showed folks how to use 3" squares that we asked them to bring to make 4-patches using Bonnie Hunter's Leaders and Enders method. We will take those 4-patches and make a quilt using them and the nametags we each signed and wore. The quilt we make from all that will be given to a name drawn from the list of the attendees as a special momento of the retreat.

On Saturday Marty gave an embellishment workshop. I made my first yo-yo without a yo-yo maker, learned about couching, weaving, stamping, piping, etc. It was a fun time to play with some things we had never done before. After lunch of the yummy leftovers from the potluck dinner the night before, Erin showed the group how to make some scrap blocks using Bonnie Hunter's method of sewing pieces onto strips, cutting those strips into segments, sewing those segments, etc. It was interesting to hear everyone's comments about doing that. Some who are scrap quilters at heart were happy to see a new way of doing that -- Erin had 3 quilt tops to show as suggestions for how to make them up. Others who had never used scraps had a hard time of letting go of rules enough to do it. Here is a link to Erin's blog on which she has posted 2 pictures of one of her tops in progress - they are the bottom 2 photos. We all had time to finish several scappy blocks before folks started going home.

We think everyone had a good time, and learned some new things, and grew closer as a group too. Our guld now has about 65 members, and only 25 could come to the retreat, but we had no one on a waiting list so I guess about everyone who wanted to come got to come. And Erin and I are looking forward to being just retreat participants next year!!