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 and a closeup of one laying flat and of the same one hanging on the arm of a chair 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 - 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. 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 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!!