Hooray for Quilt Guild Retreat!

May 8, 2012 at 8:08 pm 3 comments

Ronan in sunglasses

“Summer’s just around the corner!”

On a recent weekend I attended the spring retreat for my quilt guild. I’m determined to get my 2007 Shop Hop quilt finished for our guild show in June, so I didn’t bring any other quilts to work on. (More on that shortly.) However, I knew that it’s not good for me to sit in one position for too long at a stretch, and I wanted to have something productive to do while I pondered any quilting decisions. Therefore, I also brought my scrap bag:

Do you like my "Coach bag"?

Do you like my “Coach bag”?

As I’ve previously posted, I’ve been trying to implement Bonnie Hunter’s Scrap User’s System. I’ve been doing pretty well with cutting up scraps as I cut fabric for new quilting projects, but I still have a huge backlog from before I started. Every time I felt like I needed to stretch my back or walk around, I’d meander over to the cutting table and cut scraps for a while. I estimate that through the course of the weekend, I probably spent 3 hours sorting and cutting up scraps. I had a nice collection of strips, blocks, and squares to show for my efforts by Sunday afternoon:

Strips, bricks, and squares from above

Strips, bricks, and squares from above

It looks like a lot of fabric, doesn't it?

It looks like a lot of fabric, doesn’t it?

And here’s an “after” shot of my scrap bag:

Really. No tricks, no photoshop.

Really. No tricks, no photoshop.

Yeah. Really. No kidding. I did not stage this in any way; I didn’t fluff up the scraps, or pick up anyone else’s. Either the fabrics were extremely compacted in there and I just relieved some of the pressure on them, or I have some sort of bottomless, loaves and fishes scrap bag. And that’s a miracle I do NOT need in my life, thanks! So, my “Coach bag” will be a presence in my studio for a while yet.

Anyway, I did spend the majority of the weekend quilting the Shop Hop sampler quilt. At the December retreat, I had completed all the stitching in the ditch and had quilted freehand feathers in the plaid setting triangles of the center strip:

At this retreat, I finished the setting triangles and quilted all 18 sampler blocks. This presented an interesting challenge, as nearly every block required me to come up with an entirely different quilting design. There were a few piecing doubles that gave me an intellectual rest. (As an aside, do we have a term for that in quilting:  two blocks that are identical in the piecing, but appear different due to different value placement? If not, I’m thinking of something along the lines of the homonym/homograph/homophone terminology, but I don’t know who gets to determine these things. It’s not cut and dried like paleontology where the person who discovers the new fossil species gets to name it.) But with very few exceptions, each new block I came to was a new puzzle to solve. This added to the difficulty level but also kept the process much more interesting; repeating the same design 18 times would have gotten monotonous.

I still have a significant amount of work to do in the remaining six weeks before the show, but I know I can meet the deadline without pulling a bunch of sleepless nights. And if I have to eat those words, I promise to do it publicly.

And as always, I had a wonderful time at the retreat. It’s such a renewing experience to be surrounded by other quilters. And when you’re eating, sleeping, and breathing quilting, you start to see quilts everywhere. This was the floor in our bathroom:

The bathroom floor in our room

I see square-within-a-square and on-point four-patches.




Entry filed under: Organization, Quilt Guild, Travel, WIPs. Tags: .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lagos  |  May 8, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    I’ve always been so amazed with people that have such great talents.

  • 2. Judy Sorensen  |  May 8, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    I always look at that bathroom floor and think I’ll copy in for a quilt. But I did that in Rome too, but no quilts have resulted! Thanks for a fun weekend. J.

  • […]  you have to really study to see just how similar the piecing is. I had mentioned briefly in an earlier post that it would be interesting to do a quilt of “piecing twin” blocks where the piecing […]


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