Oct 25, 2015

Retreat fun! It WILL be long--just warning you, LOL

When we last convened here on my blog, I had said that I would soon be off to a quilt retreat. Well, it happened Thursday through Saturday up in the next county north, thanks to the Heritage Quilters Guild based in Atalla, Alabama. What wonderful hostesses lead by the dynamic Gail! Usually "retreat" implies that you are staying at some venue overnight and we did not since the sewing event was held at the 1st Baptist Church. As I had said, there were about 40 of us signed up but a couple had either health problems or family situations that kept them away. Lots of sewing machines buzzing getting tops or blocks done or near done, two cutting tables going as people were cutting things out and getting their next projects ready.

I will apologize in advance for the less than stellar pictures I am going to include with this posting. As I was unpacking my various bags and containers last night, I discovered that I did not have my digital camera. I emptied EVERYTHING out---twice!--and it is not here. I called or messaged my table mates to see if it ended up in their bags somehow. No one called to say "I got your camera and I'll bring it by" Jane said she had gotten a call about her strip plug though. I will get with the lady in charge later today to see if they found it laying some odd place and someone turned it in. Meantime, I'll muddle through with these shots from my camera.

They provided an Italian meal for us on Thursday and those that wanted leftovers on the other days were invited to dig in.  There was a nearby restaurant that some went to and some of us brown bagged.  One of the girls made lemonade pies and peanut butter pies to go with the meal that were quite yummy!  They gave the centerpieces away which were decorative glass bottles made to look like an Italian restaurant.  This poster (below) was on the wall with command strips and I won it.  A snoopy kitty thought he had to get in on the photo session!

One of the activities was a notions and book swap deal.  Bring in so many items and swap them out.  This is what I picked out.  (Ignore the stuff that sits on my desk, LOL)

  •  The New Sampler Quilt by Diana Leone.  I've got the Quilts, Quilts Quilts book (s) that she wrote with Laura Nownes so figured it was a good choice. 
  • There is one of those binding tools to play with
  • a Singer sewing machine puzzle 
  • a locker hooking kit that use can use to make a rug or pillow in charted qulting designs.  I've done rug hooking before and I think this is similar.

Each day when we arrived there was some new goodie at our station.  First day, we found the upcycled jean trash bag, the munchie goodies and the flower pot pincushion.  Some members of the group made up these things.  Aline and Jane passed out the tissue holders they had made along with a large pipe cleaner for de-linting your sewing machine.  The mug rug was another giftie.  They had put a whole bunch of fat quarters on a lattice panel and called us up by table number to pull one.  We did this two days.  I ended up with three though since Jane pulled a purple on and handed it to me.

2nd day, we arrived to a pieced pin cushion and the cute painted snowman jar.  The same lady that did the jars had painted the pumpkin name pins.  The treat bag has all kind of goodies in it--candy, an oatmeal cream cookie, tissues, a little pen and notebook, a little roll of scotch tape,  twisty straw.  Like we had gone trick or treating!  I need to drag out my candy dish from wherever I tucked it.

A little story about the tote bag.  Alice was one of our table mates at lunch the first day.  She was working on the bag as a practice run of a pattern she had not used before.  She said someone had asked her to make a bag using Alabama team fabric and she didn't want to cut into it till she knew she could do the bag properly.  I admired how it had turned out and she just gave it to me saying she plans on lining the Bama bag.  I offered to pay her for it but she wouldn't take it.   Nice tote and I'll think of Alice when I use it.

Yesterday we came in to a quilter's emergency bag of M & M's, the Russell Stover chocolate marshmallow pumpkins and another Halloween treat made from a tootsie roll pop (I think--too cute to unwrap it).   The other was something I won in a game and I'll tell you about that in a minute.

I don't know how well you can make out the script on the M & Ms but it is pretty cute.

Dosage indicated for symptoms listed
  • Eat 1 Brown if seams are not a 1/4 inch
  • Eat 1 Yellow if points don't match
  • Eat 1 Orange if rotary cut strips look like a "V"
  • Eat 1 Green if you have to miter corners
  • Eat 1 Red if your bobbin runs out of thread ( I assume, and you keep sewing a long seam in spite of it!)
  • Eat 2 Blue if you measured once/cut twice
If the symptoms persist, eat the whole BAG
(There were not enough M's to be had for what I was working on, LOL but the goodie bag did come home intact!)

We played several games.  One was a scavenger hunt---Gail would say "if you have spool of lime green thread, come get a ticket" or "if you have 7 quarters in your wallet, come get a ticket".  We did that over two days time.  I only had one--for a retractable tape measure---but I think the gal that one first prize had about 17 of the items Gail had called off.  

Another game related to the 12 inch finished Patriotic blocks we had made for Quilts of Valor.  They were wonderful and we had enough turned in that they anticipate making at least two quilts.  Anyway, they handed out a little quiz with questions like "name the three branches of the US government"  "who was Jimmy Carter's Vice President"  "what does it say on the Great Seal".  Oh boy!  I was reminded of how much I had forgotten on the first read and high school civics was some time ago.  Really few of us could probably pass the U.S. Citizenship test if we were not native born citizens, I bet.  Carolyn won with 12 out of 15 but I was in a group of 6 who got 11 out of 15.  Gail had some additional tie breaker questions and I knew the answers right till the last one was eliminated with a question about the New Deal---answer was FDR and the other gal didn't know.  I won the Jane Stickle magnetic bookmark (Gail had been to Vermont this summer and saw the Stickle quilt!)  with a seam ripper and a one second needle kit with bonus 10 piece sewing kit.  The packaging says you can thread the needle blindfolded---ha, we'll see about that!  I would share a picture of the block I made, a variation of Independence Square with colors switched up, but I think it is on my MIA camera and/or I can't think what I called the cropped version I possibly have on the computer.  :-(

We also did a match up the baby picture game.  I only had a few guesses and my table mates had told me which ones were theirs so I didn't participate but it was still fun to look and see if we could figure it out. Mine was taken at about 4 months or so from an image my dad and sister had scanned so I had it printed up at Walmart to a larger one.  Jane thought they could guess me as soon as they saw red curly hair but I think I fooled them.  One lady said she didn't think the hair color was right--it looked more brown, in the re-print, I guess, but I did use a color print rather than a black and white to really stump them.   

We were invited to participate in their quilt show and entering quilts made from panels, a table runner or dresden plate.  I didn't think I could participate but then I remembered I had a quilt made from panels and even another one in the UFO pile!  I entered my "Sisterhood of Quilters" quilt made from a panel Cher had given each of us FABS and got a 1st place ribbon.  Aline got one for her table runner too.   Since the pictures of all the entries is who knows where at the moment, I'll share this old one from Feb. 2010 when this quilt was hung above my bed on completion.

We were also asked to make 6 inch finished fall blocks.  One lucky retreater would win all the blocks and they went to my friend Aline.  I borrowed this image in a screen shot from Gail's facebook page so you could see this pile of wonderful blocks.  Mine is the one in the very bottom row down in the lower right corner.

There were also door prizes and we each won one, thanks to Gail's good shopping and the generosity of Wilson's Fabrics and Ashville House Quilt Shop as well as member donations.  I won this wonderful container from the quilt shop chocked full of things!  I'll show it full and emptied out.

I think you can see this stuff okay--book, magazine, pattern, pen, tree forms and I think that is a dvd on quiltsmart shape, chenille by the inch.

There 7 of the mini charm packs of  "Holiday in the Pines" by Holly Taylor for Moda, John Deere Fabric, I think half yards and a Redheads by Loralie panel with coordinating yardage.  Appropriate, huh?  There a little bags of wide ribbon and the 4 fat quarters of chevron to play with.

The best part of any retreat is the company of like minded people who share your passion for quilting.  I sat with folks I already knew but was pleased to make the acquaintance of Sue who was sitting catty corner from me.  Turns out she is friends with Linda who was was talking about in the prior post.  When Linda had visited Belles this summer, it was time to sign up for the retreat so we gave her a copy of the needed form.  She invited Sue.  I was there only because all my quilting buds had gone the year before and said "you gotta go next time".  Next thing you know we are all having a blast doing what we love with a bunch of new friends.

AND, because I had all day to sew I managed to complete the last row on my Quatrefoil challenge quilt.  Jane held it up for me and I got a nice shot of it but.........well, you know. Hooray for a finish!  I'll press the binding and get this packed up and sent to Ellen for quilting and donation.

I told you there were leftovers and I was trying to think what to do with them.  When everyone was asking what I was going to work on come Friday, I started thinking of which project box I might pull from atop of the entertainment center in my bedroom.  I thought the Granny Square--I have about 8 blocks done and I could add these same fabrics to the mix.  I had one of those "awake in the middle, can't get back to sleep" nights and at 3 got up and started pulling fabrics that had other teal strips in the mix.    Once I got there though, I changed my mind and just got all the rest of the yardage up including something for binding.  I got these 5 blocks done with plenty more to go for a bonus donation quilts----of course, they need trimming down but I'll do that once all the blocks are finished.

Edited copy and photo additions.  The pattern is a tutorial from Blue Elephant.   We used it as a guild raffle quilt and it is easy enough to do once you settle into a little rhythm.  Some of it can be stripped pieced and then singletons added on to those.   The picture shows how I approach piecing a block so I can make the best use of pairs.   I almost like these better than the other quilt.   See how far I get with the strips as the tute shows 20 sashed and is lap sized.

I'm not sewing today or even tomorrow.  Belles meet next week and I can sew at the church later in the afternoon if I chose.  My knees, shoulders and back will thank me.  Besides, I have laundry to deal with and a dishwasher to unload, a dog to walk and a store run for canned dog food to get.  I imagine I'll have to find something for supper too.   Translation:  real life has returned!

A phone call to Gail and someone DID turn in my camera when they were sweeping up last night.  My name is not on it and it was not in the case so they didn't know who to call about it but figured, rightly that someone would.  I'll be running up that way to retrieve it this week. What a relief!


  1. First, I love your updated profile picture! I usually read your blog on my tablet using Feedly so I miss all the stuff on your blog except for the post content.

    It sounds like this retreat was a blast! Kudos to the organizer(s)! A nice blend of time to work on your projects and activities.

    I am glad to hear you have located your camera. Our cameras and phones are essential items these days!

    - Norma

  2. Sounds like you had a GREAT time! - And what a haul - you got a LOT of goodies - the Redhead panel was VERY appropriate! Loved your line - "There were not enough M's to be had for what I was working on.." - boy, have I had days like that! And your Quatrefoil quilts and Granny Square blocks are looking good - gotta add that Granny Square block to my "Squirrel" list - ;))

    P.S. - You were a cute kid - ;))

  3. Yasy for finishing the Quatrefoil. I am glad you had such a good time.

  4. Looks like you had a fantastic time! I love the color combinations you used on the quatrefoil and granny squares. You seem invigorated!


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