Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Back from the retreat

Oh, it was so good to get away. This past weekend, several friends and I attended a quilting retreat that was held in Wadhams, NY. HEAVEN! The first photo up is Dance of the Dragonflies that Barbara was working on, a very intriguing pattern.

I did bring many UFOs and PIGs and am very satisfied with what was accomplished. Thank goodness for my freind Trudy, she helped me tremendously! I actually brought a couple of my problem UFOs.
First was the "Convergence wallhanging" that I started a couple of years ago. While piecing the rest of the top together, I somehow had twisted a section in reverse. The fabric I used was a single piece of Ricky Timms fabric and you'd think that I'd be able to tell at a glance that it was off. I could see that something was wrong in that center area, but was befuddled as to "How it was wrong". I think the medicines I'm on for my back are making me way too relaxed. Thank goodness for Trudy. I mentioned it to her and she could see it was wrong too and then she pointed out where my goof was. Now I could proceed as the project directions were written. So I did. Then whammo, I reversed another section again in the last steps. Looking at it, I just knew something was off but there again, I was at a loss as to what and where. So I was laying out how to work the borders and auditioning how it will look again with Trudy's eye and opinion requested. We figured I'll be going over to her house to finish the borders with some more Ricky Timms fabric or hers since she also does a beautiful job with fabric dyeing. So I flipped it aside to proceed with the next project, my Orange Crush quilt I started also several years ago.
All of a sudden Trudy had figured out that I had again reversed a section during the convergence construction and mentioned if I undid that particular seam and turned that section around, it would work. AMAZING! She had been processing it AND had figured out how to correct it. Thank you, thank you, thank YOU! So I did some unsewing followed by some correct sewing. The borders will be coming shortly and I'll show you the finished wallhanging then.

Next - on to assemble my Orange Crush blocks. Here's how it look now.

After assembling the top I went in to the gameroom area to audition it for borders on the ping pong table when I found some more blocks in the plastic tote container that housed this UFO. Yeeks! I thought the top was done.
So I started re-figuring if I had enough fabric of this and that to continue sewing blocks to make a 9 X 9 block grid layout( ach block is 9"). I needed an even design so I could use the cornerstone blocks I wanted to have for the final border treatment. Along comes Trudy.
Are you catching a glimpse of the relief I have towards her expertise? She was in the back of the room when I held up the I thought finished center design and mentioned WOW! at a distance it was really bright, up close to it was nice but you really needed distance to really see it. So she questioned: That did I really need to add more blocks to finish it? Could I possibly add a wider border instead?
I stopped my self-imposed drama of having to make more blocks and thought about it all the while imagining how it could be. She was right. I could ease the eye by allowing a bit more light into this quilt using my off white solid border areas, but also still embracing the design elements to finish it. So I drew out some options. I will be adding several layers of borders with a burgendy and white checkerboard border near the 2nd border area. Wrote all this down to continue it after I get home. Oh and I stillplan on having cornerstones in the border too. What a relief! Another potential problem eliminated.

Then I proceeded to a kit, Tiki Tote I've had in for awhile.

It's a clearance kit from Nancy's Notions. I got as far as the point where I was going to cut the woven webb handles. Needing to get my fray check out of my suitcase of tools and projects when I saw the table runner I had brought to figure out how to do a scalloped border. Without the blink of an eye I quickly changed projects. The tablerunner was longer than usual so I can oplace it over the antique refridgerator in the dining room. With having the over-sized pool table and ping pong table in the rec room I was able to draft out my scallop design for it. The use of dishes was also used to finalize this design.
A friend from Montreal, Roz suggested that I draw on the reverse side of it to eliminate marking on the top. What a great suggestion! So using purple, brown, red and finally blue, I had my design. Blue being the correct line placements I was able to sew on that line in another color thread. This way I'll be able to know how to quilt it within that design area and then I'll cut it out on that same line. After getting back home I realized, now Janie, Why didn't you layer it and baste it there too? DUH! I should have. Oh well, some time just after I clean the kitchen floor I'll get to it.

This photo is what Bridgette was working on. She is Tommi's SIL. I like the potential of a quilt made with HST units so I snaped a photo of this Carpenter's wheel variation. She's making a king sized quilt that her husband selected this block for her to make.

The last photo is what Lois from Ottowa finished. She does amazing work and with the machine applique, which was truly invisible to the naked eye, she used a sewart international thread. Usually she gets it through Harriet Hardgrave's site. She gave me her email to connect with her about which settings she uses on her Bernina when she does the machine applique. I'll be contacting her shortly.

Nice, bright and colorful isn't it. She also had some truly gorgeous and very unique quilts that she shared during show and tell. I wasn't able to get a snap of those though. She belongs to a group of quilters that challenge each other with art quilts. Amazing! A couple of friends and I would also like to expand our talents in the area of art quilts. We discussed how we'd go about it and hopefully it will come to fruition.

Today, a fellow retreater and friend is coming over that I'll be showing her how to construct some note cards using strips of fabric. I haven't taught anything in quite awhile and hope to do it justice. Good thing she's a friend.


No comments: