Quilt Retreats, Tula Time!, What's on the Design Wall

Tula Pink “All Stars” Retreat (Part II)

Are you ready for more Tula? Here is the continuation of yesterday’s post Tula Pink “All Stars” Retreat (Part I).

So where did we leave off? Ah, yes – a couple crazy quilting friends decided to create their own quilt retreat in a rented vacation townhome to focus on making Tula Pink All Star collection sampler quilts together.

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One of my quilting sisters fondling her Tula Pink All Stars collection

But before we get to the endless images of quilt blocks we made (warning: it might get mind-numbing for non-quilters reading this post), let me share some of the non-sewing adventures we had during the retreat.


Non-Sewing Adventures

We did not just lock ourselves in a rented townhome for four days of non-stop quilting, we did do non-sewing activities…though some of these activities did involve fabric.

I took Judy and Dana on a mini Central Oregon Quilt Shop Hop over two days. This was exceptionally fun because Dana had never been to Central Oregon before, much less our quilt shops. I took them to the following quilt shops:

At Sew Many Quilts we discovered a very cool antique sewing machine on display:

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At QuiltWorks we had a wonderful time visiting with the owner Marilyn Forestell who I’ve known for a long time. We also congratulated her on her shop being featured in the Spring – Summer 2018 issue of Quilt Sampler:

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If you’d like to watch a video interview with the owner and more about one of my favorite Central Oregon quilt shops, here is the link on allpeoplequilt.com – www.allpeoplequilt.com/magazines-more/quilt-sampler/quiltworks. This behind the scenes video has a nice walk through of the shop.

We had a blast at BJ’s Quilt Basket, the third quilt shop we visited. They have a delightful and very friendly staff. While at BJ’s, OH NO – we discovered a new Tula Pink fabric line was just released: Zuma.

Judy and Dana could not leave BJ’s without the fat quarter collection (I was good as I currently have more Tula than I can handle right now!):

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As if some of us did not already have enough Tula…

The next day we headed to Sisters, Oregon to go to the Stitchin’ Post. 

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I never tire of wandering around the Stitchin’ Post

While at the Stitchin’ Post, my quilting sister Dana and I did a “Hand-piecing Intervention“.

I overhead a woman tell her friend that she had recently retired and wanted to take up quilting but did not want to do machine quilting. Instead she was interested in hand quilting, but did not know how to get started on learning how to piece quilts by hand.

Her conversation was none of my business but I could not help myself, I had to be helpful. I introduced myself and told her all about English Paper Piecing (see my series of  posts – Adventures in Paper Piecing). I grabbed Dana who was nearby wandering about and had her join me in sharing the joy of English Paper Piecing (EPP) as an option to create a quilt by hand.

We even brought over the store sample of a EPP hexagon pieced pillow to show her an example of the cool stuff she could make:

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Luring innocent victims into EPP

After our intervention, the woman gleefully left the shop with a package of EPP hexie templates in hand. She plans to begin by practicing with fabric scraps (and hopefully she was going to follow our suggestion to check out YouTube videos on EPP).

Dana and I felt pretty darn proud of ourselves (either we helped someone on their road to a fun retirement hobby, or we got her to totally waste her money, ha!)

In addition to our miniature Central Oregon quilt shop hop, we also dined at some wonderful restaurant in Sunriver, Oregon.

After shop hopping and dining adventures, it was time to buckle down and piece our samplers!


Blocks, Blocks, Blocks

We pieced a lot of blocks during our four day retreat from our Tula Pink All Stars fat quarter packs!

I’ve never fussy cut (selecting a specific section/motif in printed fabric) for a quilt block in my life, but inspired by Dana, I fussy cut the feature fabric for all my blocks.

BLOCKS BY DANA

Dana, who already pieced 10+ blocks so far since our annual Quilting Sister May Quilt Retreat (see posts Please Vote On The Color! and The Votes Are In!). She focused on piecing star blocks in honor of the name of the name of the fabric collection – All Stars (the title of the collection is based on the prints in the line are updated reproductions of some of Tula Pink’s most popular retired fabrics). Here are some samples of her blocks:

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BLOCKS BY JUDY

My quilting sister Judy was very adventurous and did not follow any set type of block pattern. She had fun using an old quilt block sampler book and randomly selecting blocks to piece with her fabric. Below are some examples of her blocks:

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BLOCKS BY ME

Now I did not want to do a quilt with a white background. Instead I wanted to only use the fabrics in the Tula Pink All Star collection. I decided to create a sampler called “Tula in a Box” and use two different block patterns that feature boxes or boxes inside of boxes.

Here are the first 12 blocks I completed using a “Box inside a box” block pattern:

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Tentatively I am planning to set the blocks using the Tula Pink All Stars stripes fat quarters.

By the end of the retreat I completed 14 blocks including these two blocks in a different block pattern called Little Boxes:

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The upper right and left hand corners have the “Little Boxes” blocks

I will feature more on my “Tula in a Box” quilt blocks in a future post after I complete additional blocks.

Again, here is the “design sofa” I mentioned in the first post, with all our blocks:

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FUN WITH COMBINATIONS

A very fun part of making our blocks was deciding the color/fabric combinations:

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Here is another one of Judy’s cool blocks that came out of fun with putting together fabrics:

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We spent of a lot of time consulting with each other on combinations.

Okay, so dear readers, are you sick of looking at blocks and Tula Pink All Star collection fabric now? No worries, we are nearly at the end of this post series.


Special Guest

On the third day of the retreat we had a special guest stop by – my friend Marie Bostwick – New York Times bestselling author.

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Marie Bostwick next to a Pile-o-Tula

Marie’s book The Second Sister is an upcoming Hallmark Hall of Fame Christmas Movie:  Christmas Everlasting that airs on the Hallmark Channel on November 24th and stars Patti LaBelle.

Here is more information on Marie’s blog Fierce Beyond 50: The Best News Ever.

If you get the Hallmark Channel be sure to watch the movie based on the awesome book!

After the quilt retreat my friend Laurie (who owns the vacation rental) stated that Marie Bostwick was the first famous person to ever visit her vacation townhome rental. I teased that I should have had Marie autograph one of the walls – ha!


Postscript

As if we were not already having an immersive Tula Pink experience, one afternoon we watched on YouTube Episode 1 of the series Tula’s House:

This episode provided some insight into the brilliant and creative mind of Tula Pink and you get a tour inside her awesome studio and sections of her home.

 

A Crafter's Life, Audiobooks and Podcasts, Studio

Revisiting Traditional Piecing: The Blocks Part I

This is a continuation to yesterday’s post – Revisiting Traditional Piecing.

In my previous post I mentioned the first set of blocks I made with the Ladies’ Art Company Block Tool by Connie Chunn (while participating in a Block-a-Month Quilt Club) were turned into a sampler quilt, Block Filmstrip, around 2008.

What I forgot to mention was that details of four (4) of the blocks in this quilt ended up in the book 1000 Quilting Inspirations by Sandra  Sider, Quarry Books (2015). It is funny that a a sampler quilt that I was not sure if I even wanted to finish around 2008 ended up as the opening series of “Quilting Inspiration” images in the book – images #0001 – 0004 of the 1000 inspirations!

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Filmstrip quilt – four images 0001-0004 are featured in the book 1000 Quilt Inspirations
1000 Quilt Inspirations
Photo Credit: Quarry Books

In addition to four (4) images from Block Filmstrip, the book also contains images from four (4) of my recycled silk art quilts and are part of The Wardrobe Meets the Wall Collection.


Making Blocks

Using the Ladies’ Art Company Block Tool by (2007), I have made eight (8) 12 inch blocks (finished size) using a fat quarter packet, scraps and yardage of Northcott’s Stonehenge fabric line, so far as I created a queen-sized sampler quilt to be given as a wedding gift to a young couple.

I made two (2) of four (4) different blocks from the Block Tool:

AIR CASTLE

AUNT ELIZA’S STAR

BIG DIPPER (I made 2 of the same color way)

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CHURN DASH

 


Thinking About Settings and Borders

In case you have not figure this out yet, I plan to set the blocks “on point” that is why they are all turned on point. I originally meant to photograph them in their traditional square orientation instead of this “diamond” orientation. Also I took the photos on the design wall in the hallway where the light is not the best. Life has been busy and I figure if I took time re-doing the photos then I will never get this post up, ha!

Next set of blocks, I will take better photos (smile).

In addition to wanting to set the blocks “on point” I have already started looking at different options for settings. I am currently looking through a book I recently borrowed from the library – The Quilt Block Cookbook by Amy Gibson (2016). There is a wonderful block setting option in this book called “Point Taken”. I am leaning towards that setting.

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Photo credit: Amazon.com

I am also thinking about what type of border I want and I have decided to make a pieced border. I want the quilt to be special and I think a pieced border will add a nice touch.

Looking through my collection of quilt books I came across an old book in my craft book library called The Border Workbook by Janet Kime (2006). This book has great ideas for creating lovely pieced borders.

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Photo credit:Amazon.com

More blocks to come (and better photos next time)!


Postscript

Traditional piecing seems to be what I need right now. My mind feels overloaded from my non-crafting life, especially related to my job in the healthcare industry. At the end of the workday and the end of the workweek I am feeling “all thought out” and was not inspired to create any art quilts.

Creating these blocks from patterns feels mediative, centering and peaceful. All I have to do is follow the instructions, cutting the fabric to the dimensions indicated and sew the pieces together.

I am also enjoying carefully pressing the different components of each block as I assemble them and trying to ensure the back of the block is nearly as neatly pressed as the front.

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The back of a carefully pieced block

While piecing the first couple of blocks I listened to a wonderful and engaging audiobook read by the actor Peter Coyote – The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz (1997).

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Photo credit: Amazon.com

The Four Agreements are as follows:

  1. Be impeccable with your word
  2. Don’t take anything personally
  3. Don’t make assumptions
  4. Always do your best

These seem logical and on the surface very simple. What makes the audiobook so engaging is the author’s discussion and exploration of each of The Four Agreements. Powerful and centering stuff to listen to and ponder while peacefully piecing my blocks!