Beastie Adventures, Quilt Retreats, Tula Time!

Guest Blogger: October Quilt Retreat Part II

This post is a continuation of the post Guest Blogger: October Quilt Retreat .

I have returned today as the Guest Blogger after I was interrupted by Halloween and then Tierney announcing the winners of the tierneycreates 5th anniversary giveaways in yesterday’s post.

Do I need to introduce myself again? This is tierneycreates Beastie. I am a monster, but the good kind of monster. You can learn all about me and catch up on my adventures in the series of posts Beastie Adventures.

Okay so now that the introduction is over, let’s return to how I was left to wander around the Quilt Retreat because Tierney would not let me help the other quilters cut their fabric, sigh.

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Not allowed to actually use the rotary cutter, only teased with it!

Wandering Around the Retreat (continued)

In the last post I shared the Penguin Party blocks that 3 of the quilters were working on. Here are some other works in progress and a completed jelly roll rug:

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There was also some major Tula Pink All Stars action that is a follow up to this post – Tula Pink “All Stars” Retreat (Part II), but Tierney want to milk stories from this retreat for as many blog posts as possible so that will be covered on another post (Beastie eye roll).


Quilt Retreat Food

There was all sort of interesting foods served at the retreat, a quilter could never go hungry! There was also a birthday celebration for some of the quilters and birthday cake:

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And what’s under this dome?

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Well it’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake! (No worries it was not served on the same evening as the birthday cake – ha!)

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Inside the Quilt Retreat Center Main House

The Sew N Go Retreat in Vancouver, Washington has a quilt retreat center where all the sewing happens; it also has the main house with the sleep accommodations, living and dining rooms and a classroom.  Here are some images from inside the main house which is decorated with…you guessed it – quilts!

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Tierney always brings the host, Nancy a handmade gift each time she attends the retreat and here are a couple of her gifts from previous years displayed – a miniature kimono and sets of coasters:

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Road Trip!

During the quilt retreat, we had to do a little road trip to a quilt shop! We went to the quilt shop Country Manor in Battleground WA.

I got to wander around the aisle of the quilt shop.

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I like yarn shops better as they can lead to more Beas

The best part though was the road trip to the quilt shop, I got to ride for a while in the front on one of the quilter’s shoulders!

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Road Trippin’!

Take a Hike!

You can’t just sit around and sew and eat. You have to get some exercise! Sew N Go is located in the country with lots of farms around and the quilters went for daily walks. Here are some photos from their walks:

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Abbey the Quilt Retreat Kitty

As with previous retreats, Tierney visited with Abbey the Quilt Retreat Kitty.

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Abbey was chewing on one of her “hot spots” on her tummy and did have to wear a “collar of comfort” for part of the quilt retreat:

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That did not slow her down from trying to get pets from Tierney (I could not pet her with my limited Beastie arm motion, plus she might have thought I was a toy!)


Inside the Classroom

The large garage of the Sew N Go Retreat main house was converted into a classroom a couple of years ago. It is an impressive garage conversion! Here are a couple project going on in the classroom.

Quilts of Honor

Nancy the owner of Sew N Go and her friends have a Quilts of Honor (like Quilts of Valor) where they make quilts for Veterans and then present them in a special ceremony. One of the quilters volunteering on this project makes incredible embroidered labels for each Veteran’s quilt that is customized with their name. Here is a section of one of those labels:

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Cool Carry All

Not sure what you would officially call this, but in the classroom were examples of an awesome carrier for quilting or other supplies that were recently made. Tierney bought the pattern to make one herself:

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Back Home

I was exhausted when we got back home, it was a long weekend for a Beastie! Tierney and I took the Central Oregon Breeze bus to Portland for the retreat and back home, and it is about a 4 hour bus ride (why does she live in the middle of nowhere?!?!).

But the best part of returning back home for me, was being reunited with my dog Mikelet who was so happy to see me!

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I can feel the love!

Postscript

There are more posts to come about the retreat, this time by Tierney, but she and I are going to take a little break from blogging after 31+ days straight (and you can get a break from reading these crazy musings!).

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Beastie Adventures, Quilt Retreats

Guest Blogger: October Quilt Retreat Part I

Wow we made it through 5 days of giveaways – seems like that would never end! Now finally I can tell you about my first quilt retreat.

Oh, hi there – this is tierneycreates Beastie, the guest blogger for this post. Tierney took me on my first quilting retreat last weekend and I have been patiently waiting for all those boring 5th Blog Anniversary Giveaway Posts to be done so I could tell you about my time at the retreat!

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Checking out one of the quilter’s featherweight machine

So if you remember from the post, Guest Blogger: tierneycreates 5th Anniversary Celebration Giveaway, I had to travel to the retreat in a baggie, or as Helen @crawcraftsbeasties.com calls it – my “Space Suit”:

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Me in my “Space Suit”

First a little background if you are new to this blog:

Yes, I am a Monster, but the good kind of Monster. You can read my story and see some of my adventures so far in the series of posts – Beastie Adventures. I was born in Dublin, Ireland and moved (well was shipped) to Central Oregon to join Tierney of tierneycreates in June 2018.

Since today is Halloween in the U.S., how appropriate for a “monster” to be a guest blogger, right?


A Beastie At A Quilt Retreat

This October Quilt Retreat is at the same place in Vancouver, Washington, as the annual May Retreat that Tierney attends. If you’d like to see her posts about previous retreats, check out her blog post category – Quilt Retreats.

As soon as I arrived at the quilt retreat, Tierney’s quilting friends encouraged me to get into some mischief – they handed me a rotary cutter:

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Is this really the best idea?

I was already ready to cut something, but Tierney ran over to see what was going on and told me to wait right there and not to proceed with helping one of the quilters cut their fabric:

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I can cut your fabric for you!

Then she convinced the nice quilter who gave me the rotary cutter not to let me cut anything, sigh. She did let me hang out with another rotary cutter for a while (she quilter took back her rotary cutter to use) and watch the other quilters work on cutting their fabric.

She said it was better for me to just observe for now (I think Tierney has some type of trust and control issues…)

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Only a wallflower cutter, never invited to the rotary cutter dance, sigh

I got bored and started wandering around to see what the other quilters had been working on (NOTE: The quilt retreat started on Wednesday but since Tierney had to work we did not arrive to the retreat until Thursday).


Wandering Around the Retreat

Here are some of the cool projects the quilters were working on.

Elizabeth Hartman’s Penguin Party

Several quilters were working on their own version of the Elizabeth Hartman pattern – Penguin Party. They were all using flannels to make their quilts so the quilts were not only going to be cute but also cozy!

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To be continued…

Oh – I just realized it is Halloween evening, and I have to go get ready to hand out candy to the tricker treaters! I hope I do not scare them, being a monster and everything (should I really scare the kids by meeting them at the door with my rotary cutter?!?!).

I will continue this post later this week as I have much more to share, and Tierney wants to do a post of her own about the retreat at some point (we are really going to milk it – maybe we’ll stretch it out to like 10 – 20 posts about the retreat..just teasing!).

Tomorrow’s post announces the winners of the 5 days of giveaways for the tierneycreates blog 5th anniversary!


Postscript

Thanks to everyone who has entered the drawings by commenting on the 5 posts:

If you have not entered – reminder you have until 11:59 tonight (10/31/18) Pacific Standard Time to enter per the instructions on each post.

Here is the post that started it all before the 5 days of giveaways were announced (and it was by me the awesome Guest Blogger!):

Guest Blogger: tierneycreates 5th Anniversary Celebration Giveaway

A Crafter's Life, Quilt Retreats

Little Miss Muffet, Made Her Own Tuffet

Feature photo: one of the chalkboard wall art decorations in my room at the Over the Rainbow Retreat Lodge.


TUFFETS!

You remember that nursery rhyme:

Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet, eating her curds and whey…

I never really knew what the “tuffet” was in the nursery rhyme other than something to sit upon. That was until the recent tuffet making craze that seems to have taken the crafting world by storm (at least in the Pacific NW).

While attending a four-day quilt retreat at the beginning of August, I sat in the same room as a Tuffet Making Class by the very talented professional long-arm quilter and teacher, Krista the Kwilt Queen.

Several of my quilting friends (both old and new) were taking this class and I wanted to share some photos of their completed tuffets!

Here is Krista, the teacher, with nearly all the tuffets made in class:

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Here are the various beautiful tuffets made by the students. They used a variety of fabrics – from Kaffe Fasset and Hoffman Batik pre-cuts to RECYCLED DENIM JEANS!

One quilter, my friend Joan, made a tuffet from her husband’s old jeans as a gift to her husband for their RV!

It was very fun watching them assemble the tuffets (sewing the tuffets onto the the special template looked very tedious) and seeing their joy with the final project. Krista was a wonderful teacher and I wished I was taking the class (except how would I gotten the tuffet home on the plane ride?!?!)


OTHER PROJECTS

Several of us attending the retreat did not take the Tuffet Class, instead we worked on our own projects. You saw my project from the retreat in my post What’s on the Design Wall (Need Your Help)Here is a sampling of the other projects “retreaters” worked on during the retreat:

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Intuitive log cabin square-in-a-square art quilt by Dana
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Sasquatch themed flannel quilt by Judy – very Pacific NW!
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Tiny paper pieced block by Diana – it was amazing!

THE RETREAT

The retreat itself was held at Over the Rainbow Lodge Retreat in Camano Island, Washington. I first heard about this retreat during our annual May, Jelly Rollers Quilt Group Retreat. I was not going to attend as I would have to fly to the retreat and I was watching my budget.

However, as I mentioned in my post Distracted, I was feeling a little out of sorts with all the sad stuff going on in the world and needed something fun to lighten my mood. I discovered I had enough airline miles to purchase a discounted Alaska Airlines ticket (Alaska Airlines lets you combine miles and money to buy tickets if you do not have enough miles).

In addition to sewing, I made time to go on twice daily walks on the beautiful property and neighborhood where the retreat is located (it is a former private home in a private neighborhood). Sometimes I went on a solitary walks listening to an audiobook and other walks were spent with my fellow retreat attendees – both old and new friends. It is so fun to go on a long walk with a new or old friend during a retreat and “discuss life”.

Here are photos of the retreat center, the view of the water from the lounge area of the retreat and the road I walked on.

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Photo credit: Over the Rainbow Lodge
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Beautiful views of the water from the porch/deck of the retreat center
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Exquisite walks

The beds at the lodge were premium/high quality and I had great delicious sleep in the cool Pacific NW nights. I struggle occasionally with not sleeping well at quilt retreats due to uncomfortable beds and unfamiliar sounds. I sleep really well in a nice double bed to myself and had a great roommate Dana!

The Over the Rainbow Retreat Lodge is filled with art with inspirational messages. One of them is shown as the feature photo for this post.

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I will close this post with one of the inspirational messages stenciled onto the stair risers leading connecting the downstairs sewing area and the upstairs lounge and dining areas at the retreat.

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A Crafter's Life, Quilt Retreats

Sew N Go Quilt Retreat, in Pictures

This week I am sharing experiences and photos from the 4-day quilt retreat I attended this past Thursday to Sunday at Sew N Go Quilt Retreat.

Yesterday in post #1 I focused on The Road to the Retreat. Today I am sharing photos from outside and inside the retreat.

The rest of the week I will share quilts and projects (in progress and completed) during the retreat; new tools from the retreat; and stories from the retreat (although “What happens at retreat, stays in retreat”, ha!).


Sew N Go Retreat: From the Outside

The Sew N Go Retreat, in Vancouver, WA (outside of Portland, OR) is located in a private and serene setting on a couple acres of land. There is a main house,  a barn, and several cool outbuildings from the main house to include the Retreat Center.

The main house has many comfortable bedrooms for quilters (some are dormitory style with up to 4 beds in a room), several bathrooms, a large dining room area, and a cozy living room for hanging out and reading with a kitty to cuddle  (optional) if you like.

The Retreat Center which has plenty of room for sewing; its own bathroom and kitchenette; and additional sleeping areas (in case you get sleepy while sewing, ha!).

The first two days of the retreat it was sunny and in the 70s in the Portland area. Of course I did not think of taking photos while it was sunny. I waited until it was a normal Portland rainy day to take photos on the 3rd day of retreat!

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The main house where quilters sleep, shower, lounge in the cozy living room, and where meals are served
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The property and the barn in the distance
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Some of the outside seating areas (it was overcast when I took these photos)
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A shed decorated with flowers
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The Retreat Center, Photo credit: Sew N Go Facebook page

Sew N Go Retreat: From the Inside

THE MAIN HOUSE (What a quilt retreat really looks like while quilters are staying there):

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Abby the Quilt Retreat Kitty 

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I am ready to snuggle with any quilters that are interested. Come read your book on the sofa with me and these quilts!

THE RETREAT CENTER (What a quilt retreat center really looks like while quilters are making a mess working on projects in there!):

And…as I discussed in the post My New Quilt Retreat Gadget – the battle for power strip/surge protector outlet spots:

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Look there are still some empty spots (but not for long…my table mate pulled out her other numerous electronic devices and that was it for the outlets!)

Postscript

One of the tierneycreates readers asked more about xeriscaping related to the post Tuesday…an update, in which I share photos of my xeriscaped (low water, native plant, no grass) front yard landscape.

I wanted to share a photo of a house I came across during my walk in my neighborhood which recently engaged in EXTREME XERISCAPING. They removed their front yard grass and all plants and replaced them with rocks.

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No water required!

Perhaps the correct term is “NON-SCAPING”!

A Crafter's Life, Audiobooks and Podcasts

Tuesday…an update

The past five Mondays I hiked up or walked around Pilot Butte and shared my tale.

Sunday evening, 5/15/16,  I returned from a four-day quilt retreat at Sew-N-Go Quilt Retreat with my longtime “Quilt Sisters” from Oregon, Washington and California. Monday I spent recovering from my drive and unpacking (unpacking did involve trying to figure out what to do with the new fabric and quilting tools I acquired while at the quilt retreat…other quilters are bad influences!).

So I skipped Pilot Butte on Monday. I am not sure if the 2 mile walk with Terry “the Quilting Husband” and the dogs made up for it, but at least I did something besides fondling my new fabric purchases.

I will share my adventures related to quilt retreating in my posts the rest of this week, but I wanted to follow up on last week’s post The Monday, Post “Yard Bark Mulching” in which I discussed “xeriscaping” (low water landscaping with native plants) and laying down endless bark mulch.

One of the tierneycreates blog readers asked to see photos and here they are:


Xeriscaped Front Yard (with fresh hemlock bark mulch)


Another example of a Central Oregon xeriscaped yard from my neighborhood (they used rocks instead of bark mulch):

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Gratuitous flower photo: My lovely irises in bloom

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If you want to read more about xeriscaping check out the online publication Introduction to Xeriscaping in the High Desert.


Postscript

As I mentioned, the rest of the week I will share stories and photos from the quilt retreat I attended.

Currently I listening to the audiobook – The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life by Michael Puett and Christine Gross-Loh.

Parts of this book seem fairly esoteric, while other parts are deeply profound and very accessible. If you can be patient through some of the more scholarly sections (the author is a Harvard professor) you will be rewarded with timeless insights into human nature from ancient Chinese philosophers.

I feel I grow more enlightened by listening to this excellent audiobook.

The disease of men is that they neglect their own fields and go to weed the fields of others. – Mencius

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Photo credit: simonandschuster.com
A Crafter's Life, Quilt Retreats

Repost: Road Trip

 

As I prepare to head out to my annual quilting retreat with my “quilting sisters” tomorrow, I thought I would repost a story from May 2015 about my road trip to my quilt retreat and finding “car buddies”.


ROAD TRIP (May 2015)

Last May I attend the Sew N Go Retreat in Vancouver, WA (outside of Portland, OR) for the first time. I live about 3.5 + hours from Vancouver, WA and  last year, I drove to the retreat with a friend who was also attending. Last Thursday I returned to the retreat, and this time I drove alone.

I was bummed, at first, to drive alone this year to the retreat. All I could think was: “3.5 + hours in the car, not fun”.  I was wrong. Road trips with friends are great, however it can be quite fun to go  on a solo road trip!

My husband and I both have older cars (we are all about having paid off cars) and I borrowed my husband’s car, the newer car (which is only 10 years old instead of 14+ years old like my car). My husband teases me that soon my car can be registered as an “antique”, however I do not think there is much of an automobile collector’s market for classic 2001 Saturns (perhaps there is one person in Uruguay who dreams of owning a non luxury old Saturn).

One of the drawbacks with older cars is you do not have the cool technology you have with newer cars – like a built in jack for your iPhone to allow you play tunes through the car radio. I did have an old FM transmitter powered by the car jack (formerly known in the old days as “the cigarette lighter”) and once I found a FM radio channel not used by any station, I was able to transmit my tunes through the car radio!

Armed with a package of roasted almonds, a container of blueberries, water, a turkey sandwich (I was eating healthy on the way to the quilting retreat as I planned to make naughty food choices the next 4 days) and my iTunes mixes on my iPhone, I was ready for my road trip! There is something very relaxing about listening to music alone on a long drive.

Most of my drive was pretty scenic, even if it was overcast, as I journeyed through part of the Cascade Mountain range with little traffic on a Thursday morning. There were a couple moments of what I would call “pure bliss” where it was just me, the road and my tunes. I felt light and carefree and at peace with all around me. I promised myself on the drive not to think about any life worries or concerns; not think about work; and not try to plan my life (I tend to be an over-planner). I had decided to just be in the moment on my drive.

Car Buddies

Along the highway on my trip I would find “Car Buddies“. For more years then I remember I have always been into finding imaginary “Car Buddies” when on long drives.

What are “Car Buddies”? Car Buddies are other cars that you follow for a long period of time. If you are on a one lane highway and a passing lane appears, you do not pass them, They are your buddy and you stay behind them maintaining a reasonable speed. The most appealing car buddies of course, are those who are going an acceptable speed!

Sometimes if I have been with a car buddy for a long time on the road I get kind of sad for a moment when they take an exit that I am not taking. I always say aloud: “bye-bye car buddy, thanks and take care!”  Yes I am weird. I have imaginary friendships and connections with other cars on the road.

Hey you never know when you are driving long distance, if I am behind you, making you my imaginary Car Buddy!

A bonus to the peaceful and relaxing road trip was that I was headed to a fun weekend. However I did not want the road trip to end – as I got closer, I wished I had a further to drive!

A Crafter's Life, Audiobooks and Podcasts, Quilt Retreats

My New Quilt Retreat Gadget

Check out Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s blog page Schnauzer Snips for her latest musings.


Getting excited – less than a week until I join my long-time quilting friends group, The Jelly Rollers, at our Annual Quilt Retreat!

This time I am bringing a new gadget to the quilt retreat. No it is not a new rotary cutter, or special quilting ruler. It is a 4-Port USB charger!

At a quilt retreat it can be “battle for the outlets” and/or “battle for the surge protectors”.

You have a group of quilters with their sewing machines, their special sewing lights, their portable irons, and various other quilting related devices requiring electrical power. In addition to the sewing paraphernalia that requires a power source, quilters have their laptops, tablets, and smart phone all in need of charging.

Imagine a group of people, sitting in a pod (two or four tables connected) sharing just a couple surge protectors (also imagine me saying this in my best Rod Serling, Twilight Zone host voice…) – yes, you guessed it: Battle for the Outlets!  

(Live on Pay-Per-View: See quilters viciously battle for power outlets – oh the carnage!)

What I have done in the past is alternate between charging my iPhone or iPad (you need your iPad of course at a Quilt Retreat for easy access to your online patterns, sharing photos, and of course having a moment of distraction from quilting with those addictive iPad games!).

Now with my new 4-Port USB charger – no more switching out. I also have a 2-port charger (I discovered this first before learning there was a 4-port USB charger option).

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These nifty devices are available from various manufacturers but my 2-port and 4-port USB chargers are by iClever (I love the name)/Hisgadget, Inc. and you can find them reasonably priced online (I got mine through Amazon.com).

You can see on the 2-port charger I have already written my name (so there is no confusion at the quilt retreat in case another quilter has also discovered this wonderful device).

Bring on the quilt retreat fun!


Postscript

I finished Arianna Huffington’s wonderful audiobook – The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time. I am now inspired to get lots of healing sleep!

I did have a brief moment of panic on finishing the audiobook as I did not have another audiobook to start. However when I returned from my walk I had an e-mail from my local public library notifying me that the audiobook I have on hold, Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg was now available for download!

Yes! Loading up the iPhone with my next listen!

(I think my heart skips a beat in anticipation and happiness when I receive an e-mail from the library with title “Library Item Now Available”)

Studio, What's on the Design Wall

What’s On the Design Wall: Not What Should Be There…

Check out Sassy the highly opinionated miniature schnauzer’s blog on the page Schnauzer Snips for her latest thoughts and adventures. 

This is the last of my series of posts on the 4-day quilting retreat I attended last weekend. In my post Getting Ready to “Retreat” I shared photos of the projects I was bringing to the quilting retreat to work on during the retreat.

So one would expect that they would see on my Design Wall a work in progress (or near completion) that I worked on during the retreat – right?

Nope.

What is on my Design Wall is what should not be on my design wall: a quilt I started at the retreat because someone else was working on it and I liked it! This is how new UFOs (unfinished objects) are born!

My Quilt Sister Barb was working on a pattern called Right on Target by A Quilter’s Dream (2013) at the retreat. It involved taking 2 1/2 inch strips from say a pre-cut jelly roll and making a quilt by essentially making one giant log cabin square-in-a-square block. I happened to have a Hoffman Bali Pop on me (a set of 40 pre-cut 2 1/2 inch coordinated batik fabric strips) which was perfect for this pattern. Next thing you know, I had abandoned what I was working on for the afternoon at the retreat and borrowed her pattern and started making the same quilt!

Of course this only reinforces what I discussed in my post Creative Inspiration: What Others are Working On! I know I am not the only quilter to do this – there is something so engaging when you see a quilt in progress that is very appealing and the pattern is very easy!

What became of the projects that I brought to the retreat? Well the two UFOs in boxes (in the photos in the Getting Ready to “Retreat” post) I did not even touch (I guess I brought them as decoration for my assigned work table). Instead I worked on a log jam project (refer to my numerous posts on Log Jamming), started a new project as mentioned above, went on a quilt store shop hop, ate way too much naughty food, and in general goofed off and visited with quilt friends. My kind of retreat weekend!

A Crafter's Life

Justification!

Just returned from a 4-day quilt retreat with my quilt sisters and I will blog more about that later. I am still unpacking and sorting out the damage from our mini quilt “shop hop” during our retreat.

I wanted to share this gem that the woman who ran the quilting retreat gave the attendees (a free handout from Ben Franklin Crafts):

10 Good Reasons for Buying Fabric

  1. It insulates the closet where it is kept.
  2. It is less expensive and more fun than psychiatric care.
  3. A sudden increase in the boll weevil population might wipe out the cotton crop for the next 10 years.
  4. I’m participating in a contest – the one who dies with most fabric wins!
  5. Because I’m worth it!
  6. It’s not immoral, illegal or fattening. It calms the nerves, gratifies the soul, and makes me feel good!
  7. Buy it now, before your husband retires and goes with you on all your shopping expeditions.
  8. It helps keep the economy going. It is our patriotic duty to protect the jobs of textile mill workers, and quilt shop staff with cute babies and grandchildren.
  9. It keeps the dust off those previously empty spaces like the dining room table or the living room floor
  10. It keeps without refrigeration, you don’t have to cook it to enjoy it, you never have to feed it, burp it, change it, wipe its nose, or walk it!

– Ben Franklin Crafts  

New fabric purchases from the quilting retreat weekend…perhaps there are others…still sorting out…

My purchases are justified!