Sunday, April 24, 2011


The last couple of days have been an absolute whirlwind of activity and I've so much to share with you - well I'll do the best I can.

This weekend is an "in-store" retreat at Cockadoodle. Joanne is in fine form keeping us fed - allowing us to focus on sewing. Imagine being "locked" in a quilt store - someone serves you food and you sew all day - I mean all day. Well that is what I think heaven will be like!!!!

Friday (after that huge brunch), I arrived around four and settled in to get my homework done for Saturday AM. Yes - I know - last minute me!!!!!   Well I managed to plow through it - it was paper piecing and the pieces were precut so it was easy to get through all 16 pieces.
My homework - NOT trimmed
My homework and what NOT to do - can you spot the mistake?????  Once it is trimmed, i don't think anyone will see it. I think I am going to leave it. Oh my god - I am turning into Mary!!!!

Dragon Star by Judy Niemeyer - this is the quilt we are working on

Pauline - beautiful soft colours

Anne - nice BRIGHTER colours Anne!!!!

Janet - who thinks her colours are dull. NOT!!!!!

Jo - with neutrals and PINK!

Linda - love the pinks, blues and purples

Marg - beautiful batiks!

Marion - nice blues - turquoises

Mrytle - with PURPLE!

My center - purple and green

Wendy - with her WILD colours. 

Katheleen just started with us and I know she will catch up. I think everyone has done an amazing job so far. And these quilts are all going to look amazing when they are done. Just remember girls - when paper piecing FOLLOW the numbers - do not get CREATIVE. Now go back and see if you can spot the error on that second photo of mine!!!!  

Also had the Christmas Heart Light class and their homework was pretty awesome as well.
Christmas Heart Lights by Susie M. Robbins

Large Heart Block - they had to make four of these

Large Heart Block - they had to make four of these

Large Heart Block - they had to make four of these - ooops Lisa made FIVE!!!!! Two of these belong to Lesley

So yes - they had to make four of the large heart block. Some made theirs all the same while others decided to make each one different. It is amazing to see all the different fabrics and all the different styles. Some people did their hearts by hand, some with one single heart, some did them the same way as the book, other off set the hearts - added more or less. Threads colours varied  from red to green to metallic to cream. Satin stitches, blanket stitch and others. Some hearts were pieced and some were crazy patch with a variety of machine stitches. It was an AWESOME Show n tell. I think everyone is enjoying the class very much. WAY TO GO!!!!!!!!
Janet`s homework from last month

Janet was ill and unable to attend the last class. She brought her homework and of course - we all questioned her BROWN block. Well it turns out that she is going put that one in the tree stump position. HOW CLEVER!!!!!  
Judy`s homework from last month

That is what I love about all these ongoing classes I teach. The level of creativity from EVERYONE is awesome and we are all learning from each other. If you get a chance to take one of these classes - honestly it is so worth your time and effort (OK - so you have to make a quilt while doing it - no class auditing!!!). Watch for what we are going to do next year. There is stuff in the works.

I am also looking for ideas so if anyone has a particular quilt that you have always wanted to make, but it looks too complicated or too much work - let me know. I am always looking for ideas and those patterns are always easier if it is broken down. Honestly - Dragon Star is COMPLICATED if you read the designer`s instructions. If you read mine - it is a piece of cake. Just ask the participants!!  (I hope they would say that!)

Don`t worry girls - I will post the homework tomorrow with all the details.

Oh yes - when I arrived at the Hobby Horse for my class - have a look at the parking lot - I thought it was picture worthy!!!

The RED CAR convention (and you can see in the mirror at the bottom - my car is also red!!!)

Remember those Baskets of our favourite things????   Helen Anne brought in her baskets yesterday.

Helen Anne - my favourite things basket blocks  - I made the top right hand one.  The bottom right hand is significantly larger than the others and some of them (the bottom left) is quite HEAVY with stuff compared to the others

Helen Anne - my favourite things basket blocks (top left is very heavy!) 

It has been so much fun to go back and look at these blocks. We did them a LONG time ago. Hard to believe it was 2001!!!!!  I don't know if this will show up very well or not, but have a close look at the next picture.

Helen Anne - inking

Helen Anne had taken a class with Elly Sienkiewicz around this time and she made a beautiful basket of roses (top right in the second photo). Then she inked all the blocks. I am SO JEALOUS!!!!!!   She just used a small pigma pen, but her writing is BEAUTIFUL. Mine would look like kindergarten block letters!!!!   Awesome job Helen Anne!!!!   Can't wait to see it complete!!!!

Then it was off to Cockadoodle. The other girls had been there since 10 AM, but I arrived around 1:30 and hit the machine HARD. Poor thing didn't know what hit it!!!   But I got a LOT done - despite all the trouble the others tried to drag me into!!!!  

And you can tell that I am POSSESSED. It has been nice each night to bring home the BAGS. Whenever I go on a retreat - I pack several (OK - more than several) projects. It is that darn dilullision doability that creeps in. So I had a few things that I no longer needed or things I had completed or needed to cut. Last night I brought the FIVE bags that had accumulated in the car during the day. I brought them into the studio last night and left them. Then I lay in bed anticipating getting up and sorting through the bags, cutting what needed to be cut for today, sorting and putting away. OK - I have GONE MAD!!!!!    But I am so happy that this tidiness thing is now a part of my life. I am way happier and with the exception of that darn Tri-Recs ruler - I pretty much know where everything is!!!

So yes - since I have left my sewing machine at the store (GASP!!!!!) I decided that I would spend my mornings doing the tidy up, and cutting and trimming - rather than do that at the store. Works for me!!!!  And I barely have time in the morning to get all that done!!!!  Oh yes - I am on a roll. Do you want to see what I have been working on?????

Well first it was the home work which you have already seen.

Patchwork Sampler - Basket - Number 40 (couldn't they get more creative than BASKET for a name?)

Patchwork Sampler - Whirlygig - Number 39
 I now have THREE blocks left to finish. Then cut the setting triangles and corners, finish up the half square triangles for the border and hey - I could be done SOON. This focus thing is a GOOD thing for me. I wish I had found it sooner. Yes - I am sure there is something that is getting left out. OH YES - all my bindings for the quilts in the quilt show!!!!   And a couple of quilts to be quilted.

Disappearing nine patch - added TWO borders. OK - so this is NOT an heirloom quilt. I made it with charm squares. It will make a good utility quilt for someone

Disappearing nine patch - binding and backing - DONE

Mini Stack n Whack (well not so mini - since it is almost 40 inches square). But yesterday AM, as I was getting ready - I thought I MUST have more of that fish fabric I used. Checked the stash room and YEP - found a big hunk of it. So added TWO borders to this quilt. Now which orientation do you prefer?????

Mini stack n Whack - do you like this orientation???  Sorry for the distortion.
 So do you have a preference????   Well it is staying in the first orientation because the border fabric is directional and that is the way I sewed it on!!!!!   (Although personally I would have done it the other way if my brain would have been working properly!!!!

Mini Stack n Whack - backing and binding (and one extra block to sew on the backing. DONE!!!!
 Now - that does NOT seem like a lot, but remember that homework took most of Friday evening.  However what I have spent most of my time working on - I can't even SHOW. Why????   Cause it is the "BARN" (inside joke) Border Creek Mystery!!!!   Joanne issued STRICT orders that I was NOT to blog the "BARN" quilt.  Well in defiance of her - here is my STUFF. There is oodles of piecing in this thing and lots of cutting and trimming and well that's all I can give you!!!!!   I will be working on it again today. Karen is on clue #5 and was a TROOPER trimming and trimming into the wee hours of the night. Raili is CAUGHT UP. Darn her!!!!   And I think there is ONE or TWO more clues to come.

Border Creek Mystery

Karen's little stash

Karen - what a happy face even after trimming for hours and it was getting late.

Well let's just say that as the night went on - the talk got crazier, no cuss jar was around (although there should have been one!!!), the food came out (the brownies were decadent and PERFECTLY chewy), new meanings for words were developed (i.e. BARN - which - well we just won't go there!!!! - it was one of those "you had to be there moments").

On that note - I just got a SOS call from Marian. Her dear husband took HER WHEELS and she needs a ride. Me - I HAVE to put gas in the car before I go anywhere so I must run. I will have MUCH more show n tell from the others and HOPEFULLY ME too. Yep - we are there all day today and tomorrow as well. WHAT AN AWESOME IDEA to have an in-store retreat. Thanks Joanne!!!!

Have a great day!!!!


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