Friday, July 7, 2017

Retreat Day Two

Another amazing day at the sewing retreat.  I don't think I've ever had a bad day at a sewing retreat. Oh yes - there was one. I had spent the entire day sewing, only to realise that I hadn't done anything correctly that particular day.  I had to rip out what I had sewn entirely. That hurt!

I was up early, but not the earliest. And I have to say that we all get along nicely.  No what I mean is that our personalities just blend together. Anyway, it all works out. Despite the fact that I lounged around a lot yesterday, I managed to get ALL nine of the flamingos done!  Well, except for the bit that I goofed on.  How silly of me because I could have sewn the quilt top together.  Nope - I got 8.5 blocks done!  But they look great and I ended up NOT doing some in the opposite direction. Have to be different from the designer!  I might end up arranging them slightly different (although with nine HUGE blocks, I'm not sure how different I can get. But I'm going to try. 

I finished the last one after dinner, but I was to the point that I didn't need the instructions any more and there are a lot of pieces in this block. If you are going to make the flamingo, save yourself some hassle and label everything. 

Then I was onto the next little project. It was something that I threw in my bag at the last minute. NOT cut, just threw in fabrics. I'm happy to report that I finished it last night. I got the main part of the project done. I'm dancing around showing everyone. Then I had my ice cream cone that I'd been putting off ALL evening as I was busy sewing and the ice cream was going to be my reward. I have my ice cream and because the cones are flat bottomed, I could set it on the table and I whipped on the little border.  I throw the little quilt on the wall and I sit in my chair to contemplate it's cuteness. 

Wait a minute, something looks weird!  Get the pattern out - OH GOD - I made a mistake!  Two key pieces were sewn on backwards!  Now why didn't I notice that BEFORE I sewed the borders on?  Bottom line, I was too tired to fix it last night so that is the first thing on my plate today.  Let's just say it was another fiddly project like the flamingos. I know someone back home who is going to be pretty excited about this project. 

Today, I'm sewing something super simple - just because I need a break from all that craziness in the last two days of working with tiny pieces - some of the pieces in the flamingo were cut 3/4".   That is NO typo!

And there are a couple of projects that keep making the retreat bag (for years) and never get done.  I'm going to focus on three such projects today!

Now what else has been going on here?  I went for a bike ride yesterday. About 33 K.  It was glorious fun and the temperature was perfect. I just sailed along without a care in the world and enjoyed every minute of it. No bird incidents - I think it was last summer when the bird flew out of the grass on the side of the road, hit my leg and pooped all over me!  No such incidents, although the signal man at the construction side was real good looking!

I did pop over to the quilt store and managed to find ONE of the two fabrics that I'm looking for.  Well not specific fabrics, but for one, I have a bundle of fat quarters designated for a project, but couldn't find any background at home. That was on my shopping list. That's the ONLY thing I bought! I couldn't find anything that was suitable for the other missing fabric. Well, I did find something, but it happened to be a Northcott and I thought that would be too weird to actually buy what I can get for less. I'll check my stash before I do any more shopping for that one. 

Popped into the used book store. Nothing in the craft section that caught my eye. I was going to buy a novel or two, but the next two books that I need to read in the next two series I chose - well I have both books at home. Makes no sense to buy more so I didn't.  Stopped at Tim's for a tea and back to the retreat house to find the sewing room empty!  AHA - they are on the deck out back.  We all had our Tim's at that point and spent a LONG LONG time chatting to each other. It was great and we all have such interesting stories to tell, especially about our backgrounds and that's all I'm going to say!

I did one other non-sewing task yesterday. I brought up a bunch of quilts with me so I could photograph them in this gorgeous setting. It's not the first time I did this  - well first time here. I had such high hopes - there are lots of gorgeous settings inside and outside and while riding my bike, I had visions of this would be a great spot, that would be a great spot, etc.  So once the sun disappeared from my location, I was out there, moving stuff around (I asked permission - don't worry!) and snapping photos. Then my battery died.  I KNOW I had the charger in my hand before I left home, but do you think I can find it?  I have no idea where I packed it or did I leave it beside my computer at home?  Or did I put it back in the drawer when I was finished with the other charger?  Got to send a message home this morning to know if I need to waste more time searching. DRAT - I was on a roll, I think I got a couple of good shots and I'd be upset if I couldn't continue today!

So here are the pictures I uploaded to share with you today.  I was babysitting two embroidery machines - remember?  I decided that the corner where those Halloween blocks were sitting was messy and there were a few more that were going to be added so I moved them around to save some space. 

Halloween blocks  
Did you count how many were in yesterday's photo? There should have been six.  Did you count how many are in today's photo?  YES - there are eight!  On Sunday, I managed to get TWO more blocks done. These blocks are VERY time consuming.  They are machine applique embroidery and take hours.  By the time you follow all the directions and trim and place and clip threads and change thread colors, it's very time consuming. And despite the fact that my machine is not that old, it's slow! But the process is very fast compared to my first embroidery machine so I'm not going to complain!

Two new blocks completed
I still have to tidy up the blocks, trim threads, trim the blocks. But I'm waiting to do all that when I get all the blocks done.

And now did you count the blocks?

Yep - there are NINE blocks now

I was bustling around the studio the other night and said, why not get one more block done! So I did!  I have nine done and there are 25 in the quilt!  If I'm really smart, I should at least try to get one done a week - no, I'd better work a bit faster than that!  There are sashings as well.  Yep - better keep working on this one.

Yesterday, I learned the hard way how to cook oatmeal. I packed the container of oatmeal that I had in the cupboard. Oh - this is the SLOW cooking oatmeal.  I tried the microwave (as per the instructions), but no idea how to set the microwave on medium. Yes - the oatmeal boiled over. I got out the pot and cooked it on the stove.  TWENTY-FIVE minutes for a bowl of oatmeal!  I remember standing at the stove as a wee thing stirring the pot of oatmeal so it wouldn't stick to the pot. Not so bad when you're cooking for 5, but one tiny bowl of oatmeal?  Oh well.  Live and learn  - read the label next time. I hate to see the oatmeal go to waste, so 25 minutes it is!  At home, I can throw it in the microwave. Still 15 minutes in the microwave is a LONG time!

On that note, I'm out of here. I still have more computer work and I'm in the kitchen. Once the others get up, the kitchen becomes distracting so I can't work.  I hope to get done today what I was supposed to get done yesterday!

Have a great day!



  1. Cute Halloween blocks, where did you get the pattern?

    1. It's an Anitagoodesign called Halloween Town.