Sunday, June 14, 2020

The Virtual Retreat - Day One

What a FUN filled day!!! Thanks to EVERYONE who logged in to share the virtual retreat experience. Nina joined us from Germany again - so fun to see what's going on in Europe. And Lucy joined us from Alabama - LOVE that southern accent. And loads from Ontario. A few new faces and lots of existing friends. They popped in and out all day!!

What I love about this is that it doesn't matter where in the world you live, you can join in. And wherever you are in the world, we are all experiencing the same thing with the pandemic, so we have lots of things to talk about and compare. Plus - we're all quilters, and thus we would never run out of conversation!!!!

If you have time, come and pop in today. The link is at the end of the post. If you do pop in, I'm going to ask just one favor! At least at the beginning, open your video link and audio or at least audio and say HI. I had to delete someone yesterday because I didn't know who they were.  I felt terrible about doing it, but I had no idea if that person was a lurker or not. I have the power to do that, and then you can't get back into that meeting. That person did contact me later that morning, so hopefully, she'll come and visit today. So come on in and say HI and then you can mute yourself and turn your video off, but I need to know that you are a legitimate person.

We saw some great projects being finished, but I only got one picture to share with you. Mary and Sheila were making masks. These are the masks that Mary was making for her daughter and son-in-law. Only the Little Mermaid mask was for her daughter - the rest of the masks are for her son-in-law. He LOVES bright colors, and now he has masks that match his work shirts. You gotta love that!!!!!

Mary's masks

Now, I'm probably going to get this wrong, but we had two great mak patterns referred to yesterday. Mary was using the FU mask pattern. Here's a link to a video and the instructions.  This style of mask is a better fit than the ones with the pleats. Mary was initially using pipe cleaners in the nose to allow it to follow the contour of the nose for a tighter fit. She sent her husband to the dollar store to get more pipe cleaners (she's made a LOT of masks), but alas, there were no pipe cleaners to be had. Instead, he bought some kind of metal pick used to support plants or something. I didn't quite get the name, but they were PERFECT for the masks as each one is about 5 inches long. They come in a pack of 420. So I think she should use up the entire package! That idea got struck down very quickly!!!

Hmmm - I can't find the packaging - perhaps Mary can send it to me so I can post it. They worked like a charm and were $2 a pack at Dollarama.

Sheila was also working on masks and was using the Jesse pattern from The Fabric Patch.  This one has a LOT of instructions for getting a tight fit. This isn't something you can do if you're making masks to be donated or sold to the general population, but if you're making one for yourself or a friend or family member, then these ones can be made very specifically.

Considering that we may have to wear masks (in certain instances) for a LONG, LONG time, it's not a bad idea to invest in a couple of these masks. Either pattern has a much better fit than the ones with pleats. And notice that Mary used TIES for her masks. The feedback I've heard is that TIES are better. They fit better and provide a tighter seal around the mouth and nose.

I guess I should make myself at least one more! I only have one, and it's the pleated one, and while it works, it doesn't fit tight.

But here's the thing - if you are going to wear a mask, wear it properly. I see so many people with the mask covering their mouth only!!!  Hey - air goes through your nose, and droplets can enter and exit your body through your nose!!! Just saying.....................

I learn so many things from these virtual retreats. How one goes about getting a motorcycle license, how to fit a mask, what to do with my Row by Row license plates, the cost of batting and thread for the long arm, AND how to attach quilted items to the wall. We had been talking about Sticky Tac - the CHEAP blue stuff. Apparently, it doesn't work well. You need to buy the UHU brand, which is white - it works way better. 

At the end of the day, Mary sent me a photo. She's used the Sticky Tack to hang up her fabric postcards, which is a brilliant idea since, why should they be tucked away so you can't enjoy them? As they fall down, she's replacing the cheap stuff with the good stuff. And guess what? One of the postcards was on the floor! Out with the old, in with the new!!!!

Mary's fallen postcard!

It would have been bizarre if the one that fell was the one that I gave her, but it wasn't!!

I can't wait to see who logs in today!!!! And I can't wait to see what I learn!

I did get a LOT of work done yesterday. I'm learning how to sew and chat at the same time.

I need to keep pace with the long arm schedule, so I ran it in the background on a Quilts of Valour quilt. Isn't this a gorgeous quilt? The "kit" was put together by Helen Anne with two main pieces of ombre fabric that were not from the same colorway. I think a few other brights got added. Diane worked her magic and added a few more bits (including the black) and some other colors to get this!!! I LOVE it, and it's so bright and cheery.

Quilts of Valour quilt - DONE

I used one of my favorite edge-to-edge designs on the quilt. I believe it's called Abacus. Anyway - I love it, and what I love about the computer on the long arm is that I can make this pattern small or make it large depending on the end-use. I made it large for this quilt, but when I quilted my backpack, I made the design much smaller.

Edge-to-edge quilting pattern

But see the fun that we're having with my stash and making gorgeous quilts out of bits and pieces. I almost have Diane converted to loving scrap quilts. YES - she was not a scrap quilt maker when she started making these quilts, but I think she did an amazing job on this one.

Then I was working like mad at the domestic sewing machine trying to get that little mini-quilt for my Mom quilted. And it's quilted!!!!

Mini-quilt for my Mom

Now all the quilts that were quilted in the last couple of days are trimmed and ready for binding or pick-up. That's exciting. I hope to finish this small quilt today. It shouldn't take long to get the hanger on the back, sew on the binding, add a label and embellish it with the buttons. I can DO it and get it in the mail BEFORE summer starts next weekend.

She may not get it before summer since the mail is totally crazy these days, but that's OK - it'll be out of my house.

I had to do a bit of tidying in Studio U before the Retreat got started and look what I found! More little blue and white half-square triangles from our Christmas Fig project. They are NOW trimmed and in the bag with the rest. I think that's all of the half-square triangles now sewn and trimmed. I'll wait until all the blocks are done and then decide what to do with them.

Half-square triangles for Christmas Fig
 I also found a bag of half-square triangles that are sewn. They just need to be pressed and trimmed. They are now sitting on the ironing board so I can do a few a day! They are boring to do for hours at a time, but a few here and there and POOF - they'll be done!

More half-square triangles to trim
I was getting tired of looking at all these empty containers. Besides, Studio B is upside down at the moment. To make some visual space, I moved these empty containers to that empty space under the stairs. At some point, I'll use them, but I know where they are, and I'll dig them out when I need them. In the meantime, they're no longer cluttering up space. All is good!! I hope there'll be a whole lot more empty containers as I sort through stuff and put in those labeled boxes. For the moment, that project is on hold.

Empty containers

 I also got all but ONE of those paper pieced blocks done!!! I kept plugging away while I chatted with everyone. All I can say is thank goodness for the Virtual Retreat. I would not have worked that long on them without the distraction! THANK YOU to everyone for distracting me!!!

Paper piecing bits

Once I get that last block done, I need to work on the sashing to join the blocks. That's a bit complicated, but it's all going to be worth it. I might even get the top together today. That would be awesome, and the next quilt is loaded on the long arm. I'll run it in the background today as well. Like I said, the list for June is long, and I'm on track. I just don't want to get off track.

So TODAY is the last day of this month's Virtual Retreat. Be sure to stop in and say HI. If for no other reason than to be nosey! Just to see what's going on. I would!!!

Here's the Zoom link for Sunday, June 14th
The Retreat starts at 9 AM EST And runs until 8 PM EST.

Meeting ID: 827 9514 0672 Password: 928966

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 874 9764 6724 Password: 879533

Feel free to drop in for a few minutes to say hi or stay for an hour or stay all day. Your choice and it's free for you to participate. You don't even have to be sewing - just come and chat. As I said yesterday, it's very close to being right there with everyone. It's a lot of fun. 


On that note, I"m out of here!!! I've got loads on the agenda today while I Zoom with you all!!!

Have a super day!!!!


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