Monday, June 15, 2020

The Virtual Retreat - Day Two

Oh my gosh -- I don't remember when I had so much fun at home in isolation! We had another fantastic day with the Virtual Retreat via Zoom. People were coming and going all day, and I know I missed chatting with a couple of them. Sorry for that - it's just that at times, the conversation was super busy and others where I had to babysit the long arm! So I didn't get to visit with everyone.

Did I learn stuff? Oh, yes - you bet. The most exciting thing I learned was how to override the shut-off on my iron. This has been bothering me for years, almost to the point of hating that particular iron. Thanks to Paul, I now know how to override the shut-off. Thank you, Paul - you're the best.

There was so much other information flying around yesterday that my brain was in overload, but what fun! I still have questions to ask some of the people - what's going on in their area - what are they working on? And it was fun to see some return participants from the first Virtual Retreat, and we got to see their finished projects. Yeah!!!!

I got to see people that I haven't seen in a long time (hello Laura!), and my aunt logged in for a bit (hello Yvonne). We talked about African fabrics (with Jackie and Daphne) and quilts, had some great show and tell (thanks Daphne), and well - it was a very good day. I want to know why Daphne was able to put her hands on her African quilts within seconds!

Guess what?? We're going to schedule another Virtual Retreat in July! I know - that's so exciting. I'm looking forward to it. Don't worry - I'll give you plenty of advance notice - I'm thinking the weekend of July 17 and 18 or whatever the dates are for that weekend.

So what happened??

Let's start with Mary - she was making more masks, and she shared the packaging for the wire picks. They are Flexible Wire Picks, and her husband found them at Dollarama in the craft section. So there you go - if you're into making masks, these are perfect for the nose part.

Flexible Wire Picks

Heather sent me a photo and a note saying that with the motivation of the group, she finished the last of her snowflake quilts. They are stunning. I wonder what her neighbors thought of those quilts laid out on her front lawn? Knowing Heather, the neighbors probably just shake their heads and say - there's that crazy quilter again!

Snowflake quilts

Laura showed us some folded flowers that she was making. I didn't get a picture. I'll see if I can get a picture. They were beautiful roses!!

Carol is still working with her HUGE collection of license plates from Row by Row. Elaine S was making snowball blocks. Colleen was finishing up some huge quilts. Shelly was making tree blocks. Karen almost finished a GIANT quilt, and well - there was just a whole lot of sewing going on. I think everyone is settling into the routine of sewing and chatting at the same time.

While it's not the same as physically having the people in the same room, their presence is LARGER than life! The best part - we get to meet new friends from all over, no one has to pack up and carry their stuff, and we still get to visit as if we were all in the same room. The technology is brilliant!!

And just like in real life, after a day filled with laughter and chatter, when I ended the meeting last night, it was kind of sad. The room immediately went quiet. I was alone!

I accomplished a lot yesterday, but Studio B was a bit of a mess when I left it. Did that weigh on my mind all night, or was I just excited to get back to it this morning? Needless to say, I was up rather early, and everything is now tidied up.

I finished all my paper pieced blocks yesterday, and this morning, I cleaned up the scraps and swooped them into a pet mat bag.

The scraps from paper piecing

My scrap box on the cutting table was also getting a wee bit full, so that got emptied as well.

The overflowing scrap box

I did manage to get another quilt quilted on the long arm. This one is also for Quilts of Valour. I have one more to quilt this month. I'll be back to customer quilts later this week.

Quilts of Valour quilt - done

I randomly choose the bubble pattern, and then when I was in the middle of quilting it - I thought - X's and O's. My subconscious picked that pattern, I guess! 

However, I noticed a wee mishap with this quilt top. There's a cut in one of the blocks. I never saw it until it was on the frame. Oh well - a small applique patch will take care of that!!!

A wee mishap

It happens, and it's not the end of the world. I was winding a bobbin, and for the first time EVER, I noticed a thread join in my Aurifil thread. Where did that come from? Luckily it went in the bobbin, and I had no issues with it.

A thread join in my cone of thread

I have the best news ever!!!  My mini-quilt top for my swap partner is DONE!!!! This is just a sneak peek, as I think it's only fair that the recipient is the first one to see it. I made up the design, and I think it's adorable. She's going to love it. Just wait for the story!!  There was some paper piecing involved, and there was some improv piecing. It went together just as I planned. As much as one can plan when doing improv.

A sneak peek at my mini-quilt

The task for today is to get rid of the paper from the paper pieced blocks and hopefully get it quilted. I've started to remove the paper: one block down, thirteen to go.

Removing the paper from the paper pieced blocks

I have another quilt loaded on the long arm, so while I babysit that, I can rip the paper out and then get this one on the long arm. It can be done!!!

I trimmed the quilt that I quilted yesterday, and it's now been added to the stack of quilts to bind! I don't think I can go much higher before it wants to tip over. I should try to get one quilt bound each day, or I'll never get through that stack. My priority is the ones for Quilts of Valour, but I have other things that are even higher on the priority list at the moment!

The stack of quilts to be bound

The other bit of good news is that I got the binding on the mini quilt for my Mom.

The binding on the mini-quilt

The two corner hangers are also sewn in place.

The hanger triangles are on the mini-quilt

All that's left is to put the buttons on and make a label. That's also a job for today.

I do have two urgent quilts that need to be cut out and started. One is the Cherrywood Challenge that is due on July 1st. Two weeks - LOADS of time to get that done! And the other one, I'm still waiting for some fabric before I can move ahead. So all is good - I've got a schedule, and I've got a plan. The other thing? I've got the time. I'm not going anywhere or doing anything except sewing! However, I do hope to make it out to the gazebo for a wee bit later today. I might need a nap!!!

So if you're thinking about the Virtual Retreat and wondering if you should come and check it out? The answer is YES. I've received many texts and e-mails with pictures or comments about how much fun people had! I set up the Virtual Retreat for ME, but I'm so happy to share it with all of you! Of course, without you, it would be just me, and what's the point of that? I think we should get used to this kind of thing - it's going to be the new norm. The best part was getting to know people that we would never meet otherwise!!!!

Thank you to EVERYONE who stopped in. We had Saskatchewan (Hi Susan), BC, Ontario, and Alabama represented yesterday!!! So much fun to see you all!!!

Oh yes - I promised to share the link for the quilt that Susan shared. Here's the link to Edith Choiniere's website. And here's the link to the house quilt that Susan was working on.   Scroll down to see the houses. She offers her patterns FREE (one block per month), and then if you miss the monthly download, you can buy the patterns. They are gorgeous. Get on her mailing list!!!!

I think that covers everything I was going to share. If I missed something, let me know.

On that note - have a super day!!!!!


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