Sunday, July 19, 2020

The Virtual Retreat - Day One

I learn all kinds of things at the Virtual Retreat. Everyone is such a wealth of information and inspiration.

I want to start by giving you a day trip option. As you know, many (OK - ALL) events have been canceled. That includes the SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) convention, which was to be held in Toronto in March. That was back in the days when the organizers were wishy-washy about canceling events. Now - there is NO choice. Cancel!

An exhibition of art quilts was put together specifically for that conference. Alas - we never got to see the quilts. However, I heard that the quilts (thanks Leslie!) are at Homer Watson House in Kitchener.   YES - the gallery is OPEN.  The exhibit is called Colour with a "U" and was created by Canadian members of SAQA.  You can visit some of the quilts in person at Homer Watson House (call for details, and I think you might have to make an appointment), or you can watch a 60-minutes virtual presentation online - the link is at the bottom of this page.

The show is on until September 7. I'd call NOW and book an appointment. You don't want to forget this show, and there's a show catalog as well that you can purchase. This sounds like a great outing with your bubble people. What are you waiting for? Call now. Well, they are not open at this moment in time, but you know what I mean.

If anyone else knows of other ongoing exhibits - let me know. I do know that some other galleries are open - not sure if there are quilt shows there or not. It's probably more art. But check your local galleries to see if they are open. They do need our support to continue to stay open.

The other thing I learned yesterday was that a brand new quilt shop is now open. Watergirl Quilt Co. in Prescott.   Can you imagine opening during this pandemic? What crazy times! So if you're in the area - you should stop in. Or you can order online.

And we learned of another shop that closed its doors but has moved online. While they are still in business, it's sad. As quilters, we need those gathering places. The shop is Quilter's Bolt in Millbrook. 

This is part of life in the small business world. I get it that we can shop online. But if you're shopping for that one particular fabric, that one special tint or shade or hue - you're NOT going to be happy to shop online. You'll never get a match. If you're shopping for a new quilt or buying a collection - that's great, but not for matching up stuff. Sigh....................

As usual, I'm never as productive during a Virtual Retreat as I am in real life. But that's OK. I did manage to get one of the Quilts of Valour quilt tops together. The backing is also ready. Normally I would load this on the long arm and get quilting it today. However, as I was working, I decided that this is the quilt that needs to be custom quilted, and the one I'm going to make today (this morning) is the one that gets the overall pattern.

I had started the second quilt top yesterday. And to make my goal happen, I cut the entire quilt top this morning. The backing is cut, and I'll sew it together and load that before the virtual retreat starts. The half-square triangles are cut and marked. The next set of borders are cut and pinned in place. Oh yes - we're going for speed this morning!

I did manage to get a customer quilt done in the morning, so that was good.
Customer quilt - DONE

I had to do a wee bit of tidying up as well. Thanks to Rose, who dropped off three quilts that are ready to be donated to Project Linus. Her machine bindings are perfect!! Thanks, Rose.

Nicely finished machine binding

This is my "trunk" of quilts that are to be donated to Project Linus. I'd better get on the phone to them and see if they have started to take donations again. The trunk is full!!! And we've got more to add in the next couple of weeks.

The trunk of quilts to donate

I'm so snoopy!! As I was looking at people's sewing spaces yesterday, I had to ask questions. OH - first, we had two people join us from outside! I love it - Heather was on her front porch binding a quilt, while her husband supplied her with coffee!! And Leslie was on her back deck sewing masks!! You got to love how we can be anywhere and still be connected to each other.

I was looking at Mary's sewing room. Holy - it was super organized, and I asked if she would share some pictures with me. This is what she sent me.

The first one is a cabinet with doors where she stores part of her fabric collection. The fabrics are folded around those comic book boards. That's just way too neat!!!!

Fabric storage

Here's another storage unit with the comic book boards. You have to LOVE IKEA. Having those cupboards with doors, keeps the room looking neat and tidy (although what's behind the doors is very neat and tidy), and keeps the light and dust off the fabric.

Another fabric storage cabinet
OK -- this section looks like the cabinet was made exactly to hold those IRIS containers. And notice that they are all labeled. Imagine how easy it would be to find something specific??

Project boxes are labeled
Here's another section. I believe those labeled totes are for the scraps. Seriously??? That's a whole lot of labeling, but finding something at Mary's house would be a breeze. ANYONE could wander in and, in a few minutes, would find exactly what they needed. This is a dream!!!

More labeled totes in Mary's studio
Here's a shot of the two cabinets side by side.

Dream storage space 

And she's also got a bookcase that's tucked away behind one of the fabric storage cabinets—what a good use of space for books that aren't often used.


We're going to call Mary's studio - Studio M, since I believe it's on the main floor of her house.

Mary -- great job in the studio. I love it, and I'm sure you can be very efficient in that space.

We got talking about sewing machines, and it was hilarious to realize that MANY of the ladies on the Zoom call had 221s, 222s, 301s, hand-crank machines, treadles, and a whole lot of older sewing machine. Not only did they own them, but they are using them DAILY!!! Yep - so much for the big, fancy machines! If anyone has a 301 that you want to get rid of, I know of someone looking for one. It's not me.

When Carol logged on, I saw right away what was hanging in her studio that hadn't been there before. At the last Virtual Retreat, Carol had been working on a project with her license plates from the Row by Row Experience.

The project is now done, and it looks incredible.

Here's a close up of one section. Carol sewed a frame around each of the license plates. Then added a border along the entire length.
Carol's license plate border

She sewed the "blocks" into long rows and has hung them on the bulkheads in her studio. She sent me a couple of videos - hopefully, you can see them.  You may have to click the small PLAY button in the left-hand corner if the big PLAY button doesn't work. They should work - I watched them myself.

OH MY GOD -- those are fabulous!!! I love what she did. She broke them down into categories - one theme was "naughty" sayings, one has sayings that related to her and I can't remember the other theme. But they look amazing. Great job Carol!!!  The only sad part of this is that she still has a LOT (over one hundred) license plates!! Sigh............   It seemed like a good idea at the time to collect them!! I'm sure she'll come up with something very creative to use the rest.

 We got to see some familiar faces yesterday and met some new ones as well. Hello to Jill and Morgan. Hmm - I can't remember right now if there was anyone else who was new.

Seriously - it was loads of fun as we got to see what is happening around the country with quilting, the pandemic, the pandemic, and quilting. What stores are opening, what stores are closing or changing their structures, or moving online.

It was great fun all day. I did zip out for a shorter walk after we shut down last night. Today is another day, and I can't wait to get started.

The one theme I did notice yesterday that when several people left the call - they left because they had been invited to go swimming! OK - I can't compete with swimming!! I'm sure they had fun!

Here's the link for the Virtual Retreat today. We start at 9 AM and go to 8 PM EST. Stop by to say HI, show us something cool in your sewing room or that you've been working on. And you never know what the conversation will end up - we compared long arms, treadles, and a whole lot more!!!

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 826 0312 5773 Password: 774537

Have a super day!!!!


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