Monday, July 20, 2020

The Virtual Retreat - DayTwo

I know that some of you are missing in-person visits with family and friends - the sit and sew days, the laughter, the camaraderie, the sharing of stories. Well, I can't say that I'm missing that at all. While the Virtual Retreat isn't the same as seeing people in person, it comes pretty darn close.

To be honest, I kind of like the whole virtual thing. Why? Loads of reasons - where else would we be able to visit with people all the way from Germany to Vancouver Island and loads of places in between? Nowhere else. Where else would we be able to share our sewing spaces? Nowhere else. And where else would we be able to sew with friends and not have to bring our sewing machines and supplies? Nowhere else. No packing, no forgetting your cord to the sewing machine or some other important tool or supply, you get to have a nap or go shopping or make dinner for your family, and when you're done, you can come back to the group.

What about those that don't drive or would never come out for a day, but would pop in to say HI. Oh, yes - I love the Zoom thing. I think the others are as well because I got asked if I was hosting the Virtual Retreat in August? I hadn't even thought that far ahead. However, it's now booked - the weekend of August 22 and 23. Mark it in your calendar and come and join us - even if it's just to say hi. It's so much fun.

I don't know how many people in total stopped by - some stayed the entire day, and some just popped in to say HI. That's perfectly OK - whatever works with your schedule.

OH - and where else can you track the weather? Sure - you've got an app, but there's nothing like getting a visual from locations around our province, letting you know when the rain, wind, tornado warnings have hit. Yep- yesterday was a pretty stormy day. It was hot in Berlin and Vancouver Island as well - 30 degrees. So this crazy weather is everywhere.

This is a picture of the trees in my backyard. I didn't even know I took that picture. It's hard to see, but the wind was blowing like mad, the rain was driving down in torrents and well - it was dark and very stormy. Unfortunately, from our house, we can't really see the skyline, but some of the cloud pictures I saw afterward were pretty spectacular.

The wind and the rain

Besides all the crazy stories and laughter, loads of work got completed. Heather hand-stitched the binding on a QUEEN sized quilt. I wonder if she got that hand massage or just the ice packs? Jane was binding some quilts by machine, Shelly was making rope bowls.

Shelly's rope bowls
Morgan and Kathy were working on their Christmas Fig homework. And there was so much else being done!!!!

Katheleen made more masks. She is now up into the hundreds (600++) of masks that she's made for her local senior organizations. She now has strict instructions to take a break for a while. That's a lot of mask making. It can be draining and take the fun completely out of sewing. Great job, Katheleen!!! You've done a great job and deserve a break!

Katheleen's last set of 35 masks
There were three long arm quilters on the call, and we hung around after the others left at 8 PM. We had a great chat about the differences and similarities of our machines - yep - we each have a different machine (from three different companies). Sharing of good practices - it was awesome. Thanks, Carol and Karen!!!

We also got to chatting about jelly roll rugs. I promised that I'd post the pictures of the ones that I've made. This is the one that made headlines in the industry. I think everyone (OK - so I'm exaggerating) made one of these. It's the oval rug designed by RJ Designs. There is so much "noise" on the internet about these rugs that I can't find her original site.

The oval jelly roll rug

Then there was the rectangular rug. Made the same way with the batting filled tubes. But sewn in rows, not in an oval. Same pattern designer.

Rectangular rug

And then years ago, I made this rug which is made with the batting filled tubes, but you make blocks and then stitch the blocks together. This pattern is by Auntie's Two Patterns.

A block style rug made with batting tubes
Here's the pattern number from the Auntie's Two website.

All these rugs, of course, are reminiscent of the rag rugs that were made years ago. NOTHING is new. I have two more balls of batting stuffed tubes, all ready to sew into two oval rugs. But no time for that.

I also made a few promises for the next Virtual Retreat. OH NO - how did that happen?? Well, I plan to take most of August off. But seriously - what does that mean? OH - I have no blog posts for QUILTsocial to write, no magazine quilt due until September 8, a few customer quilts that can be delayed until September if they don't get done before the end of this month. NO - I'll still be sewing the entire month of August! Just different things. I'm such a dreamer.

Anyway - I did promise that I'd learn or figure out how to work my hand-cranked sock knitter. I really want to get this thing running. I will leave the book out so I can start to figure out if I even have all the pieces.

The sock knitter book

As for me at the Virtual Retreat - what did I get done? I finished the second quilt for Quilts of Valour. I finished the piecing and threw the top on the long arm, and while we Zoomed, I managed to get that quilt quilted as well. It came off the long arm, and I trimmed it this morning. The binding is ALMOST on. I should have it done in less than 10 minutes.

Putting the binding on the Quilts of Valour quilt

I love having the clock on my sewing machine. I glanced at it while sewing that binding on and realized that I was going to run out of time.

The clock on the Designer EPIC 2

The quilt is still in the machine, and once my morning chores are over, I'll get it finished. I need to put a sleeve on it, but that'll have to wait. I'll hang it up with my hook system and take a picture. That's all that's required for the moment. The second quilt made with a different fabric collection is draped over the long arm, and I hope to get that custom quilted this week.

Because we hung out so long on the Zoom call, I didn't get in a very long walk. But I did manage to hit the Manitoba border on my virtual walk across Canada. That's exciting - one more province gone.

Just crossed the border into Manitoba 

I need to start booking some Virtual Classes for the fall. I'll be doing that shortly and let you know all about them. I have actually booked events on my calendar starting in September. That's awesome and relatively easy to schedule because I don't have to allow travel time. I need to purchase a couple more pieces of equipment before I'm up and running to my standard.

And a HUGE thank you to everyone who stopped by the Virtual Retreat - I had a blast and hope you did as well. See you in August!!!   Welcome to Anita who got her video and audio working. It was great to see you this time!!!  I can't wait to see your tumbling block quilt FINISHED or at least progress made on it in August.

If you couldn't get the videos to work yesterday, you have to click the small arrow in the bottom left corner of each screen. Actually, I think you have to hit the big PLAY arrow in the middle and that brings up the small PLAY arrow in the bottom left corner. Have a look - Carol did a great job with those banners.

On that note, I'm out of here. I have a "few" things that need to be done this week. After this week, my schedule is almost completely empty. How does that happen that everything hits at the same time? Well, I'm lying - you all know that because the moment that something gets done, something else pops up!

Have a super day!!!!



  1. Morning Elaine
    I took a class from you at the hobby horse. I'm wondering if Kathleen would share her mask pattern. I work in a retirement home and love the look of her masks. They seem a bit more roomy than some.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Cindy --- KAtheleen sent me the pattern. E-mail me at and I'll forward to you.

  2. Elaine, I wanted to pop in and tell you that my leather walking shoes are by New Balance and they are black, which I prefer. I have inserts and they work in these shoes very well. Just wanted you to feel you have a choice!

    1. Torry -- we had a discussion at our Monday sewing Zoom meeting and it appears that New BAlance has the most room in the toes. Hmm - I just ordered my Sketchers. Well, I'll see how the fit goes and then I think I'll be over to New Balance. Thanks for the confirmation on that. I'm just not sure that I want black. I might try that color next since they won't show the dirt as bad as white. For some reason, my head doesn't like black walking shoes. Weird! But I could deal with black, but NOT beige!! We had a laugh about the color thing yesterday. Thanks for the tips. Your inserts are orthotics???

    2. Yes, they are. And I prefer black, but they might come in white also. When I wanted a new pair, the store by us had stopped carrying at the store, but they said we could go to their website and order them. We looked at the website and then went else where to order them at a much better price!