Friday, December 3, 2021

Quilt Retreat - Day Two

 Yikes -- the days seem to be flying by. But that's OK. I'm making significant progress on my UFO, sleeping like a log, taking long walks, and trying to resist all the goodies.

I'm sleeping in the "quiet" room, and for some reason, that has a scary movie connotation to it. But it's not scary at all. There are two twin beds in there, and it's pretty large and cozy. I'm by myself, and I love it!

As for the walking, the weather was pretty nasty yesterday. Or let's say that it changed by the minute, but I found a 2-hour window with perfect weather. It's funny how everyone's perception of the weather is so different. It was NOT cold at all; there was no precipitation when I went out, although it was very windy. People came in from their cars and proclaimed -- "it's terrible out there." 

Oh no -- it's beautiful, and at one point, my jacket was open, and I didn't wear my mittens. When I went out later (in the car), the rain was biting your face, and it was still very windy - that was nasty! I'm so glad I went for a very long walk in the morning as I would never have made it out in the afternoon. Hey -- I don't mind walking in inclement weather, but if I don't have to - I won't. 

I did dig my boots out of the car as it would be muddy.

Walking boots

I walked down this muddy road - it's unpaved. I think the only unpaved road in the area. But I was OK. When I got to the next intersection, a couple of KM away, I turned left to walk on a paved road, and before I knew it, I was committed to walking around a large rectangle that took me to the edge of town and past Tim's. I didn't stop. 

Muddy country road

I think in total, that walk was close to 9 KM. But it was glorious. I do love my retreat friends, but with seven women in the house, some of whom are very chatty and sometimes loud and dramatic, it's nice to get away and have some solitude!!!

Like right now -- only one other person is up (I've been up for hours), and we are each doing our own thing -- it's quiet! Even quieter than at home, since Murphy isn't here to ask for pats on the head! Now there are two other people up, and it's still quiet. 

Walking is a solitary activity, and it's not only good for the body but so good for the soul. I think it's my saving grace and has helped enormously with decluttering and getting my act together for what I want to do in life. At my age! Imagine!

Anyway -- I know not everyone wants to walk or can walk, but I sure hope they find the equivalent. A quiet moment in the day to reflect on life. For each of us, it'll be different, but it's been amazing to find that solitude! I don't take music or an audiobook. I listen to nature or the traffic. I go through things in my head, and then they are gone. Imagine what our world would be like if people learned to entertain themselves with NOTHING but their own brains. Imagine the creativity - imagine that the problem of wanting things now and boredom would be gone! Imagine people loving themselves for who they are and not needing more. 

Anyway -- I digress, but you get the picture. We are entertained so much of the day that the solitude is heaven. 

I saw on Facebook recently the third anniversary of my first event with SVP as a sewing machine educator. Wow !!!! I've come a long way since then and learned so MUCH. 

Paula brought her featherweight machine so Katheleen, our in-house expert, could take a look at it. I think they found some thread in the bobbin case, and at one point, the machine was in bits, but it seems to be working much better now. 

The in-house retreat service center

Laura is working on a Postcards from Sweden quilt. Lots of pretty colors are made into half-square triangles. This quilt would drive me mad. There's so much keeping track of having a specific color in a particular spot. Laura is convinced that there's a rhyme and reason to it. I don't think there is at all. I say throw caution to the wind, make half-square triangles, and randomly sew them together. 

Half-square triangles for Postcards from Sweden

If you did that and then had a quick glance at your quilt versus the original, I bet there wouldn't be much difference. However, we are all different!  If you Google it, there are loads of people selling kits and patterns, although I think the pattern is free?? But also lots of people who made it differently. I started one randomly but haven't had a chance to get back to it. 

And there's Shelly, who is randomly and literally pulling her next pieces for her Christmas project from a paper bag. Go, Shelly, GO!!!!

Pulling fabric from a paper bag

And see how happy she is as she's doing this. That's what quilting is all about. 

EXCEPT when you pick a project like I did. While I would love to do what Shelly is doing and randomly pull pieces to sew together, my pattern requires more thought. A lot of thought to be truthful. 

The Bali Bed Runner

I managed to finish all the paper piecing yesterday and then had the fun task of trimming everything. Oh -- what a fun job. I like doing it, but it becomes a bit tedious doing the same thing over and over again. Not to worry -- we are making progress. I have to remember my goal of finishing by the end of this year. 

All the sections are being trimmed

And this is what happens when you don't carefully pack a project away. Oh my -- the edges have frayed somewhat, but they will survive. 

A badly frayed edge

Here are all the components. There is no significant color change in them, but I'm OK with that. It's a soft quilt and so NOT my usual color. 

Components cut and ready to sew

Those end squares are tricky, and because some of the edges are curved, you don't need to make entire blocks. But each block has six or seven pieces. And look at all those curved seams!!! I'm laying out the blocks in sections as that is the only way to ensure the right pieces get in the right spot.

One block for the double wedding ring quilt

It requires a LOT of brainpower to lay it out. I'm laying it out in the quiet room so I can focus. Then I carry it block by block to the sewing machine to put together. I have to find the rhythm I had when I sewed Paula's quilt together. That'll come today. 

Here's the back of one of the blocks. Oh yes -- don't forget that I have to remove all the paper before I sew them together. I'll remove the paper from the center part later. 

The back of one block

Even though we all have goodies here, I'm trying very hard not to touch more than I would at home. I do NOT have goodies after lunch, and most days, no goodies after dinner. But here, there are goodies all day long. My waistline will NOT tolerate this!! 

And then I added to the problem when I went to Tim's to get some of the Bieber Bits to try. We had been chatting about the flavors, so we had to try. 

Bieber Bits

They are OK -- I'm not a lover of the chocolate ones, but then I don't really like chocolate donuts, so that's not a surprise. I'm not a fan of donuts in general, so these were OK, but I won't buy them in the future. 

I promised a second blog post about more classes, and I was waiting for the shops to post them. Now that they have and I'm away -- it's a bit of a challenge to get all the information. So I'll give you the links to both places. 

And for those that have signed up for the Butterfly quilt by Tula Pink, do NOT waste your time trying to find the pattern. Oh yes -- I get e-mails from stores asking me which pattern specifically people are looking for! The pattern is NOT released yet. If we do not have it by the time the class starts, I'll provide you with what you need. The class doesn't start until January, there is LOADS of time, and I'll be providing a list of materials to those in the class when I'm home. For now -- PICK a color theme. And fat quarters will work fine. There is NO need to panic. 

Now for those class links. 

The Hobby Horse --- there are two sew alongs and a machine quilting class that goes for the entire year. 

Thimbles and Things -- there are two sew-alongs, free motion quilting, and some lectures. If you want to sign up, be sure to specify which free-motion session you want (there are two 2-part classes), and the lectures have two specific times you can sign up for. I made it that way to help you better plan your day1

That's the best I can do while I'm away. So in the meantime, rest up -- there's a LOT of work to be done next year!! I'll be acknowledging e-mails that I've already received in the coming week when I'm back home.

On that note, I think my FitBit is now charged up. It's still a bit dark to go for a walk along a country road, even though it's not very busy, but I'll get that long walk in, and I'll be good to go for the day. 

By the way, if you're super jealous of me on retreat, I have a couple of nights open for a retreat in January. You can e-mail me for more details. 

Have a super day!!!


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