Sunday, January 29, 2023

Itty bitty blocks

It's that bittersweet day of any retreat -- it's time to go home! And we have a snowstorm today! Yippee!!! It's happened before, and I'm going to wait until about 1 PM to head out. The plows will have been out by then, and the heaviest snowfall is forecast to be over. I got snow tires, and we are Canadians, and it's not the first winter we've driven home in the snow. 

I had two Zoom sessions yesterday morning, which cut into the sewing time a wee bit, but that's OK. It's nice to stay in touch, and I did not want to reschedule - that's just too much trouble. 

Pam mentioned that the girls would be happy to see me. Well, not exactly. The Princess will take one look, put her nose in the air, and say, "what's the big deal - I didn't miss you at all; I snuggled on the sofa with Dad." Now, if I had a leash in my hand -- she'd be happy. Murphy will have her one minute of craziness and then off to do something naughty. 

I'll be glad to get back home. One week of constant sewing is pretty intense, and it'll be nice to get some other things done, and well, one week is enough. I would book a sewing retreat for at most seven days. I love my friends, but one week is enough! 

I'm kidding! We all get along perfectly. No, I'm excited to get home and unpack. There is stuff to prep for the next retreat, finish up, put away, or whatever. I LOVE unpacking from the retreat. Plus, there is a crushing workload of quilts to quilt, embroidery to do, and classes to prep. 

If I can remember, I'll share the work the others worked on here, but I'm sharing it with the Monday group first. This was the MOST productive retreat ever!

So what did I work on yesterday? The 365-day quilt, of course! I started it in 2016 when the quilt first appeared. I did a few blocks and then abandoned it as it's a big commitment to do one block daily. I know several people who finished it, and it's a stunning quilt. I made a few more blocks, and then it got abandoned again. Now that we have a group focused on these many-block projects, I WILL finish it. I'm not just committed to myself but to them. 

I think I mentioned the setback I had -- I was short ten blocks or something like that. But after the Zoom and the walk, I settled down to see what I could do. Let's have a peek. 

Here's the scrap basket that I'm working from. Yikes -- I remember that this basket got wet during one of our basement mishaps. The entire thing went into the dryer, so it's all tangled. Yeah!!!

My scrap basket

As the strips and bits get used, they are pressed and put into this container. 

The neat container

They will not all fit into that container. Where did I get so many green bits from? I don't have a lot of green quilts. But I have discovered a few strips I can use in another project at home, so those got pulled. You never know what treasures you'll find. But I would now like to go through the entire basket and press all the pieces, so I can have a smaller container. 

These blocks are 3" finished, and you will NOT appreciate the size until you see them in person. But this might help. These are components to make four patches, and they are TEENY. 

Four-patch components

And here are some half-square triangles that are also teeny!!

Teeny half-square triangles

And here's one on the ironing board waiting to be pressed. TEENY! Sorry -- that's ONE component, not a block. 

They don't take up much space on the ironing board

I'm holding one of the blocks in my hand to better reference the size. 

3 1/2" unfinished blocks

OK -- Let's see how many blocks I completed. My goal for this month was to complete the work from Feb 20 to Feb 27. However, I had to start on Feb 9 and wait; I did the 9th the day before. So this block is for Feb 10. 

Feb 10

Feb 11

Feb 12

Feb 13 - EASY

Feb 14 - Not so easy

Feb 15

Feb 16

Feb 17

Feb 18

Feb 19

Feb 20

Can you believe that? And that included a lot of fussing with fabrics and making a few sewing mistakes, but I made excellent progress, and number 21 is almost complete. That leaves SIX to get my homework completed. And I'm going to power on. I'm going to try and keep up with the program online. Thanks to a friend who made the quilt, I have all the patterns printed out. I know there will be times when I won't be able to make a block (s) a day, but if I bring it to all the retreats this year, I might just be able to stay on track. That would be amazing. 

Let's see how it goes and not get too excited yet! I'll only have 2 of 12 months complete by tomorrow. 

Here's my next bag of scraps to sort through and make improv blocks. That's a fair-sized bag, so sorting will be super important. It's all the leftovers from the O Canada fabric, and once that is done, I never want to see that fabric again! I'm done! 

Oh, Canada fabric for improv blocks

I also managed to walk 15 KM. Thanks to Helen Anne, who walks with me. It's nice to have company, and we walk at the same pace and distance, so that's a treat on the retreat! Thanks, Helen Anne!

We've also done something different at this retreat. We've NOT had dessert every night. Wow --- I have to say that I love it. Not everyone will agree with me, but most of us don't miss it, and we certainly do NOT need it. I will NOT implement a rule for that, but I will strongly encourage people to think about not bringing dessert. 

Compared to previous retreats, where there was dessert for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and snacks on the table all the time, this has been a tame retreat. One could almost say that we are starving, but I'm OK with that. The minute I eat anything sugary, it goes to my muffin top, and I hate it. I have a wee bit of chocolate with me, which I have a nibble if I'm so inclined, and that's my treat. 

Well, it's time to go -- I have a few more blocks to sew. Dare I say I will NOT leave until those last blocks are done? We'll see how the day goes. 

Have a super day!!!


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