Saturday, January 28, 2023


 A week is a long time to be at a retreat, but it is heaven. I'm not thinking about the girls. They are in good hands. I miss them, but sometimes, it's great to get a break from their antics -- just like your kids! We go home tomorrow, and I'm sure I'll get the cold shoulder from the Princess and five minutes of love from Murphy, and then she'll be off to get into trouble! Dogs don't appreciate the passage of time; all is forgiven as soon as you are back! 

We have been housebound here, not because of circumstances but by choice. We have all that we need, we went on one shopping trip, and there's just no need to leave when you have good company, lots of projects, and an excellent setup to make our lives easy. And only ONE coffee run has been made! 

After much discussion last night, we agreed (or I proclaimed) that this is the best retreat house. Retreat at the Farm. Why? Some of you say there's a much larger house available, but sometimes large isn't always better. This one is cozy, and six fit comfortably. We get to visit with everyone who is here. The stairs are better here, there are no small steps to the sewing room, the kitchen is more than adequate with new appliances, and well --- it's just a nice setup! 

We're so thankful to the owners of these retreat houses for making it possible to get away and sew with minimal effort on our part! However, there is a lot of wind at the moment, and this side of the house is very exposed. It's not cold, which is surprising, but you can hear the wind howling and the house bits creaking. It's not bad -- just a windy day. 

And this retreat is booked up solid for this year (except the summer), so it's also good that it's not just me who agrees that it's a nice house. 

I made excellent progress yesterday and finished up all the blocks from the scraps of Farmer's Wife. 

Scrappy blocks from Farmer's Wife scraps

I put them on the wall, but I'm sharing that photo with the scrap class this morning (yes --- I even have Zoom while on retreat), and then I'll share it with you. I'm quite surprised at how large this project will be when done. And it all came from stuff that most people would throw away. So yes -- -there are loads of things for me to work on when I downsize that only require a small amount of storage space. It took me 2 1/2 solid days of sewing to get those blocks; under normal circumstances, that could take several weeks. 

Then I finished trimming those half-square triangles. 

Half-square triangles 

And found a few flying geese in the bag as well. These are leftover bits from a quilt I designed years ago, one of the few magazine cover quilts I made. The picture should be at the top of my blog on the right-hand side. 

Some flying geese units

There are still three projects in the bag that I have NOT touched, and I may or may not touch one tomorrow. I'll see how today goes because today is a BIG day. 

But first, here's one more project that I worked on yesterday. I started these tumbling blocks 25 years ago to make a queen-sized quilt for M. What was I thinking? I had no idea. 

Over the years, I've pulled them out and worked on them, but not seriously. For some reason, I cut MANY of the dark diamonds,s and rather than throw them out, I'll make them into blocks. I'm sorry -- my head doesn't like to throw out just because. I love working with the small pieces, and the sense of accomplishment will be a thrill at the end, so I plod along and am pretty happy. 

The tumbling blocks project

I've cut up all the white and medium fabric I had, and I think I will need a bit more to accommodate the number of dark blue diamonds. 

I thought I would at least get all the white and medium sewn together that I could. Except it was after lunch, and I was getting tired, so when I got back from the walk, I realized that HALF of what I had sewn needed to be corrected! ACK!!!! 

Sewing the white to the medium

The white has to go on a particular side of the medium to get the values in the right place, and I found two backward blocks. 

Tumbling blocks 

Let's just say that all the blocks are now correct, as I fixed everything that was sewn incorrectly, and all the white that I had is sewn to all the mediums I had. The next step will be to add the dark blue, see how much white and medium are missing, and add it to that bag. But I am done with that project for this retreat. But progress is being made, and this time, significant progress, so I was happy about that. 

We all have ONE project that repeatedly returns to the retreat!

Then I got to move on to another HUGE project. Over the years, there have been some big projects that have gone around. Do you remember the Town and Country quilt from The Gourmet Quilter? Dear Jane? The 365-day quilt project? We now have a club to deal with those, and about 25 of us are in that group. 

OH --- here's a story about Dear Jane. I'm writing each night in my Happiness Journal, and in 2012, we were working on Dear Jane at The Hobby Horse. I got a chuckle because I was EXCITED to start and made SIX blocks of 169. Sigh...................

While I have a "few" of those many block projects, focusing is critical, and I've picked ONE -- the 365-day project from Kathryn Kerr. 

I was sure I had completed the blocks up to February 19, so I committed to getting all the blocks finished for our next session. Well, I started the process yesterday, and the first thing I did was to see what was done. AHA --- all of January was done, but there was a BONUS block for January 1 for those that felt the first block was too easy. Well, one has to do the bonus block -- no???

Bonus block for January

So all of January is complete, including the bonus block for 32 blocks that measure 3 1/2" UNFINISHED. Yes --- that's insane, but I love this quilt and want to say I've made it. 

Then onto February to take inventory of what is done. 

Hmm --- not a good start as I look at the first block to see that I did NOT do it the way the pattern is. The corners are slightly different, and why the heck would I have done that? So the dilemma is --- should I remake the block?? I know you are yelling at me to NOT remake the block, but it's set aside for me to contemplate. Removing and fixing the two corners would be easier than remaking the block. I'll see how it goes. 

February 1 block is not according to the pattern

However, the inventory came up short. I had abandoned the project on February 8, NOT the 19th, as I thought. My commitment is to finish all the blocks for February. I could whine and change that, but I'm going to take on the challenge and see what I can do. Especially since I'm at a retreat, which is the ONLY project on the agenda for today. I've looked at the blocks, and some are nasty, but for the most part, they are variations of a four-patch. That should be doable. 

So, in addition to the bonus block for January 1, I made the block for February 9. Only 19 more blocks to make, and then there is the large center block which I may make if I get time. That large one was NOT on my commitment list. 

February 9 block

Yes --- I realize this is a HUGE commitment to take on with all the other projects, but if I don't focus on it a bit more, it'll never get done, which would be sad. I do NOT plan to complete the quilt this year, but I'd be thrilled if I can complete half of it. 

Remember to check out the last day of QUILTsocial. After a wee bit of practice, invisible zippers are a snap to insert. I love them! 

Well, that's it for today. I've got Zoom all morning, so that'll cut into my sewing time, and we may have to cut our walk a bit short to get back in time. No worries -- it'll all work out. 

Have a super day!!!!



  1. Sounds like a great time! Your girls will be so happy to have you home 😻

  2. I completed the 365 quilt, it is a huge accomplishment and feels great. Mine is still a flimsy, I was all set to have it quilted by a local shop, but they had a couple in that caused them grief so wouldn’t take them. Some of the seams can be a problem if you don’t know how to deal with the bulk (which I didn’t in 2016/2017) some of the blocks have a billion pieces. Some day I will get it quilted.