Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Some REassembly required

I'm so glad to see people ARE using those special dishes! And eating in the dining room! That won't happen at our house, but that brings back memories. Remember those houses that had the "front room," and the furniture was wrapped in plastic. Oh my --- someone was afraid of a little stain or two. Thankfully, our mindsets have changed, and crack out that good china!!!!! 

So we're happily ensconced at Retreat at the Farm in Shelburne. What a nice, cozy house. I can hear the wind whipping outside this morning, and I'm toasty warm in the sewing room. 

One of the reasons I love this place is that it's ONE hour from door to door. Far enough to be "away" from home but close enough that should one forget something (god forbid), one could go back and get it. 

So imagine my excitement when that very thing happened, but I was prepared. I had packed the car the night before and did NOT check the sewing machine - did it have a needle, a foot, etc. I had thrown in the power cord and a presser foot - that I know I checked. When I was walking the dogs, I thought, does that machine have a presser foot? There was no way to check, so I grabbed my bag with the extra feet and bobbins. Sure enough, when I took the cover off -- NO presser foot. But I was ready! 

I guess I could have "stolen" the foot off the machine going to a new home, but I didn't want to do that. And this machine has the presser foot incorporated into it for storage, so I had an extra one! 

I sewed on this machine a long time ago. But this is now going to be my retreat machine. But my oh my -- while this used to be the top-of-the-line embroidery machine in its day, it's so small! The screen is small, the machine is small, and it doesn't have that ballast thing in to prevent it from bouncing! 

My faithful Husqvarna Viking Designer 1

However, it has all the same functionality as my DESIGNER EPIC 2, and I'm sewing for a week at a retreat with friends. Am I complaining? Nope! But I'll remember to leave it with a presser foot for next time. I also love that there's a wee extension thing to the left of the needle that gives you enough room to piece nicely without bringing an extension table. Yep --- this one is my new retreat machine!!!

One of the big questions upon arriving at the retreat and FINALLY getting all your crap in the house is what to sew? I did bring a few extra things, but when it's in the room, it's not much, but when bringing it in - it seemed like a lot. Of course, I had stuff for other people, so I won't be packing that back in the car. 

What to sew? What to sew? I didn't bring lots, but some of the projects are large. I started with a bag of scraps from one of the quilts that Diane sewed. I'll make improve blocks and see where I end up. I love doing that kind of thing -- it's totally mindless, and I love seeing how you can create something from nothing. 

I ended up with 83 blocks that are 3" unfinished. 

83 - 3" unfinished blocks

This is the scrap that got put in the scrap bag. 

The scraps from making the blocks

And there was one square of fabric left from which I can cut a 1 1/2" square. 

One small piece of fabric left over

Now what to do with them. There isn't enough for a small quilt, so we thought of the Mondo bag, but it requires many more squares, although these ones are larger. I could make a tote bag, but I'll have seven squares left. Maryke suggested a small modern quilt with the squares forming a zigzag pattern. Yep -- I like that idea, and all can be used. I've EQ8 with me, and I'll see what I can come up with. Then I'll grab some beige, and it can return to Diane!

I had also put a bag of half-square triangles that needed to be trimmed. 

Half square triangles to be trimmed

That would be boring to stand and trim for a couple of hours. So they are sitting on the cutting table, and every time I pass by or I'm cutting/trimming another project, I trim a few. I will get them done!

Trimming half-square triangles

Oh gosh -- I remembered that I threw in one of those Creative Grid rulers, which I hate. OK - hate is a strong word -- it's not my favorite, but it's all I have, so I may become used to it by the time I'm done here. 

Trimming the half-square triangles

Those blocks got set aside, and I needed a new project. I brought the bell and got to ring it once those blocks were complete! 

So I dug out my Boho Heart quilt. WAIT -- I thought that quilt top was done! Well, it was, and it wasn't. One of the students (darn you, Gillian) decided to add to the top of the quilt. Three sides of the heart ended at the edge of the quilt top; well, I wasn't sure I liked it that way. However, during the construction, I did NOTHING to change it. The thought never occurred to me, and I guess it didn't bother me that much. 

But when I saw what Gillian did, I wanted to follow suit, as did several others. That quilt has been sitting there waiting. Since my homework for the Jen Kingwell remedial class is to add to those three sides, I have no choice but to get busy. 

I made good progress last night and early this morning.

Progress on modifying Boho Heart

I brought the box with the leftover strips. So far, there's only one where the scrap strip wasn't long enough. I'll dig that fabric out and cut the appropriate strip when I get home. I hope I can complete the missing part. We'll just have to see. It's going faster than I thought, and while it's a total pain, it's worth it, as I like how it looks. 

And when that's done, well, there's more projects where that came from. But not much, but lots of small fiddly stuff! 

And this is what Katheleen is working on. She brought a whole pile of journal-making stuff and is happy as a clam in her corner with her glue, paper, and scissors!!! 

Katheleen's paper making

Helen, Maryke, and I went for a walk in the afternoon. One must KEEP up with their step commitment, and I got my 12 KM in. so I was happy. We walked along the road to the next concession (road). I was going to turn back, but Maryke said, " you have to walk to the middle of the intersection to make it count." I laughed because that's what I do, but I chose not to drag them into the middle. Actually, I walk right to the other side of the intersection. So we did. However, when we walked in the opposite direction to Highway 89, we decided it was NOT a good idea to do that! It's a very busy highway, and it would not be good just to get to the other side! 

There's nothing like a good sewing retreat; I wish everyone could experience it. I almost want to book a house and invite people that have never been! If that's you, get in touch with me, and we'll find somewhere with some room. They fill up so quickly! 

Well, it's time for me to get busy and return to Boho Heart. 

Have a super day!!!



  1. Oh yes our 1988 home has that "formal living room". Mom liked to sit out there and watch out the windows (wildlife, walkers etc). When she died in 2007, I gave away all the furniture and ordered my first Long-Arm. I moved my office desk out there, my upright Grand Piano is out there.....and as they say the rest is history. (It's not a huge space and it's tight-our home is just 1650sf but it is all quite usable, one at a time ;-)

    Happy retreating! I have that blue with the gold bubbles ;-)

  2. I'm so glad you mentioned the "bouncing" machine! Any tips to deal with that? I'm fine at-home, but each retreat slows me down to try to lessen the bouncing.