Thursday, July 6, 2017

Retreat Day One

There's always the best of intentions and then there is reality!  I had every intention of getting to the retreat early so I could go for a bike ride and blog before I started to sew. Nope - I pulled into the driveway at precisely the time that we could get into the house. I chose to unpack and start to sew rather than to go for a bike ride or blog. 

While I wasn't in a panic getting ready as things were pretty much under control, I still had a bunch of pictures that had to be loaded into various blogs. That got done. The dogs need separate walks which is hopefully a temporary situation, but still has to be done. Load the car and despite the fact that I'm only bringing two project bags (OK, I sneaked a third bag in, but I needed to) there is still a lot of stuff that had to be packed in the car.  

The drive was uneventful and I was here. The day was gorgeous. One of the nicest days that we've had so far this summer. 

There is no dilly dallying with this group.  I think everyone had arrived within an hour of me arriving. Sewing machines were unpacked, beds were claimed and we were good to go. And we have two newbies with us.  I don't think they have ever been on a sewing retreat before and one of them is pretty new to quilting.  

The next biggest question is what to sew?  I didn't bring anything that has a deadline so I can literally pick whatever I want. I grabbed a BIG project. Well here's the thing, you don't really think about how long a project is going to take. You just start.  I picked a dozy of a project.  Florence Flamingo by Elizabeth Hartman.    I picked my own colors and everything was cut (well it turns out that almost everything was cut, but I did bring extra fabric). 

I laid out all the background pieces - yikes, this is intimidating. There are so many and many different but similiar sizes.  Now if I were teaching this class, the first thing I would say is LABEL all the pieces.  Did I do that?  Nope - I'm just silly that way.  So I used the ruler on the front of my sewing table to measure each one.  Because of the colors I used, I can't chain piece this so one by one, I'm making the nine blocks. 

The good news is that I got four blocks done. The bad news is that it took me all day!  I did get part of another block done.  I could set this project aside today and work on something else, but I'm kind of in the groove on this. I know which piece goes where so I'm thinking I had better keep going and should get all the blocks done today. EXCEPT the partial block.  You see there are left and right facing birds. I've decided to randomly choose one to go the opposite direction. But the pattern has the pictures for left and right and I accidentally choose the left when I should have chosen right. I double checked BEFORE I cut and still goofed!!!!!   I think the fabric I goofed on was the only one that I didn't have a long enough strip to replace so that one waits until I get home.  DUH!!!!   I like Elizabeth's patterns, but boy - there is a lot of little pieces and you need to keep your wits about you.  I had similiar issues with Fancy Forest and I made those mistakes here as well!

So you would have some pictures to look at today, I've got a couple to share with you on what I did on Sunday at my house.  There is my design wall in the corner - same old stuff that's been on the wall for a year. Those Halloween blocks. Time to get something done. 

Since I had to fire up the embroidery unit on the loaner sewing machine, I might as well babysit TWO sewing machines instead of just one. 

My sewing machine
It's been sitting there for a year with the embroidery unit attached. I haven't sewn anything on it in a year. Haven't even turned it on!  Time to change that!!!

Let's hoop some fabric and get to work.

Fabric is hooped and stitch out has begun!

Babysitting TWO embroidery machines

That's all I'm going to say about that.  Let's just say that it was a challenging day.  I do have the edited pictures of what I did, but you have to wait for another day or so for those to be posted.

As usual at the retreat we are being well fed.  Not a lot of snacks made it up so that is a good thing and I've had this craving for an ice cream cone for about a week.  I don't normally eat ice cream, I don't normally crave it. But must be the nice weather. Ronda and I zipped out to the store (she was in charge of dessert last night) and we got Kawartha ice cream and apple crisp from Hewitt's Farm which is just minutes away from where we are.  My craving is over. I can move on!

On that note, I've a bit more computer work to do this morning and then hopefully out for a bike ride - the weather looks awesome. And then back to the flamingo farm.

By the way, I have to  mention how different each retreat is depending on the people!  This is a very neat and tidy group.  We each have one project on our tables. The rest are neatly stowed in one or two project bags. There is NOTHING on the cutting table and I was the one who mostly used it to trim all those little bits on my flamingos.  Oh yes - this is a neat and tidy group!  But we're all making super progress. Katheleen is already on her third project!  The rest of us are working on mega projects, although I did see that Laura finished a small project last night as well.  I'd better get the camera out!

The other thing about our group is cutting.  This group came with everything PRE-CUT. There is no messing around cutting - they are prepped and ready to sew! One other thing to note is that NO ONE went shopping. I did stop by the quilt shop (Thimbles and Things as I had to drop something off), but NO ONE went out to shop except for our trip to Hewitt's.  OK - Ronda and Laura had a few errands, but there was no fabric shopping.  I'm not going to mention any names here to protect the guilty!

OK - now I'm out of here.

Have a super day!!!!


By the way, we're at Fireside Retreat.  Look at the pictures and drool.  The grounds are beautiful at this time of year. Beautifully maintained and so inviting.  The house is gorgeous as well.  Yep - we're in quilt heaven!  The quilt shop is only 5 minutes away!

One other thing to note. The FREE PATTERN for Coast to Coast to Coast is NOW LIVE on the Northcott web page.  Zip on over and download it so you can start cutting up your panels.

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