Thursday, October 13, 2022

Fall retreat - Day Three

I have to laugh as I've been checking Instagram and Facebook in the last couple of days; there have been tons of pictures with fall colors! The leaves are spectacular and OK -- so I have two more for you today. 

OK -- I had my schedule planned out for next year - I was reasonable in what I was going to sew, and then BAM -- I spotted this adorable quilt by Elizabeth Hartman, and all reason left me. I WANT to make this quilt. 

Check out this link for Fab Farm and The Produce Section. Both are super cute, but my preference is Fab Farm. I'm even thinking of hosting a sew-along starting in January. Oh -- just shoot me now! But you have to admit they are cute!!!

Over the years, I've tried different containers for sewing stuff I need when away from home, and I ended up with several of the darn things, and well, it was just taking up space and making clutter. So several retreats ago, we made a list of things that one would need at a retreat. I had this box, and I filled it. 

When I was putting the borders on that quilt the other day, I used pins, but they were in a small folded needle holder, and I lamented that it would have been easier to put them in a pincushion. Well, when I put the pins back in the toolbox, I realized there was a pincushion in there!! It appears I'm way ahead of myself and not even realizing it. 

My well-stocked sewing away-from-home box

The container is not large but has all the tools I need. I bring rulers separately and any other supplies (like thread) in a different container. I mean thread for applique, quilting, or whatever, as I keep extra piecing thread in the toolbox. So this works like a charm, and the size is perfect - NOT huge. When you come to a retreat, I've learned that you do NOT need to bring a lot of stuff, and I only bring out what I'm working on! When I'm done -- it's now whisked into the car!

Ronda has been busy with her Cricut and trying fun things. Etching, vinyl, foil, puffy vinyl -you name it -- she has tried it! I don't have a picture of anything she finished, so I'll try to get a picture or two today. 

Ronda with a Cricut project

Yesterday was all about getting caught up on Green Tea. I knew I couldn't complete the entire project as I did not bring the fabric for it, as I only brought the blocks that were cut or needed some applique. 

So I spent a good time working on the applique for four blocks. I did these four blocks with invisible machine applique, which turned out really nice. They were all prepped, so all I had to do was stitch them. 

Machine invisible applique

Then I had one block, raw-edge applique, and I needed to do a satin stitch around the shapes. I missed bringing two thread colors, so I could ALMOST complete the block, but not quite. That seems to be the theme for me for this retreat. I get close to finishing something, but I can't quite. But I'm way ahead of where I was when I came, and I'm motivated to get it done when I get home. 

Satin stitch applique

So here are the blocks that I stitched for applique. All done, except for three ovals on the bottom block. 

Applique blocks for Green Tea - almost done

I also had one pieced block to finish sewing, so I started on that. Things were going well until I realized I didn't have the little square of fabric for the very center of the block. Seriously???? Did I lose it, or didn't I cut it?

The center blue square is missing!

Then I got fortunate! I checked another mini design board with bits and found some two-patches for the checkerboard, and I could steal a square from that and finish the block. 

All the pieces are ready to sew together!

And so that block got completed as well. 

Piece block - DONE

I had to add corners onto one of the applique blocks, and now all my blocks for Section One of the quilt are done. That Section was partially sewn together, but I wanted to finish it last night. So I started sewing. I made a couple of boo-boos as I was getting tired. I was going to leave it until this morning, but I persevered. So here I am, sewing the last seam for Section One. 

The last seam for Section One

I am absolutely THRILLED with this. I managed to sew Section One to Section Two, so the top half of the quilt is together, and I'm absolutely THRILLED with how it turned out. 

Sections One and Two

I'm glad I didn't put those hexagons over the entire block, as it would have made it seem heavy, like the two blocks in the top right. But I can live with the occasional heavy bit. 

I have one more block that was assigned but that I haven't even started, and there are two more blocks to assign for next month, and I need to get working on those when I get home. 

I decided to lay out Section Three last night, and I'll sew as much together as possible, which won't be much until that missing block gets done. 

Section Three missing a block and filler pieces

I need some bits of background fabrics as well as fillers, so I can't sew too much together. I'll also sew as much as I can with Section Four, but again, with two blocks and the filler fabrics at home, I won't get far with that. 

But I've made HUGE progress while here, and I'm so happy. The last thing that needs to be done while here is to finish the quilting on a small wall hanging. So that's on the agenda for today, and then I get to dip into the retreat box and find something to keep me busy for the rest of the retreat. That will be good to advance some of those small things that haven't been touched in a long time! 

I had a presentation to do for a guild, and it went very well. It's my scrap quilt presentation which is one of my favorites. The internet was decent, although it did go down once; it was back up before I could even blink, so that made it all work well. You have to love Zoom!!!

After that, I walked to the lake and had a phone conversation up and down all those hills! But I couldn't resist sitting in that chair by the lake and contemplating life. It's just so darn calming and relaxing. And yes -- here are the requisite fall photos. 

The first one was taken at the lake with the sun shining through one of the trees. 

The view from my lawn chair

This one was taken in the yard of the retreat house. It's amazing how different the colors are. 

One of the trees in the yard

We had some rain yesterday, but it wasn't heavy, and I got lucky as I wore my raincoat when I went out (I brought a raincoat and two different vests -- one heavy and one light!). I took the raincoat off as it stopped raining and it was warm. 

The rain started last night, although we didn't seem to get the gusty forecasted winds. It's raining again this morning, so I may or may not get out for a walk. I don't mind walking in the rain, but not in heavy rain. We'll see how the day goes!!

So think about those Elizabeth Hartman patterns. I do NOT need them, nor do I need to make them, but I WANT to make them. They are so darned cute!!! Let me know if you're in for a sew along! The pattern arrives in November. And don't blame me for being an enabler! I can't help myself. 

On that note, I'm off to finish sewing up Section Three. 

Have a super day! 



  1. I agree, both of those patterns are cute. I'd be in, even though I don't need a new project.