Wednesday, January 25, 2023

From the heart!

 Here we are on Day Three of the retreat. How fun to run away from home for a week and get to sew with friends all day. And if you don't want to sew -- that's OK. I only brought a few projects, but I brought some doozies! Lots of improv stuff, which is fun to do, and I don't really stick with them at home. 

We took a wee break in the afternoon and went to Creekbank Sewing. While they sell a competitor's sewing machines, I really like the store. It's currently situated on a Mennonite farm, but it will be relocated sometime later this year. We saw the new spot, and while it's going to be close to the original, it will now be off the main road, not on the farm.  

Anyway -- the staff is very knowledgeable and EXTREMELY helpful. I went with the intent of purchasing something that I thought was $99, only to discover it was $73. OK -- that was a bonus, and I decided to splurge on something else. The large purchase was the Bernina Big Books. Shhh --- do not tell anyone I have those books, but they are excellent reference books and can be translated into any machine brand. I have a few already and was glad to find the other one I wanted at a reasonable price. 

We didn't stop at the Misty Marketplace on the corner in Conn. Another time -- that trip already took two hours. Considering that we were five, which makes it challenging to check out, these guys are on the ball. And the store is 30 minutes away, so we did very well on time. That's it -- that's the only place that I wanted to shop, so I'm done. I'm going to hunker down and sew on my itty bitty projects for the rest of the week. 

Plus, we're supposed to have snow today, so best to stay home and sew. 

So let's see what I'm working on. My current project was the Boho Heart. While the top was done, I decided I didn't like that the heart touched three sides of the quilt. I extended the top by adding 6 inches, and I'll add three inches to each side. 

Here's a shot of it in progress. I'm working with my scrap box (from this quilt) and discovered that I was missing some strips that were long enough. You can see that I'm halfway through the extension. And instead of just sewing six inches to the top, I opened up the seams and added the six inches by staggering where the seam would be. 

Progress on BOHO Heart

Then I started removing the entire strips and adding a completely new one. I found that much easier as it was less handling of the quilt and just seemed easier and faster. 

So this is what it looked like at the end of the day. I made it all the way across the quilt. And we all agreed that it looks better. 

BOHO heart with the extension added 

However, the right side of the project was more challenging than the left side. I needed three fabrics, so many strips are hanging off the quilt. But that's OK. The worst is over, and it shouldn't take long to finish that off. I can't add the side strips, so I will do that when I get home. I needed two extra black-on-white fabrics, which I picked up at Creekbank. 

This corner is missing a few strips

But the day wasn't without mishaps. I was chatting away and obviously not paying attention, and this happened. 

Ooops -- those strips are going sideways!

I added the piece, and it was going sideways, not vertically. Sigh.................... 

Having sewn all I could, I put it away and pulled the next project out. I love being here because I stick with a project rather than putting it away. As I finish up with something, I load them in the car. Then when it's time to leave, there's not much left to put in the car. Yep -- I've learned, and it's such a pain to make many trips to the car when it could be done a little bit at a time. 

Oh -- I designed a quilt in EQ8 for those 83 little blocks from the day before. I'll need some background fabric which I have at home. And this will get bundled up and off to Diane, and we'll have a child's quilt from it. 

This was my next project. I had this block from Green Tea that needed to be sewn together. It's not my best sewing -- I did improv on the green part, and while it doesn't look like the pattern, the block is together. And it's going to stay that way. 

A block from Green Tea

It looks fine when I see it in the picture. Who would know that the tips of the leaves are supposed to be a point? No one! Get over it!!!!

Every time I pass the cutting table, I trim a few more half-square triangles, making progress without boring myself to death. 

The diminishing pile of half-square triangles

And one must be careful with what one says. Maryke walked past my table and commented on the cute little tin that housed my next project. I said she could have it. I said that everything was up for grabs, and of course, everyone wanted my sewing machines. OH -- well, that wasn't quite what I meant. Anyway, the tin is gone. 

A cute tin went to a new home

It was filled with all the leftovers from my Farmer's Wife quilt. The goal is to make improv blocks and then use them for a quilt. These were too pretty and have a very different feel from most of my other scraps, so that's my project for today and possibly tomorrow. 

Scraps from Farmer's Wife quilt

And another reason we need to be careful is I was commenting on how happy I was with my treat toolbox. It's got EVERYTHING I bragged, and I immediately broke my pencil lead (to mark the Y seams on that Green Tea block). I discovered that I did not have a pencil sharpener in my box. Sigh.......

My retreat toolbox

At one point, my bobbin ran out, and I decided it was an excellent time to clean the sewing machine. Can you believe how much lint I pulled from the bobbin case? 

That's a lot of lint

It may have been overdue for a cleaning and a new needle and needs to be serviced. 

Last year, we made a mat for the house, and it's held up very well. We peeked at the guest book, and the place has been booked with back-to-back dates for quite a while. That's great because it means the house will stay in business. Thanks to everyone who has helped that happen. December always seems to be wide open! 

The mat we made for the retreat house

The mat has a lot of wear right where the floor is cracked, but the paint has held up very well. I LOVE it. 

This is the road we walk on. It's not a very busy road, and it's clear, so it's an excellent place to walk. There were a few slippery patches, but we could still make good time. We went for a long walk in the morning and a short one in the afternoon. 

The walking scene

I love this sign. Let's just consolidate all those highways into one. It cuts down on land use and signage!!!

Highway sign

Been sleeping like a log, and it's great! 

ACK!! I just remembered that I should include the QUILTsocial posts this week. So here they are so far.

I'm doing some fantastic projects this week, just in time for Valentine's Day!!!

OK -- Now I'm off to sew. 

Have a super day11!


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