Thursday, February 20, 2014

Still Back from Quilt Bliss!

So, continuing my saga from the other day . . . after we arrived at Timber Moose Lodge, we settled into the sewing room, which was transformed from this great upstairs room with a fantastic view of the mountains:

There wasn't quite enough room for all the sewists, so another room was set up on the first floor. I snuck down there occasionally to lay out and baste my quilts, and they had quite a cool, zen sewing environment. Just a handful of ladies, but they were having a great time and had plenty of room. I loved being upstairs, although there were a lot of tables to fit in and it was sometimes hard negotiating around people on the way to and from the iron and cutting table. 

Before I forget to mention it, throughout the retreat we had the most amazing meals, prepared by Pamela's sister Christina, mother Ginny, and aunt Becky. Seriously good. I tried to be good and skipped most of the desserts, but they were incredible: bouche de noel, meringues, rustic tarts, and more! They worked so hard for us and did an outstanding job. Thank you ladies!!

Throughout the retreat there were many great classes and trunk shows. Because I signed up late, there were only a few classes left, but still such great choices! I have to confess that I spent most of my time sewing, so I only got to one class, but it was great! I took a fabulous scrap class with Amy Smart. Amy reviewed a number of great techniques to use scraps, but we focused on making a string pieced quilt. It was perfect! About a year ago I won scraps from Film in the Fridge, leftovers from her lovely Bonnie & Camille Ruby quilt, and I've been holding off using them until I got around to doing these string blocks. I made it through one block before digging back into other projects at the retreat, but I'm inspired to finish a quilt with them. I was so impressed by so many ladies at the retreat who really dug in and made a ton of these blocks. Amy had the great idea of cutting the block into quarters, which made a super cute baby sized quilt. 

In addition to the class I took with Amy, there were great classes by Amanda Woodruff on mixing and matching fabric, Emily Sessions on quilting, Kristin Barrus on quilt journaling, Anna Morrison on paper piecing, Leigh Hansen on carving out creative time, and Jeannette Hartvigsen on her fabulous hand-turned appliqué. 

I had been so crazed with work and preparing for my big meeting in DC (which was scheduled for the day following the retreat) that I really didn't have much time to plan (or pack) for the retreat. The morning of, I opened up a suitcase and just dumped in somewhat random piles of fabric. All were tied to projects I had already planned, but I just ran out of time to think about how much I could accomplish and how much to pack. As a result, I ended up with a rather small suitcase filled with retreat and work clothes and a large suitcase filled with fabric and assorted projects in progress. Some of what I packed were the medallion quilt blocks from the round robin I've been working on. I had three to tackle, and April had the awesome idea of us working on them together at the retreat. I've decided not to show the blocks, as I know there are peekers out there! 

But here's a photo of some of the great swag we received:

There's an adorable little print of a sewing machine, two Omnigrid rulers (5.5 inch square and 1x5 inch ruler), little snips scissors, some Aurifil and Metrosene thread, a charm pack and Kona solids mini charm pack, and that adorable little name "tag" person. It's all resting on top of the great Valentine's table runner made for me by my secret swap partner, Lori. I've also included some of the fat quarters I bought at Corn Wagon on my way to the retreat (on the right) as well as two cute Christmas FQs from April. I have just realized that I neglected to add (but need to include) the great little jar filled with selvedges that Sue gave me!

Going to the retreat has really rekindled my sew-jo, and I've been busy since I returned working on a hexie quilt. I've noticed everyone around me getting into the hexie craze for some time, but it really just didn't interest me until now. The QuiltBliss swag included a little hexie starter kit with EPP templates. While I love all things paper piecing, I initially only picked up the little hexies when I returned from the retreat with a bad cold and ended up in front of the TV (and Olympics) for a solid week. Now I have totally gotten into it!

I initially started making flower circles, using the same scraps pictured above, but I didn't like the more traditional look they were creating. I unpicked what I had done and restarted using a swirling spiral pattern which is making me much happier. And the best part? All of the fabric I'm using—even the white Kona—comes from my scraps collection! I forgot to add something to give a sense of scale, but they're little 1-inch hexies. So lots more to go if I want to make this into a lap quilt!

Okay, enough for today . . .  stay tuned for more to come!


  1. Look at all those cute little hexies!!!! I love the spiral idea!

  2. I love your Hexies!! Glad I got to see you out here and glad you had fun! retreats are always good for mojo!!!

  3. Such tin hexies. Think I would need to try something bigger. That lodge looks amazing and what fun to work with everyone.

  4. Such a great post! It was like reliving the retreat a little :) I saw your hexies on instagram and didn't realize they were so little! I love your spiral idea and may have to jump on board...maybe. It was so much fun hanging with you during the retreat!


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