Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Retreat : recap one
I have so much to share with you, I'll break my final retreat post into a couple days. I don't want to leave out a single, fun photo or moment.
Perhaps it was the fact that this was my first quilt retreat, or that all ten of the other women there just amazing, but I can not imagine a more awesome retreat.
(seriously, I've been gushing about it for the last two days to whomever I can get to listen!)
As everybody arrived Friday afternoon, we uncrammed our packed cars and started loading up the retreat center.
By evening we filled eight banquet rounds and a big rectangle table with an amazing variety of machines and quilty stuff.
Karen had a cool tilted base-thing so that her sewing surface is at perhaps a 10-15deg angle. And Flaun had a Horizon that I tried not to drool on, along with Amanda's screamin' fast Juki (no fancy stuff, not even a zigzag, but as she said, it has two modes - fast and faster!)
Melinda's cool, vintage Kenmore doesn't have a quilting platform, so she improvised.
With yoga blocks, a few books including e.e.cummings, cardboard, and packing tape....It was super Zen!
After a yummy dinner of tacos and cupcakes (mmm!) we sat together to introduce ourselves more formally with some show & tell and flimsies.
I brought a few, including this dutch pinwheel I made a couple years ago with Snippets turnovers and a bit of stash. We decided that proudly stippling it and a scrappy binding would be the way to go.
(I love to stipple, and I'm going to own that I'm proud of it - even though it kind of feels like stipple is trending 'out' in blog land lately)
Melinda's string quilt. Amazing. Oh, and she brought her voile quilt top as well - too busy gaping at it's wonderfulness to take a photo. Go visit it....
Flaun had the most awesome aqua suitcase full of stuff. She's a hoot and has made some cool stuff - you should check out her blog.
Melinda, Amanda, and the rest of us talked over lots of quilting ideas for all the flimsies we brought.
I brought my Figgy Pudding table cloth/quilt to sleep under. Bummed I didn't take any photos of it in my nice room.
We over-talked. By a whole big bunch. It was just too much fun.
So the first class that Amanda was going to do for us go put off until Saturday morning - probably best not to start learning at 10:30 the first night!
That was perfect for me, as I had fallen in love with this quilt by Amanda. She had been at a book signing the night before, and had all her quilts along - lucky us!
Amanda is truely the queen of scrap quilting. But I have struggled with it.....How do you get the above out of a bin like this:
So, late Friday night I asked and Amanda happily dove into my bin and taught me how to do it.
Being an engineer to the core, I really just needed SOME basic process, other than - sew scraps together. Her little improvised lesson was perfect.
Then it was off to bed a little before midnight - we had a big day planned for Saturday. I was hyped up on caffine....
Diet Dr Pepper and Iced coffee - the drinks of the champion quilters :)
And had my new scrap-piecing skills churning in my head. I tossed and turned, finally waking up at 4:30am. I tried really hard to sleep some more, as we weren't starting until 8:30, but I gave up at 5 and hopped into the shower.
I was up alone, so headed out back for some yogurt. With the red winged blackbirds, and the sweet grass smell, it was a wonderful start.
Then I dove back into my green bin to try blocks by myself.
And I did it!! By the time others started joining me around 7:30, I was super excited and waving my green blocks for all to see.
Amanda had started parts of these, and I just ran with it until the call for breakfast came at 8:30.
This one I did all by myself.
After breakfast we start the real lessons - and first up would be using a walking foot.....