Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Retreat : recap one

Teacher's corner

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!)

2012-05 WI Amanda Quilt Retreat 06

As everybody arrived Friday afternoon, we uncrammed our packed cars and started loading up the retreat center.

2012-05 WI Amanda Quilt Retreat 10

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!)

yoga blocks as quilting platform

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.

Angela's Turnovers magic!

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 strings

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's scrappy

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.

Angela's Tablecloth

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!

amanda's slabs

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:

scrap start

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. 

Up early with the red winged blackbirds. Ready to sew!

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.

Great way to start the morning. Iced coffee and scrap piecing.

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.

my slabs

Amanda had started parts of these, and I just ran with it until the call for breakfast came at 8:30.

my own slab

This one I did all by myself.

After breakfast we start the real lessons - and first up would be using a walking foot.....

Walking foot blocks first.


Kelsey said...

I LOVE those green blocks :) Looks like such a fun time - can't wait to see more!

Flaun of I Plead Quilty! said...

You should have told me you wanted to short out the circuit board! I would have let you try it out, Angela.

Leslie said...

i have been drooling my through this whole post. i can not believe how gorgeous all of these quilts are. i love your scrap blocks! in my dreams i will someday be able to go to a retreat like this and learn at the feet at some of the most wonderful quilters out there.

CitricSugar said...

It looks like you had so much fun! I can't wait to hear more....

Heather said...

What a great retreat! I am so glad you had a good time. Great job on your scrappy blocks, I am no good at using scraps, I think I need to just go for it like you!

Stephanie said...

That looked like an amazing experience! Even being up early enjoying your breakfast with the birds sounds lovely :) How did you find out about the retreat?

Emily said...

Wow I should really read my blogs more often! This sounds amazing!!!! It looks like you had a great time and learned a lot! :)

Carla said...

Lucky you! I have never been on a retreat before. I am too self conscious I think. Looks like you had a good time. I like your scrap blocks and have Amanda's book. I am on my third quilt from it . Have a lovely Sunday

Rene' said...

Angela, I'm so glad you had a great time! Love the retreat recap. Off to read more....

quirky granola girl said...

golly! another fantastic retreat post. i think it is funny that you included the photo of the yoga block platform :) your green blocks really turned out great.

BendingPins.com said...

I'm new to your blog, found you here from Crazy Mom Quilts Scrappy book tour. I loved your post about the quilting retreat, I've not been on one yet, maybe one day!

I'm super interested in that pink bee print fabric, what's it called, I need some!!