Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Retreat, RRTK and Machine Quilting, Hourglass

I spent last long weekend at our Guild Retreat, located at a beautiful lodgey YMCA, with friends, a LOT of food, and beautiful views.  I think this was my 5th or 6th retreat at this location.   If you've been to a Quilting Retreat, these kinds of photos will look familiar. If you HAVEN'T been to a retreat, you are missing something. 

 I think that head on the pink shirt is Marlene!
 This pink shirt belongs to Donna, the recent Raffle winner of a quilt I helped make last year, called Prairie Schooler - lucky girl!
 Another view - we had a fireplace when needed.
These are part of Scotts Bluffs, the view out our window.  Just beyond the rail fence is the North Platte River, gurgling away, full of ruching water.
 The walk in front of the various rooms.  I believe there were 5 or 6 double rooms.
More North Platte River, with the noisy, gurgling tributary.  
 This is the entire lodge where we stayed - so comfy, economical and pleasant.  We gals did the meals, all taking turns in the wonderful kitchen.  No one went home hungry!!
My workspace - that "red" around my quilt is a flange, not binding.  I was with 2 other friends, and we were comparing work spaces -- neat or messy.  Note - no mess on the floor under MY project.  Also, I have learned to use a boat cushion on my chair to help me sit high enough.    A boat cushion doesn't compress, nor does it make rude noises when I plop down on it!

That portable machine worked just fine for much of the machine quilting.

 Carol, one of my roommates, also works neatly.  Note, no mess on the floor.  This was her first retreat, and we KNOW she had a great time.
 And then there's Tina - my other roommate, who said her floor was a mess because she was piecing a tiny chicken that took her all day, and there was much unsewing!   8-))
 This was just to show to DH, how much of a mess we all make and that he is not alone when he comments about MY mess at home.

I almost finished my project, a Rocky Road to Kansas design, that I call "Stringin' My Blues"  I DID have to unsew one entire border side of machine quilting as it just "didn't do"! The improved version was 2 simple evenly-spaced lines using my walking foot -- soooo much better.  Even someone who has machine quilted a LOT makes errors in judgment.

Also, some of the gals were interested in how I machine quilted on my DSM, questions about  what did I draw with, what stencil, etc.  Repeat - this is all free-form - no drawing, no stencil, no paper.  At first, thinking about quilting those swirls in the white border scared me and I had planned to draw them, or draw guidelines, but almost right away, I realized I could do them just fine free-form, and they are all surprisingly evenly spaced. Frankly, I'm amazed they ARE evenly spaced and wonder about brains and hands actually being able to coordinate so well. The design itself took about 10 minutes of practice to get the right size for that border width.
The flange sewn between the border and the binding definitely gave the quilt pizzazz - a trick I learned from my friend Jody (Goddess).  I DID purchase the RED for the last minute idea to add the flange.
 All of the other fabric for the top is from my stash.

Here it is today, hanging over my fence.  I hung heavy clamps to the top of the quilt that weight it over the top of the fence so wind does not blow it down.  The size is about 71" x 81".  As I frequently have said, "It turned out much better than I thought!"  

And here is my Hourglass, ready for sandwiching.  More stash use.  Hmmmm, how to quilt this????  This is probably the easiest pattern I ever made.  Onward and upward - Quilt ON!