Monday, February 11, 2008

Quilting Retreat Weekend

I recently attended the CQFA weekend retreat in Capitola, it was over a very stormy weekend, so it was a great one to be inside sewing. I found that it was super fun just to get away from my sewing room for a while and talk to real human beings in person! We were right off the lobby as you came into the hotel, and if the door didn't get closed, guess who got to be peered at first by curious non-quilters? Luckily I was "in the zone" most of the time and it didn't bug me too much. In fact I didn't even know that that J had taken this picture of me!

The first project I decided to sew on was to set together the black/white/red blocks I received in a Quilt Mavericks "swamp". I set them together with a recently purchased batik panel and some other black/white piecing. I made little sections to set all the different sized blocks together. Yet another quilt top that goes into the make some more blocks to make this a bigger size so that then it can be a useable size bin. I don't think it is good enough to want to hang on the wall and it is too small to be a lap quilt (close though!).

I got this together in a few hours worth of sewing. It involved crawling around on the floor in the hotel conference room we were all sewing in. Fun! There were a couple portable design walls that people were using that sure would have been great to have in that situation, I don't think I can justify getting one as I just don't take many classes or workshops. But never say never, right?
Then I started cutting and piecing some star blocks (a real challenge for me!) to use in putting together the blocks I ended up with from my participation in the last CQFA round robin (mine was a celestial theme). Believe it or not, that took me most of a day! For like 5 blocks completed. Five 6" blocks. Sheesh I'm slow at piecing and cutting, especially when the measurements are 3/8" this and 1/8" that. Oh well, it will look good once it is done. I hope. I don't know if I find block making so hard, just that I'm not that great at it, so I don't practice, so I don't get better, etc., and repeat..

So it got to the last day and I just couldn't stand working on the star blocks anymore so I made this from the donated fabric pile that our members had brought, as well as my scraps from the weekend so far. It was Then that I found that I was happy and relaxed working in the improvisational and raw edge free-wheeling collage-y style that I have worked out for myself over lo these many years. I put this top together right on the backing and batting like I usually do. These two pictures show the editing process I go through as I assemble the quilt picture. Can you spot the differences??
I quilted it once I got home to my normal quilting machine. I didn't have any batting with me at the retreat, so I went next door to Cabrillo Sewing and they didn't have the fusible batting I usually prefer to use. That makes it much harder at the quilting step, but I managed.
And finally, one of our members brought fabric postcard making kits with pre-fused fabrics and fusible and timtex and postcards. So here is the one I made. I sent it to her to say thanks!

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