Monday, March 7, 2011

Quilting Retreat

I went to my first one ever and had the best time. 15 of us from the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild were at the Siena Center in Racine, WI. One highlight of the weekend was just seeing how others work and what they were working on. Another was getting to see and use a fabric die cutter, thanks to Ebony Love.  Best of all was getting to know the women in this group.  The CMQG is fairly new, and this was its first retreat.  It went so well that there is already the planning in the works for one in November and one in March 2012!

I worked on three projects and found my biggest challenge was space.  Although I took a big box of scraps, I only worked with my reds.  My stopping point was a space issue - I need now to border these pieces to a uniform size and then go through the same process with other colors of scraps.  I'm thinking this will be the row of a quilt. Paula's t-shirt wall hanging was another project I had with me.  It's all assembled and now ready for the outer borders, which is part of a quilt-as-you-go process.  And these borders have to be centered and mitered.  So again, I reached a lack-of-space stumbling block and will finish it in my studio.
Because I knew Ebony was bringing her AccuQuilt Die Cutter, I grabbed two batiks at the last minute and used them for Drunkard's Path pieces.  I cut as many 12" squares from the two fabrics and ran them through the die cutter.  Within 10 minutes I had all my pieces.  Notice the notches!  I'm so impressed with this machine.  The rest of my retreat time was spent piecing these squares.  At some point I'll figure out exactly how many blocks I have and plot my layout on my Electric Quilt software.

Saturday after dinner CMQG President Beth divided us into three teams of 5, gave each team the same number of 2.5" strips, and told each team to make Fence Rail blocks.  My team did it in 22 minutes!  Each team's blocks are making a baby quilt like this.  I pieced this one together and will quilt/bind it for Project Linus.  Two other guild members are finishing the other ones.

I can't wait for the next retreat.  But meanwhile today I'm working on Christopher's Bradley Quilt. This quilt is my priority for the week!

Check out fellow retreater/blogger Karen's post for more details about our terrific weekend. 


Carol G said...

Wow, what a great sounding week-end. I'm really interested to see how this scrap quilt develops. Looks interesting. And I'm envious you got to use an AccuQuilt cutter. I've been thinking I need one!

Karen said...

So great hanging out with you last weekend...I'm looking forward to more retreats together ;)

Zanymouse said...

I glad you had a good time at the retreat. That Drunkard's Path is going to be gorgeous! After reading your post, I think I need to get an AccuQuilt. Santa? Anyone?