Tuesday, October 25, 2016

All Retreat Projects, Great and Small

It's always tricky planning retreat sewing.  This may sound strange, but it's such a luxury to devote entire days to quilting projects.  For this retreat at the Siena Center, I knew I had to start with something I've been wanting to do that requires a lot of simple sewing.  So I took my Marcia Derse fabrics to make a quilt I have made before that my senior-in-college grandson has (which coincidentally was made at the Spring 2014 retreat).  I finished all the strip sheet sets and will insert them into the lovely neutral that makes the light strip in all the blocks. 

I finished these easy but tedious strip sets by late Saturday morning and got out my red and black cork fabrics.  Since I haven't sewn with cork fabric before, I had to do a wee bit of test sewing.  And I discovered it's fabulous to work with.  I quilted the cork fabric onto Soft and Stable interfacing and created the front, back, gusset, and outer pocket for Sara Lawson's Hey Mercedes bag, a purse size which I really like.  I would have kept going on this project except I didn't have the right hardware with me.  Since I am thrilled with how this project is going, I have a feeling I'll finish it fairly soon.

Now it's late Saturday afternoon, and I have nothing completed to show (and my guild is so fond of ding-ding-dinging the bell announcing a finish).  And what do I do when I need to have a completed project?  Right!  A Mors bag.  I brought with me a fat quarter, some Kona brown, and strapping for handles.  The scrap table gave me the fabrics for the inside of the bag.  This bag is going back into my car for trips to Mariano's and Walgreen's.   And now - what to do the rest of my precious retreat sewing time?  Some of my guildsters and I joke about taking our fabrics for rides in the car to various retreats.  And my pile of Alison Glass scraps have gone of several sewing weekends with me.  But this time?  I actually got them out!

My scraps were all 3" wide and 14" - 18" long.  In between each row is a 4" strip.  So far this top is about 60" x 80".  I will need to do a little bit of piecing in the upper right and then may use the rest of the scraps to make outer borders, but I am loving how this is turning out, especially since it's been so long in the planning.  And this kept me busy until Sunday night!  I am very happy with what I got done.  Last night I slept for 9 hours, a rarity for me.  I think I was pleasantly tired from the weekend.

Guild vice-president Amy has been heading up a charity effort for Sarah's Inn in Oak Park.  We are making pillows, zippered pouches with little luxuries, and napping quilts.  Amy finished piecing this quilt, and I volunteered to take it home with me for quilting and binding.  Funny to come home with more than I took up.  But it's a good thing.

This isn't a retreat project - I just have it out and want to get to it.  I made this quilt for my father-in-law years ago.  It has a nice, neat, big hole in the border.  Mending this is in my future, and I may wait until after the November Chicago MQG meeting where Heidi Parkes will be our speaker and her topic is intentional mending.    Or I may just reinvent this wheel and forge on ahead.  And I must take a breath and put away the piles of fabrics so I can at least close the cabinet doors. 

It was a good retreat.

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