Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Selfie of My Private DIY Quilt Camp


Day Two: Thursday, March 5, 2015
Listening to Audio Book: In the Land of the Long White Cloud, by Sarah Lark (22 hrs -- 10 hrs left)

Starting my day with a hearty breakfast: Oatmeal with blueberries, red grapes, Acid-free decaf coffee (YES, the coffee tastes really good!).

Ummm, since this was almost half-way finished when my DIY retreat started yesterday, I really really thought this quilt would be finished by the end of the first day. It's nearing the end of the second day and I'm STILL working on it!  Argghhh!
At least all the blocks are done.

I'm this far with the center portion (See below--Day one--for a view of the whole pattern).
Cool Notion of the Day 
I picked this up at a quilt show last summer when I was vending. I think it cost me five bucks. It works great to get those annoying little threads off your blocks as you're working on them or the whole quilt at the end. It fits over our fingers. 

Front

This is the side that grabs the strings. It reminds me of the texture of an air conditioner filter.
The sofa in my sewing room is beginning to disappear under sewing and quilting fabric and supplies.
I'm beginning to feel a little bit better...still very tired and napping through out the day...lots of rest.  As much as I miss my fellow retreaters, staying home was the right call. I'm counting on the medicinal affects of sewing and quilting to work its magic =)

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Day One: Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Audio Books:  Finished listening to War Brides, by Helen Bryan
Started In the Land of the Long White Cloud, by Sarah Lark

The B.A.Q.S. (Big Ass Quilting Society) Quilt Camp starts today, Wednesday, March 3, at a remote lodge in Michigan.

...So why am I not there?

I prepared for camp by pre-cutting several (make that many) quilts, as though I would take my usual spot among twenty-four quilters for five days while we enjoy camaraderie, food, and our passion for creating with fabric and thread. But alas, it was not to be!

After a series of medical issues that have piled up over the past ten days, I was forced--yes, forced, to make the very difficult decision not to attend our beloved retreat. Without going into detail about aging body parts, it became apparent that I had no business traveling to the wilds of Michigan. (One of many new things I learned is that gout is a form of arthritis and is not caused by diet).

So here I am, ready to start my Bernina and not take my foot off the pedal for the next five days... a do it yourself, by myself, quilt retreat. I'll be posting my projects and my progress from Wednesday through Sunday. Follow me to see how much and what I get accomplished over those five days and what books I'm listening to as I sew.


I arrive at my sewing room in my jammies by walking twelve steps from my bedroom--I guess I'm on the 12-Step-DIY-Quilt-Retreat Program! 
I'm ready to have some fun, even if it's by myself! 
Ready to sew!
Starting off with a quick breakfast
On tap for today:
I brought this fabulous 30s reproduction kit with me to quilt camp last fall and got about half of the blocks finished. I thought this would be a good place to start...as in, I'll just whip this up and move on to the next project. I started by squaring up the center piece and suddenly -- OOPS! Within ten minutes of starting my DIY Retreat, I had to take several steps backward in order to move forward! DARN--thirty minutes to fix the innocent little slice below.

 Back on track, I put a double border on the center piece. Why do borders always take so much longer than I anticipate?
 Finally got to making a few blocks


I set up a table in the living room for evening retreat work, such as cutting and sub-cutting--preparing for the next quilt in the queue. This way I can be productive while Bob and I watch a little TV.


Sub-cutting strips for the pattern below. I hope to finish the quilt above tomorrow and then dive in to this one.

I'm going to do a little more cutting and then head up to bed. I'll be back at it in the morning. Stop by again to see what I've accomplished.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Guild Talk

Thanks to Heritage Quilters of South Suburbia for inviting me to speak at their guild meeting.

In the summer of 2013, shortly after my first book, The Bunco Club, was released, Geri and Winnie (the Events Committee) invited me to speak to the guild. At that point, February of 2015 seemed like a million years away, yet here we are...the talk, trunk show, and book signing is a thing of the past! The talk was especially meaningful to me not only because it was the first time I had been asked to speak at a guild meeting, but because Heritage Quilters Guild is the guild to which my "real Bunco Club" and I belong!

I have done countless guild, library, quilt shop talks, and book signings since that day in July when Geri and Winnie graciously extended an invitation to me. It seemed only fitting that I launch my newly released third book in the Bunco Club Series, Threads of Friendship: Marge and Beth, to this special group of quilters.

My husband helped me at the guild talk. Thanks,Bob!
 SOME OF MY QUILTS FROM THE TRUNK SHOW
"Lessons from Mama" Quilt pattern by Terry Atkinson
Examples of my left-handed and right-handed art work.
Dresden Plate--Cover of The Bunco Club
Traditional Orange Peel done in 1930s reproduction fabrics
Bear Down--Chicago Football
Red and White
Edyta Sitar Pattern/Wall Hanging

Wind Farm by Miss Rosie
Monterrey Medallions -- Pattern by Terry Atkinson
Egg Money--Queen size pattern by Eleanor Burns
"Gathering Basket" with teeny tiny 9 patches

And finally, several of us took a jacket making class and these were our results--the same pattern with seven different personalities.

I had a wonderful evening among fellow quilters and friends. Thank you all for making it memorable.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Downton Style 60th Birthday Celebration

Oh,what a night!

A wonderfully fun tradition of my Bunco Club is celebrating the 60th birthdays of our members. We recently planned a surprise party using the Downton Abbey theme and wow, did we ever have a great time!

Enjoy a peek at our party, decorations, and costumes through some of the snaps we took ...

I LOVE this photo--We had sew much fun dressing in character!
Isobel Crawley (Faye), our birthday girl, posing with Carson.
Lady Cora (Bev) greets guests in the dining room

Flirtatious Lady Mary (Sandy T) with Carson


Thomas Barrow (Matthew) serves champagne
Mr. Carson with Barrow

L-R: Lady Edith (Liz), Lady Grantham (Bev), Lady Rose (Sharon)

Lady Violet (ME--Karen) with Mr. Carson

An upstairs and downstairs toast to Mrs. Isobel Crawely on the occasion of her birthday
A little blurry but we have L-R: Daisy (Fayes' sister, Ruth), Lady Mary (Sandy T.), Anna (Faye's sister, Joan).

Lady Rose (Sharon) flirting with Carson
Barrow, Lady Cora, and Lady Rose
Preparing for after dinner tea
Barrow and Mrs. Patmore (Sandy C) in the kitchen
UPSTAIRS: Isobel Crawely, Lady Mary, Lady Edith, Lady Violet, Lady Grantham, Lady Rose
DOWNSTAIRS: Daisy, Anna, Barrow, Carson, Mrs. Hughes (Sandy K), Mrs. Patmore
Lady Faye Wine was served.
video 
Our rendition of Happy Birthday to our dear friend and Bunco sister, Faye.
Hoping you had a memorable evening with many more to come!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Now Available--Threads of Friendship: Marge & Beth (Book 3)

BOOK 3 IS FINISHED!

I am very proud to announce that  
Threads of Friendship: Marge & Beth 
(Book 3 in The Bunco Club Series) 
is finished and available!
 




THREADS OF FRIENDSHIP: MARGE & BETH  Book 3 of The Bunco Club Series 

Be prepared to share your love of quilting and form lasting friendships when you pass through the doors of the Mayflower Quilters Retreat. Gather with fellow quilters as the world-class quilting haven hosts its soft opening. Follow Marge and Beth as they determine which threads they will hold dear and which ones must be clipped.

Marge Russell balances her duties between General Manager of the MQR and unexpected issues of her personal life. Antagonized by her sister, Marge must decide how to proceed with their relationship. Where will first year college student Val Russell’s reckless behavior lead her, and will Marge be able to help her daughter? 

Losing an endless battle against the impulse to hoard, Beth Stevenson makes a choice to deceive her husband while safeguarding worthless items. Someone is cyberstalking Beth about her disorder, but who? Will hoarding drive her husband and family away and will Beth ultimately be forced to choose between her obsession and her family?

Explore the power and shortcomings of families and friends in THREADS OF FRIENDSHIP: MARGE & BETH, Book 3 of The Bunco Club Series.


Thank you all for your patience.
I hope you find it was worth the wait.

As always, happy reading and stitching,
Karen