Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Selfie of My Private DIY Quilt Camp

Day Five: Comprised of Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday
March 8, 9, and 11, 2015  
Yes, it took me three days to accomplish day five!
Audio Book: Finished Saving Grace:Katie and Annalise, Book 1, by Pamela Fagan Hutchins,
Started Take Me with You, by Catherine Ryan Hyde 

So here's what happened...
Sunday was to be the last "official" DIY Quilt Camp day for me. Sadly, my...ahem...recent gout attack reared up again and after sewing together a few piano key units, it became too painful to press down on the foot pedal. Okay, so there's always tomorrow, right? That brings us to napping away the pain on Sunday. 
I showed up Monday at the office of Dr. Google and after doing some searching, made several pro-active choices that have paid off. I then didsome much needed communication catch-up on my books, along with Frame Masters work. After heading to my sewing room, I ended up one border shy of finishing the amazingly huge, white-elephant of a 1930's quilt on which I've been working. Darn...still not finished!
Tuesday was a ray of sunshine...our son, Rob, visited me for the whole day! Yippee for me, but a non-productive sewing day--however, as we all know, seeing your kid trumps everything!
Wednesday morning I went straight to my sewing room, sans coffee and in my pj's. I was not doing anything until that silly border was attached and "A Tisket a Tasket" was completed. 

TA DA--here's proof! The Quilt is finished, my DIY Quilt Retreat is over, and so is my lengthy explanation of why my last camp day lasted 84 hours.

One thing that became very clear to me is that I need to make more time for my sewing passion. Thanks to all for keeping me company while I missed my "official" quilt retreat. It was fun to share my progress and, at times lack of progress, with you.

Happy Stitching and Peace Out.

Day Four: Saturday, March 7, 2015 
Audio Book: Finished In the Land of the Long White Cloud, by Sarah Lark 
Started Saving Grace:Katie and Annalise, Book 1, by Pamela Fagan Hutchins (9 hrs)

STILL NOT FINISHED! What the heck?
Admittedly, I worked a little bit on several other projects today, but I still spent half the day working on the piano key border. I am confident the border will be finished and attached and that "A Tisket a Tasket" will be completed tomorrow -- that is unless I just jinxed myself! 
Piles of piano keys, ready for the big day tomorrow when they will be sewn together to frame the finished quilt top.

My first One Block Wonder -- at least it's cut out and ready to go.
Cut fabrics and T-shirt for a Blackhawks quilt using the pattern below.

Pattern that I will use red/black/white fabric to make the Blackhawks quilt

The start of rhombus blocks for "Maddie Bea's" quilt (see last photo on Day One for image). I suspect this quilt will also take me a lot longer than I had originally thought.
I accomplished a lot of cutting and sub-cutting today. With a little luck and a few more hours of work, I'll be posting a photo of my newest 1930s repro quilt. 


Day Three: Friday, March 6, 2015 
Listening to Audio Book: In the Land of the Long White Cloud, by Sarah Lark (22 hrs -- 3 hrs left)
After another full day, I'm sew close to having this baby finished! All I need is to piece together and attach the kick-ass piano key border. I'll be pre-cutting the jillion pieces after dinner tonight. I might start on a new quilt tomorrow for a little break but I'm hopeful to have this quilt finished before the weekend is over.

This quilt is way too big to lay out anywhere, so I draped it over the sofa.
Note to self: Seriously Karen, as much as you might love the do NOT need any more queen sized 1930s reproduction quilts!

About a month ago several of my friends and I each got this cool cordless iron that's become quite popular. With the release of my third book, Threads of Friendship, I was too tied up to even take it out of the box. I've been using it since Wednesday and I LOVE it! 
The Panasonic Cordless Iron paired with Mary Ellen's Best Press...Ironing at its best!

One more quick thing and then I'm back to work. Check out this Free PDF Pattern that is Charm-pack-friendly (to me that also means Scrap friendly).--Charmed! I think it's pretty cool and it gives me a ton of ideas!

Back to the cutting mat and rotary cutter... See you tomorrow =)

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. 


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 =)


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 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.


  1. Sew glad you could fix that dresden piece. Sorry you couldn't go on retreat. I've never been on a retreat before. Sorry about the gout, too. I think my brother was diagnosed with it last year.

  2. Hi Cheryl--thanks for the comment, sorry it's taken me so long to respond. My little retreat is over and I'm still having trouble letting go of the experience--What a treat to sew all day for several days in a row! Still gouty, but learning about the power of Aleve! Have a good one...