Quilting and Stuff by Knitnoid

Category Archives: Retreat

Preparing to Retreat


I tend to over pack for retreats.  As a result, I put a limit on myself. My Tutto Rolling Case, matching serger bag and the case with the Sew Steady table and seat cushion. Well this year, with the much smaller sewing machine, instead of the serger bag, I’m taking a bag which holds two project boxes.


The rolling bag of course has my sewing machine in it, along with things like spray starch, thread holder, light, notions box, leader/ender project (plastic bag on left) and the yardage for the DP9 quilts. There’s still a bit of room in this bag, but I’m confident the machine won’t shift in the case.

One project box is already packed.  It has the squares for the 3 DP9 quilts I cut out before Memorial Day.  But because I like variety when I go to retreats and this is a Kansas Troubles Quilters retreat I’m doing my best to prep the KTQ quilt that I’m working on that is on several of my UFO lists.


It’s Sew Scrappy from Evelyn Sloppy’s 40 Fabulous Quilt-Cut Quilts. Naturally, I’m tweaking the pattern, making more blocks and skipping the border. All of the not-quite flying geese blocks are made.  Twenty of the 9-patches are made. I think I need 139. I also need 40 25-patch blocks none of which are made.  So, between now and Thursday morning I want to at least get the strip sets done for the 9-patches & 25 patches as the KTQ fabric box won’t fit in my bag.  Especially if Butterscotch is in the box.



What Happens at Retreat…



There’s a saying “What Happens at Retreat Stays at Retreat”.  Due to the projects I was working on I can’t show anything yet. But it was all not sewing. There was the shopping.

Starting at the bottom center and working clockwise:  Several Kansas Troubles Patterns, a 20 piece charm pack of KTQ lights, a spool of thread that works well with KTQ fabrics, 9 – F8 of KTQ fabrics a stack of KTQ scraps, Perfect Circles (the smaller ones), a light FQ, backing for a secret project, a yard of a cool cat/music fabric, a FQ of a music/Halloween fabric, fabric that I’m not using for the secret project and fabric to make a tie for my husband.  I just realized that I don’t have the ruler that I bought in the picture. Oh well.

I sewed, completing a quilt top start to finish with only one sewing mistake and one cutting error. Then I started working on Jared Takes a Wife with the intention of finishing it. Either I can’t count, or I simply didn’t finish cutting the cornerstones for the quilt because I came up 10 short.  As I worked on these two projects my leader/ender was the 4-patches for the border of Candy Sunflower Seeds. By the time I realized I couldn’t finish JTAW, I was too tired to think through finishing Candy Sunflower Seeds.

So naturally, I pulled out my applique project. It was pretty straight forward. Cut along the dotted line – so to speak – and then fuse into place. At that point I called it a night. The next morning, I figured out the cutting plan for the quilt which will be my next leader/ender project and then stitched one length of thread on the red work snowmen.

After I pulled out the machine today, I had to give the machine a bit of a cleaning…


It was a bit fuzzy.  This is what I pulled out of the machine before I started sewing on the binding to my latest finish:



Stay tuned to see my latest finish in the next post.

Quilting Plans for June



When it comes to quilting, I always think I can get more done than I can in the amount of time I have available. This month will probably prove the point. Of these 5 projects I want to completely finish 2 of them and get the other 3 tops made.

Top left – Jared Takes a Wife.  Two seams on each block and then a simple set with sashing and cornerstones. Middle left – Orca Bay. I think I have all the pieces sew for the center of the quilt – I still need to finish piecing the border. Bottom left – Eeyore. Still in pieces.

Top Right – Scrappy Trips Around the World – I’m planning on quilting this on the treadle. I brought the backing fabric up from the basement this morning. Bottom Right – Candy Sunflower Seeds. It has a pieced border which I’ve been working on as my leader/ender.

If I only focus on these 5 quilts, it could happen.  I leave for a quilt retreat in two weeks. My plan is to focus on Eeyore and hopefully finish him.  Then at the retreat I should be able to finish the 3 quilt tops. (That is if I don’t take all the projects I have stacked on the ironing board to take with me – 3 new quilts and 2 to finish.) Which means I’ll have a week and a half to get Scrappy Trips quilted.


Retreat Accomplishments

Whenever I go to a retreat, I always take more than I can possibly accomplish in the allotted time.  This retreat was no different.  In my bag were the following projects: a twin size red, white & blue mystery quilt – pre-cut ; the letters for the crossword puzzle quilt; Fun with Bricks – partially sewn; my mom’s 4-Patch Stacked Posies- partially sewn; mini Ohio Stars; the red, white & blue shop hop blocks; fabric to make sleeves for the quilt show quilts and a stack of 1 1/2″ squares for leader/enders.

I decided early on, the mini Ohio Stars wasn’t going to work.  I need to be able to concentrate without distraction.  At one point I pulled out the letters.  I got as far as sticking a few letters to the squares, but decided that between the monotony of zig-zagging around all the letters and the height of the sewing machine , I’d be better off doing these at home.  Not a whole lot of progress was made on the quilt Mom started either.  I got the blocks pressed and sewed a couple of 2-patched into 4-patches, but then realized I was going to have to decide on what size to trim the blocks to.  Since this was Sunday afternoon and I was tired, I put them away.  The shop hop quilt blocks never made it out of my bag.

So what did I make a dent in?  I have sleeves on 3 of the 4 quilts I took with me.  The twin size mystery quilt blocks are made and all but one row sewn together.  That’s when I realized that I pressed the mirror top/bottom button instead of mirror left/right and instead of a scant 1/4″ seam, I was sewing the blocks into rows with a generous 1/4″ seam.  I had 4 seam rippers with me (3 were in goodie bags), but decided to fold up the pieces and work on something else.  That was Fun with Bricks.  This quilt needed 2-patches sewn into 4-patches and I finished the blocks with the beige squares.  I about 10 of the double brick 2-patches sewn into 4-patches and then it was time to pack up.

That white tray (it’s a recycled plastic box with a snap on lid) contains the 1 1/2″ squares I’m sewing into 2-patches.  Eventually I want to make a postage stamp quilt.  I think I need 4520 pieces so, I have a along way to go since I’ve only sewn about 176 square into 2-patches.

Now that I’m home, I’ve got to get working on the mini-Ohio Stars.  I’d like to have it completed by the Guild meeting on Monday, but may just have to settle on getting it done in time for the Quilt Show at the end of the month.  The cutting board is cleared, the sewing machine plugged in, so all I need to do now is find the ironing board.

Retreat Recap

This past weekend I attended a quilt retreat just outside of Conway, Missouri. Thirty-four quilters, most of whom met on a Yahoo! quilting group. This was my 6th time attending and the 9th for the group. My local quilting buddies S & T traveled with me.

We stopped in at Merrily We Quilt Along in Springfield, MO for a bit of shopping and lunch in the Tea Room. Once at the retreat it was fun seeing old friends and meeting quilters new to the retreat.

Thursday night there was a bit of show-n-tell. I wish I had thought to get my camera out as there were some great quilts. That night I finished quilting my Scrappy 4-Patch and attached the binding. When I realized I made the seam too wide, I decided to head to bed. Even though the quilt wasn’t bound, I slept under it anyway.

Friday morning, we were back up and at our sewing machines. While some quilters worked on the mystery quilt, I worked on the quilt binding for a bit. Getting bored with that, I started attaching the hanging sleeve to Mom’s quilt (finally finished it this evening). Since my wrists begin to hurt if I do to much hand work, I alternated stitching it with working on my Carolina Christmas. After lunch, S, T, V and I took a road trip to Cabool, Missouri to visit Ozarks Patchwork Peddler. It is a cute store.

Once back at the retreat, we had dinner and then for S, T and I a change of plans. Instead of quilting all weekend, we rushed back home to bring T to her doctors. She’s fine now, but we had a bit of a scare. Would you believe we were completely packed – sewing stuff, bedding and clothes and the car loaded in 20 minutes or less? Once the others realized what was happening half of the ladies helped pack up our sewing stuff and the other half packed up the bedding. All weekend we sent text messages back to the retreat to keep them updated when we heard from T and her family.

While T and her family were dealing with her health issues, S and I spent the weekend quilting together while waiting for information. During this time I finished up the Poinsettia Star blocks for Carolina Christmas, worked on the hanging sleeve and started putting the second block together.

The plan is for more quilting Monday, but since we are back in town, we may end up working.

Retreat Flimsy Four

This is the last of the quilt tops I finished at the retreat. This is my husband’s music quilt.

It started innocently enough. On a road trip, I stopped in a quilt shop and saw some music fabric and picked up a couple of FQs back in the Spring of 2003. At the time, I was still knitting, and quilting had not taken over. DH suggested that I make him a quilt, using just music fabrics using a repeat from each fabric. I nodded, the quilter in me wanting to piece, and started collecting music fabric everywhere I went.

Fast forward 5 years and now I have two drawers full of music fabric, only a handful repeated. I continued collecting since I hadn’t started the quilt, and had no idea what I was going to do. DH’s idea was beginning to look better and better.

Then I saw a quilt on the Quilt in a Day forum that someone had posted. She had taken squares of floral print and set them with sashing forming stars. I knew then what I was going to do with my music fabric. I wish I could remember who the quilter was to thank her for the inspiration.

Before I left for retreat, all the sashings were pieced, the top half of the quilt was sewn together and I had two additional rows sewn together, so it came together pretty quickly.

There are 168 different fabrics, no two a like. I even printed my own square, scanning in an original composition my husband hand wrote, Large Egg Rag.

Naturally, this didn’t make a dent in my music fabric, so there is another music quilt in my future some day.

P.S. I just found the link to the inspiration quilt.

Retreat Flimsy Three

It seems it doesn’t matter how careful I am when I’m packing for a trip, I will always leave something at home. This retreat was no exception.

A week before I left, I pressed and folded all of my border fabrics and quilt tops I was planning on working on. Everything had to fit in my tote bag as there were 3 of us hauling sewing machines, stuff to work on, clothes and bedding to the retreat and it had to fit in my Escape.

Saturday morning I pulled out the Old Tobacco Road and realized I had left the pieced cornerstones at home, but I did have 6 extra flying geese with me. What to do?

Well, I could cut some pinwheels from the extra geese, but that would only give me enough for 2 cornerstones. I ran around bumming yellow fabric, but when I realized how many little pieces went into the cornerstones, I opted to use a single yellow, cutting into the 1/2 yard I purchased on my way to the retreat. Yellow solved. That left the green and purple.

Purple was easy. I had not cut off the ends of the bricks to square the quilt up, so all the pinwheels came from the end bricks. I just had to borrow a ruler. — no I didn’t take my ruler since I was just putting borders on the quilts.

The green turned out to be easy enough as well. I had two choices. I had two different greens with me for the inner border. I could use one of them, or I could go scrappy by pulling apart some of the 2-patches I was sewing into 4-patches as leader/enders. I opted for the 2nd choice.

With the exception of the borders and the aforementioned yellow, this quilt was from my stash. I try not to buy fabric for mystery quilts, so when picking the fabric I had to come up with a color palette from my stash. I picked green, yellow and purple, thinking Mardi Gras, but the quilt doesn’t say that to me. In fact, after I had half of it finished I was wondering about my choices, but as I added each section to the quilt, I decided I liked it better. All I have to do now is pick a name.

I’m thinking something about spring plowing. The purple/lavender reminds me of the blue/purple plant that tends to grow in the fields before they are planted around here.

Retreat Quilt Flimsy Two

This is my Stack-n-Whack that I started at the April 2006 Retreat. A couple of months after the retreat, I had about 1/2 of the blocks done and then the quilt was put aside for something else. Last year it was on my list of UFOs to work on. My goal was to get it to the top stage. I took it to the Kansas Troubles Quilters Retreat this past November with the intention of finishing it, but decided it needed something besides the floral border. I tried several fabrics and then someone handed me a dark green paper napkin. It was just the thing to set it off. So then I had to locate the fabric.

I found a pretty green batik, which is next to impossible to see in the picture. There is a 1/2 inch green border separating the floral border from the body of the quilt. That was the easy part. I spent quite a bit of time crawling around on the floor figuring out how to square up the quilt. Fortunately, there were blue and black alternating tiles on the floor which made this much easier. Sure wish I remembered to take my knee pads with me.

Retreat Quilt Flimsy One

In addition to visiting with friends from across the country (I think the count was 13 states) and meeting new people, my goal was to get the borders on my quilts. I took six quilts — 4 just needed borders, one needed the blocks sewn together and one is a stripy quilt which just needed the strips sewn together. I got 4 done to the top stage. My Black and White Strip Twist was the first quilt top to be finished. I started this quilt Super Bowl Weekend. It’s a Bonnie Hunter/Quiltville.com pattern.

We arrived Thursday afternoon around 2:00 PM. After setting up, I got to work. There was plenty of space to stretch out the quilt to measure it without getting in any one’s way. Has the power not gone out in a ’10 grid’ area, I would have finished it Thursday night. Instead, I went to bed early and got up Friday morning about 5:30 AM. I am NOT a morning person, so this was unusual for me.