Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Spring Quilt Escape Retreat - Post #3

So the last two post focused on specific retreaters... this one will be a collection of photos of the amazing work the ladies were working on, but first I wanted to introduce you to Nancy Mirman. Nancy is the instructor who taught the woven classes I took at Country Quilter, where I made 'Let's Dance' and the design workshop that led to my 'Sister Chat' quilt. Thanks Nancy!
Ok... now the photos....

Claire came to the retreat for the first time with her sister. I couldn't believe she drove all the way up from Virginia! She was working on a quilt for her college bound son to take with him when he leaves for Virginia Tech in the fall.... note the colors... VT's burgandy and orange. The last photo shows the progress she made at the retreat. By the time she left, all the squares were finished.

Eileen is Claire's sister who lives here in NY. She was also working on a paper piecing NY Beauty project.
Another one of Eileen's quilts. She made this top before coming to the retreat.

Jeanne is one of my Pelham Quilter's guild members. I just love this Coffee cup wall hanging.

Ok... tell me your mouth didn't drop when you saw these pictures. The flowers are first appliqued and then machine embroidery is added to give the dimension. According to the quilter, it is an embroidery pattern (sorry I don't have the name).

This quilt is so sophisticated and serious, that I was surprised how much I liked it. I think it is the color choice that works so well for me.

How do you like this Pirate wallhanging. This is a pattern by Mary Gay Leahy, who used to teach at The Country Quilter before it closed.

This is a NY Beauty Garden. It was a class taught by Claire Oehler, the previous owner of The Country Quilter, before her retirement last month. The Country Quilter also sponsors this retreat. Thank God, Claire says she will continue the retreat even though the store closed.

This is a one block wonder.... yes the background is made up of kaleidioscope blocks all using the same pattern. She worked wonders with the fabric choices.

Bonnie made this signature quilt for her first grade son's teacher. Hey... I can teach, can I get one?

Here is Giovanna again, with her original snowflake quilt. The background is machine appliqued with various blue fabric and then the snowflakes are added using the raw edge applique technique.

Another newbie to the group... this is a pieced tablecloth with flowers appliqued on the top.

OK... you must agree, we had some very talented ladies in our group! Very productive is well....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spring Quilt Escape Retreat - Post #2

I hope you enjoyed my post on Giovanna's stained glass Rose Window. This post will feature Ashley, another good friend of mine. While at NJ QuiltFest last month, Ashley brought a beautiful applique kit. She had only played with fusing and machine applique once before, so she wanted to focus on it during the weekend.

As you can see she was very successful...

The four squares will be appliqued (the fabric is only fused on at this point) and then sewn together to make the wallhanging. Notice how with the fabric placement, that Ashley created a secondary pattern, creating a circle in the center with the lighter fabrics.

I think you would agree that she has mastered the technique!

Spring Quilt Escape Retreat Weekend

As always the Country Quilter retreat was absolutely wonderful... or as I like to call it TOTAL BLISS! There were 50 of us this weekend and the creativity was just overwhelming.

So in honor of the creative spirits I thought I would do a series of post featuring some of the work from the weekend. Today I am going to start with Giovanna's amazing stained glass Rose Window. She was inspired by the picture of the Rose Window on a shopping bag, which she then used as inspiration as she created her own version on her computer and then transferred to fabric.

I took a series of pictures of her progress over the weekend, that I would like to share.
Giovanna used a light box to transfer her design from paper to the black background fabric. She then started fussy cutting fabric based on the color and texture she wanted in each of the sections.

This unit will eventually be made up of five different sections. Here she has three sections cut and pinned.

Giovanna has progressed now starting to add the cool blue colors to the window. She said once she has appliqued the piece, she will go back and add black leading between the five sections that make up the second round.

You can really see the circular shape taking form. At this point Giovanna has added 4 different blues. You can see the colors getting cooler as she moves out from the center.

I was finally able to get Giovanna to take a picture with her piece. She is usually camera shy, so Thank You Giovanna. We have to let folks know who designed such a magnificant piece! You also get a feel for the size of the piece with her standing in front of it. :-)

This is as far as she got over the weekend. Giovanna decided she didn't like the shape of the medallions that go in the 12/3/6/9 O'clock positions, so she stopped and will redesign them on the computer at home.

Now tell me... isn't this piece exquisite. I will post a completed picture when it is finished. I am lucky enough to be in the same guild and mini-group with Giovanna, so I will be able to see the finished product!

Friday, April 17, 2009


That's right... I have used 4 spools of black thread on my black & white piece. I am heading out to RETREAT in a bit and unfortunately I didn't get it finished. Hopefully I will do so tonight, before tomorrow's show-n-tell.

Just wanted to let you know that I figured out how to finish the swirl that comes off the edge. I have the top all quilted and squared. I will add the binding, with the swirl folded back on to the top. Then I will use my fusible pellon and solid black backing and fuse the swirl sandwich. Next, I will trim the excess pellon and backing and then satin stitch around the edges. I will probably need to go around it a couple of times to completely cover the edge, but that is ok.

So now my last delimna... I have NO MORE black thread! Hopefully, they will have some black Mediera Rayon thread at the retreat....

Did I say that last word loud enough.... RETREAT.... RETREAT.... 50 woman, quilting, eating, laughing, eating, quilting, bonding, eating for 3 days.... ahhhh SHEER BLISS!

Have a great weekend everyone... I will post pictures when I get back!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I have never quilted soooo small...

Ok... I made good progress tonight. The center of my black and white piece is all quilted, but boy I have never quilted so close together as I did tonight! It took me 3 hours to do the center of the piece. I do like the way the trapunto pops, but I learned one thing... only trapunto small areas.
The overall quilting looks nice.... not sure how it looks up close like this. But I did a scallop or clam shell all over the piece.
The triangle applique look like a marshmellow sticking out of the quilt!

This is a better picture of the quilting. I like it.

Tomorrow, the red stripe and then the boarders. Lastly I will have to figure out how I add the pellon and back the swirl that comes off the top right side of the quilt. This is a close-up of the area before I started quilting it. Suggestions anyone?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Well, I finally sat down at the machine again...

Finally last night I got back to sewing... boy it seemed like a life time after my trip to California last week, then having my daughter home for Easter weekend. It was wonderful... we had a Mommy and me day on Saturday. We first went to the Mac counter at Macy's and had our faces done, then a full day of shopping. New clothes for me (I am down 35 lbs!!!!) and then a dress for her for the drama club formal at school. Later in the evening it was dinner and some jazz at a local restaurant with my daughter and DH. We found a nice spot, to as my daughter said, show off the new me :-)

Anyway, I am rambling.... But, with my fill of family, I sat down last night and did all the trapunto prep work on my black/white and red piece that I had been practicing trapunto for. Tonight, I was able to sit down and cut away all the excess batting and pin baste the piece. I am hoping I will be able to get it quilted tommorrow, then bound on Thursday.

I want to get it finished to take with me for show and tell at retreat this weekend. That's right... it is Quilt Escape Weekend again, sponsored by the Country Quilter! I can't wait... and this year they added an exta evening, so now we will sit and quilt from Friday afternoon until Monday morning... ahh sheer bliss!

Can you see the smile on my face :-)


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pelham Quilters Round Robin #2

Ok... I have to admit that I am cheating here. I wasn't able to make guild meeting this week as I am away on business. But after catching up on my favorite blogs, I saw a picture of Mary Anne's progress on the Round Robin Top #2. It is a really nice applique piece that has been enhanced along the way. Mary Anne looked at it and had the same thought as mine.. wow, what to do next. So she made the only real choice... she needed to give the eye a chance to rest, so she added what I call a rather simple but fitting boarder. What do you think?
(here is where the cheating comes in ... I 'stole' this photo off of Mary Anne's blog)

But, I love how the curve piecing goes nicely with the feeling of motion in the ceter square and with the butterflies.... such a nice complement! and to bring out the yellow... it brings the quilt to life.

I must say.... great choices Mary Anne!

You can check out Mary Anne's blog to see how she ended up with this as her final decision.

Now... I wonder how the first round robin piece is coming together. The last time I saw it, it was hanging on Anne's design wall, attempting to tell Anne what it needed. I sure hope the lines of communication were flowing smoothly :-)!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Running.. but had to share...

I have been quiet the last few days as I have been in bed sick since Friday and although I am still feeling a little out of it, I am running to the airport to catch a plane to California.. so this will be brief.

Just had to give a shout out to the 2 Robins.... First the Robin from SimplyRobin. She had a well deserved vacation last week and while she was gone, she had quest quilter bloggers. Yes, friends of hers from the quilting world who blogged on her site every day. What a wonderful idea. All of Robin's usual followers got to meet new bloggers from around the globe. It was great getting to know them and jumping onto their blogs to see what they do. Don't you agree this is a great idea? I may just have to do this the next time I am away for a long period of time.... hmppphhh...

The second Robin was a guest blogger on the site and she like many of the guest bloggers had give-a-ways, if you posted a comment or visited their site. Which of course I did and quess what??? I won one of Robin's give-a-ways.... I was so surprised when I heard, laying sick in my bed... it was such a wonderful pick me up. (she doesn't have her own blog, or I would give you her link as well)

So thanks to both of them and if you get a chance, why don't you jump over to the SimplyRobin's blogs as well!