Retreat and UFO

Every year, since I have been a member of Ocean Waves Quilt Guild, there has been a retreat in early February.  I’ve attended many of these retreats and always enjoy the time spent with so many creative, talented people. As in the past, we meet at a lovely beach front hotel in Ocean City Maryland, where we are greeted most mornings with spectacular sunrises in our ocean front rooms. 

640 Dawn's early light - Ocean City MD Sunrise

There are 9 more photo’s in this sunrise series you can see hereOcean City Sunrise photo’s

It is inspiring to wake up early at this retreat, so you don’t miss the glorious sunrise.  Breakfast is at 7:30, and we are sewing by 9 am !

I took with me many items to work on at the retreat.  Turns out, only ONE project captured most of my time and energy.  I dug out one of my oldest UFO’s and brought it along, with the intent of quilting.  Just how old is it?   You can read about it back in 2012 here –

and here

and here-

About a year ago, I came across a bit of fabric that was in the same deep red/brown tones and I tucked it into the box for backing of this project.  So, when I pulled it out to take to retreat, I just needed a bit of batting.  This project was about 44″ square.  I am happy to say I finished all the quilting during the retreat. I cut the backing and batting and pin basted in our hotel suite on Tuesday night, so I was ready to start stitching when the classroom opened on Wednesday morning.  I worked two solid days quilting this, and thought it is small, there were TONS of starts and stops, and turning constantly. I decided right away I was going to “pull up” the bobbin thread, and use my lock stitch on my Janome for my start & stops, and not burying all those threads. It’s a wall hanging and a 6 year old UFO !  (I’m not putting it in a show, so hush you quilt police)  (Oh, and by the way, I KNOW there are a few crappy HST and a few geese that lost their points in this project….they jumped out at me while quilting….hey it was before I knew what I was doing…..)

Quilted and bound


I did most of the quilting using my walking foot. The exception is in the wide border of hearts, I used a stitch that is connected hearts, and in the narrow red border I did the same stitch.  On the outer red heart border I did some wavy stitching.  I like to use these built in to the machine stitches if possible.  They make quilting a lot easier.  If you want to see close-ups of the various quilting that I did, look at the photo’s here – UFO Finish  .  (There is also a photo of the back where the techniques I used really show). 

Yesterday,  I trimmed it down to about 40″ square, as I felt the final borders were TOO wide.  I used up a bunch of left over bits of the red to make a scrappy binding, and did the Susie’s Magic Binding technique. (Some call it binding with a flange or piping) If you have never tried this method, check out the tutorial here – Susie’s Magic Binding Tutorial(Watch the video’s too…)

I used the same fabric that is in the area around the flying geese in the flange for the binding. I love that little pop of color along the edge. I added a hanging sleeve while I was doing the binding, and the last thing that needs to be finished is to hand stitch the bottom and ends of the hanging sleeve and make a label!

Since this was the “big deal” for me at the retreat, I will stop here and ask – what is the OLDEST UFO you have sitting around, and WHY didn’t you finish what you started?  

I will tell you why this went “in the box”.  We were doing a new project every week in the class and I was overwhelmed.  I also could not figure out how to “finish”.  Our instructor had scaled the pattern in Pat Sloan’s “I Can’t Believe I’m Quilting” down to just a 1 block project instead of a whole quilt, and I didn’t “know” what to do at the time.  Of course, a few years of experience were needed under my belt before I could say, enough is enough and a wall hanging is just “fine”.  🙂

More about the retreat in the next post!


Quilt Retreat Fun!

I spent Tuesday – Friday last week at the annual Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Retreat in Ocean City Maryland.  We checked in on Tuesday afternoon at the Dunes Manor Hotel and deposited our machines and assorted gear in our hotel room. (If you are ever looking for a lovely place to stay – this is IT!)  This hotel treats our group so well.

Tuesday evening was all social, and we had lovely small groups going to dinner in various locations around town.  I enjoyed dinner at Touch of Italy, with a Caprese salad.  That is a restaurant chain I will return to soon.  The rest of our meals were included at the hotel as part of our retreat, and my goodness they have wonderful food .  They have “tea” every afternoon; and happy hour in the bar, so how can you go wrong!!!

We had lovely rooms with great views of the beach and the sunrise and moonrise. I was on the 3rd floor and could still hear the sound of the waves!! Almost as good as a cruise ship balcony!!! (Did I mention it got down to 17 degrees at night?)

We started Wednesday morning about 9 am; and finished up at noon on Friday.  I decided not to work on the “class projects” but to concentrate my time on getting the quilting done on a twin quilt I made in October last year. (I wrote about it once before here –   )

I quilted everything except the border and cornerstones, so I think it was a productive time.  (I started quilting this in October at a get-away; spent a full day on it; then packed it away until this retreat).  I used a stitch on my machine designated as a quilting stitch; and went around each LOG in the log cabin quilt, starting at the center of the block. I used  Fantastico # 5021  varigated thread from Superior Threads on the top. It is a 40 weight thread and was turquoise and purple with a hint of green.  I used Superior Bottom Line Periwinkle # 608 in the bobbin. It was a 60 weight thread.  It really disappears on the back of the quilt.  I am still considering my plan for the wide border and cornerstones.  I have enough of these 2.5″ strips left to do a scrappy binding, and I think that will be fun to do!  If you click on the photo’s you can see a bit more of the stitching.

I did mention FUN in the title of this blog post. Let me tell you – 26 quilters – a room full of laughter; and at times; a whisper quiet room while they concentrated on their projects. The group projects were “You’ve Got Mail” and “Coneflowers”. Check out the activity in this room!  As you look around, you will see the CONEFLOWERS being worked on. It really is an art quilt.  There were two samples taped to the wall; one with pink and one with orange flowers.

The ONLY picture I got of a “You’ve Got Mail” –  She was using every available inch to lay out the quilt to get an idea of how the “envelopes” looked.

You've Got Mail in batik

You’ve Got Mail in batik

There were others working on their own projects; and lots of progress made!  I only got a couple of pictures of the individual projects.

Can’t wait for next year’s retreat!! Maybe I will have the projects I started at last year’s retreat finished and I will be able to work on something new.
Happy stitching!

A peak at October

Well; you know I have been off the mark working on my blog for a few months.  If you read my blog on a regular basis you know life has been a little busy. My daughter and her family were here at the beginning of the month.  I started a new quilt project in October, that I will show you a glimpse of. The month flew by!

The title of this post is a PEAK AT OCTOBER – this is what it was looking like last week at my house.

Fall sky Oct 2014

Fall sky Oct 2014

Fall colors inspired me

Fall colors inspired me

I had a wonderful time in October, with my quilt bee friends.  We meet once a month at a members home, and have a lot of fun, sharing projects, enjoying lovely food, and working on something worthy. In September and October we worked on “heart pillows” for breast cancer patients.  Stuffing the pillows and stitching them closed kept our hands busy while we visited in October. When I arrive at my friend Gayle’s house, I was a bit late, and was told to”wait at the door and close my eyes”.  I heard a lot of giggling and silliness and when given permission to turn around – this is what I saw!

Material Girls

Material Girls

The Material Girls Quilt Bee does know how to have fun!

We participated at the end of the month in a “multi-bee” sit & sew for 3 days.  Three “bees” from Ocean Waves Quilt Guild get together for fun!  Everyone brought their own projects and worked on them, and we had wonderful conversations and meals.  It is always interesting to me to see what people are working on, and what the manage to get accomplished in 3 days of sewing.  I’m sure I could get more done, on my own at home, but it would not be as much fun!

The lovely thing about these gatherings is the opportunity to ask a question to a more experienced quilter, and learn from their experience.  Everyone seems to wander around the room visiting, catching up, and ooohing and aaahing at the variety of projects underway. There were people doing foundation piecing of Christmas trees, and Storm at Sea; there was a lady working on a block that required about 7 or 8 different templates. There were projects being completed from our guild retreat in February, and there were several new projects just getting started.   Enjoy the photo’s.

Linda Gabriel project

Linda Gabriel project

Dana worked on her project from a class in June

Dana Mason worked on her project from a class in June

Cindy Jones using beautiful musical fabrics.

Cindy Jones using beautiful musical fabrics.

Barbara Hoffman with her "STACKS" quilt

Barbara Hoffman with her “STACKS” quilt

Dana showing her One Block Wonder

Dana showing her One Block Wonder

Gayle - Lost Sock

Gayle – Lost Sock

Melissa and her modern quilt

Melissa and her modern quilt

My quilting project, using the pretty stitches for quilting on my Janome

My quilting project, using the pretty stitches for quilting on my Janome

The project I have “under the needle” is what I worked on.  I did some quilting extra blocks to make them into throw pillows for a day and 1/2; then started quilting a log cabin twin sized quilt. I love using the pretty stitches built-in the machine. The pillows were a great practice time for me. The quilt under the needle is for my “great-great niece” who just turned a year old. I had intended to make her a baby quilt last fall but never got to that point on my list. So, she gets a twin sized quilt which will last her a bit longer in life any way. I made it in my sister Cathi’s favorite colors, because she is the great-great Grandma!!!

Last post I chatted about a “SECRET” project…well…I still can’t share it, because it has not been delivered yet.  More later in the month I hope.  I did my part, and now my co-conspirator is working her end of the arrangement.  Shhhh….don’t tell.  I have to say, it is NO FUN keeping the secret, but the delivery will be awesome I am sure.  My special long arm quilting buddy thought up the project and is going to border, quilt and bind the project.

So, did you spy the Modern Quilt Studio patterns by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr in the photos?  There were 2….and I have made one of them myself back in June.

Enjoy this beautiful Sunday and happy stitching!