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.
There are 9 more photo’s in this sunrise series you can see here – Ocean 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 – https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/unfinished-projects-starting-to-bug-me/
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…..)
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!