What Else We Did at the BAMaQG Retreat

BAM 2017 Scrap Attack
BAM 2017 Scrap Attack

I wasn’t the only one busy at Retreat. A lot of charity blocks and tops were made. People also worked on their own projects.

MassDrop gave the guild a bunch of fat quarter packs to use to make charity quilts. The group did not disappoint. Right there, at least 5 were made. There were only about 4 packs left at the end of the day on Sunday, so I think others are in process.

Yellow Donation Quilt
Yellow Donation Quilt

Gerre had taken my Yellow Donation quilt and quilted it. She was working on the binding on Friday at the Retreat. She finished it and, thus, finished the quilt at the Retreat. I was pleased that she had worked on the top I made. I always feel happy when Gerre and I collaborate, especially when she says nice things about my color combinations. πŸ˜‰

Michelle S' map quilt
Michelle S’ map quilt

Michelle S was working on, what I think of as, a map quilt. She had a different name for it, but I thought the blocks looks like a map or aerial photo.

Retreat 2017 Workspace
Retreat 2017 Workspace

I didn’t take as many photos as I expected to. I was focused on sewing and getting as much done as possible. There was a lot of moving around to shared cutting tables and ironing stations. People were also very chatty and interested in what other people were working on. It is always interesting to be in a Retreat situation because you get to see how other people work, what they are working on and how they interact with other.

BAMaQG Retreat

I have discussed the Retreat in passing over and over, so finally decided that I should get around to writing about the retreat itself.

BAM 2017 Scrap Attack
BAM 2017 Scrap Attack

The Retreat started on Friday at 10am. Following along with our year long theme, Scrap Attack, the Retreat followed that them as well.

Before arriving at the Retreat, I went to the gym, ate breakfast and packed the car. I had two days at home alone (YM gone at school, DH on a NSGW trip) in the evenings during which I prepared and packed and organized. After leaving to go to the Retreat, we stopped at Always Quilting and The Granary. I wanted to find an open toe Acufeed foot for my Janome 6600. I planned to quilt the Thanksgiving tablemat and needed to see where I was going. The Acufeed foot that came with the machine is good, but not for seeing exactly where the foot is going or following a line. I didn’t get my hopes up for the foot to be available at Always Quilting and I wasn’t disappointed. I resolved to try to quilt the tablemat anyway.

We went to the Granary, because I like that store and SIL had never been there. I bought a couple of pieces of fabric, thinking I might make an extra Cell Phone Wallet with one of the pinks.

Sewing Nirvana?
Sewing Nirvana?

Then we headed the 8 or so blocks to the Wild Palms hotel and to sewing nirvana. We didn’t arrive until about noon, but we set up and got to work right away. Nirvana isn’t easy and setting up took some time.

Once I got set up, my first order of business was sewing together all seven Cell Phone Wallets I had cut out.

Lesson one for quilting retreat is prep your projects. Having several projects already cut out made my output much better than expected.

7 Cell Phone Wallets
7 Cell Phone Wallets

I had cut out seven Cell Phone Wallets from fabric leftover from dresses and tunics. I spent Friday making them. I didn’t think I would get as far as I did, but I was able to finish all except for weaving in the last two ends from top stitching. I was shocked that I even had time to turn the pieces. Turning these and poking out the ‘corners’ is not for the faint of heart. I rose to the challenge and got the job done. Now I am going to feel a lot more confident when wearing my dresses, skirts and tunics. I made all of these with D rings and will use the same chain for all of them. I also think I can use the black one with other black outfits.

Thanksgiving Table Mat
Thanksgiving Table Mat

Next, I started quilting the tablemat. πŸ™ It didn’t work. I want to follow the lines of the leaves and other Thanksgiving motifs and I just couldn’t see where I was going. I ripped stitching out three times before I gave up. I would really like to get it done before Thanksgiving. Not only to I want to count the yardage as fabric used, I also want to have one less item on my to do list. I have ordered new feet from Sew Vac Direct, a suggestion from Gerre, so we will see.

Poolside Tote
Poolside Tote

No rest for the sad or wicked. I was determined to get as much done as possible. So, next up was the Poolside Tote. Not only had it been taking up horizontal surface space for a long time – ever since I cut it out at Scruffy Quilts back in May, but Tim and I had decided to work on ours together. Julie said she would make one as well, but she wasn’t at the retreat and I have only seen quilts coming out of her studio. You can read about the sewing, etc of this tote in the post from earlier in the week. I am not sure if I will make this tote again. I may need to as it is large and popular.

Mostly Manor Lozenge Quilt
Mostly Manor Lozenge Quilt

I worked on this all day Saturday and a little bit on Sunday morning. Next on the list was the Mostly Manor Lozenge quilt. I had the blocks made so all I had to do was sew them together. Lucky for me, the raffle prizes had all been given away (I won a charm pack of grey Northcott solids-YAY), so I had a table right behind me to use as design surface space.

I sewed fast and got this top done in a couple of hours. I used the Terrain donation blocks as leaders and enders.

In between everything I made three donation blocks. We received kits for 3 donation blocks in our goody bags. I didn’t have a lot of leaders and enders opportunities, so I rushed at the end to get these done. The Committee gave extra raffle tickets for handing in donation blocks and charity quilts and tops.

I really didn’t want to leave and stayed until the bitter end. The Retreat Committee did a great job organizing everything and I was thrilled to get so much done.

Terrain Donation Quilt to be

Well, I seem to be quite lackadaisical lately with the posts. I thought I would have more time this week and, apparently, didn’t. I was sewing, so there is that.

At the retreat, I started to sew together some Terrain rectangles I had laying around. You might remember that I made the Renewed Jelly Roll Race from this line of fabric. it started out as a disaster, and ended up pretty well after. At some point in dealing with the disaster, I must have cut up these rectangles, but I really don’t remember doing it. I especially don’t remember WHY I might have done it.

Regardless, they have been laying around bugging me. I brought them along to the retreat and when I was sewing the Mostly Manor Lozenge blocks together, I used these as leaders and enders.

Terrain Donation Quilt
Terrain Donation Quilt

At Craft Night on Monday we looked at different layouts and eventually settled on the one shown.

SIL and I are working on this together.

I brought some white for another project and we used a lot of it to make the background. SIL plans to quilt it.


Color My Quilt – September

Joelle's Instructions - Color My Quilt
Joelle’s Instructions – Color My Quilt

I realized late last week that I really needed to get busy on Joelle’s Color My Quilt piece. I was prepared to start it early, as in right after the August meeting. Somehow time got away from me.

Like I did for Amy’s piece, I wanted to make something that Joelle could cut up and use to put the other pieces together. She also really wanted solids and the combination didn’t work for me.

I just started improv piecing. It probably isn’t challenging me at all, but I seem to be focusing on the color and worrying less about the actual design. I’d be a lot happier with this project if people were making blocks, but I understand that that is not the idea behind this project.

Joelle's Color My Quilt
Joelle’s Color My Quilt

I am pleased with my piece, especially the colors. I didn’t have enough solid scraps to do the whole thing in scraps, so I tried to keep it to tone-on-tones. When I started to stray, I stopped piecing. I didn’t intend for it to be so long and skinny, but that is the way it turned out.

Stars #3 Donation Top

Somehow I didn’t get to working on any of my other projects on Sunday. I did do some random sewing as well as tidying up. My cutting table was a wreck. It was getting to the point where I had about six square inches in which to cut. Very difficult, I assure you. I started chopping up the scraps that were making the mess into pieces for future use.

Stars #3 Donation Top
Stars #3 Donation Top

One task I did accomplish was finish the third Stars donation top on Sunday.The BAM meeting is next Saturday and I wanted to get that done, so I was pleased. I had been rummaging around in my fabric the day before and was reminded how much backing fabric I have one hand. I made a back from some of the fabric even though it made the quilt more girly than boyish. It was quicker to use a large piece than to piece a bunch of smaller pieces together.

I am pleased with the asymmetrical layout of the top. It isn’t quite ideal, but it is much more interesting than the first version of this design. I don’t know that I will make more of these blocks right at the moment. I have some blue and white 16 patches that have been hanging around waiting for their turn on the design wall that I think I will work on next for a donation quilt. We’ll see.

Sew Day Success

Weird Red Sun
Weird Red Sun

I went back and forth on what to bring to Sew Day. I thought for sure I would bring my machine. We are having a heat wave, which means record temperatures. I was hot and not really in the mood to be dragging a ton of stuff around, so in the end, I just brought projects to prep/cut out.

Sew Day Prep Completed
Sew Day Prep Completed

This focus was a good move. I was able to cut out or prepare 5.25 projects, which means it is time to sew again – HA! Not that it is ever time NOT to sew:

  • Finished trimming Dots & Stripes HSTs
  • Prepped En Provence HSTs
  • Cut out Napkin fronts
  • Cut out gift bags
  • Cut out 2 more Little Cell Phone Wallet bag parts
  • Started prepping more Sew Together Bags
Sew Day Projects
Sew Day Projects

I found another stash of HSTs that go with the Dots & Stripes HSTs I mentioned last week. They will make the piece larger, which is always good. I trimmed the last few I didn’t have time to trim at Craft Night and trimmed this new stash. Some progress.

I had cut the squares for the En Provence HSTs on Friday night, so I had sixteen less things (fabrics) to haul to sew day. I pinned the squares together and drew the lines in preparation for sewing using my Triangle Technique at home.

I grabbed the coffee fabric, which had been hanging around for awhile. I always intended it to be napkins, but I get tired of making them after a few. I had never gotten to cutting this fabric. I did on Saturday and yesterday I had an idea of what backing to use and who they will go to as a gift. I need to get to work.

It is hard to know whether to count cutting out gift bags as one project or one per fabric. I counted using a hybrid method. There were three different fabrics and I will end up with probably 7 bags total.

I also found the fabrics for my last two cell phone wallets. Now all of the pieces out of all the fabrics are cut. I need to start sewing, because I really miss not having the matching bags when I wear my tunics and dresses.

Finally, I started three more Sew Together Bags. One will be for me. I will use it for embroidery. The other two will be gifts. I only got one step of pieces cut, but it is a start. After making three at a time last winter, I think it takes almost the same amount of time to make three at once as it does to make one at a time. As you know the cutting of the pieces is the worst part. The weird thing is that the fabrics I want to use for the exterior have disappeared. I can’t move on to sewing until I find those.

Anna and Nicole, who I had never met came and showed off their projects. Anna is making a table runner with a Lone Star block in the center. She is using nice soft colors. Nicole is hand quilting a beautiful log cabin quilt made from a lovely combination of blues and greens. The fabrics looked like batiks, but I didn’t look that closely.

Mary had surgery on her elbow so mostly chatted with me, but did a little bit of handstitching. She also met with the Retreat committee.

Bonnie was making nametags for the Retreat with help from Nancy.

Marti was making round mug rugs. I have been thinking of making a couple of mug rugs for the Puzzle Guys at work, so she inspired me.

Lynette was working on zipper pouches she will donate to a holiday boutique to raise money for the Belmont Senior Center.

Others were there as well. We tried to keep cool and had some fans to help. It was a fun day and I am glad I went. I feel like I accomplished stuff.

August BAMaQG Meeting

If you want the full, official minutes of the meeting, check the BAMaQG blog. This will just be some impressions of things I liked or inspired me.

Informal Pedicure Challenge
Informal Pedicure Challenge

Three of us were chatting and admiring each other’s pedicures. I took a picture and posted a photo/joke up on IG about the latest BAM challenge. I wasn’t 100% joking though I don’t know if I have time to make something. We’ll see what people say.

I was invited to do a trunk show next month. Gerre had spoken to me about it several months ago and I had completely forgotten, so I was a little stunned when she announced it. Of course, I am extremely flattered. Since the meeting, I have been thinking about which quilts to bring. I can’t bring them all, because I don’t have them all. Also, there are too many even of the ones I still own. I am going to focus on my older quilts. I haven’t, for the most part, showed them at guild and I think they will be the most interesting. In preparation for this exercise, I am preparing some Throwback Thursday posts. Look for those.

Gerre is starting to talk about projects that can be made out of all of our merit hexies. She has started to collect ideas on aΒ Pinterest board and there are some fun ones there. I am not sure what I will make. I don’t want to sew them all together like a Grandmother’s Flower Garden. I have enough EPP with the Half Hexie Star project.

BAMaQG Charity Monkey Wrench Blocks
BAMaQG Charity Monkey Wrench Blocks

The Charity Girls have some interesting blocks. I have never really been interested in the Monkey Wrench block. Of course, all blocks have beauty in their own way blah blah blah.

I think I must have missed the call for these blocks. I saw them laying on the table as I was wandering around and found them to be the most exciting Monkey Wrench blocks I have ever seen. I particularly liked the top one. I took pictures of it in detail in case I want to make some like it – for the charity project, of course.

Monkey Wrench - charity
Monkey Wrench – charity

I think all of the MW blocks use fabric cleverly and that makes them much more interesting than just using two colors/fabrics. My favorite is particularly interesting, not just because of the fabric, but also because of the reversal of foreground and background. I am not an eye researcher so I don’t know the particulars of how the eye sends information to the brain, but I think that I was looking at it more. My eye was moving around the block more because of the foreground/background switch. My brain was trying to make sense of the information the eye was sending to it. I am VERY tempted to try making a few of these.

August 2017: Charity Quilts Available to Quilt
August 2017: Charity Quilts Available to Quilt

The Charity Girls still have a lot of quilts available to quilt. This makes me nervous because I always bring quilt tops. I barely quilt for myself and quilting for charity might send me over the edge. I was pleased that someone had taken the Stars #2 Quilt right away to quilt. Another thing I don’t have to worry about.

Most of my info seems to be about Charity. There is a lot of interesting work going on with Charity right now. A lot of people stayed until the bitter end, but not a lot of people sewed. There wasn’t a lot I could photograph, as a result.

Reminds me of Renewed Jelly Roll Race Quilt
Reminds me of Renewed Jelly Roll Race Quilt

The last Charity effort I saw reminded me of my Renewed Jelly Roll Race Quilt. The colors in the fabrics are little bit dustier than my quilt, but this is still a very cheerful and attractive quilt.

It was a great meeting, as usual. The Board is doing a great job.

Amy’s Color My Quilt Finished

Amy's Inspiration
Amy’s Inspiration

After hearing Karen talk about her quilt, I decided that I would do more of a strip piece for Amy, so she would have some pieces she could use to connect other pieces. I tried to keep the pieces long and thin-ish.

Amy's Color My Quilt piece in process
Amy’s Color My Quilt piece in process

Partway through the process, as I mentioned, I took out the piece and took a look at it.

I was trying very hard to adhere to the spirit of the words, but color balance kept creeping in to my work. In the case of color balance, left, of the in process piece, I thought it needed more blue towards the top.

After working through all of my thoughts and feelings, I am pleased with the way this came out. I worked on it over the course of several weeks in between other things until I ran out of time. I also focused on the placement of the color rather than the width of the strips, etc. I did try to keep the strips from getting to wide, though I really wanted it to be long, so some are quite wide.

Amy's Color My Quilt piece
Amy’s Color My Quilt piece

I wanted to make it about a foot longer, but ran out of time. I am pleased and hope Amy will be, too.

BAMQG Round Robin Returns…Again

Rhonda brought my BAMQG Round Robin back to me when we met at the CQFA meeting. I had to hunt around the blog for which challenge it came as I couldn’t remember. I also wanted to see the changes. I remembered that Kathleen worked on it and Kelly had it, but I couldn’t remember anything else about it. πŸ™Β  Kelly had it for a long time and since she is much more into quilting than piecing, I wasn’t surprised to see no changes.

BAMaQG Round Robin
BAMaQG Round Robin

I remember Kathleen and I talking about ways to make the piece more horizontal as it started out very vertical. As it is now, it is very traditional in layout. It is turning into aΒ  medallion quilt, which I don’t find that interesting.

Round Robin detail
Round Robin detail

The piecing is really good. I have asked for some other volunteers to work on the piece. We’ll see if anyone volunteers. If not, I will finish it and give it to a kid I know, I think. I don’t think I am really interested in working on it anymore.


Related Round Robin Posts

Stars #2

I needed a break from quilting to do some piecing.

I had the Star blocks on the wall and had figured out how I wanted to put them together. I also wanted to get them done since the guild meeting is coming up and I’d like to having something to turn in. Since my design wall is overrun those blocks seemed to be the most logical project.

Stars #2 top
Stars #2 top

I put the blocks together in, basically, the arrangement I showed in the previous post.

I didn’t put the blocks together completely. I omitted some of the corner blocks in order to make the arrangement a little off balance. Some of the blocks share corner blocks. I think this adds movement to the quilt.

I think this quilt really shows what can happen if you keep the blocks on the design wall for awhile and look at them.

I have four more of these blocks and will make another quilt in a similar, but slightly different arrangement. I am not quite done playing with the arrangement.

I made a back for Stars #2 as well and will give both to the guild at the next meeting.

Final Tula Quilt

I wrote about the Tula quilt we were making for our friend Kelly who was moving to Scotland. We got together a few weeks ago to present the quilt. We had breakfast, chatted and made Kelly cry.

Kelly's Good-bye quilt 2017
Kelly’s Good-bye quilt 2017

Rhonda hosted the party and did the most work on finishing the quilt. Amanda and Gerre did the amazing job with the letters on the borders. Some of those pieces are tiny!

The rest of us made 2 blocks or the equivalent and did some of the quilting. The whole process was pretty fun and went smoothly.

Kelly's Good-bye quilt 2017 with peeps
Kelly’s Good-bye quilt 2017 with peeps

Amy’s Color My Quilt

Yes, this appears to the be the week of Color My Quilt.

Amy's Color My Quilt piece in process
Amy’s Color My Quilt piece in process

I decided that I would start work on Amy’s Color My Quilt piece right away. I used it as leaders and enders while I sewed fabric pieces that didn’t require a 1/4″ foot. It was a good plan as I have made enough progress to hand it in today even if I do nothing else.

Don’t get the idea that I was doing a shoddy job. I was eyeballing a seam allowance rather than using the 1/4″ foot guide so I could make progress, but not being shoddy. If anything most of the seam allowances are larger than 1/4″.

Of course, I want to do more. I think it needs more blue. If I don’t do anymore, I’ll be happy and not embarrassed to give what I have to Amy.

Color My Quilt WOW

The BAMQG meeting was….sometime in the recent past. I have a lot going on and can’t quite remember.

Karen M. Color My Quilt
Karen M. Color My Quilt

Anyway, one fabulous thing that happened was that Karen M brought her finished ‘Color My Quilt’ piece. I thought it looked fabulous. She talked quite a bit about how she put it together and where she added strips and bits and pieces.

Keeping the colors in the same family with a bit of spark really made this quilt come together.

Karen was asked to do a workshop on teaching people to put their own pieces together. She may do a hands on tutorial at the next meeting.

MS Color My Quilt

Michelle's Color My Quilt
Michelle’s Color My Quilt

The Color My Quilt project reared it’s lovely head again and I got busy making something for Michelle. My goal was to use my scraps, though I was determined not to skimp and paw through the fabric closet if there were no appropriate scraps.

One of Michelle’s words was shiny and I found some fabric that had a lot of shine, so I grabbed that. I also found some perfect purples. I was embroiled very hard in another project and this little piece allowed me to play a bit.

Stars Even Better

This project makes me feel like I am beating a dead horse.

Finalizing Stars #2 Design
Finalizing Stars #2 Design

I kept making Flying Geese to turn the 16 patches into stars and putting them up sort of higgeldy piggeldy on the design wall. Suddenly, I saw I design that was better than the straight set I had been planning.

I am not sure about the fifth block. If I keep it, where will it go? If I chuck it out, will there be too much white space? The white space will be background fabric – plain white.