Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Back from Museum Quilt Guild Three-Day Retreat . . .

It seems like I just got back home from the retreat, but that was Sunday evening and it is now Wednesday evening! I am still settling back into my studio, putting things where they belong . . . since when I go to a retreat, I seem to take about half of my studio with me!

I worked on three projects while at the retreat.

1.      I finished putting the blocks together for my blue and yellow log cabin. Now to add the flange to the edges and then a big wide border.

2.      I made the four parts of a black and white 8-inch paper-pieced block and assembled it. I need to complete eight more blocks and I will set it into a lap quilt. It will end up being about 50 inches square, which will be a nice size for the sofa or a wall hanging. 
3.     I trimmed the blue and yellow paper-pieced flying geese blocks I took with me. I need to make several more and will put them into a wall hanging OR a lap quilt . . . haven’t decided which, yet.

Using the blue and yellow fabrics helps me keep my pledge to use up a lot of my stash this year and actually FINISH many of my UFOs (Unfinished Objects). I have some beautiful fabrics and they need to be put into quilts  . . . or aprons, coffee quilts, or whatever! I have such a big collection of blue and yellow fabrics, . . . (I definitely over-bought when I was in the acquisition stage for the log cabin quilt!) . . . that it might be all I work on for quite some time, in addition to the black and white blocks and guild challenge blocks and the new project we just started in our guild…a Row by Row Round Robin (RRRR) quilt.

For the RRRR, there are five to six people in a group. It starts this month and we will start with a row of four 12-inch blocks that we will make and take to the guild meeting in April along with four to five strips of 42x6 inch strips to pass along to each of the four people who will work on the next four rows. They need to use part of the fabric you send along in the blocks they make. You can state in a little journal you send along with the quilt that you like certain colors, want a certain look, or that it is for a certain holiday, or whatever, and the other people in the group will try to do something you will like, but hopefully something that also represents something of what they like, either in the style of block they choose, or the other fabrics they add to the quilt blocks. At the end of the Row Robin, we will get our original row back with four to five additional rows, each with a different size block for the block set. The project will end in September when it has gone Round Robin! So, I will be digging in my stash this weekend to discover what I have that I want to use for this project!

Along with three other women in the guild, I am planning to go shopping at a quilt shop this weekend to buy some fabric for our next Museum Quilt Guild raffle quilt. The quilt is for the show in 2014, which seems a long time from now, but between deciding on the design for the top, to completion of the quilt, there is a lot of planning and sewing to be done! It is our hope that we can get a lot of the guild members involved in the creation of this quilt by offering techniques that will include patchwork, applique and hand quilting. We want everyone in the guild to have the opportunity to use their skills in completion of the quilt. Then, after the quilt is completed, there is the sale of tickets, publicity and planning the venue and all the other things that go into a successful quilt show.  You will be reading more about this here in my blog and in the Museum Quilt Guild’s blog: 

as we go forward with plans. Check out the Museum Quilt Guild blog for some fantastic pix of what kinds of things our guild members make and what kinds of activities they are involved in.

While it snowed big fat flakes today, I stayed home and wandered around the house working on this and that . . . and worked a bit on my newest mini album design. Here is a sneak peek at the cover. It is a metal tile that I found at Michael’s!
What I have learned:
I can get quite a lot done in a retreat setting!

What I want to learn:
How to pack (and unpack) more efficiently for retreats!

What I appreciate:
Down time and a day at home.

What I want:

More days like today!



Tuesday, February 19, 2013


No, it isn’t Christmas, and I am not Santa Claus, but I am packing for a three-day quilting weekend retreat and want to be sure I don’t forget anything! However, I will be with many other quilters who, I am sure, will share a notion or a scrap of fabric, should I need it!
This will be the second year of a weekend getaway at Silver Lake, in Perry, New York. The sewing room is big and bright and the cook feeds us three meals a day, so all we need to do is sew, sew, sew. It was a lot of fun last year and it is a great way to get to know other guild members better.
What I really like to do is walk around and see what everyone is working on. For me, it is a great way to learn new techniques and learn about new notions. The show and tell at the end of the weekend is always spectacular. So . . . I won’t tarry here for long on my blog today because I have to give my pile of UFOs another look and decide for sure these are the three or four I am taking with me, along with an applique project for times when I get tired of cutting and sewing on the machine.

Three projects I am taking to the retreat. Putting it in a photograph makes it more real for me and hopefully will help speed me along to completion!

Besides quilting, I have been continuing to make mini journals. I just posted a new one to my YouTube channel. I made it for a friend and sent it to her, a page a day for five days, as a surprise. You can see it by going to my YouTube channel at

The mini I am currently making is a custom order that is for a bride-to-be who will record her dress shopping excursions in it.  Doesn't that sound like fun? I love the ideas that customers come up with for their albums! The papers are beautiful and I can’t wait to finish it! But . . . that is going to have to wait until next week . . . time to finish packing.

What I have learned:
Planning a project takes me much longer than making it!

What I want to learn:
How to plan less and create more!
What I appreciate:

My husband, who encourages me, supports me, protects me, and loves me for who I am.

What I want:
Same as always . . . more hours in a day!

Saturday, February 9, 2013



I found the January 18th post that I lost!

Brrrr!  It is creeping up to 20 degrees . . . and the bright white snow cover  on the ground brightens up my studio . . . so, that is where I will spend the afternoon. I will finish my challenge quilt for the quilt guild "literature" challenge today, so it can be revealed with all the other ones at the guild meeting tomorrow. I can't wait to see what everyone else has done!

Working toward a year of finishing projects in 2013 . . . some that are very old that I started and put away for some reason . . . others that are just ideas that I already purchased materials for. If things are not appealing to me at this point, they will just have to find a new home. It is crazy to keep things around only to handle them when I clean out a closet . . . and restash them back in the closet! My DH is right when he says he can hear out house utter a sigh of relief every time we carry a donation out the door to be delivered to a charity.

I turned 60 years old yesterday . . . It is really very hard to believe I am this old! Where did the years go? They really do fly by faster as I get older. I think my parents would be proud of me and would love the man I married. I just wish they could be here to get to know him and all of my family. They would love to spend time with their grandchildren . . . and great grandchildren. :-) I am so very grateful for the time I spent with both of them and realize what sacrifices they made to give me a good, safe, loving home.  

I will be back in a few days to post a photo of the "literature" challenge quilt I made . . . maybe after the show is installed at the Richmond Memorial Library in Batavia in February.


I wrote a blog post about two weeks ago, had it ready to go, wanted to make a correction, hit the back button, and POOF!  It disappeared!

Having just celebrated my birthday, I wrote about turning 60, about the snowy winter, and the projects I had been working on in my studio.  

2013 is the year I am calling my “Finish It” year. The UFOs – unfinished objects packed away in totes in my closet – will come out of hiding and WILL get finished. That is my pledge to myself, my husband and my house. There will be a lot more space in my home come the end 2013 and I will have more examples of my work displayed on the walls and shelves in my home and ready for exhibits at art and quilt shows. My husband has remarked that he lives in our house with an artist, yet we have nothing on display to show it! (In the past, I gave away almost everything I made.) And, many times I have missed the opportunity to exhibit something because it is still a UFO!  

To jumpstart my “Finish It” year, in January I finished a small quilt. All it needed was the binding! That was finished in the span of three nights while watching TV with my husband. Currently, in February, I have pulled out the dreaded mending bag. Jeans for garden work just needed some patches and buttons sewn on . . . and they will be DONE by the end of the month! One wall quilt and two mini quilts will get their borders and backing and will be machine quilted. What a feeling it will be to actually have finished these things that have been waiting for a long, long time! 

I have put another of my handmade mini albums and boxes on my YouTube channel and am working on another video to upload soon. I am making a custom order mini and box now for a client to give as an engagement gift. It is really fun for me to work on something like this because it allows me to make a very pretty and romantic piece. I will be sure to post photos and a YouTube video when it is finished.  

What I have learned:
Write blog posts first in my MS Word so they don’t go POOF!

What I want to learn:
How to make the photo at the top of my blog smaller.

What I appreciate:
My family and friends who support and humor me when I ask them to watch my show and tell.

What I want:
More hours in a day to work on all the things I love doing . . . and even the things I don’t love to do, but still need to be done!