Sunday, April 11, 2010

Stop me!

I seem unable to stop making these Wacky Creatures (McCall's Crafts pattern M5826). They are so appealing and simple to sew, plus I really like how soft and cuddly they are using fleece fabric. The yellow and small polka dot ones joined this trio after the Country Road Quilters recent 3-day quilting retreat. Fortunately they have homes to go to. If they were piling up in my sewing room, I'd really be in trouble. There's already enough "stuff" in there!

A quilt retreat is not only a refreshing time of fun and fellowship, but a chance to make big progress on projects. Nearly 20 of us attended the spring retreat last week. It's inspiring to see what others are working on, too. These are Ann-Marie's Pineapple blocks.

While packing up the sewing machine, chair, cutting mats and rulers, assorted projects and much, much more for the retreat, I always ask myself why I thought this was a good idea. It seems so cumbersome to transport, pack and unpack everything for the retreat. But once there, I never have a single regret. Meals are provided by the conference center staff, rooms are comfortable, and we can all focus on nothing but sewing for the time we're there. The results are definitely worth it. Look how much Sallie got done on her colorful Bargello-type quilt.

We even have little visitors, like this one, who watch and observe our progress! Linda brought Mrs. T. Bagg along.

I was able to complete a quilt top, shown below, for the Quilts of Valor Foundation. This organization gathers donated quilts and presents them those wounded in military service. To date, they have presented more than 26,000 quilts. Once quilt tops are completed, longarm quilters donate the quilting. Claudia and Wayne Schumacher of Quiltworks of Orange Springs have partnered with quilters to complete many of these quilts. This one started with a few red star blocks given away by another quilter at our last retreat. I took them home, made a few more along with the Chain blocks, and then added the borders. The photos doesn't show it well, but there is a wide dark navy border along the outer edges.

A few other projects got moved along, too. I'll show them to you soon.

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