Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bonus Quilt Retreat -- Part 2

[Note to self -- write follow-ups to "To be continued" posts while you can still remember details.]

At the White Oak, I found three retreat-ers already there, including Bobbi, our first-timer.  Wine, cheese, crackers, and chatting ensued, then dinner with innkeepers extraordinaire, Rob and Carol.  With just 8 quilters in attendance, we could all gather at one table for the first time!   What a way to create a warm feeling of connection among us all!  We all enjoyed and complimented dinner and dessert, then tables were cleared, spaces claimed and arranged.

Ladies, start your machines! 

And sew we did. (Bad pun intended!)  I dug into clearing the backlog of small projects "owed" since the March retreat, the last time I'd even turned on my machine.  Traveling, packing, moving, and some unpacking accomplished in the interim, but not a stitch had been placed on any of my projects.

From Friday evening until after Sunday brunch, voices in speech or in song accompanied the drone of sewing machines.  I was thrilled at how well my projects came along!  Pillowcase for D#1 at camp (annual tradition): check.  Catch up on overdue birthday blocks: check.   Borders for two baby quilt tops that had been made in March: check!   (Each was a variation of the one pictured below -- 30's repro 9-patches and white with 4-patch cornerblocks.)   Backing for both cut and packed away waiting for white batting to ensure preservation of the snowy backgrounds.

Up-to-date on existing projects, I could finally turn my attention to the new one I'd been anticipating for months: a bordello bargello of aquas and browns picked out a year ago by my "German daughter" (best friend of D#2) just before she had to go home.  (BTW, D#2 returns from Germany tomorrow, bringing GerD for a visit!)  With the Queen of Bordellos Bargellos (Judy) in residence, I knew I'd have all the guidance I needed to undertake this impressive, but daunting, quilt pattern.   It turned out to be easier than I thought, but Judy's calming encouragement was much appreciated when I made those first cuts through so many layers of fabric! 

All around me quilts took shape, in all stages of creation: charm packs into tops, tops augmented by borders, blocks sashed and set.  NnP finished two drop-dead gorgeous tops over the weekend -- Indigo and caramel baskets & "Twelve Oaks".  The sophisticated subtle colors of one person could be found next to the bold and bright of another's -- testimony that one could say of quilts, as of people, "It takes all kinds...".

As usual, Ruth/Turbo pulled one project after another out of her magical bags, including striking tulip blocks that had been, shall we say... not her favorite, as all needed to be squared down to a consistent size.  Help was offered, accepted and, tulips were trimmed.  Pat (no longer the newbie) introduced us to Schnibbles.  Diane/Honna, the Queen of YBR, assembled a top, and added borders for a finished flimsy. Bobbi started with charm packs and ended up with cheerful, bold and I-never-would-have-thought-of-that-combination log cabin blocks.  Helen made "Cars" pillowcases for her grand-sons, and did something with indigo and caramel baskets, I think.  And Judy did stuff too, in addition to being my bordello bargello advisor.   [This is where my memory reaches its limit, so I must beg forgiveness of everyone else whose work I haven't acknowledged.]

Sunday brunch brought the get-away to an end, as one or two at a time, we packed up and headed home.  I had the first 8 strips of my bordello (WTH) quilt assembled and ready to sew together and had even cut the rest of the fabric strips for the top!   With sun and blue skies above (and heat and humidity outside...), I packed up Violet (my purple/plum/aubergine PT Cruiser), hugged everyone, started engine, AC, and CD player, and went full circle back home, singing along (bad harmony and all) to Glee.

Knowing that the following Saturday was semi-annual Quilt Day at church, I knew there was more sewing in the very-near future!   Sometimes the Rolling Stones are wrong and you can get satisfaction!

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