Thursday, September 12, 2013

Labor Day mini retreat and some finishes

LeiLani, Katrina and I had our third annual Labor Day quilting retreat recently--we didn't bring our machines and only had handwork. I brought 3 quilts that needed binding sewn down and was able to finish two of them. Katrina finished the binding on the charity quilt and LeiLani worked on a landscape quilt by fusing most of the pieces to the background.

We arrived early Friday evening and checked in. After putting away all the food, Katrina prepared a wonderful meal of gluten-free pasta with her homemade pesto sauce, and an avocado/tomato salad. Dinner was fabulous!

Saturday morning, Katrina was the first one up and made the coffee. The condo sits on the golf course and we have a small deck on the back where we drank our coffee:

Early in the afternoon things started heating up--we had a heat advisory and we headed inside to stitch on our projects. It got hotter and hotter in the condo and Katrina looked at the thermostat and said it was over 90° inside! LeiLani called guest services and told them to FIX IT. LeiLani and Katrina decided to run to the little grocery store and pick up some supplies (and ice cream). Within 15 minutes of their return, Katrina became overheated and was sick the rest of the weekend. When the maintenance guy showed up, he thought the a/c unit needed a recharge--by this time we had Katrina in bed, doctored her up with fever reducers and covered her with wet towels. The maintenance guy showed back up about 30 minutes later and said the unit was dead. The resort handed us the keys to another condo and you should have seen LeiLani and I packing like mad women. By Monday afternoon Katrina was feeling somewhat better but still dizzy. If this wasn't proof of how hot it was in the condo, LeiLani fished out her cutting mat only to find it warped beyond use...that's how hot it was.

I cooked dinner Sunday night:

I typically add more color at dinner, but this is how it worked out--and it was delicious. Seared tuna, roasted cauliflower and asparagus, and spinach, mushroom and quinoa salad.

The finishes:

Italian Meatballs - another quilt from the International Mystery Tour at the shop. This is the one Katrina told me to practice my feathers on--they are miserable but I don't care! It gave me the confidence I needed to quilt feathers on Katrina's charity quilt (which you'll see below).

Barn Chicks will be shown in all its glory when it's gifted next month.

TOMS Quilt - I finally finished quilting the charity quilt and Katrina brought it for binding. IT'S DONE. I handed it off to Katrina last Saturday before I could get any photos of it, so I was able to finally get the photos on our retreat. I said before that I used this quilt to practice some things and I didn't think I would ever get it done, but I did it before the deadline! The fabric of this quilt is from the TOMS shoe bags and flags and shifted every possible way--I stitched it down on all four sides and basted at various places before quilting and am so glad I did. 

Katrina would have been happy for a good allover meander, but I wanted to try some other things. There are feathers in each of the "One for One" sections. The solid blue areas in the outer border have a wavy line grid. The outer solid black border has the same filler design I used on David's graduation quilt. On the areas with the word "TOMS" I pebbled in the white area, outlined the letters, and did a water-style filler in the blue sections. The inside black border has a squarish cross-hatch. If you'd like an opportunity to win this quilt, please drop me a line and I'll have Katrina get in touch with you.

I used So Fine on top and Bottom Line on the bottom--I have to confess that I'm a snob when it comes to quilting thread and have used 100% cotton exclusively on my longarm, but I was so pleased with the results on this quilt that I will use it again. And now I'm turning into a thread junkie. Instead of thinking about how much fabric I can get my hands on, now it's thread!

So what's next? Two super secret projects are in the works, and my oldest and youngest sons are either assisting or the instigators of the projects. I'll try to post progress shots if I can without revealing the recipient or total idea. In the meantime, I'll also get some quilts on the longarm because I still have the goal of completing 12 projects this year. I'm now up to 7 but had hoped to be up to 8 at this point.

One thing I have learned this past month is how much I love working on my longarm. I am now understanding the draw to be on that machine all the time and will probably have to make myself schedule time on both it and actually creating (and finishing) other projects. 

And in conclusion (sorry I rambled on so), I am linking up soon to the Sew it's Finished blog (hey--anything to keep me on track AND help others reach their goals!)--I am looking forward to adding my finished projects to the list!

Hope you had a great holiday weekend--just keep quilting!