Five Reasons You Should Go To A Quilt Retreat

Does your quilt guild offer a retreat?  If you haven’t been because you’re nervous let me highlight why you should be going to a retreat.  Indy Modern Quilt Guild has been hosting a retreat for five years and we have had newer members join us each time.  Were they nervous at first?  Absolutely.

1.  These are your people

Quilters get each other.  We understand your obsession with a designer or getting sucked into a quilt-a-long.  This is a place where you are among people that understand that need to create.  You all may have different styles, but that’s part of the fun. You also get support, see #3.

2.  You have time to create

Time away from home, your commitments, and potentially Wifi give you that time to tackle your sewing list.  Maybe you want to make 4 quilt tops, maybe you want to quilt a massive quilt you haven’t had time to do, or maybe you want to tackle a pattern that you may want help with.

3.  You have support

You have built in help over the weekend.  Not sure about a design choice?  You can get instant feedback and make a change.  We like to call it quilt by committee at our retreat.

4.  You can try new tools

Is there a ruler you’ve been wanting to try?  A machine you’ve been eyeing?  Good chance that someone on the retreat may have it and let you try it out.  At our recent retreat someone was struggling to sew a bag on her machine, so another member offered to let her try her machine.  It’s the machine she’s been contemplating buying.  Now she’s saving up for that machine.  Hello free test drive on something you will make.

Someone brought their Accuquilt cutter.  I had not played on one and tried to use it.  Ugh, not my jam right now.  However, someone else used it to cut into a fat quarter bundle she wanted to play with.

5.  Girl time and time with friends.

I don’t think many of us get enough girl time in our lives.  A retreat is a wonderful opportunity to truly connect with someone else.  Learn about their lives, hear their story, and start supporting them.  Some of my close friendships were bonded at the retreat years ago.

Bonus if someone brings things to help you relax.  Facial masks, a massager, and/or wine helps.

The next time your guild hosts a retreat, go!  Don’t hesitate because this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss out on.

Gorgeous Granny: Fresh and Modern Granny Square Quilt

Granny Squares are one of my favorite patterns outside of just patchwork.  It’s a staple in my designs.  This version is a bit darker and feels stormy.  You guys, these fabrics were all scraps and stash.

Sorting fabrics

Picking Fabrics

On Instagram a few weeks ago I saw someone destashing 2.5″ squares.  These are of course right up my alley.  Once the scraps arrived the idea for this quilt came to life.  The colors just spoke to me.  It did take some sorting and adding scraps to get just the right colors.

My goal was to make as many blocks as possible.  I had enough to make 31 blocks.  To help with speed, I set them up to able to chain piece the rows.

chain piecing quilt blocks

There was a slight panic as I was cutting into my light gray.  Was there going to be enough?  Not really, but I had some scraps to throw in.  That still wasn’t enough so an SOS went out to nearby quilters.  No one had any in stock so I had to trek to JoAnns on a Saturday afternoon to get more.  To my surprise it wasn’t an awful experience.  The store was packed and busy.  However, I walked right in to what I wanted and walked right back to the cutting counter.  There was some Kona Ash in the remnants bins as well.  BONUS!

Blocks

Look at these blocks, they are gorgeous.

Hence the name Gorgeous Grannies.  This quilt will be named Blanche Devereaux in honor the wonderful character from the TV show, The Golden Girls.  You’re welcome for this.  Plus, I’ve been to a few Galentine’s Day events recently.  The show perfectly sums up celebrating the friendship of ladies.

This top is just too good.

I was worried the colors wouldn’t balance out as well in the top as they did.  Too bad I didn’t have more of these fabrics to make a bigger quilt to keep for myself.  Love the colors and fabrics in this top.  What do you think?

 

Boundless Fabric Gender Neutral Half Square Triangle Baby Quilt

This post may contain affiliate links.  If you make a purchase, I may receive a small compensation.  All opinions are my own.  

 

This is my first time using Boundless Fabric by Craftsy.  I bought a layer cake from someone having a destash and got right to work.  Over the last few months, I had been wanting to remake the All The Way Up quilt and I thought this may be a good palette to try the design with.  I cut the layer cake into 5″ charms and separated out the fabric.

 

The colors are a mix of bold and muted, creating a wonderful contrast.  For the random look I like to go for, I make 4 stacks of the squares, and then started pairing them up.  Do you ever gravitate towards having some colors together more than others?  I found myself going towards the same pairings and had to rethink a few.  I kept telling myself to keep the pairings random.

 

 

Piecing all of the squares took no time.  Cutting them into half square triangles was easy.  Porter helped me press them and loved it.  Then, I went to layout the quilt as I envisioned and it wasn’t right.  Rather than move forward, I picked up the squares and put them away for a couple of nights.  P and I designed his quilt and that gave me time to rethink the layout.

Rather than recreate the quilt, let’s use it for inspiration.  I started laying out the blocks with the triangles all going the same way.  It was growing on me.  Since I had let go of the urge for everything to be perfect with Porter’s quilt, I decided to just create this top and run with it.  It was hard because I wasn’t absolutely in love with it and I wanted to do more.  However, keeping it simple can work out too.

 

Once the top was finished I starched the hell out of it and got everything flat.  One thing that had not changed from my original vision was using a black and white print with these fabrics.  I decided it needed to be the backing and dug around in stash.  A simple Lotta Jansdotter print to the rescue.

 

For quilting I opted for straight lines to accentuate the triangles.  It felt good to do straight line quilting again.  Once I washed the quilt, it was just the way I wanted it.

 

There was just enough of the binding print to finish off the quilt.  It pulls many of the colors from the quilt, but doesn’t take away from it.

Overall I’m happy with the way the quilt turned out.  I’m proud that I didn’t let a layer cake just sit around and put it right to use.  That was weird for me.

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The quilt is currently listed in my Etsy Shop here.

2018 Baby Quilt Goal 4/40

Finished Quilt Designed by Porter

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Porter is thrilled with the finished quilt, check out part one here.  We have a plan of where it will be gifted and will update you once we deliver the quilt.  He loved contributing and creating something.

He’s pretty happy with the results

Once the top was done, P and I raided my fabric cabinet.  We found this pink, orange, and white plaid I picked up at Crimson Tate.  

He also picked out this floral print for the binding.  Too bad I didn’t have just a bit more, so we improvised with orange solid.

Here is the finished quilt in all it’s glory.  Quilting is all over loops.  Yes, again.

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2018 Baby Quilt Goal 3/40

Handmade Baby Quilts are the Best Gifts

scrappy green baby quilt

Every baby needs a handmade quilt!  I have been off my game a bit with gifting baby quilts, but I was able to pull one off recently.  A long time friend is having a baby soon and I wanted to create her a cute quilt for her first baby.

While I haven’t been writing much here, I have been very active in the sewing room and life.  About two weeks before the shower I realized the date was rapidly approaching, but had a couple of commissions to get complete.  Luckily another quilter, who is local, was doing a destash.  She had a baby quilt top that would be perfect.  I was able to press, quilt, and bind this quilt in a couple of hours.  Still handmade right?

scrappy green baby quilt

I had picked up the backing during a sale at Crimson Tate a few months ago.  This odd shade of green goes well with the front.

Recognize the binding?  It’s leftover from my Rockstar quilt from last year.  The light gray print was nice compliment.

I have a story to share about the presentation of the gift.  I had this adorable plan and had bought everything, then I spilled coffee on EVERYTHING!  Well not the quilt, but everything else.  I wept and said some bad words.  So my gift went to the shower like this.

Coffee stains and all.  Nothing says motherhood than embracing what you’ve been dealt and making the best of it.  It’s a design element, right? At first I felt awful that it wasn’t picture perfect.  Then I realized it won’t matter in the end.  All was well and she loved the quilt.

During her shower we had a visitor from a local celebrity.  Trip, the Butler University mascot, stopped by to stay hi and for photos.  Isn’t he adorable?

We were able to grab one more photo at the shower.  I have known all of these ladies since high school.  Everyone but me is pregnant and due within a few weeks of each other.  They look amazing!!

If you have a baby due in your life and you want to discuss a custom baby quilt, click here.  I would love to help you have a handmade baby quilt to give at a shower, a sprinkle, or even after delivery.

2018 Baby Quilt Goal 2/40

First Finish of 2018 – A Scrappy Postage Stamp Quilt

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Right before Christmas break a friend requested a quilt for a little boy that loves giraffes.  I had planned to work on it while in San Francisco, but ultimately decided to not take my machine with me.  Once we got back I dove right in.  Since I keep my scraps sorted by size, it doesn’t take long to pull the right colors and have enough to make a quilt.  I did have to cut some scraps to add some variety.

Making the Top

I made stacks of white/neutral, gray, brown, green, aqua, navy, yellow, orange, and multi.  Then I randomly started chain piecing following my process.  The top size was to be 20 squares by 24 squares.

The top was finished over a weekend and I was ready to back it with some stash fabrics.  However, I found this adorable print on Instagram from @organicfabriccompany.  Shipping was fast and their packaging was a repurposed paper grocery bag.  As someone that tries to recycle and repurpose as much as I can, that touch was truly appreciated.   So glad I went with this fabric and added more of what the little guy likes.

 

Finished Product

A scrappy postage stamp quilt is one of my favorites to make.  So much so, that I’ve been working a video to help you whip up one in no time.  That’s coming soon along with a stretch goal that I’m not quite ready to share.  Back to this scrappy goodness.

I opted to quilt with cross hatch that creates a secondary larger diamond pattern.

Do you notice the last little tiny scraps of Neptune I had in my scrap tub?  I hate to see them go, but they will be used an loved.  The backing fabric was perfect for this quilt and the binding is a leftovers from a recent project.

If you follow me on Instagram, you may seen this picture.  My husband took it of me while I hand stitched the binding.  Yes, I hand stitched this binding since I had the time.  Rarely am I in front of the camera while sewing, but I love that he captured me perfectly.  Look close enough and you can see a sneak peek of what’s next.

makerswithquilts

I wrapped up the quilt for gift giving and it’s on the way to it’s new home.  

Every baby deserves a quilt and I love creating that special gift for others.

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2018 Baby Quilt Goal 1/40