Winter 2017 Sewing Retreat

It was an amazing weekend full of laughs and of course some sewing thrown in.  These are my people, they get me. Many of us had been commenting how much we were looking forward to the weekend.  It did not disappoint.
In addition to our own projects, we played games and shared laughs.  So many laughs.  We played two tense rounds of Left, Right, Center for fat quarters.  Quilters are ruthless despite what some may think.  Game one was intense and Lisa walked away the winner.  Game two things got serious.  Fat quarters were quickly getting throw into center.  One of my rolls included a C going directly into my wine glass on the floor.  Of course it did.
I was out of fat quarters but some were still floating around me.   Within a couple of rolls I was back in and suddenly I won.  I won!  So many lovely fat quarters for me to enjoy.  I almost cried I was so happy and surprised.
This weekend was really a chance for me to get through some WIPs that have been lingering.  I wanted to cross some stuff off my self-inflicted to do list.
Solids String Quilt
Good thing no one took video or recorded our conversations this weekend.  Lots of cursing and general dislike for the process with this quilt.  I will dig more into it later this week.  It was the first project I tackled and felt good to get this scrappy quilt done and bound on the first night.  Scrappy string quilts are on trend right now.
Botanica Bee Quilt
Talk about an old WIP.  Back in 2011 the guild held a bee.  I picked large log cabins using this lovely Botanica fabric.  Most of the fabric I had left was destashed last year, but I kept a couple of pieces in case I ever finished this.
My big goal for the weekend was to try free motion quilting for the first time.  Without Darcie and Rachael pushing me out of comfort zone, I wouldn’t have tried it.  Being true to my word from our goals meeting in January, I decided this was the quilt.  It’s smaller and not on the bias like the string quilt.  I wanted to tackle this first thing Saturday morning.
Holy camoly.  I was a sweaty nervous mess to take my first few stitches.  After a few hiccups I got the hang of moving the quilt around and the speed of my machine that worked the best.   More practice is necessary but the overall process went well.  I have another WIP almost ready to keep up my practice.
Note:  my arms, shoulders and back were SORE from it.  Something I didn’t expect.
V&Co HST Quilt
Quilt by committee is a wonderful benefit of retreat weekend.  I had all of these HSTs but really unsure the layout I wanted.  As I started to lay it out, others jumped in with suggestions.  This wonderful layout was the winning choice.
Blush Charm Quilt
Let’s go back in time again to another overnight sewing adventure from 2011.  IMQG traveled to one a member’s house for a night of sewing and games.  I started a charm quilt with lots of white from the Moda Blush line.  It’s been a bag ever since in my WIP cabinet.  No more.  The top and back are both done.  It’s ready to be basted and quilted.
A couple of people brought their scrap bins for everyone to dig around in.  We were like vultures if I’m being honest.  It was fun to pull out scraps from their projects and envision them in your stash.  Lisa even ironed and color sorted her scraps.  Too much work for me but her scraps were to enticing like that.  I snagged a few to help round out upcoming projects.
There are about 3-4 more projects I wanted to tackle this weekend.  They are newer ideas and I chose instead to focus on older items.  Look for upcoming series…Busting through old WIPs.
So many wonderful projects were worked on by everyone.  It’s invigorating to be around other like minded people for a weekend and accomplishing so much.  We sprawled our projects across the banister to get a better look at what we had done.  I am lucky to know many wonderful and talented sewists.
Does your guild host a retreat?  Have you ever gone away to just sew and hang out with friends?  I definitely recommend it.

Winter 2017 Sewing Retreat Prep

You guys, I’m going to be sewing all weekend with my IMQG girls.  AHHH!  One of my friends noted, “It’s like Christmas Eve. But better because I don’t have to deal with making anyone else happy!!!!!”  Exactly.  

Sorry that I have been a little more quiet on here this month.  There is secret sewing going on that I can’t reveal.  It’s a big project that is taking more than I anticipated.
This weekend is going to be glorious because I’m only taking scrap or personal projects.  No commissions, just fun time to sew.  Well chat, drink, and then sew.  Best part is spotty wifi, so we all get a chance to disconnect.  I have lots of tutorials and inspiration stored to Pocket.
Here are some projects I’m thinking about taking for the weekend.
Shabby Chic Granny Squares
Scrappy Irish Chain
Yes another one.  I loved the one I made last year and want to work on another.
Solid Diagonal Strip Quilt
This has been a project in the works for a while.  I just need to sew the back and quilt it.
Diagonal Strip Quilt
I have a V&Co jelly roll that I have been hoarding.  This would be a great project following this tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew.
HST V&Co quilt
HSTs are cut, pressed, and ready.  Now I just need to decide a layout idea.  I’m thinking something like this.  Maybe a bit scrappier.  Thoughts?
Scrappy Love
I have been pulling out pink, red and purple scraps lately to create something.  I’m toying with the idea of a big LOVE project.  Maybe baby sized, but using some scraps and stash.
Older WIPS
In all transparency there are some OLD works in progress that I should take and finish this weekend.  They are stuffed away in baskets and cabinets so they don’t sit there reminding me.  “Hey, we aren’t finished yet.”  Maybe it’s time to finish the one from our overnight sew in from five years ago.
Whatever I bring it all needs to fit into my giant IKEA bag.

Why I Rallied

Yesterday was simply amazing.  I was moved by words, people, and yes signs.  The Women’s Rally in Indianapolis turned out to have 4,500 – 5,000 people attend.  One of the highest attended rallies at the Statehouse.

I had felt compelled to attend the event for a couple of weeks.  The fear of large crowds made me really uneasy.  My friend sent me a text and noted she would pick me up.  Accountability got me there.  That text was a game changer.

I’ve never rallied before for something political.  However, this wasn’t political for me.  The election may have started these rallies, but for me it’s about access.  Access to health care, clinics, and equality.  Human rights shouldn’t be political.  It has become political over the years.

As a white mid 30’s year old woman I have it pretty good.  My husband and I have decent health insurance.  That hasn’t always been in the case.  Planned Parenthood provided me affordable birth control in college.  My parent’s insurance did cover birth control, but the copay was too high for my college budget.  I have paid the copay on my birth control since I started it.  It was for my body and I felt the responsibility to pay for it.

The clinic in my college town did provide abortions.  Every Thursday morning the protesters would be outside with their large signs and yelling hate.  I had the unfortunate luck to have to go in one Thursday morning for my pills, not realizing it was Thursday.  Terrible decision.  I was yelled at and slurs aimed my way.  No protester I’m not a baby killer.  Just trying to get my birth control so I can be a functional human next month.  Give me the hormones!

What if that access had been stripped away?  Some months would have come down to my birth control or groceries.  If I was going to attend class regularly and keep my part time job, birth control was essential for me.  Without it I would be a mess for 2-3 days and very unlikely to do anything.

How stable would I be now if I couldn’t have attended classes?  Had to go between part time jobs because I was missing too many days?  Stripping away access to people takes away more than the control over their bodies.  They could be like me and need birth control to keep their hormones in check.  Better yet, could turn the whole country into Texas.  Not sure what I’m talking about, read here and here.

The rally yesterday was about more than Planned Parenthood.  It was about rights for my brother in laws.  What if this legally married couple is visiting us and something happens.  We have to go to the hospital, but one of the spouse’s doesn’t have access or rights.  That’s stupid and I won’t stand for it.

I’m scared for my friends that are currently undergoing treatment for cancer or other conditions.  Are you really going to look at my friend and say, “Hey, for the next year you have to pay all year medical costs with your cancer treatment.  It’s a pre-existing condition.  We don’t care that a treatment could be $5,000 each time.  You pay.  Oh well, actually sir you’ve met you’re lifetime cap.”  That is an amazing benefit of the ACA.  My friend is alive because of it.

Access to health care is a human right.  Other countries have it figured out.  America, we can do better!  We have to do better!

One speaker reminded us of the history of movements during the 60’s.  Fighting for women’s and civil rights.  We chanted along,

“We will not go back!”

In order to make America the greatest country it should be, we can not go back.

I sat last night looking at Facebook and Instagram.  Wow!  I know some amazing women that are not standing by and waiting to see what happens.  We are going to be proactive and make our voices heard.  Thank you to the men supporting these amazing women as well.  I saw a number of men at the rally too.

My prediction is that we will see a variety of political quilts made this year.  Using our voice through fabric to create.

In order to not just sit on social media and make no impact.  I’m resolving to do something.  Each month I will pick up some menstrual products and donate to Support the Girls Indianapolis.  They take gently used bras and menstrual products.  They are able to get them right into the hands of those that need them the most.  Homeless shelters, women’s shelters, food pantries, schools in low income areas, and anywhere that can make a difference.  I’m sure I will do more over the next few months and years.  But today, that is something I can do with my renewed energy.

My Charming Plus Finished Quilts

If you’re having a bad day or need to see some amazing colors, take a look at the #charmingplusquilt and #charmingplusqal tags.  Those that participated created delightful versions of the quilt.  Go check it out when you have a chance.

Scrappy Version

Can I be bias for a minute?  This is one of my favorite versions of this quilt so far.  These are my colors.  Go look in my closet, most of my clothes are in range of this palette.  Best part is that I had forgotten about this scrap stash I found hiding in a box.  It’s the perfect baby size and is available for a new home.  It’s available on Etsy.

I pondered what to back this quilt in and remembered there was an Amy Butler gray print in my destash box.  It was the perfect size and really compliments the front.

Kona Navy makes for a binding that coordinates well with all the colors.  Quick and easy straight line quilting and machine binding.

Bundle Version

At first I was scared to dig into this bundle and put it to use.  However, it feels good to have finished something with the bundle and know it’s waiting for a new home.  This quilt is currently available on Etsy as well.

The backing on this version was a bit tougher to select.  I almost went with the golden yellow, but couldn’t find the right shade.   Crimson Tate had this Follie print in stock and enough to piece a back.

In my stash was less than a fat quarter of the black and gray dots.  Seriously, when I was adding the binding the last bit had just enough to make a seam.  Cut that one close :).

Overall

Having made this quilt a number of times I’m digging the 3″ square size for blocks.  I have some 1.5″ squares in my scraps.  Wonder what they would look like in this quilt?  Or mixed together with larger squares?  Guess that means I will be making more in the future.

Flying Geese Baby Quilt

This was one of my last projects in 2016.  The binding was finished on New Year’s Eve.  Since then I have been working on some items around the house and projects.  Plus, I really wanted to wait to show off this quilt after it had been gifted.

More geese made from stash and scrap fabrics.  Ahhh….except

There are a couple of OOPS .  Can you find them?

It could have been the burn out from working on a bagillion geese blocks between the two quilts.  See the previous quilt here.  Maybe it was the fabrics that were “straightened up” on a random day.  I think it’s important to be honest note not every project is “perfect.”  I’m okay with that as a maker.  Honestly, you probably wouldn’t notice unless I mentioned it and you did zoom in on the above photo.

The last 5-7 sets of geese on this quilt were just a creative roadblock.  In the end I love how it turned out.  For the backing I dug into my vintage sheet collection.    It’s a great selection especially if you knew the parents, they may be into sports.

Orange solid binding was a great way to wrap up this quilt.  That is hand sewn binding on the back.  No machine binding this time.

It’s now gone to our friends that are expecting a boy very soon.  I hope they use it and enjoy the quilt.


Another Flying Geese quilt click here

2017…Year Of Growth

2017 is going to be very different for my family.  Over the last few months I have been quietly looking for a new job.  Before Christmas break I accepted an offer for a new role within a new company.  No longer will be I be working from home in the comfort of my yoga pants.

With that change I’m not sure how much time I will have to sew and create.  My goal is to stay within the leftover 2016 fabric budget.

As I mentioned in my prior post, I’m hoping it encourages me to focus on using what I have.  I was aghast at my collection of fabrics, unfinished projects, and scraps.  In the post Christmas sales, there were many temptations and shopping carts filled.  However, pushing place order made me nervous, adding more fabric isn’t necessary.

When it comes to creating there have been many ideas thrown around.  My phone is full of inspirational places and random things that sparked some creative ideas.  Hopefully, I’m able to create my own version of them in 2017.  Maybe some minis or or wall art options.

Rather than setting a yearly fitness goal, I want to focus on something monthly.  For January I want to get 25 days with 10,000+ steps.  Not sure what each month will look like yet, but with each month I will update a fitness goal and fabric budget.

I’m elated to focus on a fresh start, growth, and moving forward.