Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Very Fun and Productive Weekend

Each February for the last 9 years I've attended a quilt retreat in Phoenix hosted by a group of ladies from the About.com quilt forum.  It is a wonderful time of laughter, visiting, and sewing.  I start preparing for the retreat around Christmas time, often putting together kits to work on while I'm there.  I like working on kits because all I have to do is sew.  I don't have to think too hard or worry about following instructions or cutting fabrics.  I do all the prep work, planning, and cutting ahead of time.  I worked on 3 kits while I was there, finishing up one that I started at home, completing another, and constructing the blocks on the 3rd.  All 3 are now finished tops.

The first is a modified shadow box.  I had seen the pattern in a Connecting Threads catalog.  I realized it was very similar to the floating shadow box I had previously made except instead of a square in 2 corners, it has a small triangle.  I made the block by sewing the black strips to the center, then adding the triangles using the Perfect Corner ruler.  It went together very quickly.  I love optical illusions and this really looks fun.

3-D Blocks

The idea for this quilt came from a friend who also attends the AZ retreat.  She had made the pattern using hot pink and blue with a large focus print which was very striking.  The pattern is from Quilterscache.com, called Snowball and Nine Patch, which is exactly what it is made of.  I sewed this one entirely at the retreat, taking about 6 hours.  The secondary pattern is wonderful.

The inspiration for this last quilt was from another forum member who had made one in bright colors and photographed it in the sunshine.  It's called Twinkling Stars and her photo did twinkle.  I had to give it a try in novelties.  At first I was going to use different fabrics of the same color in each star, but decided that would be distract too much from the star pattern.  As well as very time consuming to select the fabrics.  So I stuck with one fabric for each block, using fabrics with small scale.
I get a lot of teasing at the retreat about finishing so many quilts, but I really am cheating.  By having all the prep work done ahead and using relatively simple patterns it makes my job very easy and frustration free.  And then I can focus on enjoying the time visiting with friends.  The weekend always goes too fast despite staying up late.  I can't wait until next year.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed watching you put these together and the three finished quilts look beautiful!!! Your kits are amazing and you are so organized.