Everyone loves a happy ending.

Oh wow, I just realized after my last post that I am WAY further behind that I had thought. Yikes.  Jinkies.  Crikey.  Guess I’d better get to writing!

Well, before I get too far into this one, Blanche has so kindly provided me with a picture of the Chicken Quilt.  You can see why it has stayed with me.  Enjoy!

2005 Challenge Quilt

Well, who doesn’t love a happy ending? Please, please don’t make me explain more of this phrase. I’m sure if you make a trip out to urban dictionary, you’ll get the meaning without my having to explain it to you.  For some reason, this became our catchphrase at retreat.  Some minor explaining was done, but the one who said it knew exactly what she was saying (yes Hattie, I’m talking to you) and was hoping that none of the rest of us caught the end of that conversation.  Lucky for her we did because we laughed about it all weekend long.

This retreat we did more shopping than we normally do.  We headed into town for some local quilt shopping where we watched Hattie walk around the shop with bolts of fabric in her hand and yet emerge from the shop with no purchases.  We’re still not quite sure how that worked out.  In fact, we watched her do it again when we traveled to the next town over to shop at another quilt shop.  This time she was loading up on sale bin fabrics and still left the shop with nary a bag in hand.  We’re not sure where she gets her will power.  I know that I don’t have that kind of will power.

But, my notes are getting messy so I’m sure that I’m getting some of our retreat shenanigans mixed up.  So, I’ll take this time to share some things from my notes while making a solemn promise to make clearer note so I can share better stories with you.

Let me start by sharing that Hattie and Blanche have a role to play at retreat as the Fabric Fairies and it’s always fun to catch them in the act.

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Typically in the fall we are witness to a cross-country meet.  With the windows we have on the porch, we have front row seats to watch.  This year we got a little punchy while we were watching and the conversation made a turn.  I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if we did this on some level.  What did we turn to?  Well, turned to  whether or not we should set up a carnival.  Yes, that is right, a carnival.  Not the kind with rides, the kind with game booths and face painting.  How did we get there?  Well, it was hot and we figured we could sell our bottles of water.  Then we thought, why stop there?  There is a fire pit out there and we thought we could do some roasted marshmallows for smores, only we didn’t have any marshmallows so someone suggested Oreos.  We can warm up the Oreos because I’m sure that would be lovely.

Inez had a pretty good cold this time around.  When she went to take her cold medicine she didn’t read the package and took two when she should have taken one.  Hazel stood at the ready to hold a mirror under her nose/mouth to make sure she was still breathing.  After all, that is what friends do for each other.  Make sure that we are all still alive.

Blanche was heard to say as we were getting ready to watch Grease, that she prefers her popcorn “neat”.  I did mention that it is a dry camp?  I’m sure we would be a lot more dangerous with alcohol.  And of course while getting comfy on the couch, Blanche added that if she sits in the middle, we will all sink to the middle and then we will be spooning.  Hattie quipped, as long as we’re not forking.  She was certainly in rare form this weekend!

We tend to have lots of life sharing discussions which is really cool because while we are all friends bound together with the love of a craft, we all have very different backgrounds and life experiences.  I think because we have such a diverse wealth of information/advice/opinions that it helps make our friendships stronger.  During one of our sharing discussions, Hattie belted out: Keep it clean, keep it bright, keep it in your pants at night.  I don’t know that there was really a whole lot to say after that…

Hazel and I attempted to read a pattern, together.  It wasn’t going well.  It takes two dummies to make a right we said.  Hattie added, then they realize I need to make a left.

Sandra Dee came in with an apron that she had made out of a shirt.

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Isn’t it darling?  It was the biggest hit at retreat.  So much so, that we decided we would write up how we did it complete with pictures.  Of course I still have to get that one blog ready so stay tuned for that!

Lastly, we were missing our Vera.  Very much so.  Vera, this one is for you and of course a copy to come your way because I am absolutely behind on everything!

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One thought on “Everyone loves a happy ending.

  1. Blanche says:

    Hi, Opal,

    I thought I’d fill in the story for the chicken quilt for our readers. In 2005, I participated in a guild challenge where the FQ we had to incorporate in our quilt was definitely not a print I would have purchased as a modern California girl. It was chickens and barnyard grassy bits and wagons and fences. It was all I could do not to burn the FQ and call it quits. But my mantra with challenge quilts is “learn something new and explore new methods – even if you don’t like what you get when you are finished, you will have learned something new in the process.” So, as I looked at the ugly FQ, I decided that I didn’t have to use all of the print, only bits of it, and so I chose to fussy cut the chickens out and use only them. I’d always wanted to make a tree via the “Snippets” method and decided this was the time to do so. I had this wonderful dark brown fabric that looked like swipes with a paintbrush (I had several colorways of this in my stash – they made great lids on jar quilts – and anything else that needed that linear movement), so I backed it with Steam-a-Seam 2 and started cutting out chunks and pieces along the long swipes. I had pieced the background (sky and green print) already. I started laying out the various pieces to make the tree trunk and branches – Steam-a-Seam is wonderful because it’s like having post-it fabric – it is sticky and you can reposition it as many times as you like until you iron it down. It took me 8 hours to put together the tree – auditioning bits, changing the angle of the branches, changing values to get the branches to look right – but I wasn’t in a hurry. Once it was together, I fused it down and moved to the other bits – chickens. Being a non-farm girl, I saw nothing wrong with putting chickens up in the tree as well as on the ground! My cohorts from farming communities thought this was a bit unusual, but I didn’t listen to them. The owl at the top of the pecking order in the tree came from the backing fabric, which was a gorgeous owl print. The fence came about because I really needed something to break up the grassy area…I made it from a wooden planking fabric I had brought along, but had I thought about it, I could have used the fencing from the challenge FQ which would have been easier. I don’t remember if I quilted the quilt at retreat or moved onto another project, but I did machine quilt it with lots of thread painting to soften the sky grass interface and enhance the lines of the tree to look more like bark (also a first for me).

    The quilt didn’t win any awards at the quilt show, but it’s still a winner in my heart, and I display it proudly on a wall in my home. I still get questions about why I put the chickens in the tree, and I just smile and say “because I wanted to.”

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