Happy Halloween!

Sorry for missing you all last week – I completely forgot to clue you in to the excitement about retreat!  We were all going to retreat!  Now we are all home.  <insert sad face here>  This time I was totally productive and really focused on getting things done.  However, before I get into that we had something truly exciting happen at retreat.

Hang on to your seats – Hattie bought fabric.  I even have the picture to prove it!  Normally when we go shopping Hattie takes her time wandering the store.  You might see her carrying a bolt or two.  Sometimes the bolts are from the sale fabrics.  Then you will see her later during check out and she has no bolts of fabric.  Her restraint has been a great mystery to us all.  However, she has a new grand baby and that baby needs a quilt.  Grandma Hattie to the rescue!

The first is Hattie with Blanche at the counter and you can clearly see that Hattie has cut fabric in her hands!  The second is Hattie alone.  I was trying to secretly take her picture, but as there were about 5 of us standing at the door with our phones out it was a little more difficult to be unobtrusive.

In case you were wondering, Yes, this was the shop that I had written about before.  The one that is closing and where I first learned how to piece quilt blocks.  We were lucky that she opened up for a couple of days while we were on retreat.

We did find a new (to us) quilt shop that I think we will plan on frequenting while on retreat in place of the one closing.  While it wasn’t a huge shop, the service there was quite amazing.  We felt very welcomed while we shopped there and it was a wonderful feeling.

As for me and my focus, well, I had a few things to get finished.  The first of which is one of the wedding quilts.  I’m sure you know the one.

Here it is as I was getting things assembled.  It took me far longer to assemble than I had thought it would. I started on Wednesday afternoon and didn’t finish until late on Thursday.  The small squares are 3″ and the snails trails are 6″ so I’m sure the fact that it is many small blocks is directly related to the length of time for assembly.

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Here it is, top completed complete with an “Around The World” stitch (basting around the edge to keep everything where it is supposed to be until I can get it quilted).  It turned out pretty amazing, I think.  I’m certainly glad to have it assembled, although now I need to removed the paper from the back.  I am not really looking forward to that, but at least it is something that I can do while watching tv.  Yea for completing projects!

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I did take a little time to do 3 pillow cases for the boys and repair a stuffed giraffe and repair a winter coat.  Then I had to get out the next project that I had  been procrastinating finishing.

Here it is – it is a Turning Twenty Pattern that I did as a quilt-as-you-go. I think the hardest part was getting the blocks in the right places.  This is not the finished version – it was just a picture I took as I was letting things gel and before all the switching around began.  It took me the better part of the day to get assembled and I still had to put the binding on it the next morning.  In case you are wondering, the white balls are golf ball fabric and the really busy multicolored fabric are golf tees.  This quilt is finished and is with its new owner and I am excited to have it completed and delivered.

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I’m sure you are wondering what I did next after all of the work I have done so far.  I am happy to report that I wasn’t done yet!

I’m sure you remember that I still have one wedding quilt to do that I haven’t even started yet.  (and now I have 2 to complete!!)  As I began these quilts, there was one that continued to stand out to me called Log Cabin Beads  (I have the pattern in a magazine).  I have finally settled on the colors but I was not so ecstatic about cutting 1 1/4″ strips for the background pieces.  I thought it might be a little easier to add 1/2″ to the background and color strips.  Of course this meant that I needed to do a practice block with notes and measurements for the new sizes I would need to cut.  It took me a  little while to get through it, but I did manage to get through 4 of them done and I think they look pretty good.  Here is what 4 of them look like together.

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I think this will work out just fine and now I need to do some more plotting on how many blocks I need to complete and how many of each color will be needed.  I’m sure that can wait until tomorrow.  Or the day after that…

And in case you thought I was finished after this, I wasn’t!  I still managed to complete two of those tied fleece blankets while we had big tables up and I could lay things out.  I told you I was terribly focused and productive. Could we say that I completed 4  ufos?  That would certainly make up for those months I couldn’t get into my sewing room.  Now that the summer heat and humidity are gone I should be able to get back on track.

Retreat was awesome, as it usually is.  We laughed and rehashed some old jokes, I mean everyone loves a happy ending…  It was nice to have the tribe back together again.  Well, most of us.  There was just one missing – Wanda and we did miss her.  Sandra Dee and Hazel learned to make a simple purse from 2 fat quarters and did really well with that.  Blanche and Mabel did a lot of paper piecing (they worked really had to get caught up on that super awesome stained glass star block of the month.  Say that 5 times fast!).  Hattie worked on that baby quilt. Inez put some things together for a craft show we have coming up.  Overall, it was a much-needed weekend together for us and sometimes I wish they were a little more often than every 6 months.

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