Monday, September 11, 2017


The unpacked bags are piled all around me and I am totally wiped out. But going on retreat with Seattle MQG was great fun, as I fully expected it would be!! We stayed at Camp Huston in Gold Bar and though the accommodations were simple, the lodge (aka the sewing room) was spacious and the meals absolutely delicious (think homemade baked goods at every meal, prime rib dip, salmon, etc. etc.). And with 36 guild members attending, the company was excellent!

I made one special item before I went - a pillowcase from the tutorial by The Twiddletails Blog. I had no idea how satisfying this would be to make! With stash fabrics, it took all of 45 minutes, and went terrific with the quilt I chose to take for my bed - my Crossex quilt. It's nice to sleep handmade anytime, but especially at a quilting retreat, right?

The first project I started once I got set up was a new tumbler quilt made with a range of cool RJR Cotton Supreme Solids. I made my own template, based on a Venti Starbucks cup (truth), and cutting out the tumbler shapes was quick work.

Truth be told, piecing this quilt top (about 56" square) was quick to sew too - amazingly so. Within just a few hours I had a flimsy ready for the traditional Camp Huston water tower photo.

Next up was a little secret sewing and believe it or not, a bit of fabric shopping with Island Quilter, who traveled to us! Oh yeah.

Come morning while I was still fresh, I tackled a Devon Pouch, a pattern by Svetlana/Sotak Handmade that I'd been wanting to try. I made the large version which measures 7 ¼” wide x 5” tall x 1 ½” deep. It's marked 'intermediate' and I'd agree with that rating. It took my attention while not being overly challenging. In a perfect world, I'd have two sewing machines set up - one with a 1/4" foot and one with a zipper foot, as there were several times I needed to switch back and forth. But that was just a minor inconvenience, and definitely worth the effort.

My pair of metal zippers came from Zipit, who had the matching zips in the two sizes needed. I used one of my custom leather labels, which I love! Unfortunately when I went to look for a link to share, it looks like the seller, cocosheaven, may have left etsy. (sad face)

Meanwhile, some of my fellow guild members took the retreat as a chance to make their improv Dresden block for the 2018 QuiltCon charity quilt challenge. [Thanks for Louise/@imfeelincrafty and Monica/@monicathequilter for the fun photo!]

So, the other project I worked on was a new one involving improv spikes! I'm pulling from my scrap basket, which explains the eclectic palette. The shortest slabs are 3 1/2" tall, the tallest 8". Where this is headed I'm not sure, but though tedious, I'm really liking the evolving piece.

So, now back to reality! Nuff said.


  1. so glad you had a fun and PRODUCTIVE retreat! good for you. I still want to do a tumbler quilt. guess it will wait until next year at this point. Off to find me some comparable leather tags...

  2. It sounds like a wonderful retreat. I look forward to seeing where the spikes take you!

  3. I can see you all had a good time. I love the watertower picture, it sets off the quilt perfectly.

  4. A template from your Starbuck's cup - aren't you ingenious :)! It turned out beautifully, as did your Devon pouch. Loved seeing all the pics from your retreat.

  5. Oh a quilt retreat! There's never anything better. Looks like a nice-sized group, and wonderful accommodations. You're fortunate as we can only have 20 at our current retreat location. Love that pillowcase! It's beautiful - what orange isn't beautiful?! - and looks super with your scrappy quilt. Don't you find it a pain in the tush to drag a finished quilt with you on retreat, when you have so many quiltmaking things to take along too? I really like your tumbler quilt, and am guessing that's some pretty Pink Flamingo that's popping out of it. Great photo spot! And your improv spikes are wonderful. I know they're going to become a super-looking quilt. You sure know how to make improv look easy. Keep up all the gorgeous quiltmaking, and thank you for sharing!

  6. Wow, what fun! The 6th photo down -and I may lose some people here- the words "Petticoat Junction" immediately popped into my mind"! The pouch is marvelous! I think I need to make myself one of those!

  7. What fun! You were busy with all the quilting, shopping and smoozing! I learned from my first retreat that bringing your own pillow is a must! I'm loving those spikes and can't wait to see what it will become!!

  8. Now everything about this blog post suggest you had a blast! It sure looks fun. Better than hanging sheet rock, which is what I did this weekend.

  9. Love the idea of bringing a quilt for your bed at the retreat !