I have three quilt events planned between now and Fall, and I am getting ready for the first one.
The first time I went to a quilting retreat I just took bags of fabric that had intended projects. Of course, the line at the ironing board and at the cutting table created lots of waiting. Fun chatting in line, of course, but still slowing the progress. I observed how others did it. Ah ha, they had precut their quilts and could sit and sew. If they chain pieced, they didn’t use the ironing board very often–but long when they did. And another member mentioned that she did only easy things so she didn’t have to concentrate.
The people who really seemed productive were those who brought quilts that just needed binding and did the bindings. Another rather monotonous part of quilting that it is nice to have conversation while doing.
The April retreat, put on by ScottieDog Quilts at Eureka, CA, is a mystery retreat.
Now I have mixed feelings about mystery quilts. I hate giving up the control over color and placement. But I enjoy group projects. So every once in a while I do one.
The first one I did was an online group on New Year’s Day for those of us not into football. We got a clue an hour. Of course I got behind–but that worked in my favor. I did enough of each step to be sure I knew how while the leader was online to answer questions. And I got to where the flying geese were to be attached to something with square parts. And though I thought my seams had been accurate, the sizes did not match. (I have since had that same problem with other patterns, so it was operator error, not a problem with instructions.) But because I had not attached anything yet beyond the small parts into small segments, I could change directions. Instead of the cool, precision pieced wall hanging I was supposed to end up with, I made three child-sized quilts for charity. There is a photo on my website of my three and a link to the wall hanging it was supposed to have become.
So we will see what happens this time. I need at least 16 fat quarters (any theme will do, they say), a background and an accent inner border. I debated just shopping Vs. digging into my 12 big boxes of fabric, and because the thirties box was near the front and top, decided to take a look. I have way over 16 fat quarters here, but nothing for border or background, so I got to shop too. And while I was at it, there were a couple colors that would look better repeated. So I looked for–and found–five. (I’m not in stash busters yet. VBG)
Then there is the need for something to do if I finish a stage of the mystery before the next clue is given. Optimistic, I know, but you never know. And just in time, someone in an online guild posted a link.
So I will be cutting a lot of 2 1/2 inch squares. I really like the look of the Fading Charms quilt. I have enough scraps, though I may not be able to make them all different.
Check back after the end of April for a progress report.