Sunday, May 20, 2012

retreat recap {long overdue}

What is this? Two posts in less than a week? It's a bloggy miracle! I've written at least three blog posts recently and none have made it past the draft stage. I actually wrote this post a while back, but it sat pictureless for a while and I ended up publishing Emma's tumbler quilt post first.

We've just put our house on the market and getting it ready for showings has been exhausting. We've had a parade of painters, landscapers, photographers, stagers, and others through here working on various things, and also I've gone through pretty much every nook and cranny to donate, throw away, and analyze every item in this house.

Plus, what's just as hard as getting the house clean? Keeping it that way. Argh. I just have to remember that I'm getting a sewing space out of this whole deal! Hubby agrees that I need it. I think he's tired of me taking over the kitchen table. And the island. And the coffee table. And the living room in general. ;)

I definitely needed this quilt retreat last month... it was so much fun! If you've never been on a quilt retreat weekend, you really should go. There are several reasons...

1. Yummy food. Especially if Tara's cooking. (TR: Next time I'm adding a bucket load of sugar to the tea. You better keep an eye on me.)

2. Time to sew. No kiddos, TV, chores, or other distractions.

3. Making new friends. I love getting to know friends and acquaintances better, as well as meeting new people.

4. Time to laugh. Seriously, there was one point where I was laughing so hard I thought I might wet my pants. If Emma hadn't been a c-section baby I might well have.

5. Did I mention yummy food? :)

Our topic for the weekend was paper piecing. Penny is a great teacher when it comes to designing and constructing blocks. We did a little practice, watched some demonstrations, and then we got to piece Penny's famous Kitchen Aid block!


It's a lovely block but HOLY MOLY did it take me forever! This was most of my day on Saturday but that's okay becaue I really wanted one. I'm debating between making it into a mini quilt for my kitchen, a trivet, or a cover for my Kitchen Aid mixer.

Sunday, I pieced a sewing machine that I'll incorporate into a sewing machine cover. I'm actually debating redoing this block... it's all kinds of wonky plus I realized I didn't reverse the image, so the machine is backwards. Whoops!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

i'll tumble for ya...

I've had "quilt for Emma" on my project list forever. I've been collecting fabrics (over fifty different prints  initially, but only about thirty-six made the final cut) but couldn't decide what pattern to make. While wandering around Flickr the other day, I spied a number of tumbler quilts and remembered I had borrowed Tara's tumbler die a looooong time ago. (Sorry I've been hoarding it, friend. You can have it back soon!)

I got a Go Baby fabric cutter for Christmas and finally brought it out for its inaugural run! I started by buzzing through only two layers of fabric and speedily cranking the handle. Totally not the way to go. After a few fits and starts, I discovered that six layers of fabric went through really nicely as long as I cranked the handle very slowly. Despite the slow turning of the handle, it was still way faster to use the fabric cutter than if I had hand cut each tumbler with a template.


I've been playing with quilt designs and whether or not to use a background neutral. I didn't want this quilt to be your typical scrappy tumbler, I wanted more definition and bigger chunks of the same print. These are the options I've narrowed it down to...what do you think?

These are bows:


These are beads:


Rows of bows (with Kona Bone in between):


Rows of beads:


And finally, nested bows and beads: