Thursday, October 30, 2014

I Hate Sewing Clothes!

I returned from my retreat on Sunday evening to be informed by my teenager that she needed a poodle skirt made by Friday! I had been bugging her for weeks about Halloween because I wanted to order her something, but due to teenage girl drama and procrastination she did not decide on her costume until Sunday...There was not enough time to order one and I have made half a dozen poodle skirts over the years, so lucky mom spent several evenings this week shopping for the supplies and whipping this beauty up. Of course I could not find my pattern and was forced to purchase another, at least Wal-Mart had one for $1.97! This picture is awful due to the lighting because I did not get it finished until tonight at 8:00 pm. I dread making clothes, but I made the deadline and she seems pleased with it.
I also baked these beauties tonight for a cakewalk tomorrow. My go to cakes for bake sales and cakewalks are bundt cakes. I can't stand icing cakes, but with bundt cakes it easy to cheat. All you have to do is buy a container of pre-made icing and melt it in the microwave 30 seconds at a time until it pours easily. One container iced both of these pumpkin chocolate chip bundt cakes. I picked up orange plastic platters at the dollar store. I will wrap them up with plastic wrap and put a label on them. Two pretty, easy cakes to donate to the cakewalk at the Halloween carnival. I promise I will never be Martha Stewart, but at least I did not just buy something from the store! 

Speaking of Martha Stewart, I just finished reading this funny book by one of my favorite authors, Jen Lancaster. She writes hilarious memoirs that always make me laugh out loud! In this one, she decides to channel her Martha Stewart skills for a year. The part about Halloween had me in tears because I was laughing so hard. It had been awhile since I had read one of her books and I really enjoyed it. Did you know that she got her book deal from her blogging? Hmmmm...
 Despite my poodle skirt struggles this week, I did manage to make my Little Letter O blocks
and my P blocks too. I also managed to add two more rows to my purple Modern Herringbone quilt and fit some handwork in. I stopped on my way home from work and picked up a perfect purple backing that I am also going to add a pieced herring bone strip to. Hopefully, tomorrow night I can get my backing pieced and a label attached, so I can start quilting it up. 

We usually do not get many trick or treaters since we live in the country, but I will pick up some candy just in case...Since I have to stop for candy anyway, I think I will buy frozen appetizers to save me from cooking, so I can spend my whole evening drinking hard cider and sewing. Plus, my hubby adores frozen junk food. It sounds like a perfect Halloween night! 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

2014 Retreat

 We just returned from our weekend quilting retreat in Palisade, Colorado at the Wine Country Inn! Here is the courtyard that is the center of the inn. Here is a link to the inn if you are interested in visiting The service was amazing! Warning there are lots of pictures!
 Meals were enjoyed in this gazebo and the temperature was in the mid-70's. It is hard to believe it is so warm so close to Halloween!
The inn is surrounded by 10 acres of vineyard.
 This is the apartment/guest quarters where the potluck dinners were served from. All of the other meals were catered by the inn.
 Here is my mom on the porch hand quilting her Love Blooms BOM from Quiltmaker, I still have two blocks to go on mine!
I worked on my Journey of a Quilter BOM.
 Here are mom and me Slow Sunday Stitching. See what everyone else was up to here
 This was my sewing station with my new mat and thread catcher. My mobile sewing station (aka Stanley tool box) was perfect. The bottom part that holds my machine fit under the table and the tool box part fit on top of the table where all my necessities were within reach and organized.
 There were three vendors in case you needed something or wanted to splurge.
 There was a choice of classes with either a mystery quilt or a wool felt appliqué/embroidery stitches class. We took the wool felt appliqué/embroidery stitches class.
 Here was our big table in the ballroom.
 Laura, the wool felt class teacher, brought Valdani perle cotton, lots of wool pieces, her patterns, and kits. She did not have samples for everything because many were at the quilt market on display in the Valdani booth, but we still managed to find plenty of goodies.
On the wall were two samples of the mystery quilt most of the ladies worked on. I think the pattern is called "Morning, Noon, and Night."
Of course there was lots of chocolate and a glass of wine was included each evening. We stuck with the sauvignon blanc in case there was any spillage.
 Here are Lindsey and I bright and early on Saturday morning.
 Here are some of the ladies with their finished tops from the mystery class.
 This was the hallway outside of the ballroom where there were additional cutting tables and ironing stations and a porch ran the length of the building. The inn had beverages and warm cookies for us all day long. The retreat fee included lunch on Saturday and brunch on Sunday. There was even an omelet station for brunch! Since we stayed at the inn, we also had a breakfast buffet on each day. I am still full and probably gained 10 pounds.
Here is one of my Love Blooms Here blocks I worked on.
This is the Modern Herringbone quilt I pieced during the retreat. I want to add two more rows to make it wider since it is only 35 inches wide right now. I need some more purple fabrics, so I will go to the fabric store after work tomorrow. Doesn't it look amazing on the rail fence with the grapevines and the mountain in the background!!!
It was an amazing weekend with Lindsey, Debbie (Lindsey's mom), my mom, and all the other fabulous quilters! They have another retreat in the spring and in the fall, I am very tempted to go again! How was your weekend?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Retreat Preparation

My mom and I are going on a sleep away quilting retreat this weekend. We have not been on one in 9 years! Lindsey's mom's quilting group organized it and it is only an hour away from where we live, so we don't have to waste lots of time traveling. This is a belated birthday celebration for mom. So, I made a thread catcher to match my new sewing machine cover/mat.
The spool portion is a pin cushion. 
 I had a few remaining hourglass blocks and turned them into an eyeglass case for my readers I need for threading my needles especially on my Featherweight. These bright accessories will be very cheerful at my retreat workstation.
I made my N blocks for the Little Letters this morning. 
Another bonus is I get to use my mobile sewing station I splurged on this summer.  I have taken it to my mom's and Lindsey's for our sewing get togethers.
 I have stocked it with all the basic tools and it has plenty of room for all my projects.
Plus, my Featherweight fits perfectly in the bottom and it rolls easily.
 We are taking a wool class and can bring our own project or buy a kit there. I am bringing this pattern I inherited from my sister
and here is the wool felt for it. Of course, I could always be swayed to buy something new, but this is a lovely kit. Plus, it is small and not that complicated, so maybe I could actually finish it...
I have loved this Modern Herringbone quilt from Simply Pieced since it was posted last summer. I am a sucker for scrap quilts. She included instructions, so I am planning on making it! Just lots of half-square triangles, but she has a quick method. Here is the link 
 My neighbor is having a little girl in December and is doing the nursery in purples. I think a purple Modern Herringbone will be a perfect baby quilt. I dug through my stash of purples, my mom's, and my friend, Barbara's. The design uses 5 inch squares. I stopped by my LQS and found this white with purple for the background. I think it will be perfect to work on during the retreat with simple sewing and cutting.
 It was recommended to bring 9 fat quarters for some games we will play, so again I dug through my stash and found some random fat quarters that I can part with.
Here it is all together except for my handwork basket and a cooler.
Best of all the retreat is at a beautiful inn that is located in the middle of a vineyard, so we can sit on the porch, admire the view, and do handwork. After we tire of sewing, we can relax in the hot tub and drink some wine. Sounds like heaven! I will post pictures soon...

Saturday, October 18, 2014

FNSI October & SSS

 I had a great time sewing last night for the Friday Night Sew In. Early this week, I had finished my sewing machine cover/mat. I am so smitten with it that I decided I need a matching thread catcher.
So for FNSI, I dug into my scrap bins for 3 1/2 inch squares and did lots of cutting and ironing. These will turn into small hourglasses for the thread catcher.
Don't you think a matching thread catcher is needed? Especially because I have a quilting retreat next weekend!
 I also whipped up my Little Letters L blocks; shockingly, so far I have been keeping up with all the blocks! 
Then, I watched some TV and worked more on my Journey of a Quilter BOM embroidery. And I ended my Friday night with a soak in the tub with bubbles and my funny book! Talk about a prefect Friday night, sewing therapy and soaking therapy. Check out what everyone else accomplished here
Today, my friend, Lindsey, came over to quilt and I worked on the hourglass blocks for my thread catcher and getting the wool prepped for the fence block for this BOM. I am behind and my mom is already hand quilting hers! 
For Slow Sunday Stitching and football Sunday, I am going to work on my Journey of a Quilter BOM embroidering, finish up my matching thread catcher, make my Little Letter M blocks, and get everything together for next weekend's retreat. We have parent/teacher conferences this week which means late nights and not much sewing time, so hopefully I can get lots done on Sunday! See what Slow Stitching everyone is working on here

Monday, October 13, 2014

Columbus Day

 I tried to make the best of my day off today! I got my sewing machine cover completed. It fits both of my sewing machines.
Here it is doing its other task as a mat with pockets. I have my baby, a 1961 Singer Featherweight, in minty white on it. My Pfaff fits into a drop down sewing machine cabinet, so this will be mostly for traveling. We have a retreat in a couple of weeks and I am excited to try it out. 
 The design comes from Lori Holt's book, Quilty Fun.
 Between football yesterday and sewing with the girls this morning, I got one of my "Journey of a Quilter" blocks done.
I also started on another block from "Journey of a Quilter." I also took care of a couple of errands and started preparing my projects for our upcoming retreat.  Val from just e-mailed me that she is featuring one of my posts on her link party tomorrow, so be sure and pay her blog a visit. There is always great eye candy and fabulous organizational tips!