Friday, June 26, 2009

Prizes, gifts and purchases....

You can't go on retreat without coming back from it with prizes, gifts and definitely purchases.

This picture shows the animal print quilt that I got from my roomie, a hand-made picture frame, a dust mitt, Fons and Porter necklace scissor holder, a cross stitched book mark (Gail made one for all of us and each and everyone of them had a different quilt block on them), a FQ of sunflowers that wrapped my exchange gift of 6 FQ of baby fabrics from Darla, hand-made wood turned earrings, three storage boxes and a Jim Shore Heartwood Creek Christmas ornament. Most of these were on the gift table that we got to choose from when our names were pulled from the hat.

These are my purchases. Got carried away when it came to wool. I bought a kit (pineapple) wall hanging or table topper, a pattern with wool Christmas stockings, silk thread, a stripe fabric to bind my grandson's baby quilt, another stripe....just because; a sage colored polka dot tea towel, wool floss, a good 4 oz of wool scraps and a yard of yellowish toile only because I was afraid that if I left the store without it I would be upset.

Of course, the majority of the purchases were made at Quilts Plus and if you bought a kit, you got the shopping bag. I think she told me if I bring it back next time, I will get something like 10% off my purchase. :D Believe me..... I will be taking that bag with me next year.

Well, I have already incorporated some of my gifts into the house and this is the stained glass, 9-patch piece that my car mate, Sheila, gave me AND she gave me the "antique quilts" plaque that is already in my cupboard by my antique quilts.
It's always fun to come home from retreat and pour over all these little treasures. I think I will go fondle some of that wool now.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

More pix from the retreat....

Just wanted to share a few more.

I am sure many of you are aware of how much fun it is to go on retreat or just plain ole getting together with friends and doing the things you love. Here are just a handful of us doing what we love....quilting and talking.

Also, wanted you to see the pile of NICU quilts that the gal from the local hospital in St. Louis was picking up from us. There were around 150, but the sad thing was that she said that the majority of them will be handed out in less than two weeks. That's a lot of preemies and sick babies. The majority of these measured out to be 22" square. In her hands are the baby hats that I had knitted, too.

The babies weren't the only ones getting quilts that week. My roommate, Sandy, made me a quilt for being her friend and roomie. Now, you have to know one thing about me.....I love animal print....which is so out of character for me..... ;D or so people think. LOL. Anyways, isn't it adorable?!!!

Now to further that wild side of me (and all the other gals at the retreat)...our gal Rilla got us all tattoos to wear. I still have mine on my leg. Must say ...the color ran out of my DH's face when I showed him and then he asked if it was permanent. LOL. He must think we are all a little crazy, but we sure have fun.

As for being a little crazy, these three gals really decked themselves out for the "monkey" pant fashion show/contest. They had talking slippers on to match the pants that they made, crowns, feathers, stickers, and the monkey pant gal even had a tail. Beckles, Debbie,and Joann...daughters/sisters and mom. (Left to right were monkey pants, duck pants and frog pants) They were our entertainment for the week....always laughing and making everyone else laugh.

If you are interested in seeing more of the retreat pictures, on the right side of my page are two blogs that I follow and these gals were at the retreat and really have great pictures to show off, actually tons of pictures. The one is and the other one is . Please check them out. I think you will enjoy them.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Back from retreat....

Actually I have been back since late Saturday night, but life has been crazy since returning home. I did have a glorious time at my retreat though. Here's a shot of the stage in the huge room we had for setting up our sewing machines where after three nights of show-n-tell (there were 39 of us, so we had to divide it up in three days) we each got to choose one of our quilts to put up for display and this is the result.

Then we have our group pictures on the stairway just off the lobby.

Then this one is on the stage with all the "fav" quilts.

I would think that the majority of us got a lot accomplished. Of course there are those that just talked too much and didn't sew like they had planned, but we all had fun.

We had a monkey pant (scrubs/lounge pants) fashion show. Don't ask...... the monkey pant name is kind of a long story, but we did get a lot of the gals to make them with embellishments or other adornment. Made for quite a fun time. Here's the "chorus line" of us all in our pants.

We had a prize table full of gifts that we all donated. Throughout the day each day our names were pulled from the hat and we got to choose a goodie. That's always fun. We all love to get gifts, right?

A nice surprise this time around was that we had a Lenni mid-arm at our disposal and there were several gals who got to load a quilt or two to get them quilted over the week. Our gal, Angela, is a rep for the company and rented it from Tuesday through Saturday. I wasn't one of them, but a lot of quilts got completed because of it. Here's my roomie, Sandy, working on her "poppy" quilt.

My car mate, Sheila, and I made only one quilt shop stop on the way to St. Louis and then again going back. I had filled my punch card going down and just didn't want to wait a year to use it, that's why we stopped again going home. Quilts Plus is in Indianapolis and is one of the Better Homes and Garden top 10 shops. I wholeheartedly agree with them. Love that shop!!!

Give me another day or two and I will post some pictures of some beautiful quilts up close and personal and of some of the gals in their crazy outfits and some of the other shenanigans that were taking place. I am not sure if I have recuperated yet, but hey...being with all these wonderful gals and getting to sew and have your meals made for you....what more could a woman ask for?......oh yeah....more time!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

All packed and ready to go....

Sewing machine, projects, gifts, prizes for the prize table, charity quilts, show-n-tell, GPS are all packed and ready to go. Once I get up in the morning, my suitcase will be zipped and it will all be waiting for me when I get home from work. Then my friend, Sheila, and I will be taking off for our annual retreat (RIM aka retreat in the middle) in St. Louis, MO where we meet up with on-line friends from all over the U.S. (We do have friends in Canada, but we haven't talk them into joining us just yet.) There will be around 40 or so of us this year.

We will have a representative from the local hospital picking up over 100 love covers for the NICU and there are a number of quilts that will be donated to teens who, I believe, are in the foster system.

We are staying at the Mercy Center in St. Louis. This is a convention/retreat facility AND where several retired nuns live. Last year each of these nuns received quilts from us, too.

There will be lots of eating, yakking, laughing and definitely lots of sewing in between.

So when I get back next weekend, I will have some pictures to share with you of all the great gals who I now can call friends, You will see some of the craziness that goes on, some of the beautiful quilts that are being made and some of our show-n-tell which is HUGE!!

I hope you have as good a week as I know I will have. See you next weekend.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Sisters-in-law quilt II

The last of the four quilts that I got back from the quilter is now bound.

I call this one "Sisters-in-Law II". This is the result of my sister-in-law and myself, brand new quilters and not knowing a whole lot, decided to do a block exchange. Our rules were to make two like blocks each month in either 12" or 6" with neutral backgrounds and the rest was anything goes... keep one and give the other one. Well, "anything does not always go". I had even planned on making a queen-sized quilt from these blocks, but because I wasn't as pleased with them as I thought I would be as a whole, the blocks stayed in a rubbemaid for a few years. Recently I decided to clean up some "things" in my sewing room and came across these blocks and because they were "family", I didn't feel that I could just get rid of them, so I decided to see what I could make with them. As a result, there are two quilts

I originally called this one (brighter blocks) and another one in more muted blocks, my "ugly quilts", but as it turns out, they aren't as ugly as I thought. What you sash them with and the quilting can really make them come alive.

So, don't you think it is time to do something with some of those blocks that you have lying around? Come on! I know that I am not the only one that has a ton of unfinished quilts, blocks or whatever lying around. At least I can say that I have emptied out one rubbermaid (and I mean a fairly large rubbermaid) and produced something half way decent from its contents.

If I can find the file that I have "Sisters-in-Law I" quilt pictures saved, I will post that one, too, soon.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Last stitch....

Just put the last stitch into the 3rd out of the 4 quilts recently received back from the quilter. It's my Crows in the Corner.

This was a free, downloadable pattern at Other than the tan background, the rest of the top was made from scraps....many of which were taken from my Dear Jane stash. Pinks and browns were the dominant colors with just a dash of green thrown in.

I did reverse applique where the leaves and tree trunk were concerned and needle turn for the birds. This was really a super easy pattern to throw together. I used the Quilt-in-a-Day half square triangle ruler to make the blocks (this ruler makes 8 hst at a time). So, only needing 6 of those, I threw the remaining blocks together and plan on doing a table topper with them.

When it came to doing the binding, I decided to scrappy, but we are talking about piecing 30+ fabrics together that were fat quarter size or smaller; but I think it makes it pretty interesting.

Hopefully this close up of the backing shows off the great job my quilter did carrying through my leafy look for the borders.

Also, like I don't have enough to get ready for my upcoming retreat next week, I also, threw together another NICU baby cap (green) and this was an easy one....basically just knit 2, purl 2.

Well, one more quilt to get bound. Hope to get it done in the next day or two since there are projects to get ready for the retreat AND pack some clothes, too

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Love covers......

That is what we call the little quilts that we make for a neonatal intensive care unit at a local hospital in St. Louis.

The online group of quilters that get together once a year for a retreat at Mercy Center in St. Louis, MO put together 22" sq. quilts for preemies and 36" sq. quilts for incubator covers. These are so well received by the doctors and nurses who say that it brightens up the NICU, but mostly shows the families of little ones who are very sick that there are several of us out there that care. We have done this for the last couple of years and believe me, the nurse that comes to pick these up from us at the retreat center brings us all to tears with the stories of how amazed and appreciative families are that someone would do this for them.

I know that we have well over 100 to donate later this month, but the sad thing is that they will all be handed out within a matter of just a few days.

Anyways the cupcake one is appliqued with a yo-yo cherry and the April Cornell one is made from scraps from a quilt that I had made for myself last year. I just eeked out the border with less than an inch to spare. But for scrappy, I think it turned out pretty cute; and I think it will be very much loved.
So, if you are feeling charitable, take an orphan block ( I am sure you all have a few orphan blocks lying around) and add a border or two and call your local hospital. I am sure they would love to give them to some family in need.

I said I wouldn't......

I meant it when I said it. But I failed and ended up doing it. I picked up the knitting needles instead of getting back to my pile o...