Monday, September 27, 2010

I'm back from Gwennie's retreat....

LOL.  That's what she calls herself....Gwennie!  What a fun lady.

Nancy, Sharon and I attended her third week, Beaver Island Quilt Retreat up in Elk Rapids, MI from Tuesday through Sunday.  It was labeled as the Liberated Quilt Retreat.  What a fun time we had. 

Anyways, let me get to the pictures right away.  I worked on the liberated baskets. 

I did these basket in the French General line.  Much more tame than the fabrics that Gwen uses, but I knew these would go in my house.  Now mind you...I intended to make a queen sized quilt, but by the time I finished these, I was done with baskets!

Now let me show you Sharon's lovely quilt....small but beautiful.

She has the liberated basket (flower pot); liberated log cabin (flower); liberated stars and liberated flying geese and liberated spikey border.  As Sharon would say....two yards of black and several fat quarters later, she has a lovely, but small wall quilt.  She committed way too soon and did lots of ripping.  Still love it though Sharon!

Then we have Nancy's great quilt.  It started out as baskets, but she embellished so much that we decided it was liberated purses.  Aren't they adorable?

One night when Nancy went to bed earlier than us, we took some of the scraps that she had on the floor and made up a couple of the log cabin blocks and the star block.  She loved them so much that she decided to make more of them and make them her border.  Hey!  What are friends for?

Now on to some of the other great quilts that were up on the walls.  I don't know the owners, but I will give you a quick overview of some of Gwen's particular liberated studies

This gal was smart.  She made her liberated "fruit" basket blocks all the same height.  It made it much easier putting the quilt together, whereas mine was a big headache at times, but I loved the "fruit".

These are called Kathy's blocks and that is because during one of Gwen's classes, this gal wanted to learn how to make the liberated stars.  Well, she did them all "wrong" and thus this block came to be and Gwen called them Kathy's block and put it in her book.  It makes for a very pretty quilt.

This one is considered a medallion quilt.  I love the great witch fabric.   The flying geese got turned into  witches hats by adding the strip below each flying geese. How ingenious!

This gal used shirtings and made strips with lots of little, very tiny,  liberated blocks of all styles.

Now this one looks so Amish to me.  Maybe it was the colors, but I just loved this one.  I guess you can say these were liberated snowball blocks.  I loved watching this quilt develop. (Oh, look...there's Gwen).  She never stood still long enough to get a good picture of her).

Here's a great liberated star quilt.  Love it!!

Then there was this great quilt.  I am going to call it liberated sticks....kinda like pick up sticks.  Don't you just love the varying reds in the background.  Sorry this picture was taken on an angle.  It was hard getting good pictures at times with so many people crowding around. 

I really fell in love with this quilt.  It is all liberated  in a variety of styles, but the great thing about this one is that it is made with silk ties.  I have been saving my father-in-laws ties and I think I finally know what I am going to do with them. 

Finally, this one has the liberated trees and houses.  What a great way to use up Christmas fabrics, yet not look like a Christmas quilt.  I am going to store that idea in the back of my brain, too.

Now, this is about the best picture I got of Gwen showing one of her quilts.  Like I said, she was a very busy lady and didn't sit still long, but I just had to post one picture of her and tell you that she gives a great retreat; AND it helps to go with some great friends, too.

One more thing though.  I was amazed at how "messy" people could get.

and it wasn't until a day or two into the retreat that it was explained that all your scraps were to be put on the floor for people to "shop in your mess" and then next year they will come back with a little quilt made from "floor scraps" and their quilts are then called "floor quilts".  I saw some pretty good looking floor quilts, too.  Wish I had taken a picture of them, but I forgot my camera that night.  Take my word for it though, they were adorable.

Well, it's back to the old grind here.  I am hunting for fabric on line to border my baskets with and when I get them done (soon I hope), I will post a picture of the finished quilt. 

Wish you could all have joined us for Gwen's retreat.  Think about going to one of her retreats.  I think you would really enjoy yourself. 

Thanks for looking in. 


Monday, September 20, 2010

All packed and ready to go....

I will be leaving tomorrow morning for Gwen Marston's Beaver Island retreat.  Sharon and Nancy and I will be bunking in a condo at the White Birch Lodge.  I am so looking forward to this. 

The theme for this retreat is  "Liberated Quilt Making".  I have a ton of the French General fabrics to work with and I am, also, bringing along the solids I worked with at a workshop that I had with her earlier this year at the Cameo Quilt Guild.  Now, this doesn't mean that I  am not open to changing direction fabric-wise  once I get there and see what everyone is working with.  Believe me....just seeing what Nancy and Sharon have will probably sway me...they have such good taste.  But....I have to keep telling myself that I DON'T NEED ANYMORE FABRIC. that I have that off  my chest, I promise to come back next Sunday with lots of pictures AND lots of progress on my liberated quilt. 

See you this weekend!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday's tomato...

I think it is Saturday!  I am so pooped,  I can't think straight.  This is what my daughters and I have been doing all day. 

Three bushels.



Cut ....


A sea of 61 quarts of tomatoes done today. 

I am going to bed. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Three Tiny Acorns

Over there >>>>>>>>>> on my sidebar you will see a little website called Three Tiny Acorns.  This is an Etsy shop that my dear daughter has set up to see if  there is an interest in some of her organizational skills, some of her older quilted wallhangings, some ingenious ideas  on how to use some old pop bottle crates and in the future her dear husband will be making some quilt racks and other  wood projects.  That's the plan right now and hopefully this will expand into something bigger.  She really does have some fantastic ideas and I am not saying that just because I am her mom!    I hope you take a peek and pass the word around.  I think you might like what you see.    (By the way, the three tiny acorns represent their three sons)

Monday, September 13, 2010

In memoriam....

I said goodbye to my Mother-in-law, Arla on September 9, 2010 and today was her funeral.  She was the best mother-in-law a person could have.  She was always happy and content.  She will be missed by everyone. 

When the minister asked for some personal details about her that could be used in his sermon today, I remembered the six quilts that she had made for each of her grandchildren back in the 80s.  I don't have pictures of them, but I could probaby get pictures of at least the three that my children own, but I did get five blocks that she had made extra from my niece's quilt. 

I don't remember her being a "quilter" persay, but she bought six "die-cut" quilt kits that she hand button hole stitched the applique pieces.  The six were a red rose, a yellow rose, a sunbonnet Sue, a pitcher and bowl, butterfly quilt and fall leaf quilt.  I have access to the yellow rose, the butterfly one and the leaf one. 

The extra blocks were the red roses. 

I set these blocks a bit  more contemporary than the block settings that she used for her quilts.

...and here is the whole quilt that I call Arla's Red Roses.

I had this machine quilted and here is a close up of one of those blocks. 

I am so glad I mentioned this to the minister because he used the fact that she quilted these quilts for her grandchildren which was very much like her life.  The top being her birth, the bottom being her death and all the stitches in between her life; and all the love that goes along with it. 

I think we as quilters show a little or a lot about ourselves each time we take a stitch and now this quilt will be even more special to me now that she is gone....gone to be with her husband and her son, but never gone from our hearts.

May she rest in peace.  I loved her so. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Stitch by stitch....

I am now one block closer to  getting my Hearts and Hands quilt (Cafe au lait is the name I am giving this quilt)  finished.  LOL...not that I am that close, but one block is one block. 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Success during chaos. ....

I can't tell you how good it feels to get #11 Cherry Trees block done.

It really was an easy block....not much to it.  But life has been chaotic.  

Within the last couple of months I have seen the inside of five hospitals.  One for husband's stents, second one for mother-in-laws heart attack (she is in hospice, too; and I am her guardian), third one for my father's carotid surgery, fourth one for husband's dad who went into congestive heart failure and then to top it off, my daughter just had emergency laminectomy (back surgery) and she has a 1 year old, 3 year old and six year old.  She will be needing lots of help over the next few weeks. get something accomplished at all in the sewing area is a real success in my book. 

Now....if anyone needs an opinion about a hospital in my area, just ask.....LOL.

Ok....I am going to pull some of my Hearts and Hands blocks out and see if I can't start them before the next Cherry Trees comes out.  Have a great Memorial weekend!

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...