Part 2 of the Music City Modern Quilt Guild Retreat: Sewing! Last week I shared the projects I was bringing with me, and today I’m sharing my progress.
It was so much fun to see what everyone else was working on… and so inspiring! If you’re on instagram, you should definitely check out the hashtag #musiccitymqg2016retreat to see what everyone did. I’m officially dying to try out an Elizabeth Hartman project – I lovelovelove her hedgehogs, whales, and bunnies!
This was the first retreat I’ve ever gone on, and I had a blast, but I definitely learned a few things for the next time. If I could’ve done anything differently, it would be… bring more!
For my future self, here are a few notes for the next time:
- Bring more fabric. I did all the cutting for specific projects beforehand, but I wish I had brought more scraps and extra fabric when there were (inevitable) mishaps. I even ran out of projects after a few things went wrong, but luckily I had enough scraps on hand (and pdf patterns saved on my iPad) to whip up another project.
- Bring more variety. I also wish I had brought my cross stitch project – there were times when I was burned out from sewing and would’ve welcomed some hand stitching as a bit of a break.
- Pack flip flops. Even if it’s cold (although it was actually unseasonably warm this time) bring flip flops for the bathroom… after all, even if you’re not camping, a cabin at a state park is still in the middle of the woods. One word: spiders.
Without further ado, here’s an update on the projects I planned.
What I brought:
- Baby Quilts
This pattern is actually a mini quilt, but it’s jelly roll friendly so I’m doubling the measurements to make an oversized one-block quilt. I also cut enough to make the mini quilt size too – either as a coordinating pillow or lovey… or another mini quilt for me 🙂
Super glad I ended up cutting for the mini quilt AND the baby quilt, because my math was way off! I wanted to use a jelly roll so I doubled the length but not the width of all the measurements… and it doesn’t work that way at all, ha!
I still think this would be an adorable oversized block, so I just might do the math and have another go some time, but without having all my fabric with me, all I could do was the mini quilt. I love it, though! Still thinking about how I want to finish it – I have a ton of minis already, so this one might turn into a pillow or a lovey to go along with a baby shower gift.
I’ve been hoarding some Briar Rose fat quarters that the lovely Jayne of Twiggy and Opal cut for my last year, and I think this vintage-inspired quilt pattern will be the perfect vehicle to showcase the fabric. It’s another oversized one-block quilt that should go together quickly. I love these fabrics so much, it was hard to cut into them, but I can’t wait to see them in a finished quilt.
The blocks came together super quickly, and I was about to join the rows together on the very first night when the first major mishap occurred… a splash of red wine (not mine!) on the background fabric… boo! I was pretty bummed that the home remedies did not work overnight (club soda and a mound of salt helped a lot, but there was still a big blue mark), so I had to pack up the unfinished rows without finishing the top at the retreat.
I thought I had more of the background fabric at home, but I had bought just enough for the pattern… so the stained fabric is soaking in Oxyclean now, and I’m hoping that will fix it. If the stain was on any of the other colorful fabrics it probably wouldn’t bother me, but since this is going to be a gift and it’s pretty obvious on the light background color, I’m determined to get that stain out or replace the fabric. I’ll keep you updated on the progress of this one, never fear!
I’ve been wanting to try out paper piecing (another 2016 crafty goal!) so I found a simple block to try out via Craftsy. With lots of experts nearby at the retreat, hopefully I can get some tips if I get stuck. I doubt I can make enough blocks for another baby quilt top at the retreat, but hopefully I can wrap my brain around the idea of paper piecing and make a start. I’m planning to do a gray background with solid blue/green colors for the star outline and prints for the inside. In my head it’s already super cute!
I finally tried paper piecing, woohoo! I messed up the first block completely, but after some coaching from Jayne I wrapped my head around it and did one block perfectly. I can see how it could be addictive – the points are perfect and all you’re really doing is sewing on a straight line. BUT there’s a lot of pressing involved, and my table at the retreat was a few steps away from the cutting/pressing stations, so it wasn’t super convenient to jump up after every step. Now that I have a better idea of how it works, I know I can set up my iron right next to my machine at home which will be much more efficient. I only made the one block, but the scraps I brought came in handy for another project!
I don’t have a great system for storing my scraps, but I’ve admitted to myself that I’ll probably never cut everything up into nice and neat sizes per Lori Holt’s method. I like storing them in color order, so I’m going to make some One Hour Baskets (in coordinating colors of course) to store my ROY G BIV (+ low volume) scraps. I’m excited to give this pattern a go – I’ve never used interfacing before, and I’ve been meaning to try it out for a while.
Success! I actually finished five baskets from start to finish as planned – the only completely finished project I took home! The pattern was super clear and easy to follow, even for someone like me who’s never attempted any kind of bag/pouch/basket-type pattern before. I can’t wait to get my scraps organized in color order with their coordinating baskets – Red, Orange/Yellow, Green, Blue/Purple, and Low Volume. Now that I’ve made a few and realize how easy they are to make in batches, I can foresee a ton more as baby shower gifts – tis the season, after all!
A guild member mentioned she’s making some of Lori Holt’s design boards, and offered a demo if anyone else was interested… sign me up! This has been on my list to make for a few years, so I added the supplies to my JoAnn’s list and now it’s on the list!
The one project I barely made a dent in. I cut the foam board (one 20×20 and two 10×10 boards) but that’s as far as I got. I thought I could finish them up Sunday morning, but finishing up loose ends and packing up took priority since we checked out by ten and were on the road by noon. I watched Stefanie make her boards though, so I have a good idea of how to finish them up at home.
True Love Mini Quilt via Canoe Ridge Creations (free pattern + tutorial!)
On Saturday night I hit a bit of a wall… I had finished the Round N Round mini quilt and hour baskets, tried out paper piecing but realized I needed a different setup, couldn’t work on the Vintage Star baby quilt until the stain was resolved, and didn’t feel like busting out the glue gun for the design boards, So I looked to my pdf patterns for another quick project and had enough blue scraps on hand to try out Thimble Blossom’s Heart mini, so I worked on that the last few hours of the night and finished it up Sunday morning. It’s super cute!
I really don’t need another mini quilt, so I’m thinking of adding a bunch of negative space so the heart floats in the middle or maybe in one corner to turn this into a baby quilt. Yes, another baby quilt!
That just about wraps up the Music City MQG Retreat of 2016… can’t wait for next year!