Craft Chat

2018 Music City MQG Quilting Retreat

The 2018 Music City MQG retreat was last weekend, and it was a blast!

via Emily Collins

It rained all weekend, which made for a cozy three days of sewing uninterrupted from Friday to Sunday. The lodge at Henry Horton state park offered a big open space with a kitchen full of endless snacks at one end, room for design walls (and a pop-up shop sponsored by CraftSouth!) on the other end, and in between, over thirty quilters gathered to sew, sew, sew!

We were busy bees, starting early each morning and sewing late into the night, with frequent breaks for chitchat and snacks, of course. I got a lot done, but once I started making simple mistakes at the end of the night, I knew it was time to call it a day!

The cabins weren’t glamourous but I still appreciated sleeping all night long with no chance of a crying baby to wake me up. I knew Amelia was in good hands with her dad, Aunt Jamie, Grandma Peachie, & GG at home, but I missed her after two nights away!

I shared my project plans a couple weeks ago, and today I can share a status update!

First, the projects I completed:

Baby Blue Quilt

I started working on a fractured four patch quilt (Square Dance pattern by SewMotion) last year but came to a stopping point due to a couple different reasons. I wasn’t thrilled with the way my two floral prints were working together, and I accidentally ordered this Cotton + Steel Rifle Co print in lawn instead of 100% cotton, so I was worried about the puckering that was already starting to show.

So! I separated the two floral prints and decided to make two baby quilts instead of one bigger quilt.

I used the fractured four-patch blocks to construct the center, then added borders, and voila! A sweet baby quilt top ready to go. I used leftover four-patch blocks and some navy blue to make a quick pieced back. The quilting should show up really well on the back, which I always love. I’m contemplating quilting this myself or sending it off to a longarmer (much less work, and probably pretty cost-effective since it’s not very big), but it’s so nice to have both a top and back one step closer to being finished!

Lucky Four Patch Baby Quilt

For the Cotton + Steel Lucky Strikes floral, I’m just rearranging the four patch blocks and adding a white border. Sometimes sweet and simple is the way to go!

This one was super quick to put together, although not the most exciting. I bought some backing fabric from the Craft South pop-up shop, but I’m still undecided if I’ll use it or construct a pieced backing from the leftover blocks. We shall see!

Round Robin Quilt

I love my Round Robin quilt top so much! I’m going to have it professionally quilted and hand it off at the retreat, so I just need to figure out the back. I bought two yards of a Sleeping Porch floral by Heather Ross but I want to add an extra star block that will serve as a label, and I’m going to hunt up all of my Heather Ross scraps to make a few patchwork blocks.

Putting together the backing for this quilt felt like making another quilt top! I cut into precious Heather Ross scraps to make two sixteen-patch blocks, then added them to a leftover block to create a strip to break up the floral yardage. I gave the top and back to Jill for quilting, and she has already turned it around in under a week! I picked it up this weekend, and snapped a couple pics yesterday afternoon. Jill’s custom quilting is exquisite!

Once the quilt is trimmed and bound, I’ll share some more photos. So, so close to being completely finished!

Round and Round Baby Quilt

I started this as a mini quilt on the last retreat in 2016, and it’s been sitting in a bag ever since!

I was only a few weeks along in my pregnancy and not telling many people yet, so I’m pretty sure my thinking was that I’d make a few different quilts and decide which one to keep after I found out the gender. The Vintage Star quilt was completed for Amelia and this one didn’t make it past its current state. I don’t have a recipient for it yet, but I’m going to add borders and cornerstones to make it into another baby quilt. I think it will be super cute!

I’m so glad this WIP is destined to be a finished quilt! I just added a couple more borders and cornerstones to make it bigger, and I’ll use a geometric print for the back.

And now, the projects that are still WIPs:

QAYG Cathedral Window Quilt

I started a QAYG Cathedral Window quilt last year (using Quilting in the Rain’s tutorial) but stopped because my pancakes were looking pretty lumpy… before I sew them together, I’m going to have to turn them all inside out again and pink the seams… ugh! But I love the Heather Ross fabrics I used, so I know I’ll be glad when it’s done correctly.

Marcelle Medallion Quilt

I didn’t even bring this one out… I just didn’t have the brainpower to tackle those tricky y-seams! But I’ve cut the templates for the center block and pulled fabric for the next few borders when I’m ready to work on it again.

Sarah’s Quilt

I promised my friend Sarah a quilt almost two years ago… and after many, many back-and-forth messages I think I’ve finally settled on what I want to do! I pulled fabric and sketched out my design idea, but I made the mistake of waiting until Saturday afternoon to get started. After sewing for two straight days, I was feeling braindead… I cut every single piece of fabric wrong at least twice, so I finally had to stop and do some cross stitching instead. This quilt is still at the top of my list though, so I’ll bring it to the next open sew to keep going.

Even more than crossing WIPs off my list, I enjoyed spending time with quilty friends for a whole weekend. The MCMQG officers did so much work organizing the getaway, from food to door prizes to favors, and everything went so smoothly. Hopefully we’ll be able to do this again in 2019!

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