Sunday, January 18, 2015

Rock Island, Rock On

Last week was my annual retreat at Rock Island State Park.  This is the 11th year of my hosting this little get-together for four of my closest friends.

RISP Cabin 9 - 2010

Even though the photo was taken in 2010, the view was very similar this year with a little dusting of snow a couple of mornings.

We began by clearing all the furniture out of the living room, set up five Sew-Ezi tables, hung utility lights from the rafters, and settled in for three and a half days of sewing and eating, eating and sewing .... you get the idea.   Cutting station on the high counter, snacks/coffee/liquid essentials on the low counter, ironing station in the Queen's bedroom -- what more could we want?  Unfortunately, this year was too cold and wet for us to walk off all the eating!

I always go with grand plans to accomplish a lot, but also come home with unopened project boxes, too.  My approach is, as long as there's room in the van, why not?  You know how it is -- something you planned to work on is not working out, or you forgot a major component, or you're just plain tired of working on it.  That's when it's time to break out something else!

My first order of business was to finish "Exploding Pineapple," a sample I'm using in a proposal for Quilt Camp 2015 (due this week, BTW).  The blocks were finished and all I needed was a bed to lay them out on.  I fussy cut the sashings on Monday and had the flimsy finished by lunch on Tuesday.

Exploding Pineapple

This is a project from Karin Hellaby's Sew Simple Pineapple booklet.  The blocks are sew easy and so much fun to make.  I used the same black and tan checked fabric for the centers of all the blocks; only had enough for 49 blocks, hence the square format.
4.75 yards out.

I have started a second one with 40s reproduction fabrics using a larger center starting point to demonstrate variety in the basic technique.  But there is not enough contrast for the pineapple to show up.

I purchased three solid FQs at Jo-Ann on the way to Rock Island, hoping I could salvage some of the pieces I have cut but not yet sewn.  Tired of dealing with pineapples, however, I never got around to this project.
.75 yard in.

I was ready to start something entirely new -- something that's been in my TODO stack for a long time.  "Athena's Puzzle" by Janine Burke for Blue Underground Studios.  You can see it's a Greek key assembled in a courthouse steps method.  I have finished over half of the blocks.  My plan is to either make more low-contrast blocks or eliminate the one that stands out (or should I say disappears?) in the photo.

Athena's Puzzle

I have to say that the cutting instructions were confusing, at best, and downright ridiculous at one point.  The pattern calls for FQs to get variety.  No way could I get 21.5" of cuts out of most of my half-widths!  Fortunately I included some yardage and can probably eak out more blocks from what I have already cut.

Not in a mood to figure out the Puzzle dilemma, I put it away and pulled out I project I had cut around 2008 -- "Happy Talk" by Debbie Caffrey from her book, Another Can of Worms.

What was I thinking??  One of my least favorite units to sew is Peaky and Spike (Tri-Recs) star points! On opening the box, I was pleased to note that, not only were all of my yellow and pink star points constructed, I had sorted them into block sets with their matching centers and background corners!  Easy-peasy to sew them together like 9-patch units.

The green star points, however, sit in the box, unsewn, laughing at me.  I've already set them next to my home machine to use as leaders and enders.  I will not be deterred; I WILL FINISH!!  (remind me of that in a couple of weeks!)

Look at me -- two weeks into the new year and I've used more than I purchased!!

Stash Report - Jan 18, 2015
     In last week:                    .75 yards
     Out last week:                4.75 yards
     In year to Date:                .75 yards
     Out Year-to-Date:           4.75 yards
     Net Used 2014                4.00 yards

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.

Keep Warm
Quilt On


  1. A very productive retreat. The Exploding Pineapple is wonderful, especially the fussy cut sashing.

    1. Thanks, Marlene. I'm kinda partial to it, hoping DIL won't like it (LOL).

  2. All of your projects look like so much fun! But, that Exploding Pineapple is simply delicious!

  3. Great work, Libby! I agree about taking extra projects; I one had two major projects I couldn't work on and almost had nothing to do!
    The disappearing Greek Key would be a good name block on the back of your quilt.
    Quilt on! Sharon B in Franklin

  4. You go girl! Use up that fabric and get those lovely UFO's done in the process :) Love your black and tan pineapple quilt - yum!!!!


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