Saturday, January 14, 2017

Sew, Eat, Sleep, Repeat

Rock Island, Rock on!

It's hard to beat time spent with compatible friends, sewing and laughing and enjoying each other's company.  Such was my week at our annual Rock Island quilting retreat. 
Rock Island 2010

The cabins at Rock Island sleep 10, but we've found as we age that we like having our own bed!  This was my year to be the Queen; that is, I got the "master suite" with one queen bed.  Besides, it would be extremely difficult to get more than 5 machines set up to sew.

When we arrive (and when we leave) the living room looks like this:

But while we are there, the living room looks like this:

Quilting Central

The sofa gets crammed behind the stairway, and the chairs go into the bedrooms.  We set up the ironing board in the queen room and use the kitchen bar top as our cutting station.  What doesn't show in the photo are the shop lights we clip onto the rafters for extra lighting.  After 14 years we've gotten the details down pat!

I accomplished a lot, but only have one finish to show, and even that may see the seam ripper before it meets its back.
Checkers, Anyone?
All it needed was the four cornerstones to make the border fit.  Sounds simple enough, but I had to scrape the bottom of the box to make four checkerboard squares -- even had to bum four red squares from Nancy and use two gray squares from Holiday Frost. 

Wonky corner
I'm not entirely happy with this one wonky corner, it's not square; so I may fix it ... or not.  But it's done for now and it will make someone happy and keep them warm once it's quilted..

Next I worked on a spring wall hanging for my SIL's mountain cabin.

Mountain Spring
I think the pattern name is "Come Fly with Me." I made it from memory after making one in 2014 as a Secret Santa swap gift. 

The geese represent the Blue Ridge Mountains and the flowers, well, spring flowers. I wasn't happy with using the back fabric for the binding as I had planned, so it's not finished.

Next I added the black inner border to Holiday Frost.

Holiday Frost
I wasn't completely in love with the red border I had purchased; maybe it was the brightness of the red, or the Valentiney hearts on it.  I know, it's a minor detail for a quilt that will be used only a month out of the year, but since we were planning to hit a new quilt shop on the way home, I thought I'd see if I could find a better match.  No luck there, but at home I found enough of the red I used in the HSTs to make the border!  That will go on at the next retreat, if not sooner.

I spent the rest of Monday fiddling with a table topper that had Y-seams.  Could have been the late hour (or that extra glass of wine), but I wasn't in the mood to finish it.

Tuesday and Wednesday were devoted to churn dashes, or monkey wrenches, whatever you want to call them.
Sweet little monkey wrench
The pattern is called "Double Wrench" from the book 101 Fabulous Rotary-Cut Quilts by Judy Hopkins and Nancy Martin.  My plan several years ago was to make a pair of twins to go on the guest room beds.  Over time I had cut and begun construction on a duplicate set of blocks, but the project languished in the box.  I had failed to inventory the box before I left home and discovered too late that I didn't have any white-on-white to cut the last six pairs OR the setting triangles.
Double Wrench - a/k/a A Ribbon Runs Through It
I decided one quilt was better than none so I stole some blocks from quilt 2 to go in the first quilt top.  Who's going to know?  Well, I guess you do, now ... The rows are assembled, but I had to wait till I got home for the side triangles.

Thursday was devoted entirely to Geese Migration.  I began laying out the blocks before everyone was up, auditioned sashing fabrics and began assembling the rows.

Geese Migration (a/k/a Geese on the Move)
(That's a light fixture in the upper right corner, not my thumb.)  Things were going smoothly up until lunch time.  After the break, I forgot that I was squaring up the blocks as I assembled them, so the longest row had to be unsewn.  Final assembly will have to wait till the next opportunity.

My annual Rock Island Retreat is now history, one "for the books," as they say.

Check out other scrappy projects at Oh Scrap.


  1. Wow - look at all you got done! I enjoy watching your progress on the Geese on a Move. It is an interesting block.

  2. What a productive retreat! Your Geese Migration quilt is looking great. You are so close to a completion! Woo Hoo!

  3. Retreat? Sounds more like an advance as you tackled a bunch of projects. I am partial to those monkey dashes. Or churn wrenches.

  4. Wow! You were very productive at your retreat! Great work! My favorite is migrating geese.

  5. Wow, you got so much done, and it looks like you had a great time!

  6. What a productive retreat!! Hard to believe that you all have been doing that getaway for 14 years. AWESOME!!!

  7. Well, you certainly worked on a variety of projects while at retreat! Love your layout - reminds me a lot of how we work our cabin at Quiltfest. I can't wait to see Migration finished!!!! One day I will make one of my own, but gotta get some old UFO's off the shelf first.

  8. That sounds like so much fun, and you certainly got a lot done! Your Geese Migration is really coming along. That's something I need to make myself do more regularly - square up as I make the blocks!

  9. Looks like you had a good time wrangling all those blocks! (Though I think your monkeys are much better behaved than mine are...)
    I love your Geese Migration/Geese on the Move - there's a lovely glow about it. Your colors are gorgeous!

  10. What a great retreat site and accomplishment! Love the wall hanging and last geese one. Good you had enough projects to do when you didn't have something you needed (or friends to supply the missing pieces). I have enough trouble packing for a weekend, don't know if I could manage a week.

  11. Always a treat to read about your retreat adventures, Mom. Makes me wish I was a retired quilter!

  12. Wow, that's so many great things worked on! And you really do have getting things set up down to a science. Can't wait to see your finished Geese Migration - it's going to be beautiful.

  13. Your geese migration quilt is gorgeous!

  14. You certainly made a lot of progress. Your Geese Migration quilt is beautiful. Hopefully you can play catch up on some of those projects in the next few weeks.

  15. Only one finish maybe but you covered a lot of ground. I love how Checkers Anyone looks - the border fabric gives the simple central blocks a whole extra dimension. And all your geese! I knew I liked these blocks but all together they look fantastic.


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