Monday, June 24, 2013

Claiming My Blog

I guess I'm moving to Bloglovin' with everyone else!  Please follow using the button on the sidebar.

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Summer Camp!

June has been a great month so far - I got to attend Summer Camp at Country Sampler in Spring Green, Wisconsin!  This was their Grand Old Flag retreat, held June 10-15, and it was fantastic - 5 1/2 days of quilting, cross-stitch, eating and shopping (not always in that order).  We even had root beer floats and S'mores one night, to make a complete camp experience.  The weather was great, and lots of the attendees thought they should move to Wisconsin.  (PS - The weather isn't always like this!)

This retreat was attended by ladies from all over the country.  I shared a table with three new quilting friends - Marie from Texas, Leigh from California, and Jodi from Illinois.  We had a great time and hope to go back next year.

All the projects had a Civil War/patriotic theme, and the store made up kits for each of our projects.  If you know this store, you know how beautifully they wrap and tie their kits.  I never want to take the kit apart, because it's too pretty!

Our project Monday and Tuesday was presented by Paula Barnes of Red Crinoline Quilts.  This project was Sampler Star.

This picture doesn't do it justice - it is wonderful, and Paula taught us how to use Star Singles for piecing the half-square triangles. These are square papers, and very easy to use.  I loved this method, and this top is done and ready for quilting.  We also enjoyed a beautiful trunk show of Paula's quilts, and lots of fun stories behind her company.

On Tuesday evening, Linda Lautenschlager of Chessie and Me started her projects - a cross-stitch box and scissor fob, and a Gettysburg 1862 Sampler.  Among other things, she taught us how to stitch over one thread.  That's something I didn't know how to do and have always avoided patterns that have it, but I won't now that I know the tricks!  We had stitched the pieces for the box ahead of time, so she taught us some finishing techniques for this cute box.

We even got to decoupage some scrapbook paper inside the box to finish it off.  I don't think I've used Mod Podge since high school, but it was sure fun!  Also fun to bring home a completely finished project.  The sampler is still a work in progress, and will be for some time, I suspect.  It's a lot of fun to work on, though.

On Thursday, Carol Hopkins (Civil War Legacies patterns) started teaching her two projects.  The first was a fun table topper, which I guess I don't have a picture of.  That top is also done.  On Thursday night, we had a trunk show from Carol and Linda.  They showed some current projects, as well as some beautiful and interesting antique quilts and samplers they own. 

On Friday, Carol taught her Sampler Baskets quilt.  All the patterns were created for this retreat.

These pieces were small - the tiny squares in the top middle basket finished at 1/2".  Carol had some good tips and tricks for us, too.  My version of this quilt just needs the borders added.  I loved all the color combinations the store picked for our quilts.

Then on Saturday, we worked on this until time to go home.  All week we had wonderful food, sometimes prepared by employees of Country Sampler, and sometimes we walked to local restaurants.  They also had great desserts and treats for us, and lots of door prizes.  This store really knows how to put on a party!

All in all, it was the perfect week and I can't wait until 2014.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Hands 2 Help Link-up

Can it be June 2 already?  It's time for our Hands 2 Help linkup.

Both my quilts are done, and just came out of the dryer.  They're both really warm and cuddly!

The first quilt is Times Three, which will be going to Happy Chemo.
I couldn't seem to get the whole quilt into the picture, but you get the idea!  This quilt has lots of fun stuff for a little boy - robots, cars, cats, Pokemon and pirates.  I hope it makes some little boy's chemo a little easier.  It has flannel on the back, so it's pretty cuddly.

The second quilt is going to Quilters Without Borders.   This one is full of happy, bright dinosaurs.

I had some fun with free-motion quilting with variegated thread on this quilt.  It's not perfect, but this quilt won't fall apart!

So now I need to find boxes to pack these quilts up and send them off to the correct places.  This was a lot of fun again this year, so "thank you" to Sarah at Confessions of a Quilt Addict for putting this program together for us.

I have one other finish to show for May.  On the cruise last August, we started this wall hanging, called Friendship Garden.
I believe this pattern was in one of the recent issues of Primitive Quilts and Projects, also.  The piecing was pretty quick, as it used a jelly roll.  We also added wool appliques and English paper piecing.   It took me awhile to get it finished because I hand-quilted it.  I used to do a lot of hand-quilting, but I haven't done much for awhile, and I was a little rusty.  This wall-hanging brings back fond memories of the cruise.  This quilt is hanging in my sewing room.

Now I've got to get back out to the garden and devise some way to keep the critters away from my tomato plants. Spring has finally come to Wisconsin, and everything is planted, so the critter-watch has begun!