Saturday, May 28, 2016

Quilting in the Bush

The view from our sewing room
I've spent the last four days quilting in the bush, at a retreat with friends. It's been fabulous. It's only about an hour from home. I took 3 vacation days and am spending 5 days quilting. In that time, I prepared one meal. We each make one of the meals for Thursday to Saturday. On Sunday we eat leftovers and then leave in the early afternoon.

Some of the ladies are energetic and take daily walks - not easy since the area is full of hills. It's also black fly season - and I'm considered a delicacy, so I've mostly stayed indoors except for a few photo shoots and to put my feet into the river:-)

My first day was productive. I finished a batik lap quilt top that I had started a year ago, and I put the sashing and borders on my Applique Inside the Lines UFO.

Batik Lap Quilt Top
Batik Lap Quilt Top
I was so impressed with the first batik lap quilt I made that I bought more Charm Packs to make some quick gifts. I couldn't understand why I didn't have enough charm squares (5") to make this quilt until I read my original blog post - it takes 3 packages and I only bought 2! I was able to add more squares from my stash. Hopefully they will behave when the quilt gets washed since you can't pre-wash pre-cuts.

For this quilt, I used 2 packages of North Country Trail Batiks Charm Pack by Holly Taylor for Moda.

North Country Trail Batiks Charm Pack by Holly Taylor for Moda
North Country Trail
Batiks Charm Pack 
The Leaves project is from the book, Applique Inside the Lines by Carol Armstrong. I've actually written about this project in a couple of posts. In the March 2014 post, I wrote about embroidering the first red leaf at work during my lunch break. I finished the last of the three leaves in June 2014 while embroidering in the car on a road trip...and the finished leaves sat in a pretty project bag until this week.

When I looked in my stash for sashing and border fabric, I quickly decided on a beautiful batik of green, blue, gold and red in a cathedral windows print. Unfortunately this image doesn't do it justice. I hope that the final picture when it's done (not 4 years from now!) will be better.

The Leaves with sashing and a border
It spent part of the morning making lunch and then tried to start on a Sew Together Bag. I was obviously not in the right head-space because every piece of fabric I cut was wrong! You may know that I really don't like measuring and following a pattern, so I can't say that I was surprised but I am better at it some days that others.
Background of the landscape art quilt
Background of the landscape art quilt

Finally I broke down and started a new landscape art quilt. I was really hoping to only work on WIPs this week, but everything I brought require measuring and following instructions. Fortunately I had brought a dozen solid Kona fat quarters with me. I decided to cut strips, between 1 and 2 inches and see what I could do. While looking at the results one of my retreat buddies suggested that the dark brown could be a dock. That's when the project fell into place.

Here's what it looks like after a couple of days of playing with it. I've only pieced the bottom section, but this will be the background to the landscape art quilt, very loosely based on the view from our quilting room.

I will piece all of the strips together and then add fabric details to the background. There's not much of a sky in the picture but since it's one of my favourite parts of a landscape art quilt, I decided to add one. I have a lot of time to change my mind about all of this, but this is the first rough sketch.
Inspiration for my next Landscape Art Quilt

Fox in a Box
It took me 2 days to finally start relaxing. I worked on another WIP (Work in Progress). This is for my good friend Sonya's third child. I've posted about Alexandre's quilt but I can't find any mention of Charlotte's quilt. I'll show all three once I finish this one. I've almost finished piecing the flying geese blocks. I still have a way to go but I'm now encouraged to finish it - so there's hope that William will get it before his first birthday, maybe!

What I've learned

  • I know that I can measure, cut and follow instructions - but my ability to do so is much better when I'm well rested.
  • It would seem that I can't stay away from creating new landscape art quilts. Next time I go to a retreat, I'll make sure to pack for one!
  • Thursday night I couldn't sleep, so I came down and sewed a bunch of scraps together. It was very relaxing and I slept well after that (and a peanut butter, honey and banana sandwich).
  • It's been great to be able to spend time writing this post. Now it's time to get back to my projects.

Do you get a chance to get away to quilt with buddies? Tell us about it in the comments section.

Check out the many quilty projects: Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story, Main Crush Monday, Freemotion by the River, Let's Bee Social and Fabric Frenzy Friday.


  1. I think a quilting retreat would be heavenly! Sounds like you enjoyed yourself, and you have a lot of projects to work on. The batik quilt top is so pretty, and I love that landscape piece! I'm looking forward to seeing it finished. Thanks for sharing on MCM!

  2. Thanks Beth. It was a great time - seems like ages ago, and of course I haven't worked on any of those projects since :-)


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