Thursday, November 17, 2011

Retreat report...

My satellite group, "Hearts and Hands Quilters" arrived back home on Monday afternoon.  The drive back from the Cowichan Valley was beautiful with extraordinary fall colours lining the highway home.  Soon snow will be here amongst us and a new landscape will be ready for our enjoyment.

I am going to experiment with a slideshow in my blog post because there were a ton of pictures and it would be easier that way.

Some of the highlights:
Nov 11 at 11:11 a.m. - Thread passed from person to person (we are all joined by a common thread) and we observed our minute of silence.  It was also Heather's birthday so we also enjoyed some Mimosas and cupcakes from Oo La La cupcakery in celebration of Heather's birthday.

Some of us went for walks throughout the weekend down to the lakefront.  The colours were amazing and the fresh air and exercise were welcome after our sit-and-sew times and all the feasting that happens during our retreat.  The Honeymoon Bay chef is beyond amazing.  Our three meals a day plus snacks and daily happy hour made for a b-line to my scale when I came home.  Oh dear.  Well fruit for the breakfast the next couple of days and back to portion control and daily routines.

I finished three quilt tops during the four days and the photos, while in the picture album above, are set out here as well just because I'm so darn proud of my accomplishments!

Carolina Christmas
First across the UFO finish line....Carolina Christmas!!!!  Yay!!!  It is a Bonnie Hunter mystery from about 2 years (?) ago I think.  I was going to quilt-as-you-go but I just wasn't happy with it.  So, my friend Pam and I reverse stitched the 6 or so blocks that had been quilted and I was way happier after that was done and I was on a clear path to my traditional piece then quilt existence.

Next was a quilt kit of layer cakes plus 2 borders that I received from my friend Terry for my birthday.  I did a slice and dice (take the 10" squares, slice off at 3 1/2", shuffle and re-piece, then slice at 5" the other way and then reshuffle.  It doesn't take long, evidenced by the fact that I did this one in one day:

Slice & Dice
And LASTLY....I took apart a mystery quilt that I did at the last Quilting in the Trees at Pearson College in June, 2011.  I love the pattern but didn't think it worked well with my fabrics at all.  It seemed to be a modern pattern but I was using traditional fabrics.  I should really show you the before:

And the new version:

(now this one makes me happy!)

Much better!  I made string blocks out of lemon yellow to surround the blocks.  I took the original kaleidoscope blocks and surrounded them with a darker yellow border with navy blue cornerstones.  I then repeated the navy blue inner border with a dark yellow flange and then the floral border that made up the kaleidoscope blocks.  I'm so happy with this quilt now.  I'm glad I persevered and reinvented.  Sometimes I think it's too easy to toss something in the garbage because it didn't turn out like we hoped.  I decided there was a quilt there somewhere and I'm glad I found it!

Enjoy the photos.  We will be back next November.  Until then, I need to continue the momentum of getting some UFOs done.  Now that I've got a quilt frame, I need to get it set up and start turning some of these flimsies into finished quilts.

Until next time, happy quilting!



  1. Wow... I love your redone mystery quilt... gorgeous!

  2. Hi Mavis! I followed your link over from the quiltersbee group. I'm so glad I did! It looks like you had a blast on your retreat and you certainly got a lot accomplished! That feels really good, I know! Have a happy weekend!! :)

  3. Wow! Your retreat was really productive, Mavis! It took me 13 months to complete Carolina Christmas so I know what it takes to complete it. Yours is gorgeous!
    As for the makeover, it is absolutely transformed from a dowdy-looking sigh to a sharp, full-of-contrast, well-designed top. Congratulations on a great save!
    Your little quickie Double Slice looks good too. Be proud, you did accomplish so much.

  4. Congratulations on all your finished tops. Wow, you got a lot done in 4 days. I have recently pulled out my Carolina Christmas also -- I don't think I started when it was first put up but maybe half way through it. I got all the way to clue 3 and came to a grinding halt. I'm using clue 3 as my leader ender and it is starting to get done. And, I'll only making half of the requested amounts.

    I REALLy like what you did with the string blocks added to your other mystery. WOZER! It really zings. Nice call on that one. And, yes, I like what you ended up with way more than what you started with.

  5. Saw your message on QuitvilleChat and had to pop over and see your CChristmas. Congrats to you on persevering when it wasn't going to plan.
    Also wanted to say how much I LOVE your blue mystery quilt. It's second incarnation is STUNNING!!! the use of the navy cornerstones was genious. You'll soon have lots of great quilt finishes :)

  6. Thanks everyone for your kind comments. I`ve decided my second incarnation of the mystery quilt is going in our quilt show in May 2012. That will give me some to get it quilted. Maybe I`ll put in Carolina Christmas too.

    Thanks again ladies! I appreciate your comments.

  7. Your quilts are fabulous - you did a great job. Your redo of the mystery quilt is wonderful. I think when things don't go quite the way we planned it causes us to be more creative and sometimes it does take a while to get there!