Tuesday, April 21, 2015

What Happens on Retreat Stays on Retreat?

Last Friday, I joined my fellow guild members on retreat, in Maine. I left Massachusetts with a bag full of cut fabric, a few patterns, and one or two if-I-have-time projects. Two days later, I returned with a pieced Christmas table runner, a partially pieced scrappy quilt, and 32 new yards of fabric. Eep!

I heard on more than one occasion another guild member caution that what happens on retreat stays on retreat. What I can tell you is that I had an awesome time. It’s always fun to hang out with a bunch of quilty friends. I, however, got to hang out with a bunch of especially cool quilty friends. We sewed. We ate. We drank. We laughed. At one point, we laughed so much and so loud we were chastised by a monk to quiet down, for fear that we would awaken others. (I don’t really know whether he was a monk, but we did stay at a Franciscan retreat center and I like thinking it was a monk who scolded us. It makes us seem like bad asses—quilting bad asses!)

We also shopped. I was pretty psyched when I scored 3 yards of Lizzy House’s Hello Pilgrim at a first fabric stop en route to Maine.

These are from Lizzy House’s Hello Pilgrim line. I went for the brown colorway (and finished off the bolt) but bought the greens just in case.

But then, my traveling companion, Chelsea, and I made our first-ever visit to Marden’s. It was a game changer. Marden’s is a big discount store, and the one in Sanford, Maine, has a huge fabric department. Nothing was more than $4.99 a yard. Check out my loot. I made some smart fabric choices, right?

From top to bottom: Makower UK, Blend, and Bonnie and Camille for Moda (Happy Go Lucky)

From top to bottom: Henry Glass Co., Anna Maria Horner for Freespirit (Field Study), and two cuts of Denyse Schmidt for Freespirit (Chicopee)

Then, while we were at the retreat, Marden’s got a brand-new shipment of top-quality fabric. We went back, and I bought 18 more yards of fabric—because Marden’s is awesome.

I am such a Moda girl. Everything here is Moda—Cosmo Cricket, Zen Chic, Bonnie and Camille—except for the bottom fabric, which is an old Midwest Modern design from Amy Butler.




I couldn't resist these Heather Ross designs. The bees make me so darn happy.

I mainly bought a yard or two of each fabric, but these were the more generous cuts for backings. The birds are Sweetwater for Moda, and the moons are old Lizzy House (4 yards of it—woo hoo!).

Sure, inexpensive fabric from top designers is fun to buy, but the lower prices fundamentally changed how I picked fabric. I wouldn’t pay $12 a yard for that AMH print (third picture from the top) unless I had a specific project in mind for it. It’s an out-there large-scale design best suited for a bag or a quilt backing. When that same fabric is less than $5 a yard, however, I’ll take a chance and find a use for it eventually.

The only fabric I chose with a specific project in mind is the birds. They are going to be the back for the scrappy quilt I partially pieced at the retreat. I like the idea of a single, simple design on the back of something super scrappy.

I am one happy quilter. My only dilemma? Where am I going to store all this new fabric?!
: )

Linking up to Sew Cute Tuesday, Let’s Bee Social, WIP Wednesday, Needle and Thread Thursday, and Sunday Stash ...

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16 comments:

  1. Wow! Amazing scores on those fabrics, the AMH, DS, Heather Ross...awesome prices on awesome fabric!

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  2. LOL ... wondering the same thing! I cannot wait to see what our next Marden's trip will bring for us. Already wondering :)

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  3. Wowee - that is an amazing fabric haul. I can only dream of ever getting fabric that cheap! I love your choices too :)

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  4. Sounds like an all around great time, Michelle. Sure is an absolutely stunning variety of goodies you brought home. Can't wait to see some progress pics on your projects you worked on!

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  5. You can store the fabric at my house. :D Though you wouldn't get those yellow bees back -- that's one of my all time favorite prints! So glad you had fun. :D

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  6. What a great haul! How fun to have a quilting retreat and of course...buying fabric!

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  7. I've never heard of this Marden's place, but it sounds fabulous! And what a bunch of yum you picked up!

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  8. Great haul! I love the noteworthy line, nice buy!

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  9. Ooooooh quite a nice haul of sweet fabrics! Makes me want to go fabric store hunting!

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  10. 32 yards??! Giiiiirl. Um, Marden's is my FAVORITE place to go in Maine (besides my sister-in-law's house). I love hunting down all the great fabric. I always try to get my hubby to stop at each one as we drive north but he won't. Lol. You found some awesome stuff! Jealous of that AMH!

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  11. Sounds like a fabulous retreat! I love you guys being badass quilters. The buys on that fabric was totally worth buying so much.

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  12. Just. Wow. I bet you can't stop petting those piles of fabrics. (I can't help wondering if the retreat center really knew what a quilters "retreat" is. Hilarious.)

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  13. So envious of your retreat bounty! I've heard rumors of this Mardens before but have never made it there myself. Also, I'm in love with the idea of you reaching into your purse to get a little notebook and put a check mark on a line next to "Get yelled at by a monk" on some wacky bucket list!!!!

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  14. So glad you had fun!!! I can't imagine showing up at home with all of that fabric. I think I'd hide some for a while and pull it out one yard at a time so my addiction remained a secret!

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  15. I worry that when I go on retreat I will spend all my time talking to others and looking at what everyone else is doing. I hadn't considered the dangers of spending money in quilt shops! It sounds like you had a great time, and that's what counts. Thank you for linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday.

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  16. When you said you bought 32 yards in 48 hours, I thought "Wow. The last time I came even close to that was when I hit all those Marden's in Maine" Aren't they both terribly sketchy and awesome all at the same time?! I remember getting oodles of Amy Butler for 5$/yard... it would be 15$/metre at home (if you could get it!) Lots of goodies in your stash share... so many that I can't even pic a favourite!

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