Thursday, November 23, 2017

Making the Most of Retreat Sewing

Last month, I went to Cape Cod with my guild for a weekend of sewing and socializing. It was crazy fun and went all too fast, but I was pleased with my accomplishments for the weekend: I wrapped up three quilt tops!

I have friends who work on a project from start to finish at retreats. That isn’t appealing to me. Even at home, I need multiple projects at different stages of being sewn and quilted to keep things interesting. To me, a retreat is more like a sweatshop than a creativity fest—I want to get things done!—so I aim to maintain a good level of productivity.

I choreographed my work for the weekend like this: I had all three quilt tops planned out in advance, with all the necessary fabric selected and cut before my trip. For two of these projects I sewed blocks, too—it was easier to nail down the layout at home instead of on retreat, where design boards are in short supply.

The first project I tackled on the Cape was an easy blue and orange baby quilt. I finished the top the first day at the retreat, and that quick success propelled me into project #2: another Christmas tree quilt. My final project was that same baby quilt pattern in subdued colors.

My Christmas tree project is at the longarmer, and the subdued baby quilt is basted and waiting to be quilted by me. The blue and orange baby quilt, however, is 100% done. (For the record, that’s a month in advance of the deadline. The baby isn’t even slated to come until the end of the year!)

Project Details

Quilt pattern: Little Man from Simplify by Camille Roskelley

Size: 40.5" x 51.5"

Fabrics: This fabric pull was easy to assemble—a fat quarter or less of each print was all that the pattern required. I had a little bit of the animal print in my scraps. The other fabrics are from a Maywood Studios bundle of Dawn KimberBell basics that my husband bought for me. The background is Kona Lake.

The backing features a low-volume print from Bonnie and Camille’s Happy Go Lucky line. All the fabrics I used were from my stash!

The Rest of the Year

I have two more finished quilts that I need to blog about before year’s end. I will also need to bind my two Christmas tree quilts, make a bag, and sew and cross-stitch a stocking. You are my witnesses: I will not add any last-minute sewing projects to my to-do list! Usually, I ditch sending out Christmas cards so I can add another project or two into the mix. But the cards have already been ordered and are waiting to be sent. This holiday season will be marked by sanity! (Alas, I can make no promises, however, about the new year.)

How does the next month look for you? Will you be making up to the last minute? Will it be sewing and quilting all month long, or are there other holiday crafts you enjoy? I used to make my own Christmas cards. Hahahaha—that will never happen again!

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday, Let’s Bee Social, and Needle and Thread Thursday ...

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  1. What great, bright, colors and prints for the quilt. I like your strategy for a retreat. I have found that I bog down with only one project at a retreat, so I think your plan is probably the most productive way to spend the time.

    I haven't sent out Christmas cards for the past 3 years. I kind of miss doing it... and then again, I appreciate my sanity, too. As for making, I have one last big project I'm trying to wrap up and then I have some small projects for next month. Should be doable (unless / until I add to the list)!

  2. Oh, my goodness, reading this reminded me that I intended to make the tree quilt. Oops! Well there's always next year. Often my Christmas stuff is made way in the off season. I just ordered my Christmas cards tonight, so there's no turning back from that task now. Your baby quilt is so cute! Congrats on finishing well ahead of time. I love the borders at the top and bottom.

  3. That is such a cute baby quilt! I love the colours. I make a little something every Christmas for all the women in my life and I have yet to decide what that little item is going to be this year so I’ll be sewing and quilting all month I’m sure!

  4. Love these colors, it's so cute! I'm hoping to keep up on my Delilah project and make a few small gifts for presents. I have some binding to do to finish a gift for my mom. Cards will be printed, not handmade, although I do miss making cards! Let's keep it simple and enjoy the season.

  5. I'll be spending the month focusing on one quilt only, to be gifted Christmas morning. Sounds easy, right? Except its a queen... My christmasy sewing will be put off until that quilt is done, so stockings are probably going to have to wait another year.

    Yay for stash usage!!!!!

  6. Loving your blue and orange baby quilt. My stash is sadly missing orange! I must correct that! Looking forward to seeing your Christmas tree quilt all finished. I have NO Christmas sewing on the horizon. Binding on a baby quilt, that is at the long armer now, will have to be done before the first part of January. I will wait for birth statistics to include in the label. Then off to Minnesota to a new great nephew.

  7. Hi Michelle,
    WOW - I am so impressed with the amount of progress you made at the retreat. I have never attended one but have heard from others that they do not get so much finished. I think your organization served you well - you really had a great plan going into it. The orange and blue baby quilt sure turned out cute. I am 100% sure that mom and baby-to-be will feel all the love you stitched into it. I look forward to seeing your tree skirts. ~smile~ Roseanne


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