May 3, 2012

Quilting Retreats and Having Friends In

A lot of my followers will remember a year ago I hosted a quilting retreat for 81 ladies from all across the U.S. and a couple came from abroad.  Well, I am about to host another retreat but on a much smaller scale!

I am having 8 ladies in my home for a 2 week mini retreat!  The first ladies will come on a Wednesday and the last ladies will leave 2 weeks later on Tuesday! They will all come and go at different times but there should be a couple or 3 days that we are all here together!

It is going to be so much fun and I cannot wait!!

On another note, I just had the pleasure of attending a quilting retreat in my home state of Alabama with a few of these same ladies! We met last Thursday and had a wonderful time all the way through lunch time on Sunday!  A friend flew down from Maine to ride with me and we picked up another friend 3 hours south so she wouldn't have to ride alone. We had a blast!

 Magnolia Park Retreat Center is located in Odenville, AL just minutes outside of the Birmingham area and very close to the airport!  If you are thinking about having a smaller scale retreat, this is the place for you!  She can accommodate up to 28 guests. And for 235.00 which gives you the most comfortable bed you will ever sleep on for 3 nights, and 9 fantastic home cooked meals and snacks, cokes, and bottled water a'plenty, you cannot go wrong!  Elizabeth and her crew will treat you like queens!!

I got quiet a bit of work finished this time around and was pleased with myself!  There is so much comradeship going on that you wonder how you ever get one thing completed.  No-one wants to miss a single thing but somehow we found ourselves sewing a little... even in between 2 trips to the quilt shops! ha!

I will not be going to the COF Branson Retreat this year because I am having the 8 ladies in my home, plus another Alabama retreat is already in the works for this fall... but I wanted to take part in a siggy swap they are doing among the ladies of the forum so I got my blocks sewn together for that!  64 siggy blocks all ready for signing!
At lunchtime on Friday, Elizabeth showed us 2 quilts she had made.  The quilts were different but both patterns were in the same book.
Well, I got bit!!  I wanted to make one of the same quilts so on Friday afternoon when we went quilt shopping, I found a layer cake and some charm packs of Freedom by Moda that made my mouth water!!

Well, I decided I wanted a controlled look throughout my quilt instead of pure scrappy -- I am not a scrappy quilt lover --- So I purchased the layer cake and charm packs to make my quilt with. (they didn't have yardage).  I went back to the retreat center and proceeded to cut out some strips and began making the blocks.  The first one turned out great as so did the 2nd one... Then I made the one in the photo ... Then came time to sew them together... hmmm... I think the quilt began controlling me at that point because I did not like how the diamond looked when I sewed the 3 blocks together.  I gifted the first 2 blocks to my friend Marlene and kept the one you see.  

So what is a girl to do when her layer cake does not have enough fabric in it to make a quilt... She finds yardage!! On our way home from the retreat my friend Margot and I were going to visit Phil Morgan so she could purchase a piece of his pottery but he wasn't in.. boo-hoo for us!  So we drowned our sorrows inside Ye Olde Forest Quilt Shop in Greensboro, NC!! ha!  I now have plenty of fabric to create my quilt!  

On Saturday we went to yet another quilt shop and I found some fabric that is perfect to make a quilt for a very special person!  This young woman is my ex's niece but I still consider her my niece as well. She has been training for her first run and completed that item on her bucket list last week!  When I saw this fabric I knew I had to make her a quilt! 

When I finished my siggy blocks, I pulled these fabrics out and began cutting!  I whipped this top up in no time flat! Now I will get it quilted and sent on its way!  I really hope she likes it!

On the way back we met the 3rd friend's brother so she could have a way home and once we parted company with Libby, Margot and I then got a hotel so we could go to Mary Jo's Cloth Store the next morning before coming on in home! Going in to this store is always so much fun because you cannot leave there without purchasing something!

Wanna look in my bag??

And I always buy White Kona by the bolt here... 5.59 yard when you buy the whole bolt isn't a bad deal!  I also bought a bolt of ultra lightweight fusible interfacing for my Crazy Quilt fabrics and a bolt of wonder under. They give you 20 cents off per yard if you buy the bolt.

I went to the lace section to see what yummies they had and found 2 that I had to have!!  
I bought this one for me me me.. all me.. :)

And I might cut this one up in sections and sell it in my crazy quilting supplies shop!

I also found these fabrics...

The dragonflies are for me and the knitting sheep fabric will be made in to a quilt for my oldest sister.  She sits and knits a lot so it is perfect for her!

After we left Mary Jo's we went by the Ikea store in Charlotte.  I have never been inside one and neither had Margot so we had to go have a look see! That place is humongous!! It isn't exactly what I had it pictured to be but I did love the way they had the rooms set up to give you ideas.  I found an awesome kitchen and had Margot make a photo of it for me.. If Butch and I ever build another house, this may be my kitchen!

(bummer... I went to locate the photo in my email but it did not come through! Hope she still has a copy on her phone! If she does, I will update the post later)

I didn't go in looking to buy anything but I did find some steak knives I have been hunting and also a small domed cake plate. The size is perfect for cookies!

We left there and stopped for lunch at the Hilton University Place where I hosted last years retreat.  Their quesidillas are divine (I had them 3 times in 7 days last year)  and we made pigs of ourselves! The restaurant was closed but Maureen asked Chef if we could come in to have a quiet lunch and he agreed!  It is so nice to have connections. :) 

Doesn't this look like an awesome place for a retreat!! Yes! Those lights are shining on water!  It sits on a man made lake! I am throwing around the idea of hosting the COF again in the future and am seriously thinking of bringing it back to this same location!!
Leaving the Hilton we proceeded on home, by way of ye Old Forest Quilt Shop of course, and then by the Sonic in Creedmoor so we wouldn't have to cook so late! It was after 9 when we got home!
Wheww! No wonder I am so tired....

But a happy tired!!

I always love being with my quilting buddies!!

Table Topper Blog Hop! and for me... It Is All In The Kiss!

Scrapbook Chickadoodle wins the table topper!! 
I will be sending an email for your mailing info!

I want to thank Madame Samm for allowing me to participate, even with my inability to remember things this past couple of months!  I almost let this slip by but Samm threw me a life jacket! I truly appreciated the reminder email because I so enjoy participating in all of the things she dreams up for all of us bloggers!

You can go HERE to view all of the table toppers that have already been posted but I highly recommend using the list of links as well and go visit all of these quilters on their blogs!  You never know what you will find... might even find a new friend! :)

Would you like to see what I have made for the  

Yes???  Well, ok.. if you insist!

I have been in the notion of making this mini quilt for my hubby for a long while and when Madame Samm posted this blog hop I knew it would be the time to get this in a finished state! Our bedroom is decorated in a romantic theme and this fits in perfectly!  I put it on the Ackfeldwire Quilt Stand and placed it on the corner of our dresser.  Then I called my hubby in to see what I made.  Of course, he had to give me a kiss or two or three right then! ha!

 I had purchased some fusible batting a while back just to try so I got it out when it came time to put the backing on the quilt. A lot of quilters have raved about fusible batting but I am not sold.  I think I prefer regular batting to this.  In all honesty I will give it 5 stars on one point.. My mini quilt is really straight and does not do the dog ears dance on the corners.  I do like that about it.  I might keep some around just for mini quilts.  We shall see.

I also found a super use for double edge finished 1/2" wide silk ribbon!  It makes for an awesome sleeve for small projects such as this!

This is the batting I used.

As I studied over the finished mini quilt, I see some things I would do differently if I remade another one.  The stem on the rose is a little fat and my embroidery needs some fine tuning.  I really need some embroidery lessons from a pro!  And I might just use regular batting if I were to remake it.. We shall see...

I wanted to show you something that was posted on my blog about 2 years ago.  My friend Martha does my cross stitching for me since my eyes will no longer allow me to.  This piece was entitled "The Kiss" and it hangs over our bed!  Martha does impeccable work!

 I am not the only blogger on today's road show for the table topper hop!  Please make sure to go and visit these other quilters to see what they have created for today!

And if you did not see my other post listing the quilters who were on the hop since April 16th then here it is again so you can go and visit all of them!
Monday April 16th

Tuesday April 17th

Wednesday April 18th

Thursday April 19th

Friday April 20th 

Monday April 23rd

Patty D

Tuesday  April 24th

Some, but not all,  of these bloggers have giveaways tied to their post and there may be a few who have not chosen a winner yet so get to hopping and go see what is up for grabs!

For me... I think I am going to give away this mini quilt so that it will spur me to remake it all over again!  And I won't let it take me so long to do another one this time around!

Sorry, the stand is not part of the giveaway.

If you would like a chance to own the mini I have shown above, please leave me a comment! 
 If your email is not in your profile, your entry will be voided if you do not leave it in your comment! 

Thanks for joining me and the other quilters on this awesome blog hop!

And thank you, Madame Samm, for another fun and fabulous bloggers extravaganza!!