Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Big Reveal

I'm back from my little quilting retreat, which the ladies soon dubbed "the sanitarium" - I really wasn't in the best of shape when I arrived, and they all agreed I looked much better when I left. The combination of good friends, good food and good quilting...and lots of sleep...was the tonic I needed. And my oh my - those row robin tops we've been working on for a year are stunning! We all agreed that each of us pushed ourselves beyond our comfort zones to produce worthy additions, and while we all learned from and enjoyed the challenge, we have no desire to repeat it! Mine, actually, is missing a row - one of our members recently had major back surgery, and try as she did, she simply didn't have it in her to finish my row to the standard she wanted. I am so pleased with what has been added, and not being big on instant gratification, am just fine with having to wait for the final row.

Here's what we did for the back-surgery lady, Barb K. She started with the Celtic applique at the top. My row is the next one down. We were all sorry that she could not join us, but several of us stopped by her house afterward, to deliver her top and share stories and pictures.

This is "the other Barb's" top. Her border print was the most luscious fabric to work with. My row is second from the top.

Cindy had a Halloween theme and I think her top was the best of the lot. Mine is the row with the dogs and pumpkins. I had the most fun with this one.

LeAnn's "Sewing the seeds of friendship" theme garnered not one appliqued or pieced flower until the last row, which in retrospect was surprising. Mine is the row with the Greek crosses towards the middle.

Mo's also had a garden theme and we all responded with some kind of flower addition. Those hollyhocks were stunning. This was the only top that chose a vertical orientation to the rows.

The final one is Sheridan's to which I added the last row, so you can view it in its entirety at this post.

Because I traveled by train, I only took handwork, and enough to keep me busy far longer than the span of the retreat. But one never knows what one will be in the mood to work on, so one always takes more projects than necessary. Here's what I managed in my reduced energy state. All I could muster the energy for in the first few days was some hand quilting. I completed that feather motif in all four corners and a little quilting along some of the applique motifs. By the last day, I felt up to tackling the fussy applique vine, but upon completion of half of one side (I'd previously appliqued the first half), I realized I didn't have it in me to do more. The dark fabric and thread made it very difficult to see what I was stitching and the tight curves and small points would be taxing on a good day (prompting choruses of "what was I thinking when I designed this?"). Ah, but I was tired of quilting and up for some applique, so I resumed work on my Azalea Mosaic applique. I found I could even work on it while bumping and swaying along on the train, so was pleased to finish four squares in a new quadrant.

I didn't take many pictures from the train, since this was the same route I took before. However, when stopped briefly at Malta, MT, I spotted this building. Click for a larger picture so you can see the characters painted in the "windows."

1 comment:

Cathie said...

what a wonderful get-a-away you had. and the quilts - beautiful. a great way to re-charge your batteries.