Wednesday, January 9, 2019


January is moving right along, and with that thought in mind....our 11th annual PTA (Professional Textile Artists) retreat in early March is right around the corner.

It's not a sew-in where I can manage any project that is more than super mindless and even with that, I always cut all my patches ahead of time to control the mistakes!  Believe me with all the chatter, 'lookie' what others are doing, constant food and coffee breaks, impromptu dancing or exercising led by Georgia Bonesteel, it's a frolicking atmosphere.

At our very first retreat, Kate, Judy, and I decided to make i-spy quilts as baby gifts.  We pooled all our likely conversation fabrics to increase the variety for each maker.  It's now 11 years later and we still share that fabric box which is constantly being used and added to.  As years past, we chose other projects and shared fabrics but never to the point of a traveling fabric box!

In the last couple of years we each did our own thing, but many times the patterns were similar.  So....this year Kate suggested this simple layout....yeah....thought I - 4 strips per block.  I can do that!

Well....being the A type organized person I am....I decided to start preparing now.  I selected my fabrics (first mistake) and stitched a few sample blocks.  It was then that I realized the Japanese style 'directional' fabrics I selected would require way too much planning and thought under retreat conditions.  If using non-directional fabrics each block could be pieced identically with no regard to placement of the 'colored' fabrics because the orientation could easily be changed.

I hope you are following this explanation of my dilemma.  If not it will become clear as I continue this saga. I aborted the idea of making a big quilt for retreat.  Instead I set about making a smaller wall hanging....which allowed me to pre-cut and position every patch on my design wall.

There seems to be a theme of late in regard to how I construct patchwork quilts....its' a tad worrisome that I'm having such difficulties multi-tasking, but my work arounds help to avoid confusion for me. This is supposed to be fun, right?!?

Come back as I now struggle with how the heck to quilt this thing....I have lots of ideas that could be achieved hand quilting.....which isn't practical for a piece that will be sold.  AND since my skills are pretty much limited to straight line quilting on the far I'm stuck.  Part of the problem is that I'm not thrilled with the piece and simply want it!  Hoping in the end, it will still be of interest to a buyer.  Okay...see you soon.......


Kathy said...

Straight line quilting will be fine, if you use a diagonal grid and set aside the perfectionism! Mark your first diagonals with tape, of course! That's the easiest way, then continue with tape for wide spacing or go on with the width of the presser foot for narrow spacing. AND painter's tape comes in very wide widths, for quick and DONE!!! Go do something you are in love with...take some handwork for the retreat and forget the piecing that you hate!

The Inside Stori said...

Appreciated your comment's already in the works......we can to the same conclusion!

Nancy said...

You're right to anticipate what can happen at retreat with all the fun and excitement of seeing what's going on. Invariably something will wind up out of whack! Those are lovely prints, and the diagonal grid sounds like just the ticket. Something more relaxing for retreat is in order. Where do you go for it? I'm sure you've mentioned it, but I've fogotten.

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

Give yourself permission to give free motion a try!! Where better than at a retreat? Take some potholders and get started, then move up to your wall hanging.