Monday, September 17, 2007

Pieceable Retreat, Quilters of South Carolina!

I'm back from retreat! This was my first time attending the state guild retreat, and I'm so glad I went! I've been in SC for almost 5 years now, and it seemed that every time the state guild held a retreat, I was out of town doing something else, or unable to attend for other various reasons. This year I was definitely going to go!

White Oak is a South Carolina Baptist Convention center, and the facilities couldn't be beat! There are banks of motel rooms behind the convention center, a cafeteria where all our meals were provided, lots of classrooms and open space....and rocking chairs all over the grounds for relaxing and unwinding!

I left from work in Columbia on Thursday and got to White Oak at 5:30pm...just in time for dinner! After dinner I unloaded everything to my room, set up the massage stuff, and then took my sewing stuff to the classroom for the "BYOP" (Bring Your Own Project). I got to sew for the evening! I got the binding on Jared's wedding quilt (Jared is my choir director) and started hand sewing it down while chatting with other quilters. It was fun seeing people from all over the state, those I have met doing trunk shows and workshops for their guilds!

My other main project was to "re-make" a sample of the scrappy mountain majesties quilt....My other sample had been donated! And since I am going to be teaching this as a workshop, I needed a new sample. Remember the night that I was up at 3am and couldn't sleep? I kitted up my 8.5" squares that night, matching them with a light and a dark and slicing them on the diagonal into large 1/2 square triangles. It made sewing at this retreat so easy!

I zipped all the 1/2 square triangles together into their pairs in one sitting, and squared them up in another...cutting them into block parts by pairs of blocks, one uphill, one down hill. Then as I could through the weekend, whenever I had time between massages, I would sew a few blocks together. They go SO easy and fast!

This quilt is dual purpose...I was also forcing myself to use some of the UGLIEST and OLDEST fabrics I have had hanging around here. It was murder sewing them, as everyone around me was sewing with beautiful NEW fabric they had just bought at the incredible vendors mall upstairs in the auditorium...and there I was, sewing with my 1990's VIPs and stuff people had donated to me because THEY didn't want to sew with it either!

I was able to sew from 7am to 9am in the morning...then take my first massage client...work between clients if there were any open spaces, break for lunch, do some more sewing or massaging, break for dinner...go to the show and tell evening meetings, break for dessert (gotta have dessert!) and sew until I was too tired to keep my eyes open any farther.

I gave 13 massages! And still I was able to attach the binding and getting it completely sewn down during the show and tell evenings and completely finish the center of this scrappy mountains quilt! So yes, it was a productive weekend all the way around.

I came home to pick out some border fabrics. One of the gals there had a reducing glass, and you know what? Through the reducing glass you can't tell that the fabrics are that ugly! *LOL* I'm just as happy sewing with this as the people sewing with newer or prettier fabrics. And I got a heck of a lot done. :c)

Today I'm a bit of a zombie. I'm taking the day off to give my wrists a rest. The only appointment I have today is for myself, and something I am reminding you ALL to remember to do. I'm going for my mammogram....


  1. I am so glad you had a great time at retreat! Isn't it fun just to have time to just quilt, not cook, not clean, not anything else? I really love your green quilt, just so beautiful!


  2. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I think your quilt top is beautiful. I am very fond of what some consider ugly. What a triumph to use them so effeciantly.

  3. Thanks Bonnie, I had my mammogram last week. You have inspired me to cut and use my uglies, although I can't really find any in your scrappy mountain majesty quilt! Your retreat sounds wonderful.

  4. You were busy at the retreat. Glad you had fun. My mammogram is Wednesday.

  5. I"m so glad you had a good time! And even happier it was productive for massages AND sewing for you! I love how the choir quilt turned out!

  6. Glad you had a good retreat. I loved the way Jared's wedding quilt turned out, of enjoyed watching the progress on this one.

  7. Those "ugly" fabrics sure do make a beautiful quilt! Your story reminds of my guild's raffle quilt for 2000. We collected fabrics from members for all decades of the 20th century. When we dumped the fabric out to start making the block kits, we just stared, dumbstruck at how ugly the fabrics were. The head of the committee kept saying "scrap quilts have a way of working out". That turned out to be one of the best raffle quilts our group has made.

  8. I've got a large collection of those uglies too. Wasn't it you who said that if it's still ugly then you haven't cut it small enough?!
    Looks good.

  9. Sounds like a great weekend! Love the quilts too. Doesn't sound like you had a chance to try out one of those deck chairs they had laid out in the grounds though!!

  10. It was great meeting you this weekend Bonnie -and even better getting the massage. Too bad my shoulders are all tight again!

  11. Sounds wonderful! And you accomplished a ton! I love your scrappy quilt - and just think of all the stash you used up!

  12. Wow Bonnie, you were so busy and achieved so much! I'm always amazed at how productive you are. I love the wedding quilt, it's really lovely, and the mountain majesties is wonderful too. Amazing what we can make from our stash!

  13. Whew, I'm tired just by reading your post. I know you're glad to have those checked off of your list though. I do love those scrappy blues!

  14. Your scrap quilts always turn out so gorgeous and that much more interesting having been made with some awful fabric. Sounds like a great retreat.

  15. sometimes you just gotta have NEW fabric is all; that's my opinion anyway--for those of us who work with scraps most of the time; both quilts are gorgeous as usual, bonnie

  16. A bunch of ugly fabrics can make one beautiful quilt - you prove that to the quilting world with every top you complete. I never would have guessed those were ugly fabrics if you'd not told me.

    I'm so glad the retreat was such a success for you! Great way to pay your expenses too - by doing massages.

  17. It's a beautiful quilt even if the fabrics were ugly!

    Hope things work out on the job front. After 4 and 1/2 years in Marietta, GA I still didn't have any real ties (although my boys were there) and I'm so glad we did make the move to Minneapolis last December. I think things have a way of working out no matter what you decide to do.

  18. Love the Mountains quilt, what a great way to use up stash!
    best wishes, Sharon

  19. Bonnie - just found your blog and I'm going to link it to mine - I sure need another massage - but driving all the way to Columbia is not my idea of relaxing. Enjoyed our time together at retreat.



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