Thursday, October 28, 2010

Shipshewana Shenanigans!

I know I've taken my time to get to this post...it was such a wonderful trip and SO much went on that it takes a while for me to settle it into categories in my brain!

This is the Farmstead Inn! And it is HUGE! I swear you could walk miles just inside the corridors which go from guest rooms to lounge areas with sofas and comfy chairs ((yes there are quilts on the walls everywhere)) and fireplaces, to another section, and another section, eventually finding your way past the pool and the breakfast area, all the way to the far end where our sewing room was.

I thought to myself it was a GOOD THING that our room was so far from the sewing room....because the treat table was right BEHIND us at the sewing room! LOL Something had to work off all those tempting munchies!

Here is my little baby surrounded by MESS! I know...that's the way I sew. Like a bomb went off! But whatever it takes, I tried to keep it all on MY side of the table! LOL!

And you know what? New machines take some getting used to. Don't put too much faith in any machine foot. Just because it says it is 1/4", don't believe it....do a test. Because I sewed a WHOLE mess of churn dashes only to find out they measured 5.25" instead of 5.5" by the time I was done. >_< I KNOW to do this..to test..I teach all of my classes this way. Run a seam test. But I didn't...and I was SO OFF! And this is after two days in Chicago, a long drive from Chicago to Shipshewana (Okay, and a stop off at Culvers on the way for my frozen custard fix!!)and an afternoon of gathering with friends and everything..I didn't do my seam test. I just sat down with my pieces and wanted to start SEWING. And PFFTT.

SO....never fear...it's not a wasted project. My brother and his wife are expecting their first baby, and they are going to get 4.75" finished churn dashes in their baby quilt! LOL! I'll finish it as soon as I know whether to emphasize the pink....or the blue.. :cD

But let that be a LESSON to everyone. AUUGH. I'm still so mad at myself.

Here's Randy and I working on our blocks! She is making a homespun quilt for her son's apartment....cozy yummy, it's going to be great! she got most of her blocks done, and I'm sure she'll have it completed in no time, right Randy?

Darlynn sat across from me and worked on her amazing quilt top with 2" finished bowties! Oh man....we were ALL drooling over these. This is the perfect quilt for ugly fabric! It's cut REALLY small! Just play with color! Lots of color...it was wonderful to see it come together. She is making it queen sized for her bed. I can't wait to see it finished! It also weighs a ton because of all the seams....a real Wisconsin Winter Quilt!

Hey Darlynn, have you thought of batting that beauty with WOOL!? It would be perfect!

Darlynn and Pat being their fun, goofy selves! I love these ladies! Of course, my natural born Minnesotan accent comes creeping thickly to the surface any time I am around them...it takes me weeks to get over it and get it back to "normal". :cD

Virginia had me sign her book, and we snapped this photo! I'm sure there are more photos floating out there, I only had my phone cam with me, and was telling everyone who took pics to send me some too! So there may be more shenanigans to come in future posts...Virginia, it was great seeing you!

So many of the retreaters seemed to spend more time shopping than they did sewing! But who am I to judge? I did some shopping of my own. Not a lot...but just enough!

This was it...minus one orange FQ That I already chopped up and put in a project! FQs in the boat at Lolly's were $1.75 if you got 12 or more, so we pooled our resources! Yardage was $5.99 in the basement, and I found a couple yards that had to come home with me....background neutrals are always a legal purchase! We need them! So the cream with red circles, and the purple stripe ((purple stripes are also a legal purchase! I Love stripes!)) came from the basement.

The shirting FQ's were a 1/2 yard collection that I split with Randy. I love the red on cream.....and I want to use some of these in my hexagon quilt. But you know what? I'd never use JUST these together. The ground is all the same shade of dirty beige...the red is all the same dye lot. I just need to mix it up a bit, add some brighter, some creamier, a bit of tan...and not make it look like the quilt came from a kit, from one fabric line. I love these shirtings...just not all in ONE project, you know? With antique quilts that I love so much.....fabrics from the scrap bag didn't all age the same, or start out the same. I think if I used "ONLY" these....that it would be a rather boring background.

My favorite "bring home" treat?

This baggie of scraps gifted to me by other quilters, and stuff I salvaged from the cutting trash bin! Look at this variety! All the colors, all the different pieces...THIS is what makes me giddy!

We'd go out for lunch, or to run to the bulk foods store, and come back...and there would be little scrappy piles on my machine bed just waiting for me. FUN! I can't wait to find ways to purpose these little memories of Shipshewana and a great weekend sewing with a room full of 54 fabulous quilters!


  1. What a wonderful time you had. I've had the pleasure of visiting Shipshewana in the past and it's on my list of places I hope to return to someday. I am a scrap-aholic, too, and delight, as you do, when I am gifted with everyone's scraps. I've been using leaders and enders for years and have constructed some beautiful quilts. Your book is on my Christmas wish list! This was a wonderful post!~karen

  2. Isn't Shipshewana just the best? I was there last summer for a family reunion and stayed at the Farmstead. Our family loved the area so much that we are making it a tradition. And Lolly's is the bomb!! My sis and I made total fools of ourselves in there because we met Tammy Tadd. She was shopping with her mom and kids and she is absolutely the nicest. We sort of did the bow and "I'm not worthy" thing. Well, we met her again at the show in Chicago in April and she totally remembered us and says that is one of the funny stories they talk about in her shop. Bonnie Hunter, Tammy Tadd, Jo Morton, Judy Rothermel...they are all my quilting idols!!!

  3. what is that acrylic looking table extender that you have with your featherweight and where can I get one? When I bring mine with me to quilt group I would love to have that extended table!
    It looks like you all had so much fun I have never been Shipshewana and would love to visit Lolly's one day.

  4. It sounds so fabulous! I am totally envious!

  5. I am DROOLING over your purple featherweight!!!!

  6. Since I am NOT buying any new fabric (for the most part...sometimes I fail); I am trying to learn to get giddy over my scraps.

    I've never made a scrap quilt. Ever.

    Maybe next year.

    I do love that bow tie one!

  7. Judy Laquidara at the Patchwork Times blog also recently posted about a retreat she attended in the same town and at the same inn -- where you both at the same retreat???

    If so, that really had to be one awesome retreat!

  8. When I first got my Featherweight, I started sewing away before I realized the foot was not 1/4" but it was actually 1/8". I ended up buying a 1/4" foot with a guard and it has worked beautifully. No slipping around, just straight perfect seams.

  9. Bonnie, I like the plaid blocks that Randy is working on. You must check out QuiltvilleChat in Jarred Takes A Wife folder. SAO posted a block from a plaid version of your design that is really getting a stir of comments. She used solid black for the "star". I've heard lots of great comments on this retreat. Your sewing area looks a lot cleaner than JudyL's did!

  10. OH, I so wanna go there!!! Of course you make every place look like great fun. So maybe I just need to go where you go. LOL
    Thanks or sharing. (really love those tiny bowties).

  11. Great retreating with you Bonnie! And I agree about the location of the rooms -- needed to make that walk a few times a day.

  12. I've never been to Shipshewanna but it looks everyone had a wonderful time.

    Really love those bright blue blocks you were holding up too. Scrap quilts are my favorite.

  13. You weren't the only one who should've checked the seam allowance. You kindly didn't mention that I sewed an entire day without realizing that the needle wasn't in the center so NONE of the blocks were the right size. VBG

  14. Reading your excellent description is like going on a retreat. Well, almost. SO fun to see your photos and treats and hear of your fun. If you EVER need another Shipshe quilter, HOLLAR at me, I am close and would LOVE that.

    Lucy (in IN)

  15. Now I really want to make some itty bitty bow tie blocks!


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