Thursday, November 8, 2012

Report From My Quilting Retreat...

Quote for the Day:
"Blessed are the piecemakers."
~author unknown

As promised, here is the recap and pictures from my quilting retreat last weekend with quilt designer/teacher, Bonnie Hunter!  I apologize in advance for taking so long to get this post written, but I just haven't had the time until now.  Also, this post is picture-heavy, so I hope they all load quickly!  :)

Originally, the retreat was to be held at Hawks' Nest State Park, but because of the Frankenstorm last week, they lost electricity.  Luckily for us, the retreat coordinator was able to get our group moved to Pipestem Resort State Park.   Unfortunately, the large banquet room was already booked by the Lions' Club, but they had a smaller area in the golf pro-shop that we were able to use.  

Friday was the day everyone arrived, claimed their spot, and set up their sewing machines, etc.  Unfortunately, we arrived later in the afternoon due to stops at thrift stores along the route, and the "big/main room" was PACKED with tables, quilters, machines, and all of their "paraphernalia"!  I was told that there was a smaller room across the hall that some quilters were going to be setting up in after the "trunk show" that was going to be held there that evening.  I opted for the smaller room, since it wouldn't be so packed or noisy and I would have room to set up my little ironing table that I had brought.  The drawback was that I couldn't set up or sew until after the trunk show, which started at 7 PM. problem.  Andy & I went and got settle into our motel room, set up the laptops, etc., and then went and got supper in the dining room.

The "trunk show" was where Bonnie showed and talked about the quilts she had brought with her.  She is the author of 4 quilting books on scrap quilting, so she shared her tips and techniques with us, while showing examples of her scrap quilts.  She brings 100 lbs of quilts with her to these shows!!!  Whew...that's a LOT of quilts!  And they are all bed-sized!  No wall-hangings for her!  LOL

Since her newest book is about string-piecing, most of the quilts she brought were from that book and I now know which quilts are in my future!  LOL  

Let me just warn you that the pictures, even the pictures of her quilts in the books, do NOT do them justice!  They are sooooooooooo much prettier in person!  So...are you ready for just a sampling of the trunk show???  :)

The brown/red quilt in the second picture is called "Pfefferneuse" and the pink quilt in the bottom picture is called "Zuckerwatte" (means "cotton candy" in German)...both have been added to my list of quilts I want to do!  :)

The brown/blue quilt in the middle picture is called "Smith Mountain Morning" and is the quilt she taught on Saturday.  Sunday's class was a paper-piecing class.  I watched her do the instructions, but I decided that working with 3/4-1" pieces just wasn't gonna happen for me, even though I LOVED the quilt she was teaching!  

Here are two pictures of the "main" sewing can see just how packed it was in sardines!  

No, thank you.  I'll take the "little" sewing room...with only 4 other quilters besides myself!  :)
And here's the two that sat across from me...Linda and Carolyn...

I shared a table with a very nice lady named Libby...but unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of her because she was such a busy beaver that she was never in one place long enough.  She was up to her cutting area...over to the ironing area...then to the sewing machine...wash, rinse, repeat!  LOL  

Here's a picture of my little sewing area...before I started sewing.  After I started sewing it looked like a BOMB went off there...pieces of fabric EVERYWHERE.  I kept losing my stiletto and scissors because whenever I sat them down I invariably ended up putting a piece of fabric on top of them!  LOL

As you can see, I took my own sewing chair with me.  If I'm going to sew for any length of time, I knew I would need to be comfortable and have correct ergonomics.  :)  I also took "Mary Gwendolyn", the Singer Featherweight that I bought in Tennessee in September.  It was such a joy to sew on this little machine.  Just to let you know...though the Featherweights might be small and lightweight...they can sew just as fast as a full-sized machine!

Saturday morning I woke up at 5 AM and couldn't go back to sleep.  Finally, I just got dressed and went down to the sewing was 7 AM and I was the first one there.  The day's class didn't start till 9 AM.  Other people started showing up about 7:30, but it was nice to just sit and sew without interruption for a while.  Bonnie was the one to show up at 7:30 and she was able to help me out with getting my "perfect scant 1/4" seam" by using a little gadget and green masking tape to mark my machine...I'll do a post on that later.   :)

I sewed from 7 AM till 6 PM with an hour out for lunch.  I was so exhausted that evening that I turned out clocks back at 8:15 and went to bed!!  I woke up about 1 AM and couldn't go back to sleep, so again, I got dressed and went down to the front desk to ask someone to unlock the sewing room for me.  The man working the front desk looked at me skeptically and then very slowly said, "you do know that we turned the clocks back last night, right?"  LOL  I told him that, yes, I had turned mine back, too, and that I just couldn't get back to sleep.  He called the park ranger who met me at the sewing room and let me in.  It was 3:40 AM when I started sewing!  LOL

Bonnie is big on tools and rulers that shorten time spent cutting, sewing, and quilting your quilts.  Here she is demoing one of the 4 specialty rulers she uses in her patterns...

She is such a down-to-earth approachable...and NICE!  If you EVER get a chance to take a class from her...DO IT!!!  She is returning to WV in 2016 and we have already reserved the big banquet room in the main building at Pipestem that will hold ALL of us with plenty of room!!!  I will BE THERE...already on the list!  :)

I will now leave you with pictures of the blocks that I have completed thus far of "Smith Mountain Morning"...which I'm doing in Christmas colors/fabrics...



  1. Sounds like you had a great time.
    One question: What does stiletto mean in the quilting world?

  2. Hello Beth

    Well funny running into you in blog land. Don't know if you remember me but I am the gal from MI at the retreat.

    We did not get to talk much at the retreat but perhaps we can get better acquainted this way.

    I am doing Easy Street too. Following Bonnie's colors. Here's my address
    I'll be watching your progress..keep in touch.....maybe I'll see you 2016

    1. I do remember you! We sat beside each other at the trunk show! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I just checked out yours. Love the flying geese in the shape of a "?". LOL Also love the vintage blue Kenmore. :)