Home again! What a great weekend! Not rested, but happy.
My drive across the state to the retreat was uneventful, though I did get to have lunch with my sister, Karla, and our friend, Teena, as they were returning home from some meetings. Great meal and fun conversation. I had been worried about snow on my drive but I didn't have to drive in any until I turned down the drive to my daughter, Becky's, house. Had to climb into the back of the car to find my boots so I could even get out of the car. We had a fun visit talking a lot about their upcoming move back to our house so she can work on finishing their tiny house on wheels while her hubby is out on the road.
Headed over to the retreat in the morning and got set up and started sewing. My first project was getting all the quilting threads on the HP quilt taken care of. As I was working on it I realized that the last 4 or 5 blocks I had quilted had poor tension so I ripped those out and will redo them today. Everyone loved the quilt and I was able to sell quite a few drawing tickets at the retreat. I also ended up selling one owl hat and getting an order for 5 more so I will be working on those in the coming weeks.
I saw a tutorial last week online for a folded bag and just had to try it so that was one of my early projects. (Lynn T, if you are reading this I am supposed to tell you that you are not allowed to try this yourself, Jill is making you one!) It is made from 2 squares of fabric, sewn together and turned right sides out, top-stitched and then folded and turned and fluffed and you get these.
Mine is the second from the left on the bottom row. I really liked it as a thread catcher while sewing. Karla and I were going to make some scrap catchers like this but these folded bags are so much easier and practical that we went with these. Karla made 4 of the bags in the above picture and a couple of other quilters in our group each made one for themselves. These were all made from 17-18" squares.
Others came up and saw the bags and wanted to make some for themselves so I said I would do a little 'thing' downstairs and teach them too so they all started getting their squares cut in preparation for the next morning. I wanted to have some samples of a couple of the steps ready for the morning so I started a couple bags to give to my grandkids when they arrived the next day. I only had 10" squares of fabrics they would like so I went for it. I was so tempted to finish them to see how they would turn out but instead I cut another couple of fabrics up and made two little bags out of 8" and 9" squares. They are the cute little strawberry bags in the front of this next picture.
When I got up the next morning I dug out all the extra fabric I had in my piles and cut out whatever I could for bags and made the above baskets. We had much discussion about all their uses and determined that the 8" would make adorable little egg holders for Easter and the 9" could hold sugar packets at your table. The 18" ones are great for small potted plants and a 20-21" will hold a square box of tissues as you can see in the above picture. The biggest one there is a 20" and has a tissue box in it. One of the best things about these bags is that they fold flat so are easy to store when not in use. I am hoping these will be a big seller at the quilt show and at Relay for Life. I have lots more fabrics I can use for them.
When I headed downstairs to the other quilting room there were at least 10 people who learned to make the bags. One person used corduroy which I think could be great for a larger bag made from maybe a 36-45" square to be used for dog toys or baby toys on the floor. Someone else used flannel which is so nice and soft and would be great in a baby's room for holding socks in a drawer or cotton balls or pacifiers or almost anything!
One of the ladies is an amazing quilter and embellisher and she had fun with her bag. You can see the front and back here:I think that many of the bags will be made in the coming weeks by a lot of the quilters for selling at bazaars, using in their own homes, giving as gifts, etc. I know I am going to get more done in the coming days and weeks.
Well, I have much to do before Saturday's quilt show so I had better save the rest of the retreat recap for later!