Monday, 13 June 2016

"Pick-a-case" Mystery Retreat

What an amazing long weekend it has been. This was the 5th of these mystery retreats that I have held, and it was great to see the quilts come together and the banter between the ladies.
Some renewed friendships, and some met for the first time. There is always much laughter, but I think this might top them all. I always worry about them all being happy with what they "choose", but it seemed to work out again. 
The "allocation" process was a bit different this time, thanks to a recent visitor who gave us a different idea. Each lady picked a number out of the bowl, and then got to choose a case one at a time. Number one was first to pick, and then open the case to see what was in it, and show everyone what she had. Number 2 could then choose what number 1 had, or choose from the unopened cases. And so on and so on. They all went for another case, and no one challenged the first ones for their case. They were much too polite, and maybe did not know each other well enough at this stage to take one. Until the last lady, and was brave (?) enough to do so. I did hear another word used to describe her action, but won't repeat that here.

         First photo, and they are lining up and looking at the names of the quilts, which were on tags on the cases.

Number one (Alison), was very happy when she opened her case.

Gayle was carefully eyeing the selection.

And when she chose "Shades of Grey". she was very happy, and placed her hands over the case in the hope that she might keep it!

Here she is being challeged for her case, and ready to hand it over.

All in all, I think they were all happy with their final decisions, and this is the action when they first started.

The weather was very cold for the weekend, but we were closeted inside, and only heard about the weather on the media. It was 2 deg outside this morning with a slight frost. Inside it was lovely and warm with the combustion heater burning.

As I had been a tad occupied all week, and did the Barossa trip on Friday, I had not had time to prepare the food, so Rosie came to my rescue and fed us for 2 days. This is the oven that I had purchased, full of food on both trays for the first time.

Rosie cooked us scones one morning, so I don't think anyone went home hungry. I might get back to "bread and water" this week.

I shall post each quilt in turn, showing the progress shots of each. First up is Val, who is always fairly quick. When she got her quilt, she was happy and very loudly said to anyone who looked, that it was a very hard quilt to make!! (It was a 9 patch and a snowball block with borders!!)

Val had some extra pieces from her strip sets that she made for the 9 patch blocks, and used these as an extra border around the outside, which just made the quilt a bit bigger. It finished up at 70" square and is called "Oriental Crossings",

Lyn made "Kansas Kites", a quilt made of 9 patch and pinwheel blocks in browns and golds.

A little haircut makes all the blocks fit together just that much better.

Rosie  had a lot of interruptions over the few days, but made good progress considering this. And I need to confess that I made a booboo in the cutting of the pieces for this quilt. Thankfully, it was the only one this time, and only the second in 5 retreats. I do tell the girls that they are guinea pigs, until the pattern and cutting has been tested!!  Hopefully it has been corrected ok. She had put one row together by the end of the weekend.

One row of "Plum Crazy" put together.

Alison was the first to choose her case, and no one challenged her for it. But I know that everyone has admired it over the weekend. There was applique to do in the centre of the blocks.


 And here is Alison's finished quilt, called "Strolling the Seine", because the fabric range was called A Stroll along the Seine.

Sherrel made good progress also, until she stitched one of her borders on upside down, which slowed down her progress a bit.

 And here is her finished quilt, which was called "Mountain Haze".

Erica was in the corner, and was the quiet one for the weekend. It was a bit hard to photograph her progress, so there are not many pics.

She did oblige me with a smile from the corner.

Not quite finished, but the centre is done, ready for 4 borders to be added. I called the quilt "High Tea in the Garden". I find that naming the quilts is harder than the design and cutting part, so often ask visitors their opinions.

Gayle was the lady whose case was taken from her. She ended up with "Rajasthan" which is the name of the border fabric I used in the quilt, which is a strippy quilt.

 Gayle made it to this stage, which was almost finished and then had machine problems. She was the last "man" standing, as the others had either gone home, or finished.

But after a bit of maintenance of her machine it was all go again, ready to finish her quilt. Even though she had her original choice taken away, I think she is pretty happy with this quilt.

Dinner tonight was leftovers and the 4 of us who were still here ate in the sewing room while Gayle was finishing her quilt. The "other side of Melbourne" girls are staying until tomorrow morning before they travel home. It will take them about 7 hours, and I appreciate the fact that they come all this way to spend time here. This weekend the South Australian girls were outnumbered 2 to 7!

And last, but not least is Pat, who was brave (or brazen?) enough to take a quilt from someone. She made "Shades of Grey" which is a bit different to my normal designs. This was made up entirely of Half square triangle blocks, so told Gayle she would have been totally bored doing the same block all weekend! Pat made good progress considering she was absent Sunday evening to attend a family function.

3/4 quarters of the quilt laid out on the bed. Maybe Pat will be finished it sometime this week. I am looking at ideas for the quilting of this. The bottom photo is the EQ layout of of how this quilt will look. I started out thinking about making it a chevron quilt, and this sort of came about by accident. But I think a good one. The fabrics are what was left over from the wedding quilt I have made for DD3 and DSIL, (but have not quilted yet)!

During the conversations, lots of stories came out from years back, so we tried something a bit different and asked each lady to give a bit of a history of their life. It was very interesting to hear their stories, and helped to get to know them just that bit better. Another fantastic long weekend.

Hope you have enjoyed the report of our weekend, as much as we enjoyed doing it all.
Be back in a few days, as I need to get back to some serious work tomorrow. I have a quilt loaded all ready for the morning.
I am in the planning stage for the next Mystery weekend which is in August, so would love to hear from anyone interested in coming to join us.

Blessings, From Jude


Alison Bacon said...

What an absolutely fabulous report, almost as much fun reading this as we had on the weekend! So sorry I had to be the first to leave, again! Thank you so much Judy for your brilliant hospitality and for giving us such a great excuse to get away and have some fun. Oh, and yes I did laugh a lot and had a blast. Just to top it all off, the quilts look amazing, it's hard to imagine that we really were so productive in between the frivolity. Thanks to everyone for a great weekend.

Alison Bacon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan Smith said...

Sounds like a great weekend and lovely to see some familiar faces. I think all the quilts look fab and hope you can post some finished photos at some time. Even I can appreciate the time you put into these retreats, so I'll pop my thanks on too.
Have a good week and take care. BTW, light frost here too this morning.

Michele Hill said...

Wow Jude......they all look amazing! Well done for designing such a varied selection - fantastic! Hugs from us x

Jean McGee said...

Looks like another fantastic weekend with the girls, quilts are lovely as usual and so much fun to make when it's a surprise.
Keep warm and have fun. Xx😀🌻

Sue SA said...

Wow, great results, there must have been lots of sewing and no talking?!!

jfoster8 said...

So many gorgeous quilts....wish you lived closer!