These girls, who lead busy lives and run their longarm machine quilting business' don't get a lot of personal sewing time. So they all come prepared with projects to work on, while we are chatting and laughing. Some bring sewing machines and lots of tubs of fabric, and some are working on hand piecing, which are part of the "slow sewing" movement.
These are both hand piecing projects that Naomi is working on.
Gayle is hand piecing Patchwork of the Crosses blocks, and has been working on this for awhile.
She was very happy to finish a block, and is showing her progress.
Niki was making placemats for her daughter in law, and made good progress.
Brenda worked on lots of projects, and one of them was this gorgeous little suitcase, and here she is stitching in the zip.
Now finished, this is the Small World Suitcase by Jodie Carleton of Ric Rac Designs.
And then it was onto the Zippy Hobby Bag, a Claire Turpon Design, which she made in the same fabric. If you are interested in these, you can purchase the pattern or kits, or fabric from Brenda at Widebacks I am sure she would love to hear from you. I reckon any little girl would love these. And if they were made in sewing related fabric, they would be a great gift idea for a quilter.
Pam made some lovely bright shirts.
Alison arrived with a quilt cut out that is to be a shop sample for her shop, Canterbury Quilt.
She made good progress, and had almost finished by the time she went home.
Asking for opinions about the best way to cut up the border print. And there are usually 8 different opinions when you ask.
The decision had been made, and the corners were being mitred.
I forgot to ask what the name of the quilt was, but I am sure if you are interested you could contact the shop, but clicking on the link above.
I even managed some sitting at the table time, and was working on more tracing and cutting of the blocks for my Dear William quilt. I am happy to report very good progress.
In every group their is an over achiever, and Elaine is ours. I think she must have almost filled her car with plastic tubs, but she was prepared for lots of jobs.
First up she finished a few shirts, and a dress.
Then she finished this woollen star quilt.
And this scrappy diamond star quilt was put together, although the diamonds had been made.
And then it was time to cut and piece this flannel quilt.
Then it was time to get out the tub of scraps and piece some more diamond sections.
Another 29 of these were made before it was time to go home!! A great way to use up lots of scraps, but Elaine said that the tub did not seem any emptier when she left.
And here she is showing some of her weekend's work to Pat when she visited us on Monday afternoon.
Alison from Canterbury Quilts was very generous and brought along a bag of wrapped items, and told me to decide what to do with them. So I thought about this and made up some word puzzles for the girls to do, and gave out prizes. This was a lot of fun, and one of them was a list of Acronyms relative to quilting. There were simple ones like BOM (Block of Month) and DWR (Double Wedding Ring) and then one lady made up her own answers! Instead of Half Square Triangles (HST) she said Hot Sewing Teacher, LQS, Lost Quilt Society, and GFG, Girl Friend Guild! We had a lot of laughs.
Faces of concentration!
We had a show and tell and sharing session.
And there was also some teaching of various parts of the programme we use, and here is Gayle having a "one on one" with Alison.
And then they were joined by Elaine, who also supplied them with lubrication.
At most retreats, a few of the ladies "retire" to the lounge to watch TV or do some hand stitching with their feet up. But this weekend was the exception, as they were all hard at work into the evenings. I did hear of one lady who sewed to 1.30am the first evening.
And the second evening 2 ladies were up late, and then went to bed and talked until well into the morning! (I did hear about 3am??) They did all go to bed early Sunday evening though.
Our group photo, taken on Sunday, and even Gypsy features in the photo.
A bit more spoiling of the cat. Gypsy must love it when the retreats are on, because she doesn't get spoiled with me.
On Friday morning I was doing some cooking for the weekend, and had planned some nice little fruit custard tarts. I was a bit disappointed when half of them broke when I was trying to get them out of the patty pans. This was how they looked. 😢
This changed my menu plan and I had to think about what I could do instead. When my class girls make a mistake and things don't turn out how you wanted, I usually tell them it is a design opportunity and think of how they can change their original intention. So I thought about my crumbled tarts, and came up with the following idea instead. The crumbs were placed in the base of the dish and custard and fruit placed on top. My disaster was now a success, and tasted just the same as the original intention.
Phones have multiple purposes these days, and are not just used for phone calls. They are the photo albums as well, and used to store quilt pictures to show each other.
And at the end of the day, it is a lovely treat when a visitor massages your shoulders, after a weekend of hand sewing.
Once again, it has been a great weekend. We talked about our machines, the programmes we use, and our longarm business'. Two ladies also have retail shops as well, and they shared a lot about that. We also talked about the changing demographic of our industry, and the quilting industry and the direction technology is taking us in the future.
The last of the stayers will leave in the morning, and it will be back to reality for me. As each person has left, there are lots of hugs good bye, and we were lining up at the door. Great friendships have been made at these Statler Gatherings, which is very special to see. And as with most of the retreats, it has also been a Therapy Retreat for some, if not all of us.
Time for bed,
Blessings, From Jude