Sunday, February 28

A visit to "Sew Close to Home" Quilt Retreat.......

This past Saturday, I took a 15 minute drive over to Emma Krumbee's AmericaInn in Belle Plaine, MN to visit friends at the "Sew Close to Home Quilt Retreat". It was a beautiful day with sun and the snow was melting! The retreat name comes from the fact that it's "sew close to home" for organizers Sandie, Gretchen and Pat. Let me introduce them to you......
Here's Sandie and we have known each other a loooooonnnng time! I realized recently that I have known her longer than all my other quilting friends and by at least a good ten years. She worked at a printing company that I took my copywork to when I was teaching workshops in miniature making (the stuff I made that goes in my miniature gift boxes).
Sandie learned to quilt at one of my classes in 1999. She would be the first to tell you that it took her the entire first session of a three part class just to finalize her fabric choices. While others were sewing the blocks together for the little placemat......yes, it was just a little placemat, Sandie spent a long time deciding on just the right fabrics. You would never know that she agonized so much over that first little project as she makes projects all the time now and doesn't get nearly so worried about the colors.

I love the colors and fabrics she chose for the quilt above. It's for a friend who is a helicopter pilot serving in Irag. Double-click on the photo and you can see that those are helicopters in the green fabric. It will be a lap quilt measuring about 54" square. :-)

Here's Gretchen piecing together some bluework Sunbonnet blocks. She had exciting news to share......well, at least exciting to me.......she has finished embroidering all the snowman blocks that I shared last year and the quilt top is finished and it's at the machine quilter's being quilted. I can't wait to see it!

In addition to coordinating the "Sew Close to Home" retreat Sandie, Gretchen and Pat also get together once a month or so and do a project together. We were all fascinated by this one. Their table runners are based on the TunaCanHexagonFlowersTutorial and all you have to do is click on that highlighted link and you can learn how they did this. Oh, one change, though. They used a lunch plate instead of a tuna can so that their hexagons would be bigger. That's an important point to tell you, isn't it?!!
This picture shows Gretchen and Pat with two cute bags. This is a pattern where Pat decided to change the size of this one, too. Gretchen made the pattern they used exactly as written. Pat doubled all the measurements and ended up with a very large bag! LOL! She said that it actually holds her small quilting frame so it has a purpose!
Notice how everyone is smiling? Quilting retreats just do that to ya!
And that includes Jan, who is smiling because she had just told me that she recently won these little vintage Dresden plate blocks at her quilt club meeting. There were about 30 blocks in the box and she plans to applique them on muslin.

Some of you may remember my friend, Sharon, from previous retreat photos. I have just asked her how many of these blocks she must make for the quilt she is working on. The pieces/strips are so tiny! There are a lot, a lot of blocks in the full size quilt she is making!
Stephanie was working on this quilt at the retreat we attended together last summer. With the sunlight shining through it, it almost looks like stained glass! It's ready now to be quilted.

Stephanie is probably the only who was at the retreat who does not live nearby. She came in from Chicago to join her sister-in-law Laura who is happily paper-piecing in this picture.

You can tell by the photo that those are very tiny paper pieced blocks! The bright flower-looking blocks were done by Stephanie.

The patterns are by Cindy Edgerton. Click here for more info on her patterns.
There's just one more photo to share................

Jan made this beautiful "cabin quilt". She loves to do "northwoods" type projects.
If you noticed the banner at the beginning of this post, you can see that they add the year each time the retreat is held. I taught at the retreat in 2005. Sandie asked for a design that was simple but fun. Same in 2006. Guests could choose to do the class or work on their own projects. One of these days, I'll get around to showing those quilts to you. :-) Now the gals just work on their own projects which is really fun because you see so much variety in the things that they are all working on. Evidence is in the photos!
That's it for now. I have been rearranging again in my sewing room. I think I have finally found the arrangement for my sewing machine, ironing board, etc. It's about time. We moved here four years ago and I just haven't quite found the arrangement that worked but it's looking so good that I started taking photos and will give you a peek as soon as it's all done. :-)


Owl Lady said...

Excellent post, Sandi, showcasing a number of creative projects. I especially enjoyed the Sunbonnet quilt because I have a "stash stack" that is destined to become a set of monthly table toppers using seasonal Sunbonnets. I also followed your link to the tuna can tutorial and a quilt-as-you-go tutorial. Yeah, a good start to a new day, week, month. And the snow is gone!

joanne lendaro said...

Thanks for sharing pictures of the beautiful quilts and all of your wonderful quilting friends. And you are absolutely retreats just make us happy!

Crispy said...

Great projects everyone was working on. I love getting to see lots of eye candy in the mornings LOL.


Dee M said...

How wonderful! Thanks for sharing.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

THe dresdens are my favorite, of course. Love them. But a good time looks to be had by all.

"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
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