Sunday, July 14, 2013

Retreat & USA Quilt Update

I am completely spoiled.  I have just returned from a fantastic quilt retreat hosted by my friend Joanne.  The creek in the background was the only sound I heard all week besides lovely conversation and laughter.   The TV and technology blackout provided by the surrounding mountains was a delightful change of pace.

I really wanted to come back with something finished, so I did spend a lot of time early in the week on finishing the quilting on this Broken Star quilt.  

I managed to do the Matrix fill on the outer star points the Saturday I arrived.  Am not sure if the Merlot helped the process or not.

I did the outer radiating lines using the walking foot over the next several mornings.  I tried to limit my machine quilting time to the mornings so I didn't hog the limited table space.

I even sewed the binding on completely by machine, even though it never works out like I intended.  And, of course, my pieced bias managed to get the piecing seam on the corner 3 out of 4 times.

I don't care.  It is done.

In 2010, when everyone was working on Dear Janes and Farmer's Daughter quilts, I got all excited about small blocks.  That was also the year there was a huge Red & White quilt display somewhere.  I also had been to several quilt shows where there was nothing done by hand.

That was the year we took the epic road trip. 6666 miles with my mother and 2 teen aged daughters.  'nough said. We hit 19 states and a fair bit of Eastern Canada.

I decided to make a block for each state, with red fabric that came from that state.  Each block is to represent something about the state.  Oh, and I decided to piece it all by hand.

 In addition to my own collecting, I had blog followers, family, and friends buying and sending red fabric from all over the USA.

I was really good at first about recording details and posting them on the USA Quilt page of this blog. 

I pulled this project out again last October and managed to add another 7 blocks to the pile.   Going into the quilt retreat, I was still 11 blocks shy of a finish.  My lack of finish was twofold.  1) I didn't have fabric from those states 2) I couldn't find reasonable blocks to make that represented the state theme.

My solution:  1)  all fabrics in the box qualify for any block  2) lower my standards on block theme.

Nevada:   Card Trick

Reason for delay: waiting for a friend in Vegas to send me fabric.

Solution: reds I thought would work well.

Missouri:  St Louis Star

Reason for delay: no fabric, no pattern

Solution:  Found in 5500 quilt patterns after I'd given up on things like "show me" and Independence.  Super fussy.  Ended up a little wonky and 1/4" too small.

Maryland:  Crab Claws

Fabric from Shannon.  Reason for delay:  Pattern.

And then I was totally distracted by mixed mottos trying to decide if Maryland was for both lovers and for crabs. Because that just seems wrong from a marketing standpoint.

But that got resolved when I found the fabric and note from Virginia...who claims to be for lovers, thus the heart fabric.

Virginia:  Jamestown Square

Fabric from Amy.   Reason for delay:  Pattern

Idaho: Double Sawtooth

Reason for the delay:  All my fabric counts as Idaho since that's where it currently resides.  I opted for this amazing floral, that has nothing to do with the state, because I like it.  And I'm from Idaho.  

You can see how this theme thing totally dissolved now right?

Mississippi:  Mississippi

Reason for delay:  no fabric from the state.

It was one of the last 3 missing blocks and I picked out a fabric that I thought would look good with the blocks near it.

New Jersey:  State of New Jersey

This block gave me fits.  I had planned on a Grandmother's Flower Garden, but as I was flipping through the 5500 quilt blocks book, I stumbled across a NJ block and drew it out.  Unfortunately, I failed to note what page or pattern # it was, so when I went back to clarify, I couldn't find it.  Barb and I both spent an hour apiece trying to find it both by name and pattern.  Finally, just as I was about to give up, I started looking for it based on the neutral corners rather than the narrow cross pieces.  "State of..."   sheesh.

New Mexico : Squash Blossom

Red fabric from Veronica

WV:  Belle of West Virginia

Reason for delay: no fabric

Utah: Salt Lake City

Fabric from Anna

Reason for delay:  I had originally planned on an appliqued bee block.  This was simpler than drafting something.


Reason for delay:  no fabric.  But this came from that's close.

I opted for 2" finished wide sashing strips since the blocks are already so busy.    Nearly 20% connected!

I'd be further along, but I ended up repositioning the bear paw block since I didn't like it pointing the same direction as the cactus blossom.

1 comment:

Bailey said...

Oh, Maryland...ha ha!