Power sewing at a retreat

One of the best things about a quilting retreat is uninterrupted sewing time…well…almost uninterrupted…there are, of course, breaks for conversations and joking around, admiration of what others are working on, teaching and/or learning moments, meal time, wine time and bed time BUT not having to stop for preparing meals, cleaning of any sort  or taking care of others is what I mean! 🙂

Here is how I approach a quilting retreat. First, I decide what I want to work on…whether it is a new project or a UFO…it could be one big project or several smaller ones.  I usually aim for at least four projects to work on and hope to finish at least three.  Then I gather all the components needed for those projects (pattern, fabric, thread, etc.) and organize them into project tubs…I especially focus on cutting as much as I can beforehand…I can mess up cutting fabric when I am completely alone so I am pretty sure if I get distracted with laughter, conversation or someone else’s project, I am sure to ruin the piece of fabric I only have just enough of for the project! I then refer to a retreat checklist I copied from another quilter for the remaining items needed…wine, other sewing implements, clothing, toiletries, etc.

This year I took five possible projects…one already in progress and four that were cut and ready to assemble.  I finished the top using the paper-pieced, scrappy, wonky off-center pineapples and an almond/cream dotted batik for the sashing and border! Now all I need to do remove all the paper…not nearly as much fun, but that’s part of the deal, right?!


Then I worked on two “Falling Charms” tops using charm packs and a Kona Snow jelly roll. This pattern was a big hit at retreat and I referred everyone interested in it to this wonderful tutorial! Note: the tutorial calls for 4 charm packs but I only used one.  These tops measure approx. 39×46″ before I add a small border.  Great size for a kid or lap quilt!

DSC04021 Fabric by Sandy Gervais called “Snap Pop”

DSC04020Fabric by Free Spirit called “Botanique” plus scrap fabric in my stash

Did you notice the design is reversed? No? Good, never mind then! 😉

By the last full day of retreat, I was ready to start project #4 and I started sewing what I had pre-cut…I didn’t have all the fabric I needed but I went ahead and power sewed anyway! Note to self: take the extra fabric for ANY project  to retreat even if I think everything is cut and ready to go…it probably isn’t, so…I WILL need it! 😦

Continuing with my scrap busting theme, I had cut fabric left over from making 2 lap quilts to use in this project. The pattern I am using is a free pattern called Love Squared by Lindsey Weight that I found here! Thanks Fort Worth Fabric Studio! Here is a link to Lindsey’s cool blog! I am using creative liberty to use up what I have rather than what the pattern calls for.



It is now on my design wall in the beginning stages of layout! Whoohoo!! Yes, I know there are some of the same fabrics touching…it’s just the beginning, ok?!



As the day was winding down, my quilter friend and retreat partner-in-quilty-fun, Pam, finished all her projects and offered to help me! Yayyy!! You bet I took her up on that! The last scrap project I brought involved her anyway! She is my go-to for pattern adjustment, math figuring, and checker of color placement extraordinaire! I brought the last of the batik scraps which I had cut into 4″ squares to make a quilt from a magazine.  I didn’t have enough scraps to make the quilt as ginormous as shown, so I needed her math skills to adjust the pattern down.  She got it down to TWO much more manageable lap quilts and sent me off to cut the batik setting squares (at 10:00 p.m. this was dangerous and, of course, I cut 5″ strips rather than 4″…arggghhh!) while she sewed the 128 batik to the 128 cream batik 4″ squares to start the 4-patches! Isn’t she the BESTEST quilting friend??!! 🙂

DSC04024DSC04026DSC04025YES! This is 128 units!!! 🙂

Packing up to leave, I felt super jazzed for accomplishing more than I thought I would! Thanks to Pam, I would be able to finish up the last project at home AND get two quilts instead of one! Scrap busting at it’s finest, right!

We had a special guest at this retreat…who came all the way from Kaneohe, Hawaii (which is on Oahu!) She officially, hands down, came the farthest to retreat…a title I usually held previously coming in from New Mexico and now Oklahoma to retreats in Texas!  This beach-loving girl was thrilled to meet her and she graciously gave me her phone number to call her when we get to Hawaii later this year! Oh, and it helped that she brought everyone cookies from the Honolulu Cookie Company! She being a native Hawaiian, willing to fly all the way to Texas bearing chocolate covered cookies and a quilter? That’s a toes-in-the-sand girlfriend after my heart!! 🙂



If you have never done a quilting retreat, I highly recommend attending one as soon as you can! I learn more at retreat, get more sewing accomplished and meet some of the most fascinating and creative people EVERY time!

Have a sew happy day!

Note:  Check back later in the week for a wonderful story where some of my last year’s scrap tub found a happy ending!!!


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Becky Medlock
    Feb 11, 2014 @ 15:24:05

    Love your blog. You are a very good writer. (bet you thought I was going to say “quilter”) Well you are that also. But, seriously, You have a talent for telling your story. Sorry I missed that retreat. Looks like you all had fun. I love the patterns for quick and easy, but very pretty quilt. Thanks, Becky



    • sbrctag
      Feb 11, 2014 @ 15:38:09

      Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and your sweet comments! The retreat was great and we missed you! Hope all is well with you and best wishes for happy sewing days!



  2. Donna Moon
    Feb 12, 2014 @ 00:31:39

    Love your web page, just found out about it. Love your quilts and fabrics that you brought to retreat. Hear you are moving. You just go girl. It is a beautiful place. Have been to Maui 4 times years ago. Loved every minute we were there. I love the ocean and love to stay in the water. I know I have webbed hands and feet. Miss seeing you and I know Janie does to.



    • sbrctag
      Feb 12, 2014 @ 03:15:11

      Thanks Donna! Glad you found me on the blog…just getting it going so still learning a lot! This girl can’t wait to see that gorgeous water and the islands again! Stay tuned for pictures and stories along the journey! Hugs and miss you too!



  3. Pat
    Feb 12, 2014 @ 02:11:19

    Google the Cindy Coats Gallery. She’s a native New Mexican and you will love her and her art.



  4. Trackback: A little R&R is always a good thing! | The Beachy Quilter

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