Retreat Week at Old School Sewing

I recently had a group of students come for a week long workshop/retreat on tiny piecing.

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The participants rented a local house for the week and had studio time each day.

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Here’s a sampling of their work partway through the week.

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We had a great time and I’m working up a few other retreat theme ideas for the future.

Contact me if you are interested in booking a retreat for yourself and a few friends.

Holly Girls Retreat - a trip around the world

I had a lovely week at Holly Girls Quilt Retreat. This year’s theme was “Trip Around the World.” Of course, I had to make mine from one inch cut squares.

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I had my usual spot with a view of Elk Lake. Using a layout from an antique quilt I arranged all of my squares of Oakshott cotton and prepared to piece it together.

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I pieced the quilt into nine smaller parts before putting it all together.

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I had an organized system of making little fourpatches and keeping them in order. By making fourpatches first I could get all of the seams to twirl as shown in my tutorial.

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I love the finished look of these tiny little Oakshott cotton squares.

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The back has an interesting look too. Since the squares finish at 1/2 inch, the seems meet each other when pressed.

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I loved this technique and kinda want to make another one. I’m planning to quilt this one in the ditch to avoid interrupting the flow of color between the squares.

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I worked on a couple of other projects at retreat so stay tuned for those.

Sewing Camp

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I offered one week of sewing camp this summer and I was delighted with this group of campers. They made pillow cases, draw string backpacks, and pj pants. In the photo below they are cutting out their pj pants. 

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They were pretty efficient at getting the projects finished so we had time on the last day to try some embroidery stitches. 

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The barn works very well for camp. Early in the week we used this wagon for cutting, pinning, and pressing. The last day it was a great gathering spot for learning embroidery.

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I have five featherweights set up in the barn and each of the campers claims a sewing spot for the week. 

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They were all pleased with their finished projects. I even saw a few of their items with ribbons on them at the community fair!

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Sew Days

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Well, here we are on the first day of school. Who knew summer was going to be so busy. Well, I guess I should have known. I did manage to squeeze in two sewing days last week. I got this sawtooth postage stamp quilt top put together! 

Next, I pulled out this years old WIP. I am 'this close' to having the strips finished and getting the top together. It will be a simple design with red in between the applique strips.

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Unpinned - a string pieced quilt

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Here's my latest quilt finish. This top went together really fast. I pulled the string pieced triangle and square units from my basket of pre-made string parts, and found they fit together perfectly. I played around with the positioning of the pieces and finally decided on the pinwheel effect.

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The background is quilted with feathers. I made a template for the spine of the feather and marked it in each section. The feather lobes were stitched free-form to fill the space around the spine.

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That red print with the yellow apples in the photo below was left over from a blouse I made back in 1975, and it might be the last little bit of that fabric that I had. I left it un-quilted.

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This border print worked great as as a backing fabric.

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My photo helpers had a bit of fun during the photo shoot. 

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This short wall behind our barn has always been a favorite place for climbing and jumping. 

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The finished size of this quilt is 60" by 84". 

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This quilt and others from my book, Every Last Piece, will be hanging in a special exhibit of my work at the STITCHES midwest show in Schaumburg, IL, August 2-5.