Mini Retreat

At the townhouse complex where I live we have a clubhouse that can be rented out. This clubhouse has a very large space perfect for good sized gatherings. It has enough space and tables available so that we can comfortably accommodate 14 quilters with machines. There are at least 3 quilters living in this complex and two of us are part of a group that gets together and sews one Saturday a month.

This past weekend I volunteered to put on a Judy Niemeyer mini sewing retreat at the clubhouse. A lot of the group were on holidays so there ended up being only 7 of us but we had a great time. Some of the group had made several of Judy Niemeyer patterns before and were raring to just get to sewing and others in the group had never done one of her patterns before. I am not a certified Judy Niemeyer teacher however I have done enough of her patterns and have attended a class with Judy herself so am not a novice to her techniques.

It is so much fun doing more difficult projects with others. The amount of laughter and shared knowledge was fantastic. One of our group had purchased a fabric and pattern many years ago when Judy Niemeyer came to Victoria to teach but hadn’t looked at the “kit” since then. There was 5 of us around the table trying to figure out which fabric was for which part of the pattern and get it all labeled. In doing this it was a unanimous decision that one of the fabrics that had been picked so long ago just wasn’t going to work and so off our friend went to an impromptu fabric shopping spree to get a better fit. She was back in under an hour purchase in hand. I can’t wait to see that quilt finished it is going to be beautiful.

We had all day Saturday and most of Sunday sewing and I can’t think of a better way to spend the weekend than sharing it with friends. Everyone got their project cut out and in “baggies” on Saturday and we all started sewing on Sunday. Some got further than others. I now have another WIP (work in progress) that I will have to put aside for now as I have signed up for a craft fair at the end of October so will need to start making things to sell for that.

Here are pictures of what was going on last weekend.

jn-weekend-5

My WIP this is a pattern I picked up 9 years ago called Raindrops not sure if it is even sold any more.

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I can’t remember which pattern this is however it is going to be beautiful.

Here are the start of two others as well.

For some of us we are going to have to have a second mini retreat weekend just so we can take out these projects and get them finished.

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Happy Quilting

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Inspiration Journal

Coming Up with Quilting Designs

I have a client quilt on the frame and although I know what design I will be quilting on this one as it is just an all over design it got me thinking about how I come up with different quilting designs. My fall back design for all over is a leaf pattern, leaves are easy to do and if they are not perfect that’s OK because nature doesn’t make perfect leaves either. It’s also the first quilting design I learned how to do.

When it comes to all over designs I try to take hints from the quilt itself, for instance one of my client’s quilts was green and red and had nature and leaves in a lot of the fabrics. The quilt design was simple so the meandering leaf design I came up with seemed to fit the bill.

In another quilt I did, a Bonnie Hunter mystery there was so much going on with the design and the many different fabrics I just kept with a simple all over echoed flower design. With that quilt I used a thinner thread (Superior Threads So Fine 50) as I just wanted the texture to show as the quilt was so busy as it was. When I was quilting that design I was thinking oh no not sure I like this but when I got that quilt off of the frame I really, really liked it. The quilt is now on the bed in the spare room.

As I have mentioned in previous posts I don’t do much pantograph quilting as I prefer to quilt from the front of the machine but I did piece and quilt a quilt for a client that was a cat quilt. This quilt called out for paws and I did do that as a pantograph as it would have been to hard to do this totally free hand.

Cat Quilt-1

There are other quilts though that just call out for more custom designs like a design in the blocks and another in the sashing and border. I find deciding on what to quilt in these particular quilts more difficult as the choices are so vast. I try to take some clues from the fabrics used but I will admit sometimes I have to drape those types of quilts over my stairwell and stare at them for awhile well I go looking for inspiration.

The next quilt on my list to quilt is a Judy Niemeyer Bali Wedding Quilt. I started the top a few years ago and worked on it while going through cancer treatment. I finished the top two years ago and it has been sitting in my “to be quilted” pile ever since. Time to get this one finished I think so I have been sketching out ideas on what to quilt where. I will post pictures of that process in a future post. Meanwhile here is a picture of the pattern. I bought the extra papers for this one and made my top queen size.

My latest favourite quilting quote

I’d rather be stitchin’ than in the kitchen!