My guild had a quilt retreat last weekend. With my travel in August followed by an unidentified virus that took me out of commission for another two weeks, I was completely unprepared when the date rolled around. I had planned to have fabric cut and ready to sew when I arrived. That didn't happen!
I ended up tossing a few things in my car the morning of the retreat and hoped for the best.
Fresh Wrapped, in the upper left, was the only project already in progress. In fact, it was almost finished, with binding already attached to the front of the placemats and runner. My plan was to finish the binding while I decided which of the other projects I'd work on for the two days of retreat.
So far, so good. By mid-morning, I had a finish! That felt like a pretty good start to the weekend.
I made the tops for these last November during the Placemat Party I hosted. I didn't quilt them until June. I'm so happy to have this version of Fresh Wrapped finished. I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but every fabric has silver metallic accents. While I'm generally not a fan of metallic accents in my fabric, I make an exception for Christmas projects!
With one project down, I moved on to Plan A. I bought these Northcott Stonehenge Oh Canada fabrics when I was in Fredericton, NB in the summer of 2022, planning to make a set of Flipped for Canada Day 2023. That day came and went with no placemats so I'm looking ahead to July 2024.
Just before I cut into these at retreat, I realized I had not prewashed them. I don't always prewash my fabric, but I always prewash for placemats. I've found that if I don't prewash, my placemats come out of the laundry all wonky the first time I spill on them and have to wash them.
I'll admit I did a bit of grumbling at my past self at this point. Seriously? These were on my shelf for over a year, always intended for placemats, and I never got around to prewashing them?
On to Plan B! Honestly, Plan B was a little vague. I bought this stack of Christmas batik fat quarters on impulse 6 years ago. I've struggled to decide what to make with them.
When I tossed the stack into my retreat bag, I had a few ideas, but they all needed extra yardage for background. I really, really tried to find something at the shop hosting the retreat. They had a such a beautiful selection of fabric, but I didn't find the right background to go with these. I guess this little stack will just have to look pretty on my sewing room shelves just a little longer.
This was the last project option I brought. This one panned out!
I spent half the day on the first day of the retreat cutting out the fabric.
I was able to make all the strip-pieced blocks before heading home. On Day two, I got a good start on the rest of the units, but a few distractions slowed me down so I didn't get as much done as I thought I would. That's OK. It was lovely to be in a room socializing with other quilters.
It's a little hard to believe this will become this:
Despite the great start I made at retreat, I'm not sure when I'll finish this top. When I got home I went back to quilting the Accidental Quilt. I also had some design deadlines to meet, and now I have some writing deadlines because three of those designs were selected. It's a good "problem" to have, but it means projects in progress are going on the back burner again.
I'd love to head to retreat again, but I think I'd like to plan a little more next time. Please share your tips for prepping and packing for quilt retreats so I can be better prepared.
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