Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Step it Up - the Retreat continues

On Friday morning, once we determined that Jill's water heater will handle 7 hot showers back to back, and we finished loading up cars (to the brim), we headed north through heavy traffic on unfamiliar roads - and the GPS was telling me to go in another direction. Luckily Sherry AKA AngryWhiteWoman was riding shotgun, manning the texts and cell phone calls, and keeping an eye out for our "pace cars" - otherwise I would have been a mess.

We devoured lunch at Bob Evans - and I finally got what my body was wanting - coffee!!! Jill is not a coffee drinker, and I thought I could go the morning without it - but after the marathon drive on Thursday and the late night, I was needing the boost.

When we got to the retreat center and got all unloaded and set up, the temperature had spiked into the mid 80's I think - and it was very humid. I was feeling the effects of the heat, the lack of sleep and sensory overload - so I chose to sit up in the bleachers overlooking the work space and trim the excess fabric and batting off the four quilts Jill had done for me. It was a bit cooler up there, less crowded, and I could just give myself a bit of time to acclimate without missing anything.

In hindsight it was good that I chose to do that task on Friday afternoon - as people started laying their finished projects across the chairs throughout the weekend, and by Sunday - or even Saturday afternoon - I would not have had enough room to spread out my quilts for trimming.

That little escape was just what the Dr. ordered, and in no time I was back down at my table, sewing away. One of these pictures is actually from Sunday, but you get the idea. It stayed pretty active and cluttered the entire time we were working.

I had a number of projects kitted and ready to work on - and got right to work on a quilt top pattern I got from another blogger called Step it Up. This is a scrappy quilt -although the original pattern calls for a Jelly Roll, and I had worked on busting scrap stash to put my kit together. My plan was to make this quilt, and then use the top to practice free motion quilting of borders and corner motifs - making a sampler of sorts.

We took a break from working on Friday evening to have a NY vs Wisconsin cheese curd test between Jen and I. We both easily identified the curds from our home states - both were good but then I like cheese in just about any form - and then we shared them with the "curd virgins" and everyone else, too.

I finished the first few rounds of Step it Up on Friday evening - but did not take pictures along the process. The entire top was finished by Saturday lunch - and I was NOT one of the ones to pull an all nighter on Friday. In fact I think I was one of the first to head to bed - although it took me a long time to unwind and get to sleep. I did alter the pattern a bit - adding an extra outer border of the solid fabric -this made the quilt just that little bit bigger (Hubby is a big guy - I wanted him to be able to snuggle under this) and gave me a final wide surface to finish my quilting sampler with a flourish (I plan to start in the midde and be a pro by the outside border!)

Oh - along with working on the quilt top, I put together a number of my little PickAPockets - I had done an iron on transfer of our retreat logo onto white fabric, and then backed it with bright pinks and tucked in some chocolates that Lazy Sister Sue had sent along for us all to share. I did not manage to get these done pre-Retreat and have them on everyone's tables like many of our other Peeps did (everyone was so creative and so generous!!!) - but I passed them out as soon as I could get them done. The leftover transfers got taken by Jen for making some water bottle cozies, although I don't think any of those got done at Retreat.


Moneik said...

There was so much going on, on Friday, that it was hard to keep up with it all.

Jen said...

I love the little pick a pockets!!!

Darling Jill Quilts said...

Oh, man! If I had known that you needed coffee that badly, we could've stopped as soon as we left the house! It would have been a great way for Jen to catch back up with us!