Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Five Fabulous Days

Two weeks of vacation and five of those days were spent with my sister!  We learned from last year's Gruber's retreat that we needed an extra day before and after for visiting....ahem....traveling.

Point B and C and back again to D shows my Gruber's trip.
As with last year, my sister was waiting with a beautiful, handmade birthday present for me!
Love, love, lovvve it!!!!

Fiesta Wall Quilt pattern in gorgeous blues
I am totally blown away at Michelle's skills!  
That inside block is made from 1" UNfinished strips.
Read this post for more information on how she did it.

Pieced back from leftover fabrics and strips
She used all my favorite colors and even pieced the back!
I am one lucky girl!

Gruber's Retreat 2012

This was my third year retreating at Gruber's, and once again I had a blast!  I sure missed Shelly and Toni, but had an awesome time hanging out with Doris, Michelle, Terri, Mary (all in back row, left to right), Cindy, Amanda and Stephanie (front row, left to right)!

Anyone recognize this foot?
There was the usual sewing, chatting, laughing, eating, shopping, laughing, sewing and more laughing going on.    It's great to hang out with other quilters and bloggers,  learning from one another and exchanging ideas. 
 This group is very talented, generous and welcoming.  I am blessed to call them my friends (not to get too mushy or anything) and look forward to much more retreating in the years to come.

I took over this ironing space with my blocks.
The show and tell was spectacular!  You don't want to take my word for it; go visit each blog to read their retreat recaps and see their pictures.  
All my retreat photos were taken with my cell phone camera.  Considering my luggage included a sewing machine and three quilts for show and tell, there wasn't any extra room for my rather large camera.

Someone took a picture of me without my knowledge or consent ;-)
I was brave and showed my Peace, Love and Happiness quilt  (which I started at last year's retreat), Liberated quilt (which I showed the colorful strips last year asking for help) and Leo's Peace Baby quilt (which his parents let me borrow for the occasion).

Stack of completed blocks
This year's retreat project was making blocks (81 total required for quilt) for my king-size Cowboy and Cowgirl quilt.  The layout is based on a Kaffe quilt from his Glorious Patchwork book.  I am following Amanda's 36-patch tutorial for the checkerboard blocks, but changing it up a bit by varying the fabrics used within each block.  For the other block, I had to change the dimensions somewhat as I am fussy cutting the cowboy/cowgirl pair for the center of the block.  

Nine blocks so far
 At some point during the retreat, and when I was out of the room, it was decided that we needed to challenge ourselves to make something out of our comfort zone.  I made the mistake of saying once that I can only make flat things and nothing 3D, so that was my assignment.

Ginormous pincushion
 Using only scraps from my current project (which is all I brought anyway), I made a giant, oversize pincushion (thanks Amanda for the stuffing) with encouragement and advice from the others.  I don't think it exactly qualifies as a 3D project, but it's a start.  If it weren't for the pins, it could be confused with a small pillow...it was left behind in Montana ;-)

My friends were generous in their happies.
Above is my collection of goodies received.  Thank you girls!

Gruber's purchases
Believe it or not, I exercised great restraint when it came to fabric shopping.  I actually had to work hard to spend enough to earn my 10% discount.  If only, I was always this good...sigh.

I came home with 22 blocks finished.  That's not too shabby.  Now, to finish the rest before NEXT year's retreat......


  1. Love that map showing your trek!

    And I loved that project you were working on. Such rich, bright colors... right up my alley.

    It was so great seeing you again this year and spending the weekend together! Good for you for branching out with the giant pincushion/pillow project. It turned out awesome. Thank you so much for the happier you shared. Those chocolates were to die for.

  2. We sure did have five fabulous days!! Next year, we should go for six super days ;-) I LOVE the blocks you have started for your cowboy/cowgirl quilt. I'm thinking I should get you to make a queen size quilt for my bed!!!

  3. Your cowboy and cowgirl fabric is one of my favorites. I look forward to seeing a picture of the completed quilt. I sounds like your 2012 retreat was a success.

  4. I love everything in this post. I feel mushy about you guys, too. I love the photo taken without your consent. When you get tired of that pincushion, you know where to send it! ;-)