Friday, October 20, 2006

My Retreat Results

So, wanna see what I did at the retreat?

Actually, this picture represents what I've done at the last THREE retreats. I started this Cinco de Mayo quilt in a workshop with Karen K. Stone in July, 2005, and that was all I worked on at the Oct. '05 and April '06 ranch retreats. I arrived at the retreat with 13 blocks, and as I dug in to sew some more, I realized I wasn't having fun with them any more. I just couldn't fathom doing 25 of them. As I sewed my second one, it occurred to me that 4 x 4 blocks would make a decent composition, and as I'd just completed #15, that meant that suddenly there was light at the end of the tunnel! I excitedly assembled the last block (which took the rest of the afternoon...these things go pretty slowly, with all those pieces) and then got them together.

I spent some time auditioning borders, and enjoyed shocking several more traditional quilters in the room with the things I'd try. At one point, I borrowed a pieced zig-zag border (in lime green and black) from another woman who was making it for her own quilt, and I laughed at the gasps of horror in the back of the room! It was clear that those zig-zags weren't right for this, but I kept them pinned up for a bit just for the shock value. I have some ideas of what I'll do, but for this week was content to get the blocks assembled.

Meanwhile, at the next table I watched Pat assemble a gorgeous Bento Box quilt. Pat has a wonderful sense of color, and I was envious of her soft, subtle palette in this one.

So, I pulled out the packet of fat quarters I'd just bought at Pacific Interntional Quilt Festival, and whipped up one of my own.

I tell you, after those Cinco de Mayo blocks, all these straight lines made for very relaxing and easy sewing.

These fabrics are from Jennifer Sampou's Color Beat collection. I just love the geometric shapes in them. This isn't exactly soft and subtle (no matter how often I aim in that direction, I just don't go there) but I like the unusual colors.

Oh, and see that black and white border fabric? The one that sort of looks like random sticks? It's a batik that I bought SOMEWHERE along the way and I used every bit of it for this border. I'd love to find more, but my computer searching didn't turn anything like it up. If you know what this is or where I can find more, please let me know!

I also started another quilt with those ever-popular Kyle's Marketplace fruit and vegetable fabrics, but no photos yet.

It just occurred to me...I didn't actually FINISH anything, but I guess I made the UFO's into bigger pieces. I think I have some serious quilting ahead.


  1. Darn you (again) Diane.

    I was just saying that I've successfully resisted buying a Karen Stone pattern and doing paper piecing. I've been fighting this for months.

    so I see your cinco de mayo again.. and crack. the EQ CD is winging it's way to my house.

    Darn you.

    I'm gonna name a quilt after you (Darn You Diane). (OK, do they make ToonTown fabric? )

  2. This got me laughing! I have hanging on my living room wall a New York Beauty quilt top that still needs batting and backing and quilting. I paper pieced the blocks intending on doing a large quilt top...well, its not as large and its not finished..but I love the way it looks and someday, will be finished.

  3. Anonymous7:22 PM

    Diane, I love, love, love your Cinco de Mayo quilt! Several years ago, I was a very beginner quilter who attended a local quilt show. The "featured" artist was a woman who made a gorgeous NY Beauty. My friend and I talked her into teaching it to us and a group of friends at a later date. She told us it was a beginner quilt pattern and we would finish the top that day. Ahem.

    I ended that day with one saw-tooth circle completed (it took me 8 hours to get that done). No center circle, just the jaggedy teeth. Not one of us finished that day. As far as I know, my cousin is the only one to actually finish that top, and it took about eight years for her to feel accomplished enough to tackle it then.

    The teacher, whose name escapes me at this time, was actually losing her eyesight and was legally blind at the time she made her NY Beauty. She quilted by hand, and the quilting was gorgeous and her stitches were even. That was what made me believe I could do it too.

    WRONG! But I do love yours. It's a true beauty.

  4. Anonymous8:52 PM

    The Cinco de Nayo blocks are stunning! The Bento Box quilt is just as vibrant in a different way.
    Eager to see them after quilting!

  5. Oooooohhhh!!! Aaaahhhhhhh!!!!!

    I rather adore those blocks in the top pic. (Did I mention "aaaahhhhhh??")

  6. I love your Cinco de Mayo quilt blocks. I started making some and it took me a whole day to piece one. It's in the someday pile.

    I like the mid century modern feel of the Bento Box, too. Looks like you had a grand time at the retreat again this year! Jen

  7. You are so brave! I have kept coming back to those Cinco de Mayo blocks in EQ and the book and been wanting to start a quilt, but I haven't dared go there yet - it seems very time consuming, and reading your post I see I was right about that! Your blocks are great though, and will make a beautiful quilt - well done!
    Your Bento Box looks great to - I love those geometric shapes and the (for me) unusual colours.

  8. I love your blocks - they are gorgeous. Did you paperpiece them?