Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Getting Ready

have spent the last 4 weeks or so prepping my supplies and step outs for my classes at MAQ. You can find the website for this quilt retreat at www.MAQonline.org.      It takes place at Mt St Marys College near Gettysburg, PA. 
After submitting my class proposals back in October of 2014, it has been a long time since I worked on these specific projects.  To me, that means a long time and a lot of forgetting. The classes start on July 10 th. My first class is a silk lone star, but none of my students are doing it in silk! 
I made this lone star out of dupioni silk using a Quiltsmart foundation and that is how I am teaching it. I guess making a lone star is daunting enough that my students decided that working in silk would be just too much. By choosing cotton, they can pick their own color palette. So , to refresh my memory and make some step outs to demo the technique, I also chose cotton. I decided to use some of the bright batiks that I bought in Bali. I chose 7 different ones. 

After making 4 sections using The Quiltsmart foundation, the challenge was finding a background fabric from my stash that showed off the star. It also was necessary that I had a big enough piece of it, 1 1/4 yd to be exact. I really did not want to go out and buy fabric. Here's a little sneak peak of why I didn't want to go buy any more fabric. 

I hung the 4 diamond sections and the various fabric choices on my design wall to audition the various background fabrics. Here's a sampling, unedited. 


I wasn't thrilled with any of the batiks. I kind of liked this last yellow batik, but it wasn't quite right. 
I kept hunting through my stash looking for a large enough piece of fabric and I found this low volume white fabric with a small turquoise star. I think I bought it in Holland. 

It was perfect. 
It's going to be a great class. 
There's still room  and room in lot of other classes. So if you find yourself with a free weekend and an itch to be creative, check it out. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Inspiration

My trip to France is still on my mind.  I do love France and feel so comfortable there.  If it weren't for my fluffy best friend, I would love to spend a month, exploring and creating in this wonderful country. I find it so inspirational.

Here are the last photos I'll share from the trip.  You may see some of these elements showing up in my quilts in the future. I just never know, but I can tell you that some ideas are swirling in my head already.


















Thursday, June 18, 2015

Waterviews In France

Cruising the Rhone and the Soane in the South of France was a wonderful experience. Going through the locks was exciting every time.  Growing up on Long Island and living on the East Coast, water is essential to my well being.  It calms my soul and helps me to think and be creative.  I'm home now. It's nice to look back and relive  some of my favorite views from the boat.













Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tag Team Quilting


The Cooper quilt top is done.  It was used as a sample to demo the techniques used to create the mosaic pet quilt during the 3 day retreat. My DIL, Loren and I worked on it together. 
 I call it Tag Team Quilting.

I started it to teach my techniques and eventually give it to Loren and my son.  She saw me working on it and asked if she could help.  She was hooked and stayed to help with the first retreat.  (She is also an excellent cook.)  She took over piecing the individual blocks for the details of Cooper's face.  While she sewed, I cooked and slept.  I pinned up a bunch of the background and sewed together all the individual squares.  While I sewed, she cooked and slept.  I'm an early bird and she can be a night owl.  It worked out so perfectly.
Tag Team Quilting!

I usually don't toot my own horn, but I was so touched when I received this email from one of the retreat participants.  I blushed when I read it and was thrilled that she was happy with her retreat experience.  To know that the hours of prep work, both physically and mentally,  that I put into any teaching project that I do, is so rewarding for me.  It's why I do what I do.  


" Cheryl, the retreat honestly exceeded my expectations. The location was idyllic, the project was organized and really well presented, the instruction was clear , the techniques ably demonstrated and you balanced perfectly between providing support and having each of us take the necessary leap of faith in ourselves to 'piece'....or maybe that was just me!  Add to that the five star menu, the walks, the kayaking....just a delightful week end. I will treasure it always and I look forward to seeing everyone's finished portraits and to our reunion. Of course, Bailey-Girl, being Cheryl's inspiration for the project deserves all the kudos for the event!!"

Monday, June 15, 2015

Match Game

Pets, owners and quilts in progress.  The retreat is over and it was a great success.There was lots of cutting of 2" squares, piecing, using the design wall to create a quilt of our beloved dogs.  What brings a group of women together and transforms them into instant friends?  Their love for quilting and their pets and their families. Bonding.  So glad we can talk while we quilt. 
 It's the fourth dimension!
Carol and her grand dog, Wilbur,
Debbie and her Corgi, Jesse.
My DIL and Cooper - a joint project
Roz and Reggie
Yvonne and Riley

There was plenty of time for eating lakeside

and even a trip around the lake in a kayak.

If you're interested in entering the quilting 4th dimension, the next retreat will be in 2016. June 9-12.
Leave a comment if you're interested and I'll contact you when I am ready to start accepting students.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Progress!

Great progress has made on the dog mosaic quilts.  My students are quick learners.  Here's a preview.  Can you tell which dog goes with each quilt?  Come back tomorrow for the answers.