But Friday morning was another story altogether...
I didn't have the time or inclination to pull together fabrics and cut for the project that was featured at this year's quilt retreat, so I just grabbed some works in progress to work on - my Bright Futures Quilt that I am hand quilting, along with a snowball "I Spy" quilt and my Bonnie Hunter "Virginia Bound" quilt. Judi came through and lent me her machine to use - an Elna. Now, my machine is a $99 Singer from Wal-Mart. It is the only machine I have ever used. Once I figured out how to thread her machine and set the needle for a 1/4 inch seam, (over half an hour later), I started sewing. Oh, my! The difference was like the difference between my first car, an (at the time) 15-year-old two-tone tan Chevy Chevette, and my brand-new F150 Lariat SuperCrew pickup truck with heated leather seats, a tonneau cover, a moonroof, power everything and all the other bells and whistles. All of a sudden, I'm not so focused on fixing my own machine, and I am dreaming of getting a new one. It sewed like a dream! I didn't know what I was missing!
Anyway, day 1 of the retreat was fabulous. Our instructor was Barbara Cline, who specializes in Y-seams. I need to learn how to do Y-Seams, but this just isn't the time. Here's the class sample:
She had samples and patterns for some of her other quilts there as well:
I loved this demin and flannel quilt, and hope to make something similar sometime this year.
The woman who opened a quilt shop in the next town over last year set up a booth at the retreat.
I bought some Warm & Natural Batting for my Orphan Quilt, and I hope to put that together this week, maybe even in time for the drive-in next weekend. I also inherited some more juvenile scraps from a generous guild member, so I spent quite a bit of time on Saturday cutting, rather than sewing. The 6-inch blocks will go into my snowball "I Spy" quilt, and the other squares will go into their respective tins for use in a future project.
It is great to have a reputation as a scrap quilter - I am always getting surprise bags of fabric scraps.
The retreat wrapped up around 3 PM on Saturday. It was held at the Virginia Horse Center where they were also hosting a Spring Premiere Equestrian event. From our retreat room, we could look down on a Jumper competition in the coliseum, and I had been wanting to see more all weekend.
So, instead of going straight home, the kids and I loaded all my sewing stuff into the car, and walked around. It was fun, but I can tell that I'll be fending off frequent and fervent requests from the boys for a horse or pony for some time to come.
Last night, the boys and I went to the drive-in to see "How To Train Your Dragon" and "Sherlock Holmes." My brother came with his girlfriend and her two kids, and we had a great time, although my brother and I were the only two to stay awake through both movies.
Today, I slept in, and have spent most of the afternoon on the porch with Arlene Sachitano's "Quilt As You Go", a Harriet Truman mystery. It isn't my favorite series, but it will do. Oh, and how can I forget, while driving around this past week and weekend, I listened to all of Jennifer Chiaverini's "The Aloha Quilt." It was a good one, one with a current plot rather than one with lots of flashbacks to previous novels like some of her most recent books. I have already read those books; I don't want a new book to just relive what I've already read! If you like her Elm Creek Quilts books, then I recommend this one. And it has got me itching to try a quilt in the Hawaiin style, although that will have to wait until I get some others off my plate.
Between the retreat, the book, and the book on CD, I have immersed myself in quilting this weekend, and I must say, I feel better than I have, both physically and emotionally, than I have in months. Quilt therapy, there is nothing better!