Monday, April 20, 2015

Life is Sweet at a Retreat

April is my birthday month, and I have had a wonderful time so far.  This past week I was in Shipshewana, IN at the Jane Stickle Quilt Retreat.  So much laughter and fun there.  The friendships renewed, the new friendships, the beautiful projects I saw, the jokes I heard, the sewing skills I head is spinning.

Here i the project I took with me to work on.  I finished half of the block, and learned a lot while working on them.  Here's the block:

There are 30 of these in the quilt, and 22 half blocks at the outside edge.  Each block has eight "Y" seams in it......a skill I need to practice.  These blocks were a learning experience, and the retreat made it more fun.  One tip from my friend Elaine Frye helped it go faster.  The "Y" seam instructions are to stop sewing at 1/4 inch from the end of the seam.  Elaine said she learned in a class (and I don't remember the teacher) to sew the seam all the way to the end, and then when you are ready to attach the outer background part, just unpick three stitches at the end of the seam to open it up.  That made it go faster than trying to go slowly and stop each seam 1/4 inch from the end.  The test block I made showed me I would need to cut my background piece a little bigger and trim them off later if I wanted to see any star points in the finished block.  So that was the tip I learned from myself - make a test block.  I watched a video online of Edyia Sitar sewing one also that helped me.

The blocks finish at 9.5 inches and are part of a Moda Collection For A Cause quilt.  Moda issues a quilt kit each year that is a replica of an old quilt, and I usually love the project.  This one with "Y" seams will go faster now, while I am thinking of the memories of the retreat and all the fun I had working on the first half of them.

The Jane Stickle Quilt Retreat is attended by a group of women who all love Jane Stickle's quilt.   Jane Stickle's quilt has 225 blocks in it, and is really "Quilting 101".  If you finish this quilt, you can make anything!  Some of the ladies have completed the quilt, and others (me included) have made some of the blocks and want to make more.  Some have completed the quilt more than once, which is too much for my little brain to comprehend.

Also while there, I put borders on two projects that have been in progress.  When the retreat ends, some people leave Saturday night, and some of us leave on Sunday.  I knew there would be empty room at the tables on Saturday night and Sunday morning to spread out a quilt top and work on putting the final borders.  These two are now completed tops:

They both are Moda Collection For A Cause quilts. I think this will be their 17th year now of issuing these reproduction quilts.

And now to continue my birthday celebration, tomorrow I'm flying to visit my friend Dee, who's birthday is the day before mine.  We usually do something together to celebrate our birthdays, and this year we will be going to Paducah, KY to the AQS quilt show there.  Life is good.

Now, I'm going to Judy Laquidara's blog to catch up on what is on other quilter's design walls.  (Here)


  1. Wow, what a fun couple weeks you are having. Have a great time at Paducah. I ran into two retreat attendees on Saturday at Carolyn's shop in Rome City. I told one to tell you "hi" from me. I hope she did!

  2. !Happy birthday to both of you, so glad you can enjoy life on a lot of different levels.

  3. How fun that you got to go to the retreat. I watched a Smile Box presentation of quilts that were shown.
    I have made this type star many times using different methods. I will try the tip of releasing some stitches and see how it works.

  4. Beautiful blocks and quilts Judy.

  5. What a fun birthday month you are having! Both are places that I have always wanted to visit. Love the projects that you worked on while at the DJ retreat.

  6. Such beautiful work! You are an inspiration, that's for sure!

    Have a ball in Paducah!

  7. Happy Birthday Judy. Glad you get a month to celebrate I properly!!


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