Today is the last day of a six day retreat at the Quiltworx Retreat Center in Somers, Montana. I have had a great time - relaxing, productive, inspiring, and fun. I brought three projects to work on and then bought fabric to start a fourth.
First, lets talk about the Retreat Center. There are sewing stations (with design walls) for 12, beds for 10, 6 bathrooms, a kitchen, and a laundry. It is right next door to the Quiltworx Offices and Warehouse. Judy and her staff took really good care of us - great instruction, wonderful food (and I didn't have to cook OR clean up after), a trunk show of Judy's gorgeous quilts, a demonstration on Quiltster, camaraderie with terrific fellow quilters, and a shopping trip to two local quilt shops. All this set in the breathtaking scenery of the Flathead Valley in Montana. (BTW, weather was wonderful - 80s and dry with a slight breeze).
Next, the projects. We were all working on different projects. I took Vintage Rose, Cattails in the Meadow (see my series of posts on this quilt), Prismatic Star, and a new one - Bali Wedding Star.
Several of us were working on Vintage Rose, so there was lots of demonstrations, comparisons, and helpful hints going on. I got all the paper piecing done and started the assembly. A few more hours and it will be ready for the quilter. This was my first Judy quilt, one of her technique of the month quilts. It features lots of interesting techniques like putting on veins (little accents on the petals), points (accent fabric at the top of the onion dome piece), registration points, curved piecing, and S and double S curve piecing. (ignore the black diamond, it is part of the design wall hardware). Here is a quarter of it assembled. I am really happy with my color choices and how its come together.
Cattails will get a post of its own. I worked on border pieces (lots and lots of border pieces). Then I worked on border pieces, then some more border pieces. I am WAY over border pieces!
The next project was Prismatic Star. Its a lone star pattern made with jelly roll strip sets - Judy's Gypsy set from Timeless Treasures. I got everything cut and three of the eight sets made. One of the great tips I got from Judy is how to line up and pin the star pieces so that the points come together perfectly.
The last project I worked on was the Bali Wedding Star. I mainly just wanted to get started on this so that I could feel comfortable with the technique of assembly line paper piecing the arcs. I'm using rusty orange strips on a deep purple background. I think it will be stunning.
OK, now it's confession time: I bought more patterns. In my defense, I was looking at four terrific projects and ended up buying two from Judy and two on sale at one of the quilt shops. Ok, so that's still four, but I did use some restraint - I almost bought six! This is one of the main reasons I decided to drive, so I could bring back my haul of goodies!
On field trip day, Jennifer Eubank brought us to two local quilt shops - Glacier Quilts and Quilt Gallery. Both shops are Quiltworx Certified shops, so they had all of Judy's patterns and tons of batiks for the projects. In addition to getting some patterns on sale, I bought batiks for Bali Wedding Star.
I have a three day drive ahead of me and I'm excited to be going home (except for the cooking, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, hot and humid, going through mail part). I do have other quilts waiting to be worked on, but I'm sure I'll just have to work on my Judy quilts again soon.
Quilty friends, I can't say enough about the retreats sponsored by Quiltworx. They fill up fast, so run, don't walk to sign up for an upcoming retreat. You will not be sorry.
Curious about the Going-to-the-Sun road in Glacier National Park? Ask me about it when I get home. I'm going there tomorrow.