Monday, September 17, 2012

Beaver Island Quilt Retreat, 2012 and more...

Recently attended Gwen Marston's Beaver Island Quilt Retreat White Birch Lodge in lovely Elk Rapids, Michigan. This year's retreat focused on Liberated Medallions. We had a talented group of quilters in addition to awesome weather. In my opinion there couldn't have been a better place to sit and sew than in the large dining hall with windows all around us and Elk Lake about 100 yards away.
Our group creative sewers surrounding Gwen who is in the middle on the first row. 
One of the many medallion quilts Gwen had made and brought to show....the fabric in the center of this quilt is a reproduction of a John Hewson print from the 1800s.
This is the first of two medallion tops my friend Vicki pieced while at the retreat. The center is a vintage piece of linen she found at an estate sale....the colors were printed on the piece before being embroidered. Vicki used one of Kate Spain's line of fabrics for the pieced borders.
This is my mariner's compass medallion that I pieced over 25 years ago....I finally found a use for the block. One of the great things I discovered about medallion quilts is you can start with a pieced block or whole cloth block and then just add as many borders, either pieced or whole cloth as you want to get to the size quilt top you want. How cool is that. I really think medallion quilts are in my future, especially for showcasing a piece of fabric that I love and don't want to cut into. I used a lot of men's plaid shirts (from Goodwill) in my borders. Learned a valuable lesson....I needed to spray starch the blocks to prevent some of the stretching that occurs with a looser woven fabric. 
This cheerful top was stitched by Sharon Taggert....she came to the retreat with the center block and three of the inner borders already pieced. I think this is just stunning.
Switching gears, I wanted to show the "wonky" top I have been working on for over a year. It is another coop project with my friend Vicki. She pieced some of the houses and a butterfly and a tree or two....she also has some of my wonky blocks in her top. This is about 99% done as I have some appliqué I want to add yet.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing my fun!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

New potting bench....

While I was gone to a quilt retreat last week the hubby made me a potting loving it! I had told him I wanted one, but knew it was low on the list of "to do" projects. Maybe I should go away more often...who knows what "honey-do" projects will get done! Thanks, hubby!!!
My sister-in-law out in Vancouver, Washington is getting creative with her gardening efforts. Her hen-and-chicks plant now has its own lovely vintage chair. Love the shabby-chic look. Am wondering if she has another one of these chairs I could talk her out of?

“Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile.”  William Cullen Bryant