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!


l.wilks11 said...

Hi Lovely to see all those beautiful quilts, you Americans sure know how to quilt. I have been attending my quilting group for just over a year know and the quilt i am working on is so primitive compared to yours. I am hoping to finish it by Christmas.Watch this Blog!!!!!!!
Lovely to see you blogging again. Hope you and your family are keeping well........xx

Jennifer said...

Oh, I just love those medallion quilts - they are so much fun! Your new potting bench will be very useful too.

Karen L R said...


Such a fun collection of inspiring work!