Friday, July 2, 2010

Quilt Retreat - Day Two

Fortunately, I slept very well on the second night.  I think I just collapsed from fatique and frustration!  So I was in much better spirits on the second full morning of the quilting retreat.  Here's a picture of the gals that I went with:

That's Nancy, me, and Ann in the first picture - Nancy again and Lois in the second picture.  We should have asked someone to take a picture of all four of us.

The best part of the retreat was being with these great friends from the Oasis Quilt Guild.  We are at vastly different stages in our quilting adventure - me being the least experienced, least serious, and most stressed out about quilting!  It's difficult for four women who haven't been friends very long to get through four days of togetherness, two of which were spent in a car driving 350 miles!

Back to the retreat.  By the time I got to the community center on the second day, I had decided to relax, enjoy the experience, and not fret about what I did or did not get sewn.  I also decided to just focus on the $500 tote bag and forget about actually making a quilt top.  I cornered Cheri, one of the organizers and teachers, while she was taking a break from cutting fat quarters and just plopped down in front of her on the floor with my pen and pad in hand.  I told her that I wanted to make one of the blocks from her large quilt to use as the front pocket of the tote rather than the needle felted design that the tote project called for.  She patiently walked me through all the steps on how to make the block (a 5" spinning wheel pinwheel block).  I think she realized as I was writing down everything step by step and clarifying as we went along that this quilter needs lots of help and lots of instruction!

It took me the rest of the day, but I did get the blocks done, the pocket made, and the quilt almost completed!  I took lots of breaks to walk in the neighborhood, even perusing the used books at the local thrift store.  I also enjoyed talking to the quilter next to me, a local resident whose husband is a recently retired veterinarian.  Best of all was watching the grandmother and granddaughter work together at the table behind me.  Grandma brought her 11-year-old GD to her first quilt retreat!  The GD did marvelously both on her own and with Grandma's help.

We had the only row with all Featherweights!  Five little Featherweights all in a row.  From front to back, Lois' from around 1940, Nancy's from the 50s, Ann's then mine (both from 1938).  The last one nearest the window belonged to a fellow quilter from Mammoth Lakes.  She is the original owner - it was her first sewing machine that her parents bought her when she was 14!  I didn't ask her age, but my guess is that the machine dates from about 1958.  She's just recently gotten it out of the closet, had it cleaned and tuned up, and started sewing again. 

Tomorrow, I'll show you a picture of the tote bag.  I actually like it and plan to use it!


  1. I'm SO excited to see your photo of all Singer Featherweights! Thanks for your encouraging comment on my blog about my very first quilting project and my Singer Featherweight. It makes me feel like I don't need another machine at all! If REAL quilters can quilt using this simple old fashioned machine, so can I! How'd you find my blog? Just browsing Blogger for First Quilt Fiasco stories? :-)

  2. Correction: If REAL quilters can PIECE using this simple old fashioned machine.... (Still learning to use the correct lingo.) So, can I QUILT with my Featherweight? I'm told I can buy a generic walking foot that should fit. True?

  3. Judi:

    I have a Google alert for Bernina and another for machine embroidery. I get an e-mail everyday from Google telling me when either of these subjects is mentioned on the web! Pretty amazing stuff. I found your blog through your mention of Bernina sewingmachines. Re Featherweights and quilting, I haven't tried it but I know people who cover the feed dogs with an index card and "pretend" that the feed dogs are lowered for free motion quilting. Worth a try!