Thursday, February 26, 2009

More Phun Phrom Phoenix

There will be official photos from the weekend, but before I leave the weekend behind, I wanted to share a few more personal highlights.

The best thing, of course, was meeting some of the wildly creative and generous women I have known through the quilting forum for years.

I also enjoyed the quiet soak in the hot tub and time spent by the pool on Friday afternoon.

The Pool at the Hotel

It was fun to go check out the 3 Dudes Quilt Shop across the street . . . with the added excitement of a bank robbery in the same shopping center.

Signs at the 3 Dudes Inside the 3 Dudes
Linda spending $$ at the 3 Dudes The Bank Robbery Next Door

I really enjoyed Hilda's much-touted lemon curd and scones.

Hilda's famous lemon curd and scones

I was inspired by many of the great projects I saw around me. I want some bags like these that Linda "Poo" made.

Linda's sewing kit

I want to try Cat's tip for making pieced jackets.

Cat's Seminole Pieced Jacket in progress

I want to check out the QuiltSmart foundations for making a Lone Star–Kathi bought the fabrics and finished this one while at the retreat.

Kathi's Lone Star in Progress

I want to try Hilda's setting for some crumb-pieced blocks.

Detail from Hilda's Show & Tell

I want to find this pattern that Kim tested.

Kim's Show & Tell

I'll post the link to the official Show & Tell photos when it's available. In case you are wondering, I did accomplish some quilting myself. I finished up using the last of the donated I-Spy Snowballs from the Block Lotto crowd. Hilda and Pat are going to quilt them and donate them for me. Yay! I also took two adult bed quilts and gave them to Linda "Hoo" to quilt and donate to her charity.

Here are the I-spy Snowball Quilts.

Completed Charity Quilt #1 Almost completed Charity Quilt #2

You can see all of my snaps from the weekend in my Flicker set 2009 AZ Retreat.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

AZ Retreat - The Basics

The AZ Retreat began 7 years ago in the community room at Denise's condo complex, with a group of quilters from the quilting forum on The annual event has grown over time, moved to a hotel, and this year, I got one of the coveted 32 spots.

The 7 hostesses produce a tightly organized event, with everything a quilter needs for a weekend of quilting and fun:

Ironing stations (with big boards). Those are the lotto blocks on the wall above them.


A central cutting station and a very well organized room. (That's Hilda, Cathy and Annette, in the photo).

The room

Many design walls. The blocks on the left became one of two charity quilts I put together at the retreat. On the right was one of the row robins--this one is Ellen's, I think.

Design Wall

A great group dinner Friday night at Claim Jumpers. I couldn't resist taking a photo of our official retreat photographer Chris, doing her thing at the restaurant.

Chris taking photos at Claim Jumpers

A cook-out lunch on Saturday, just outside the door of our sewing room.

Cook Out Lunch on Saturday

And back inside the sewing room, a snack table that you could almost hear groaning from the weight of every kind of treat imaginable.

The snack table

(It looked just this full when I left at noon on Sunday, too).

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I Partied with Patrick . . .

. . . and 32 friends. I spent last weekend with the Valley of the Sun Quilters in Phoenix. Their guest speaker was Patrick Lose. He spent a most enjoyable Saturday afternoon with us.

And Another Photo of Patrick Talking

He shared a bit of his history and a lot of his fabulous quilts, fabrics, books and patterns–so many that his friend Gary came to help out.

Quilts from Patrick's New Book

I thought this design (from his not yet released book, Poster Quilts) would be perfect to adapt for a painted floor cloth for my loft.

Edited to add a correction: the Hibiscus Runner is from a new pattern, not the Poster Quilts book . . . which makes perfect sense if you think about it . . . doh!

After the talk, the room broke into a feeding frenzy as the quilters scrambled to check out the books, patterns, and fabrics that Patrick had brought for us . . . pandemonium ensued. You don't have to believe me. You can read about it on Patrick Lose's blog from the man himself: Quilter's Gone Wild. While you're there, be sure to check out his new club for quilters, Party with Patrick. He told us a bit about it and it sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun . . . kind of like Patrick himself ;-)

It was a weekend stuffed full of activity . . . I'll blog more about it soon.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Looking at My Stash in a New Way

Most of the things I've been working on lately aren't so blog-able: calling doctors, calling insurance companies, calling my former employer to find out why they're cashing my check for COBRA but not telling my insurance company that they should continue to insure me–exciting stuff like that. Getting internet, getting cable, getting parking . . . all the necessities. Now maybe I can move onto finding someone to cut my hair and give me a mani-pedi ;-)

Last week I moved the stuff I still have in storage to a smaller, less expensive storage space. It gave me the opportunity to look at my fabric stash in a new way.

My Fabric Stash

It's not ALL quilting cotton, there are a few boxes of flannels and a couple boxes of garment fabrics, but it is almost all quilting cotton. When I read Colene's blog post a few days ago where she illustrated how a very small box of left-over 2-1/2 by 4-1/2 fabric pieces could become a quilt . . . well, it really made me think about how many quilts might come from this stack of boxes . . .

I recently read this blog post, about Patti's last UFO. Also, Kate has recently inventoried swap blocks she's keeping and some of her works in progress on her blog. I think I may be at the other end of the spectrum . . . here are my project boxes.


It may not be as bad as it looks . . . or maybe it is? There are a couple of king-size quilts that just need bindings and quite a few tops ready to be quilted or sent to someone to quilt, and there are some non-quilt projects in those boxes as well, but still . . . this moving thing really makes you examine your possessions . . .

In case you're wondering, I did fill the smaller storage space with the rest of the stuff that's still in storage, including some "Michigan" winter coats I'll likely never need here, my bikes, a wall of totes containing Christmas things, craft things, some exercise equipment and my antique desk. I'm still looking for a recommendation for someone to lovingly refinish it before it comes home to the itty bitty loft–as I've come to think of it. If I can organize my life enough to fit, I will likely be more organized that I've been in a long while . . . a good thing and I'm slowly getting there.
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