Quilt Retreat on Lake Michigan

I spent this Friday and Saturday at my annual quilt retreat along with about 25 other dedicated quilters.  This is our 6th year at the Illinois State Beach Resort in Zion, IL.  Not much swimming going on at this time of year, but it’s pleasurable nonetheless to gaze out on the icy lake as we get our quilting fix.  Warning:  This is a long post–but it’s mostly pictures.

I did a little improvisational piecing this year–no pattern, not much measuring, just fun play with some fabulously colorful materials.  Kind of like painting with fabric. These are a couple of the wonky star blocks I made.  Can you count how many different fabrics are in this one?

improvisational piecing by Pam Schoessow

improvisational piecing by Pam Schoessow



Many others were more prolific than I.  A lot of other fabulous work got done.

Such happy colors in this finished quilt top.

January 2015

January 2015

Love this romantic table runner.


Cheryl works on an art quilt.  Can you see the Chicago skyline?IMG_1037

Hanging the pieces up on the wall helps with color placement.IMG_1038

Love these hand appliqued hearts.IMG_1039

Most quilters are strippers at one time or another!


If you don’t sew, you would be surprised how long it takes to sew all these little pieces together. (And to make all the points and corners match).

IMG_1041 IMG_1042

Fun baby quilts

lots of elephants

lots of elephants


cute fabric!IMG_1080


More wonderful piecing.  We all worked very hard.

More stripping!

More stripping!

Everyone does their own thing, so we get quite a variety.

quilting retreat at Illinois State Beach Resort IMG_1068 IMG_1045

Wow!  All those little pieces.  Amazing what you can get done if someone else cooks for you!  Striking!IMG_1081

Bev ( my roomie) models her new apron. IMG_1084

She also finished this small quilt.  It just needs the binding around the edges.

Bev's Quilt

Bev’s Quilt

A more modern slant IMG_1086

So what did I do for two whole days?  Make a big mess, mostly!

Pam's creative workplace

Pam’s creative workplace

I brought a lot of bright, fun fabrics purchased just for the occasion.

Quilter's candy

Quilter’s candy

I don’t need no fancy machine!  I’ve been sewing on this little gem for over 46 years! ( I started in my childhood–I’m not THAT old!)

Pam's Singer Featherweight

Pam’s Singer Featherweight

I did manage to finish 13 star blocks.  Haven’t quite decided how I will put them together.  I just design as I go.

Pam's star block fun

Pam’s star block fun

I put some borders on the 13th block.  I think it will make a fun wallhanging when it is quilted.

Improvisational pieced block by Pam Schoessow

Improvisational pieced block by Pam Schoessow

Well, that’s all folks.  Hope you enjoyed the pics.




Baby Quilts for Charity

I thought I would check back and let you know how  I have been doing finishing my UFO’s.   Well it’s hard to dig into my pile of unfinished projects if I keep starting new ones!  But these I have at least started AND finished–and I’ve made a dent in my stash as well.  My quilt guild provides quilts for a women’s and children’s shelter in our area, so these will go to a good home.

baby quilt stack for charityInstead of trying to follow a pattern, I took fabrics that seemed to go together and just started sewing pieces together in a “Gwen Marston” fashion.

Baby in Green  IMG_0585 IMG_0580 IMG_0587I kept adding pieces until I had a quilt top about 40 x 40 inches.  Then I tried to make them a little more interesting by adding some simple applique that I attached with my long arm.  It’s “raw edge” applique so the edges might curl up a little when washed, but I think that will just add some interesting texture.IMG_0584  IMG_0586 I tried to simulate a blanket stitch on the these stars. IMG_0588It make a quick finish, I brought the backing fabric around to the front to do a mock binding.



I had so much fun making these quilts.  They were simple, yet I was able to use my creativity AND use up some of my stash of fabrics.  I am ashamed to admit, that I probably have the materials on hand to make a hundred more!  I may not have time to make that many, but I will definitely make more.  It feels good to use my  time for such a worthy cause.

Now I just need to wash and dry them before our guild meeting tonight.