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

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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.

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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!

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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).

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Fun baby quilts

lots of elephants

lots of elephants

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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.

 

 

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UFO’s–Not the Space Kind

If you are a quilter, you are very familiar with UFO’s (Un-Finished Objects).  Dedicated quilters (and other crafters) have a LOT of those.  I have too many to count.  I buy all the materials, start a project, and then move on to something else before I ever finish.  Some times I just buy the fabric and never start at all!  Well, I’ve dedicated this month to FINISHING!  I thought I would share some of these UFO’s and then let you know in the coming days of my progress.

Here are a few of the unfinished things I found lying around.  I have dozens and dozens, so I will just give you a peek at a few.

 

This little Halloween table topper just needs to be quilted.  Maybe I will add a border.

IMG_0558I found these blocks on Ebay some time ago.  I’d guess they are from the 50’s or 60’s.  They are handpieced.  I added the polka dot and navy fabrics.  I have six blocks.  I could probably make a little lap quilt.

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This little Fall stitchery is almost done.  I hope it looks cuter when is is quilted.

IMG_0546Same with this tiny wallhanging.  It’s my first attempt at hand applique.IMG_0552I’m ashamed to say I have purchased whole quilt kits that I never even started.  I’m not even sure I like them anymore.  If I do tackle them, I will probably update the fabrics.IMG_0542 IMG_0543 IMG_0544 IMG_0545I liked this floral fabric a lot when I bought it years ago and found some coordinating prints.    I started some piecing, thinking to make it into a quilted jacket.  That’s not going to happen.  But it would make a nice charity quilt.IMG_0555 IMG_0556Here are a couple small holiday items.  It wouldn’t take much to finish them.  I just have to have a reason.IMG_0551IMG_0547

Loved the unusual color scheme in these holiday prints.

IMG_0548 IMG_0549These “orphan” blocks I picked up at a guild meeting.  I’m sure I could combine them into nice charity quilt.  Our guild makes quilts for a local shelter for women and children.IMG_0557Well, I could go on and on, but I will stop for now.  Time to get sewing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June Pumpkin

So why am I quilting pumpkins in June?  Well, this block design has been going around in my head for weeks.  I love the Fall colors and pumpkins.  And since our guild bi-annual quilt show is this October, I thought a pumpkin quilt would be just the thing.  So I thought I would start by making one block and see how it goes.

The pumpkin itself is pieced from strips to make it scrappy.   I created the stem and the black “border” (really a block within a block) with improvisational piecing to give it a wonky look.  I used machine applique (with a wide satin stitch) for the leaf and vine.  I also had some fun with the machine quilting.

This small wall hanging  will go in the silent auction at the show.   I’m hoping to make the quilt about twin sized.   I have a few other quilts I have designed (in my head) that I would like to make as well.   I’m not a very fast piecer, so we’ll see what happens.  I’ll post my progress and maybe that will keep me on track as the summer progresses.

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Sampler Quilt

So what I have been doing lately?  Quilting for customers.  This one is a sampler quilt by my good friend, Gale.   The first pic is of the front of the quilt which is essentially a two color sampler.  The other pics are of the back where the quilting really shows up.  I love to quilt sampler quilts (where all the blocks are different).  I get to come up with different designs for each block.

Today I’m spending time working on my own projects.  Our guild has a quilt show coming up and I need to have my things finished by the end of August.  I have several quilts I want to show.  Unfortunately, most of them are still in my head.  That’s because I’m still designing them!    It would be much too easy to follow a purchased pattern.  Will any of these (imaginary) quilts make it to the show?  It’s too soon to tell.

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