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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3 Watercolor Quilt Blocks

Here are three more of my mini paintings.  All are 4″ x 4″ and are watercolor on aquaboard.  

I’m continuing my quilting theme.

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I really appreciate all the supportive comments I have received about my paintings.  Thank you!

 

My Quilting Studio

I actually have a few quilting “studios”.  I have taken over my living room and two upstairs bedrooms for my quilting obsession.  That doesn’t even count the boxes and bins in the hallway and basement that are overflowing with fabric and unfinished vintage quilt tops.  Even then, the work often overflows into my family and dining rooms.  My poor family has to put up with it all.  But no one complains.  I painted this little sign just for fun.  Maybe I need to make several!

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Pineapple Quilt Nearing Completion

As I told  you a while back, I took a workshop from Gyleen Fitzgerald called “Scappy Pineapple” .  Well I have finally finished 16 blocks that I think will make a nice table topper or wall hanging.  Here is my finished block.  I pieced it in a “controlled scrappy” fashion.

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I took my colors from this focus fabric that I just love:IMG_0855

It’s “controlled scrappy” because although I used lots of different prints, I used the same red fabric in the centers and corners.  I also saved the black to use in the last round of the pineapple.  This creates a secondary design when all the blocks are put together.  Here’s what it looks like.

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Now I’m thinking about borders.  I want to use my focus fabric for sure, but I also want a skinny inner border.  I’ve narrowed the small border down to two color choices.  Here’s the “audition”.

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What do you think?  The black is the natural choice, but I kind of like the “pop” of the turquoise.  I would really appreciate some input before I complete the top.  So should it be the black or turquoise?  You choose.