Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lake House Retreat Feb. 2012 Chapter 3

Chapter 3
Lake House Retreat

Ann...the lady behind these blocks...is an amazing woman and these are some blocks she was making for a friends grandchild.  What are pix without a good story right?

Let me tell you a bit about Ann and how she and I met......I was 40 years old...yes 40 and my husband's employer had gone bankrupt so he and I sold our home and went to PA to stay with his parents for what we thought would be 4-6 weeks. Aaron was 22 months old and Zach was 5 months old. I arrive in PA and the boys got sick....you know how Mom's with babies can be....especially two little ones....no matter what my age, I was still a "new Mom."
I went into the pediatrician's office and we are seen by the Nurse Practitioner. This woman, Ann, explains everything that is going on with the boys....tells me how the medication will or won't work and provides me with enough information to feel confident that I can handle the situation and where to call if something unexpected happens. I wanted to hug her.....in my heart.... Ann is the Guardian Angel of young Mothers....she gave me strength when I needed it and has given me 7 years of wisdom since that first meeting. The world is a much brighter place because Ann is in it!
 This is a much better photo of Ann....she is the first gal in the photo....followed by another angel...Kay...then by two other lovely women Donna and Leona.
 Here are a few more of those blocks....I think they are so cute.  The baby will have all those textures to play with too...the ric-rac and the layered fabrics....that's one lucky baby :)
 Another scrap quilt made by MJ.  She and I played with fabrics for the sashing and borders on Friday night....it took a few different pieces until we came upon one that worked well.  There are very few pieces of anything interesting left in her scrap basket....trust me...I had to search to find a little piece for my Cathedral Windows practice piece.

This is the view from the back of the Lake House....it is absolutely beautiful...I love the mountains of PA......I kept taking photos of where I was so I could take you all along with me...through the pictures.

Panning the camera to the left from the back porch of the Lake House....more beauty.
 Then back to MJ's after the retreat....while driving from the Lake House to MJ's I had this thought....
If I were to ever go to jail ....it needs to be in PA....even a 20 year sentence would end in what feels like a week.....because I was here for 4 days and it went by in 15 minutes....time goes faster in PA than anywhere in the world....honestly!  I blinked and now I'm here in Perrysburg writing a blog post...how did that happen?  (I guess I'm starting to sound like my Grandmother...she always said she didn't know where the time went.)
 A view of the mountain behind MJ's house....even with the dark gray skys...it is a beautiful place.

On my way out of town....I made a quick pit stop.....I just wanted to see Ann one more time and she is not too far from the freeway....so I drove quickly up that moutain that she lives on to give her another hug.  Many of you long-timers will remember the post of me chasing the chickens at Ann's house.  This is her chicken coop.....and I thought I'd brag to all my other friends that I know a woman who owns her own gated community.....folks don't necessarily need to know the "gated community" is a community of chickens....:)

As I was driving off Ann's mountain....I looked down the road and there were several deer crossing the road.....good thing I'm quick with a camera....

Back home to my monkeys....of course I made a hat for each one of them....
 they love their hats and Zach wore his the entire evening....
 where does the time go?

I've had a lot of inquiries as to the pattern for the quilt that these gals made....I called it the PA block...this is what the quilts look like:


The girls did a block swap....and it can be made in any size.  Here is the link to the instructions published by Quilter's Newsletter back in Sept. of 04. 

I think the girls made 10 blocks each month and 10 alternate blocks so each person got one set each month.  I heard it was a challenge keeping track of who had done what and perhaps if each person participating got a set a month or had a large enverlope with their name on it and a set was put in each month...with one person keeping track of the month and the persons name.

I wish I had participated....and I don't have the organizational skills or time to organize a block swap like this one....but if anyone wants to start a group...please let me know because I would love to make a quilt like this one.

Smiles,
Kelly

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Lake House Retreat Feb. 2012 Second Chapter

Chapter Two ...at the Lake House

 Lois brought this wall hanging for a show and tell.  I think it was her guild who had a challenge...to make a tree quilt that reflects yourself.  I thought it was a neat idea.  Lois said the autumn colors represents that she is in the autumn of her life.  She quilted leaves throughout and on the back....
 she wrote things she likes and things that represent her....isn't that a great idea? 
Lois and Eleanor working in front of the beautiful windows and some real characters in the background...LOL.
 I brought my featherweight and realized it didn't come with a 1/4 inch foot.  Then my girlfriend said....be sure your 1/4 inch is the same if you started the quilt on another machine.  OH BOY am I glad she said that!!!  I just changed back to my newer machine to avoid any potential problems...the last thing I want is a varation in my seam allowances.

Eleanor had read that if you put 1/4 cup of cheap vodka into 2 cups of water it is as good as Best Press.  So...she went to work with a blind study of her own.  She cut three squares and on one she put nothing, on 2 she put Best Press and on 3 she sprayed the vodka and water.  After pressing each piece she went around and had each of us feel the fabrics and vote on which one we thought was on the fabric....sort of like a Pepsi/Coke taste test sort of thing.
 The results?  Most folks picked out the Best Press but it was clean it was very difficult to tell the difference.  I think I was the only one who said there was something on a piece of fabric with nothing on it....so you know I'm not reliable when it comes to the blind tests....now if she had let me lick the fabric...I would have known for sure!!!  I guess if one is uses the water and vodka....at least if you screw up your stitches you can just take off the sprayer and begin drinking to relieve your frustrations.

I got a big bang out of this one.  Brenda had discovered you can buy Valentine candy corn.  Personally I don't care for candy corn but apparently there is a sincere appreciation for these tri-colored little triangles.  You may note....this is breakfast...YES...first thing in the morning...

 Bonnie and Brenda proudly showing off the candy corn ...all at breakfast....perhaps it provides just the right amount of fuel necessary to spend the day sewing....because that is what they both did :)
 This Marj's quilt that she was working on last year at retreat.  She paper pieced this one and I know she must be really glad it is finished....I know I would be!

 Another on of Marj's quilts.  This is her Baltimore Album quilt finished.  The Tuesday Applique Group (all of these gals and a few more) meet every Tuesday.  Last year they decided they would each make a needle turn Baltimore Album quilt....several have finished them.  I was told my MJ that I probably shouldn't consider starting one....even through I wish I had made one....she was and is right about me not starting one because I'd just feel bad that they other gals had theirs done and I'd still be on my first block.  Perhaps another time in my life.....I'm looking forward to doing one....someday :)
Marj's Pennsylvania Block quilt....they all came out so nice.....
 and one of Marj's UFO's completed. 
 Donna made this quilt from the book, Birds of a Feather.  She brought fabric to pre-view for the border....
 I think she found one she liked and will probably have this one finished the next time I see her.  I can't wait.
This is a charity quilt made by the girls....these are just flip and sew squares....
 you take strips of fabric and sew them to a piece of flanel or muslin and just sew and flip....and then they cut them and re-pieced them.  This is a great way to use up a ton of scraps.  It seems no matter what the fabric looks like it always looks good on these quilts.
 Chris brought some hand applique ...I think it is one of her Baltimore Album quilt blocks...but I can't remember for sure.
 Here it doesn't look like much...but when Chris gets the fabric cut away and stitched this will be one stunning block. 
 Bonnie brought a little treat for everyone....and we found them on our machines....soooo sweet!

Bonnie also introduced me to a new tool...the Clover Ball Point Awl.  Lets just say some un-named President of our guild had a few blocks that needed to be un-assembled...LOL.  Bonnie and I offered to assist in the process to make it less painful for the sewer...(giggling).   Bonnie pulled out her Clover Ball Point Awl.  I had never seen one before so you know I was curious.
 I wondered what made this Awl different from the one's I have and I'm telling you this is one nifty tool....leave it to Clover to have another wonderful tool.
 Check out the tip....it is rounded so it won't poke into your fabric and Bonnie just slipped it under the stitches and pulled them out.  She said she loves it when she does her machine quilting....Brilliant!!
A retreat wouldn't be complete without June the massuse.  June gives the best massage I've ever had in my life...and I've had quite a few.  I don't go to PA without a visit to see June.  Her idea of a full body massage is 2 hours....no kidding.  Joyce called June and scheduled her to come on Saturday afternoon....anyone who wanted one got a chair massage.  All I can say is the girls on the list after me were really lucky I ever got out of that chair....I'm talking bliss....all muscles relaxed afterwards.

More soon....

Smiles,
Kelly
ps...I clicked on spell check...nothing came up...I bet it is just down right now so if you see something spelled in an intersting fashion...I ment to do that!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Lake House Retreat Feb. 2012

LAKE HOUSE RETREAT FEB 2012 in Short Chapters
Chapter One

MJ and I arrive at the Lake House and get our things unloaded....it was only a short time later that each one of these beautiful faces began arriving.....

 Leona and Donna checking out the free fabric piles....I took 3 boxes of free fabric and I was determined not to bring one piece back home (determination smer--mination....I brought back a box of leftovers...can you believe that?)

 Philly aka Phyllis and Ruby with Bonnie her daughter

MJ succumb to participating in a Pennsylvania Block swap....lets just say MJ's favorite quilting is applique blocks....not pieced blocks.  She was pleasantly surprised how pretty this quilt turned out.  I wish  I had participated....I love those quilts.  No matter how weird the fabric (there is a Halloween spider web...black on orange) the quilt turns out beautiful when the smaller squares are neutral fabrics.  Believe it or not....the neutrals are not even the same fabric....impressive isn't it?
 Couldn't pass up taking a pix of this fun mug caddy.  Kay made one for each of us for Christmas....they are just perfect for travel.
 MJ gave a tutorial a few months back.  She taught the gals to do hand pieced Cathedral Windows and Donna brought hers to work on.  Someone you might know also learned to make Cathedral Windows and you just might see an example in a future post.

Joyce makes fleece hats for the children in the cancer ward at a PA hospital.  They keep the children's heads warm while they are going through their treatments.
 In three days, the gals made a total of 58 hats (not all shown) .....there will be some warm heads in PA :)

Ruby sleeps right next to Philly's body...yep...under the shirt!
 Sometimes a gal just needs a wee bit of a nap....then someone goes and picks on her....who would do that?  Some un-named character just so happened to mention she had not seen a woman Philly's age so pregnant....

Then her restful peace was interrupted with laughter....and there was lots of that this past weekend.

Marge working on a UFO.....all hand quilted.... 


Talk about a treasure.....
 Speaking of treasures.....Kay is hand quilting her Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt....started in 2002.


Stay tuned.....I have an appointment this morning....so I'm off...but I'll be back :)

Smiles,
Kelly

Monday, February 6, 2012

I'm Back & Announcing the Spotlight on Neutrals Winner...Finally

Remember this post?  It is hard to believe I couldn't get onto the internet long enough to announce the winner of Pat Wys wonderful book, Spotlight on Neutrals  but I couldn't until now.


Congratulations to the winner :  Ava K



Ava, please e-mail your full name and address to IHaveANotion@yahoo.com and I'll get your book and fat quarters in the mail to you.

All the photos from retreat are coming soon....I need to get them off the IPhone and into this computer.  After a google search of how to do this....I'll be back :)

Smiles,
Kelly

Friday, February 3, 2012

UNCLE

Remember when you were a kid and you said, Uncle...meaning I give up or I quit.  Well....this evening at 11:30 PM...after several hours invested in getting my technology to work....I am saying UNCLE.


This was the only photo that has loaded....so I'm going with the flow....LOL.  I'm not thinking there is anyone on this planet that is holding their breath to see what I'm up to....so I'm just going to enjoy reading in bed and shut this bot off.  I've heard you gotta know when to walk away...and when ya gotta run....I'm running away from this technological frustration....best yet...I'm not even gonna do spell check....oh yeah...I'm feeling the freedom now!!!

Smiles,
Kelly

Have Arrived Safely

Once again I've had some technical difficulties but I'm back on the net.  My IPhone died yesterday..out of no where...and then today it is back on.  Honestly I wonder if I have those strange hormones that has a strange effect on electronics : )

Since loading photos is taking so long...I'm just going to say I'll post later this afternoon or early evening.  I didn't forget to announce the winner for the giveaway.....I just have to get this computer to work faster here in the mountains.

Smiles,
Kelly

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