Winter Quiltfest 2017 was absolutely one of the most fun weekend retreats I’ve ever been to! It was my first quilting retreat, but that doesn’t matter; it was AMAZING! I did the whole package for Winter Quiltfest; I arrived Wednesday afternoon and stayed all the way until Sunday. I took 5 different classes and learned all sorts of different techniques. The organizers for the event had table favors for every meal, door prizes, trunk shows, quilt raffles, vendors, and even the first ever quilt show. I met people from all around the Utah area, and a few ladies from Columbus, LA, and Seattle. Everyone was so nice and friendly I definitely want to attend next year!
The featured teacher(s) this year were the sisters from Sew Kind of Wonderful. Helen and Sherilyn where there to teach, but Jenny had to be home with her kids. They were so down to earth and absolutely a joy to learn from. The first class I took was Chic Country. I had actually bought the pattern and the Quick Curve Ruler (QCR) last April during the Twin Cities Shop Hop but never had the guts to actually start making the quilt. When I saw these ladies were teaching this quilt, I was all in! This pattern is so neat because it looks great but is really just one block repeated. The colors and the orientation of the block creates the circular pattern in the quilt. The other thing is their patterns are really forgiving. By forgiving I mean the blocks get trimmed down after the curves are sewn, and the points aligning or not getting chopped off isn’t a big problem. The bias stretch in fabrics can inadvertently cause the block to be a little wonky so squaring the blocks after really helps compensate. I was able to finish one of the blocks during the 3 hour class. I had brought my scraps of Blueberry Park fabrics to create the block. Prior to the class, I had spent over an hour attempting to decide which fabrics I would use but couldn’t come up with any sort of resolution. The Blueberry Park fabric looked great in this block! If you look closely, you can see that I chopped off all my points on accident. But it doesn’t detract from the overall look of the block. I am still trying to decide what fabric I want to use to make this quilt. I have been thinking I will do a black and white solids quilt with a accent color, definitely more to come!
The next class I took was “Good Day” taught by Leslie Bergeson. Good Day is a pattern in Yoko Saito’s Scrap Valley book and is a paper pieced pattern. Leslie is local to Utah and was so insightful for tips on paper piecing. She taught us tips on not using the add-a-quarter ruler by folding the paper on the seams to align the fabric. Also her tips on how to remove copy paper from paper piecing was awesome. Tip: Score the seams on the paper side of the piece with a blunt stick (like a pen cap or chopstick) and then remove the paper from the inside of the piece to the border. The only downside to this quilt is needing 126 blocks to complete it. Each block is taking me about 30 minutes to do. I completed 4 in class and another 4 during open sewing time, so only 118 left to go. Yikes, this may be a long term project!
Windswept was a class taught by Marian Gallian, the author of Dresden Carnival. The entire book has all these cute dresden shapes. The Windswept flower is made with the an appliqued part onto the dresden petal to create the rotating look. I attempted to fussy cut my fabric which obviously was not the best. I was able to confirm that I applique correctly even though I always have knots and use double thread. It’s a habit from when I learned to hand sew as a child that I probably will never break. The shapes in this quilt are all hand-cut from the fabric and will eventually be appliqued to the larger background. The applique of the smaller pieces is actually great for things to do while I travel! Hopefully I can get this quilt finished while on the road for work.
I took another class with Helen and Sherilyn called Mod Dots. This is a pattern that was written specifically for Winter Quiltfest. The pattern shows these really cool dots, but the pieces can be repositioned to be very different designs. I am so enamored with the dots…my quilt will show the dots in the pink, blue, and black/gray colors.
My sister also took this class with me and it was her very first quilting class. She did the curves so well on her first time using the method that Helen and Sherilyn taught! I am so proud and I think she’s hooked on quilting!
The last class I took was called Starkiss by Maho Schwartz. It was a star paper piecing pattern. My sister also took this class with me and learned how to paper piece for the first time. I believe I found a typo in the pattern when we got to the borders because mine didn’t turn out correctly in relation to the sample. I’ll be emailing Maho so she knows as well since we tested the corrections on my sister’s block. These will end up being pillow covers.
My Sister’s Block
Before heading back to the airport, I went to visit Rhonda Walker for the first time! I am so lucky to have her longarm my quilts. She’s so nice and has such a great little shop and setup at her house. I was able to pick up my 2016 Craftsy BOM quilt that she finished and also bought more fabric! I can’t wait to get the binding on this quilt. I feel like it shows my progression through 2016 from a beginner quilter to who I am now.
It was really sad to have to come home and back to reality, but I’m so jazzed about these new projects! I hope next year, there will be even more people I know who will attend!
One last thing – I was able to put together my photo inspiration for the Mighty Lucky Challenge for January.
top left: rain drop patterns on the window
top right: the lights and windows in the red building
bottom left: the simplicity of the hotel lobby fire place
bottom right: the symmetry of the beds and artwork in the hotel room.
Now I just need to actually make a quilt design out of these inspirations!
1/31-2/7 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Thursday PM and Monday PM (so little time this week!)
Projects I want to work on:
America’s Garden Quilt
Modern Building Blocks
Quilter’s Planner Block
2016 Craftsy BOM
Goals for the Projects:
America’s Garden Quilt: Complete 1 Block
Modern Building Blocks: Complete 4 Blocks
Quilter’s Planner Block: Complete this week’s block
2016 Craftsy BOM: Finish Binding