My quilt guild does 2 retreats every year — one in person and one virtual. The in-person one never seems to work out for me schedule-wise so I try to make the virtual one. Especially as our numbers grew beyond our local area physically during the pandemic, the virtual one has been a lot of fun to include those living a bit further out.
I used the opportunity to work on a number of charity quilts that I wanted to wrap up. I got 2 fronts done along with the backings, battings and bindings ready to go. You’d be surprised how long those little extra bits take. In my case, they took longer than normal because I was trying to use stash fabric and batting so I was piecing them together. But it feels so good to whittle down that stash. I’ll have posts on them once they’ve been quilted and bound.
I also wrapped up the top of the Fig Leaf Quilt that I started during our guild’s workshop with Tighe Flanagan. The workshop was on precision piecing. This was quite the brain drain to get together since I wanted the golds to look random so I had to have them all laid out and then I had to layout the corresponding triangles in the background fabric. I also had just enough blue fabric because I didn’t cut it out as efficiently as possible. If I had planned ahead more, I would have had more leeway (i.e., I don’t need the flaps that are hanging off the sides since they’ll be trimmed). Again working from stash. Quite pleased with the end result though. Not sure what I’ll end up doing with it . . .
The next project (well, actually the first one I finished during the retreat) was a pair of oven mitts (top image). I used the free Charm Patterns oven mitt pattern. I’ve gotten into bread baking and so when I found this cute fabric on Spoonflower by Claudie C. Bergeron Design, I knew it would be perfect. The only change I made was to make them a bit longer to cover more of my arm.
The mitts have quite a few layers. The outer layer — the tops were bread and the bottoms were heat reflective silver fabric, Pellon Insul-fleece to protect against heat (on both top and bottom), batting (2 layers each on top and bottom), and the lining. I did manage to break a needle sewing the lining to the outside as I was going over a tough seam. When I make these again, I will probably sandwich the batting between both the lining and top fabric like a normal quilt and just have raw edges on the inside and then finish the bottom edge with binding. One of my commercial mitts has that and it doesn’t bother me and would be way easier and faster.
I didn’t grab a lot of photos of the process, but I’ve been playing with reels on Instagram so I did put together a little video (well, 2 because Instagram has length limits) that shows (most of) the process. Unfortunately I couldn’t get them to embed properly, but you can go watch them on Instagram: Part 1 and Part 2. I know clicking out isn’t ideal so I’ll try to find a better way to do this in the future.
Finally, the last project I got done was super fast. This little pin cushion (front and back printed on some nice linen) was included in our retreat gift bag. It took about 5 minutes to do and it’s so super useful! I was using it before the end of the retreat and I have no doubt I’ll continue to use it. So much better than the tiny scraps of fabric I would put needles into that would get lost and end up in random places.
I tend to be pretty good about refreshing my needle each project (maybe one of the best lessons I learned during my first fashion class at Cañada), but every now then you only need to do a seam or two with a different needle and it’s great to save it to use it for a real project later on.
So that’s my wrap-up of my virtual retreat projects! Always a great chance to get some UFOs moving along.