Take A Chance on Improv: the Retreat

Has life become a mad rush of family constraints, work commitments, house construction and social engagements?
Time to rejuvenate yourself with a creative get-away!

There’s a certain freedom that comes to mind when I think of 3-4 days of simply creating art in the midst of like-minded individuals. My only focus is on fabric, sketchbook ideas and a design wall, with someone else providing tasty meals, bonus points for contemplative surroundings and a puzzle-solving hike or two. Such was a recent Quilty retreat experience.2015BAMRetreatAAlthough I brought several ‘projects in progress’ (PIPs) so I wouldn’t get stuck, I spent a bit of time on ‘philly’ sewing (for charity/philanthropy) and the 4 planned Improv exercises. Sometimes that happens when you ‘take a chance on Improv.’ 😉

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‘Finish it’ February

After years of focusing on the same quilt, I’m happy to say that there are already 8 projects on my WIP list for 2015, including a sampler. Hmm… It’s a good thing that the annual Spring retreat is this month. I could use some time to focus on sewing.
Saturday morning, N and I made progress on our Improv Charity Blocks from Cheryl Arkison’s workshops. 2015FinishImprovCharityPiecing

There are now twelve 15″ blocks total: her 3, my 3, Cheryl’s 3 and the 3 we just made. I sewed the top together and next we will look for red backing fabrics.
2015FinishImprovCharityTopTop finished. Check!

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Happiness Rocks

My weekends have been a blur this year and I’ve spent much of my time being wonderfully creative: One retreat spent figuring out whether digital photo album design is my direction, another, helping friends bottle a barrel of wine. 2015HappyBottling
However, last weekend, I created stuff!

My client requested colorful cards for her annual birthday set. I designed them with a thoughtful stamp and silk flowers. My process was to cut the paper and stamp, then coordinate flowers and assemble, finishing with a blingy brad for sparkle. By the time I’d finished 50, I had a vibrant garden on my desk!
2015HappyBdayCard 2015HappyBdayCards

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Labor of Love

Another Autumn Retreat in Marin brings the saga of my ‘Labor of Love’ Heart quilt closer AND (sigh) further from completion.

Heart Quilt BackingLet me start by saying that I almost finished the backing Saturday. Seems I only had a 24” x 95” piece of the burgundy left, so I split it for the two outside borders and pieced the middle with all the leftover 3-6” strips. It looks so nifty and could be a quilt on its own. Other quilters would say I was crazy to be putting so much work into a backing, so I decided this would be reversible! It’s a traditionally pieced design on one side and the modern stripes on the other. Yeah, I’m crazy.

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Lucky 13

Thirteen years ago, I embarked on a ‘Labor of Love’ as it were.

As the story goes, in 1998, I wanted to make a nifty Holiday quilt, but I wanted some practice first. So I planned a quilt-a-month project for 1999 to get warmed up. My Heart Quilt was only the second quilt on the list. [Insert heavy sigh here] It was a great start, sewing and piecing the hearts together that February. Unfortunately, the corner blocks stumped me and nothing I tried looked right. I shelved the project momentarily, but between travel, distractions and moving to another house, the better part of the decade zipped by with little more than a passing glance in 2003 & 2005 as I still had no better idea about how to finish those corners.

Then, I started going to March & September quilting retreats in 2009 and soaking up the knowledge and inspiration of my quilting collective. After my ‘Tie-land hiatus,’ I worked out the corner quandary and was emboldened in the home stretch to declare a brilliant decision to use Prairie Points around the border.

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Picking up where I left off: Marin Quilt Retreat 3/13/09

There’s nothing like having three full days to focus on Kreativity!

Earlier this spring, I got the call asking if I could fill in for an attendee who was unable to make the March quilting retreat. Would I be able to swing it last minute? Would I ever!

I have been percolating several projects for the past 2-9 years without scheduling time to complete them. How fabulous to have this offered now!

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