Wednesday, June 13, 2018

One woman quilting retreat


Angel and I are alone on the boat this week while DH Sean is at a conference in Dallas. We've decided to pretend that we're at a quilting retreat, with nothing to do but relax, sew and eat! I've been doing the quilting and she's been "testing." 


The boat is docked at a marina to make it easier for Sean to get to the airport, and to have access to power and water. The power has been great, allowing me to luxuriate in cool, dry air conditioning day and night. The water has been...off. Being fixed. Fixed tomorrow, ma'am. Maybe Monday, ma'am. Poor Dudley the Dockmaster finally admitted that they needed parts from the US to fix the water, and offered to drag a hose all the way down the dock to fill our tank. Six hoses, actually: it's a long dock.


I'm grateful to Dudley, because I really wanted to get a few quilts washed. By yesterday, I had finished quilting and binding these three, so they got a trip to the "spa" and are now washed, dried, and ready for their new homes. Don't they look jaunty up on the foredeck of our little shippy ship?


This first one is called Wild Horses (Couldn't Drag Me Away). Many moons ago, I bought a small lot of fabric on eBay because I wanted the bright, running horses on a black background. When the fabric arrived, there were several rail fence blocks already sewn, and lots of strips of horses cut. The strips ran both parallel and perpendicular to the horses' direction, but I figured by the time I twisted and turned all the rail blocks, that wouldn't matter. I added a few more brights from my stash to round out the rail fences, added a couple of borders, and voila!


Here's a close up that shows the simple stipple quilting I did. The fun, busy design didn't need any more than that. Wild Horses will go to Wrap A Smile.


Counting Fishes will also be heading to the Wrap A Smile charity, to help comfort a child undergoing surgery for a cleft palate. You may remember that this fabric was given to me by Karen. The bold, bright fish and big numbers dominate, and it has a little rhyme in small text, too. I really love using happy novelty fabrics like this. The fish have such sweet smiles!


This one got simple wavy line quilting to mimic flowing water. A fun, Juicy Fruit stripe matches the colors perfectly for the border. I wish I had another couple yards of that stripe; it's super versatile!

 

The third quilt is a little larger, and is just the right size for Quilts Beyond Borders. I'm calling it Butterfly Banners. Made of orphan blocks, I had fun quilting this one with a few different, easy motifs.


First I stitched in the ditch around each purple sashed area for stability. The four patches and sixteen patches have a curvy orange peel motif. I changed thread color a couple of times to try to match, but it's a bit tricky with brights and white right next to each other. The scrappy HST butterflies are simply outlined.
 

The banners have a diagonal, offset cross hatch design in light blue. I love that scooter fabric! Finally, the background field has a stipple in white thread. The pretty white with soft violets was given to me by Sean's aunt, left over from her years working at Laura Ashley. I'm happy with the turquoise striped binding, too. 


Here's a quick peek at the backings, courtesy of the gusty breezes. I was lucky to find single pieces of coordinating fabrics for each quilt that were just the right size. All these charity quilts have machine sewn binding and that goes zippy fast. It takes me about 40 minutes, total, to sew the binding to the back, flip it to the front, and finish stitching it down. I know many of you love the serenity of hand stitching binding, but I HATE doing it. Seriously, if I hadn't figured out that I could machine bind, I'd have given up on quilting after about 3 finishes.



This quilt was still under the needle when Dudley brought the hose, so it hasn't been washed yet. I'm trying to batch them together to fill the machine and not waste any water. Scrappy Asian-inspired chunks from my stash make up this soft piece. Originally I thought it would go to Covered in Love, but it has whispered to me that it might have another destiny. Nothing specific, just a hunch. Fortunately, I have two other CiL quilts queued up.


The back of the as-yet-unnamed-and-unassigned quilt is made of large squares of tan neutrals. I'm not sure how I ended up with so many of these blah prints, but they work well together as this backing. My stash of blah fuglies is now reduced, so win-win!


I was clearly on a roll with the stippling, and used it again for overall coverage. I do a mean stipple. "Mean," as in, "half of all quilters stipple better than Louise, and half stipple worse." Good enough for softness, drape and texture.


And finally, this was tonight's sunset over Nassau harbour. Every time I read about someone else's quilting retreat, there are always photos of the lovely setting, so here ya go. Like at all good quilt retreats, alcohol and dessert were consumed while enjoying the view.

40 comments:

Louise said...

I enjoy your comments immensely! Thank you for stopping by.

Cathy said...

Super great quilts! I love that stripey binding fabric too. What a productive “retreat” you had! It would have been fun to join you, LOL. And come to think of it, five years ago this week I was in Nassau.... Catkiz (at) Xmission (dot) com

Kate said...

Looks like you've had a very productive retreat. Congrats on all the finishes!

KaHolly said...

Your many finishes are so joyful! It tickles me to see the fish blocks all sewn up and looking so precious in a completed quilt. Thank you ! Stay sweet!

Paige said...

Now, that's what I call a quilting retreat! Lovely progress and hope you have water soon!

Valerie Reynolds said...

Oh I just love the idea of you releasing in being docked while Sean is away and being so productive. I think “at home” retreats are just As rejuvinating as big ones....exp. if they are furled with yummy desserts and beverages!!! Your striped binding caught my eye too!

Lisa Marie said...

I love seeing your projects and taking photos of them on the boat is wonderful! I am so impressed by all the charity quilts you make. It looks like a lovely setting for a quilt retreat.

Debbie said...

Productive in paradise, I say!!! Love your quilts and the photo on the ship is wonderful. Sounds like a very grand retreat.

Lynn said...

Gorgeous quilts. If machine binding means you keep doing them, hurrah I say! Lovely stripes and the stippling looks fine. A Quilty hug is always welcome I'm sureπŸ˜€

Heide said...

I love seeing your beautiful quilts on the boat. How fun for the other boaters to see the quilts during you photo shoot. Lovely work! enjoy your alone time with your sewing machine and quilts!

Lisa J. said...

I love your discription of your mean stipple. They are wonderful donation quilts and yes the white boat makes a perfect backdrop.

Kat said...

Whoo, lots of great finishes!

JanineMarie said...

Sounds like a perfect quilting retreat. (Well except the water issue, but I’m glad to here there was a fix for that.) I’m still amazed at how you are able to churn out such beauties with your “limited” fabric supply on this voyage. Did you sort of plan them ahead of time (for example, the tan squares for the one backing) to be sure you had enough of what you needed? Also, I’m wondering if you’ve discovered any unexpected fabric sources along the way.

The Colorful Fabriholic said...

Wow, very productive solo retreat! You've been busy! I can't imaging how you manage to sew - and keep all your stash - on a boat. Your quilts look lovely displayed on it. Good luck with the water situation.

Tu-Na Quilts said...

Oh, Louise, you had me giggling with the last sentence. The only thing missing was some good conversation and giggles with the gals. But then you probably got a whole lot more done than what usually occurs at retreats. Great accommodations and view on your retreat and you didn't have to drag your machine into and out of a car trunk or realize that you forgot some important pieces of quilting equipment.

Tammy said...

Great post! I love your stippling. So much better than my plain old stitch in the ditch. I saved your sunset pic to my screensaver...gorgeous photo!

PaulaB quilts said...

What a perfect location for a Quilting retreat. Where do you ever find room on the boat for your stash and a longarmer? I'm always amazed at so many fun and lovely fabrics you use. You know that all of us are with you in spirit.

Louise said...

This "leaving a comment on your own blog" thing only works when you subscribe to the comments. Doh! Trying again...

Danette Stankovich said...

This is just wonderful! I love your quilts and I am a boater, also. However, we have a 1987 21' Cuddy - no way near your awesome boat. Although, we are looking for a newer one. Enjoy your summer and your retreat!

Liz said...

Wow, that is a lot of quilts you finished! How nice to have nothing to do but quilt, eat, and relax. One of these days I'll manage to do a retreat! I really love the Wild Horses quilt, and I think it's great that when things arrived not what you expected, you just went with it.

KatieQ said...

That's an awesome variety of quilts. I really love the rail fence quilt made with Asian fabrics. Angel must be a great partner to have during a retreat.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

Your projects are always so much fun to see, Louise! I love the horses and their bright striped companion pieces. The orphan block quilt is great, too - I really like the way you put them together. You got a lot done on your retreat!

Mystic Quilter said...

Lucky you having a few days to retreat with Angel, your quilting, a glass of winew and superb sunset!

Nicki said...

Love the retreat quilts & glad you had a friend with you to test them out. All your bright colored quilts just make me smile & feel happy. I wish I had accumulated more brights when I was building a stash. The sunset was a beautiful sight to complete the retreat. Thanks for all you do for all the charities you sew for.

Vicki in MN said...

Louise, you certainly know how to put on a one woman quilt reteat. I knew you would have pedal to the medal this week!! They all look fabulous and will be well received.

Needled Mom said...

Other than the water issue, it sounds like a productive and fun retreat - including the sunset. Great finishes too.

Fiona said...

you did so well at your retreat.... lots got done..... lovely spot for it too and perfect setting for finished quilts!

Hugz

Bonnie said...

What a great retreat. Sewing, wine, a furry friend and getting to sleep in your own bed! Lack of water is an issue but was taken care of! Wild Horses is a wonderful quilt --fun colors and prints. Nice job. And, ha! your quilting is wonderful. I don't see anything wrong with your stippling. It looks great to me. (Said by the lady who uses her computer to guide the long arm while stippling. Talk about lazy!) great use of your orphan blocks. Um, really, those beiges weren't all that boring if you ask me. I don't use a lot of beige but every once in awhile it is a perfect color for a project!

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Great photos of the quilts on the deck of your ship. And how great was that to get a backing photo courtesy of the breeze. So nice you turned your time alone into a quilt retreat! That's optimism!

Janie said...

I haven't visited in a while so I thought I'd drop in to check out your retreat.
Sounds fun and you are prolific as usual. And you have a good quilt buddy keeping an eye on
quality control.
Hopefully your water situation gets fixed soon.
Keep up the great work, very inspiring!

Carole @ Fresh off the Frame said...

What a productive retreat! I enjoyed your decriptions of each quilt, and that they are earmarked for such loving causes. Well done, you! Alcohol and dessert were well earned. (And yay for reducing the fuglies! Ha!)

Kathleen said...

Those quilts are so great, and I do love my retreats when I get them. Hope the water comes soon. Love seeing all the quilts on the boat, such a great venue. So nice of the wind to help you show the backs! Oh, and congrats on your playtime plus win!

Janine @ Rainbow Hare said...

I thinks it's wonderful that you made your own quilt retreat and I've never seen a better view on any of those 'real' retreat posts :) Your quilts look great individually and displayed on your boat. I can't imagine how you whip up so many :)

KaHolly said...

Hear your back in the states! Welcome home!

Sandy said...

Wait a minute. I thought you had a one woman retreat every day being on that boat! I guess it's different when Hubby is gone, though. Your finishes are looking good! (And I don't believe for a minute you would quit quilting if it weren't for machine binding. You love it too much!)

Adventurous Quilter said...

A one woman quilt retreat sounds heavenly 😁🀣😍

Susie Q said...

I have read a lot of blogs and about quilt retreats but yours is the first on a boat. What a fantastic place to be quilting in. I have seen quite a few ladies who quilt in their fifth wheels and they look amazing too. I take my quilting away with us but as we stay in a cottage in the Highlands of Scotland it is not much different to being at home except for the wonderful views!

Love the quilts especially the fishes and quite appropriate for your current home!!!

Hugs, Susie x

Crystal_235 said...

Lots of pretty quilts.

Nancy said...

What an entertaining post to read. Glad you linked with Val today, or I would have missed your post.
I, too, would have given up on bindings if I hadn't discovered how to sew binding totally by machine--and it saves so much time. I'm not sure I could live on a boat for very long, but it sounds like it is a nice life, except for getting the water fixed.

Marcy said...

It's like a one man quilt show. Thanks so much for sharing your quilts with so much inspiration.