Fireside Retreat Day Five




It's a sad day - the last day of our retreat. While I'm ready to go "home", I always hate the last day. Packing up the car and last-minute sewing to get another part of the project done. But alas - it's the end - for this time. I still have four retreats booked for this year.

Honestly, this virtual sewing retreat has been a HUGE learning curve for me. Well, not so much a learning curve as a revelation. Here's what I learned:


I can survive a five-day retreat with ONE laundry basket of projects. Just BE REALISTIC when packing.  I do not need to panic pack. I touched nothing that was in that bag.  Do your homework BEFORE you go. Everything was prepped. I had double-checked all the items I would need - tools, thread colors, etc. and I didn't have to go shopping or borrow from anyone.  Pack the tools and supplies in a separate box so it's easy to find them. 

I can't wait until the next retreat (we've rebooked this one and let's pray that we're able to go so that I can test my new-found knowledge.

In case you think that I sewed day and night - that wasn't the case. I started at 9 AM, stopped briefly for lunch, when for a long walk (over 1 hour in the afternoon), and stopped around 7 or 8. About the same amount of sewing that I would do at the retreat, except for a shopping trip or two. I accomplished loads! And lots of time to chat with the others via our Messenger chat group. We even got in a video chat or two. If ever there is a next time, we need to do that at least once a day. I thought the quality of the chat was bad, but that's because I can't stream very well from that room (it's far from the router). So I had to come to the kitchen. No big deal.

So what did the others get done yesterday?? Since I couldn't technically take pictures, I'm going solely on what they posted.

Tish finished up this table runner that she had started at the November retreat. Notice how beautifully staged it is?

Tish's table runner  Katheleen got the last of the Martha Washington blocks done for the Snow Days quilt. YEAH!!!!  Hopefully, that's all the pieced blocks she has to make before she can start to sew the quilt together.


Four Martha Washington blocks  Here are two more blocks from Susan's Vintage Christmas. Remember - she is NOT in our group so don't panic that you missed some homework.

Vintage Christmas blocks And Susan shared this storage system that she found at IKEA. It looks like a pegboard, but it's not a pegboard. You can buy all kinds of little containers, hooks, etc. to put stuff on the board. I LOVE it. I've given you the link so you can check it out.


IKEA wall storage system

And what did I get done? OH - I was determined. Very determined. My goal was to get the Easy Street quilt top together. Remember - all the blocks and setting triangles were pieced and hanging on the design wall.

Easy Street is the 2012 mystery quilt by Bonnie Hunter. For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to twirl EVERY seam on the back to reduce bulk. OK - so it does make for a flat quilt, but what a pain. I started when I started to sew it together in 2012.

The sewn seam needs to be twirled 
I had it all laid out with the seams going in the right direction. I was making progress. Then right after lunch, I came back and OH - it appears that I put the wrong setting triangle in this place (half of them were pressed one way and the other half were pressed the other way). When I went to join one of the rows, the seams didn't match. OH - crude. It appears that I was right the first time and shouldn't have changed anything. That meant a wee bit of ripping. I could have finished way before I did. Fortunately, I caught my error before I went too far, but still.


The seams don't nest At one point, this is what it looked like. It's an awesome quilt and I love the colors and how it appears to be moving.

Easy Street - getting finished And there it is. The quilt top is done!!!!!!  Let me say that I was doing the happy dance. This was a lot of work to make the blocks and get the top together. A LOT of work. I'm thrilled with the results.

Easy Street quilt top

Now comes the decision to add a border or not? I think it needs a border even though the quilt is already huge at about 84 inches square.

I tried one of the fabrics in the project box. Nope - too light. But it was the only one that I would have had enough of for the border and the binding. I just need a skinny border - about 2 - 3 inches.

Auditioning fabric for the border
This is more like what I want.


This is much better There isn't enough of that fabric for the borders nor for the binding. I'm going to go shopping today (Chez Elaine) to see if I can find something. If not, that goes on the shopping list when we're allowed out! As much as I would like to finish it now, I'm not going to sacrifice the look I want, just because I can't buy the right color immediately. This won't take long to finish once I get the right color. I'm good with that.


As my ender/leader project, I got all the half-square triangles made for the 11th block of the Mini BOM. 

Half-square triangles made for the mini-BOM
 This morning, I got most of them cut apart and ready to sew. Notice that I'm using my blue mini-design wall?


Laying out the piece of the small block
Oh, shoot - I should have taken a picture of our video chat so I could superimpose it on this picture. I might try to make that happen today. Just for the fun of it. I wasn't thinking fast enough. Actually, I did think of it, but I had left my phone upstairs and was using the iPad for the video chat.


Our photo op bench on the porch at Fireside Retreat

So this is where we normally sit to relax at the retreat. Those red chairs are so comfy and it would have been beautiful to sit out in the sun. Alas, that wasn't to be.

The red chairs at Fireside

However, I can't really complain because this is where I sat yesterday after my walk to enjoy the sun before I went back to finish sewing that quilt top together.

My blue chair in the gazebo I hope everyone remembered to sign the Guest Book before they left. I love signing the guest book. I made that cover for Emma at the very first retreat.


The Guest Book at Fireside Retreat

And thanks so much to Emma who played along and provided some pictures of Fireside Retreat so we could enjoy the retreat house even if we weren't there.

I forgot to post this picture of the welcome on the chalkboard!! She's truly the best!! I always sign the Guest Book as the Production Crew since we tend to get a lot done when we're there.

Welcome to Fireside Retreat

 And there's the setting sun. One more retreat in our memory book. Thanks, Emma for all your hospitality. It was so much fun!!!

The sun goes down on another retreat


I managed to get the homework assignment out for the Celebration quilt class. It looks like I'm going to be prepping for FIVE of these ongoing classes now. Well, I would be prepping for them anyway, but they've been moved (or will be) to online until things settle down. But that's OK. I've got one more to prep today and I'm going to catch up on some paperwork and e-mails.

I'm going to do some more prep work for sewing and then take a couple of days a week and focus like this past weekend. Or I might just prep in the morning and sew in the afternoon. I'll see how it goes.

Have a great day!!!!

Ciao!!!! #Backyard #VirtualRetreat #MiniQuilts #EasyStreet #FiresideRetreat
Backyard VirtualRetreat MiniQuilts EasyStreet FiresideRetreat