Things Learned at Retreat

We have a game we play with Newbies at JSS retreats.  We call it Two Truths and a Lie.  The object of the game is to stump the rest of the retreaters into believing your lie is the truth.  The game also lets us get to know the Newbies better.  They are instructed to tell us three things about themselves.  Interesting tidbits from their lives.  Two of them true and one a lie.  We all have to guess which one is the lie.

This year we expanded the game a bit.  To include everyone at retreat and not just Newbies.  And we cancelled the lie part.  The retreaters were challenged to think about something about themselves that no one at retreat knows about.  And write it on a slip of paper.  Periodically throughout the day we read the papers and then everyone tries to guess who wrote it.

These are the things I’ve learned at retreat.  From the game and just in general.

1.  Even if there are no prizes involved for putting in the most slips of paper, Sue H will stuff the box.  Fellow JSSers will remember our first retreat when we were naming the Bee.  There was a basket of fat quarters involved and Sue wanted them.  The way Sue thought of things to write about herself at this retreat you would have thought there were fat quarters involved.  Please don’t tell her there are no prizes this time.

2.  If you ever want to stuff the ballot box in a political election, Sue’s your woman.  See #1.

3.  Newbie Marianne is quite the daredevil.  Skydiving, parasailing and hang gliding.  And only one of those was a lie.

4.  If you ever play a game like this and your sister is also at the retreat, the very worst phrase you can utter to her is, “Just write some down for me.”  Just ask Karen.  And you can ask Sally about how red Karen’s face was.

5.  It’s really been nice knowing Vicki.  I doubt if we’ll be seeing her at JSS retreats any more.  Karen may never again let her know the retreat dates.

6.  We have famous people in our midst.  One was a finalist for a singing position at Knott’s Berry Farm, one was in a Miss Credit Union pageant, one worked with a Dr who is now in prison for killing his wife and children.  And those were all the same person.  We also have a former Queen of East Texas and one who met Prince Charles and had a personal conversation with him.  One who studied archeology at Oxford University and one who hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon with her 60 year old Aunt.  Even one who learned to count by playing Black Jack.  With her father.  Who knew quilters could be so incredible and diverse?

7. When in doubt, just hang with the famous people.  Witness one who wrote “I am friends with a woman who was in a Miss Credit Union Pageant.  It’s still hard not to be jealous.”  Followed by another who wrote, “I have a friend who has a friend who was a contestant in a Credit Union Pageant.”  Silly girls.

8.  If you are ever in a Credit Union Pageant, do not tell anyone.  Or they might make you a sash out of paper towels to commemorate your achievement at a quilting retreat.  And you will have to wear it so as not to hurt their feelings.



9. Tie-dyed socks are very IN.


And if you have a friend who makes you some and gives them to you at retreat, it is imperative that you put your tootsies with fellow tootsies for a picture of them.

10. Sally doesn’t do anything half way.


Look at this unbelievable bag she made!


I mean who embellishes buttons with rick-rack like this? Apparently Sally does. She has earned every one of her Best of Show ribbons. You go, Sally girl.

11.  It’s too bad that laughing isn’t an aerobic exercise.  But wait!  Maybe it is?

I can hardly wait to see what new things I learn before we head home again.
Still laughing,

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Retreat Design Wall Update

Time to give an update around the design wall at retreat.  Or maybe I should say design walls.  Because there are walls and walls of designing here!

IMG_20140409_012534First of all, I need to apologize to Newbie Marianne for crediting this lovely quilt to Vicki!  I think Vicki has already packed this quilt up in her things to take home to California.  Something about “but it said it was mine on the blog.”  I better be more careful with my assigning of quilts! And this quilt has really grown since yesterday’s blog.

IMG_20140409_012634Sally’s quilt has grown too.  And actually it has grown even more and diagonal row sets have been stitched together.  And it’s already come down off the design wall and been packed away.  Something about needing some more fabric to complete it. I bet we’ll see this quilt at a future JSS Bee day Show ‘n Tell.

IMG_20140409_012727Madelyn’s striking quilt is all stitched together too.  And off the wall.  These gals are quick!  Cameras must be at the ready at all times.

IMG_20140409_013022Remember the cute little gorillas and hippos for this one?  All stitched together and off the wall.  Do you see a theme here?  Much gets accomplished at JSS Retreats!

IMG_20140409_012817Patti’s hearts grew into two quilts!  And, you guessed it….. gone from the wall!

IMG_20140409_012916Linda’s little chocolate appliques have grown and grown too.

IMG_20140409_013143Cookie’s cool floral churn dash has totally grown into a quilt.  And phew!  Still on the design wall.  I’ll snap a pic of this completed quilt top and show it in a future blog.  Or you can check out Cookie’s blog to see this one later in the week.  Cookie has not been able to access the internet here at retreat!  I think it’s just a ploy by her to give her time to complete all 4,283 things she brought along to make.  She’s a whiz that Cookie!  I have no hopes of keeping up.

Jules and Pam joined us for the day today too.  Or I guess technically that was yesterday.

IMG_20140409_013328Pam worked dilligently on this fabulous basket while she was here today.  Nice work, Pam!

IMG_20140409_013441And Jules is working on this amazing quilt.  She had it on the design wall briefly today.  And, you guessed it, my camera was not at the ready.  We’ll see this quilt again soon, I predict! It is a work of art!

IMG_20140409_013552More things were added to the walls today too.  Including this fabulous Christmas tree by Davene!

IMG_20140409_013635And this wonderful quilt is Davene’s too.  These girls are impossible to keep up with.

IMG_20140409_013732I can hardly wait to see what becomes of this bright fabric and the cute little lifeguard.  Sue G is working on this one.  So cute!

More to come soon.  But for now, this gal has to get to bed.  Our day started way too early on Tuesday.  2:30 a.m. to be exact – just 45 minutes after I’d gone to bed Monday night!  Our smoke alarms went off!  And we all had a very rude awakening as the loud voice said “Fire!” and the alarms rang continuously.  There was no fire and the owners kindly came and turned off the alarms.  But we all either had a hard time falling back asleep or else just stayed up and sewed some more!

Never a dull moment here at the Compass Centre.

And the laughter goes on and on…..

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Magic at the JSS Retreat

There is magic happening at the JSS retreat this week!  Are you sitting down?  I know you’ll never believe this one.  I have completed an entire quilt top.  I know.  Shocking, isn’t it?  The gals still can’t believe that they haven’t seen this one during at least 5 previous retreats.  That’s usually how I roll.

Never mind that it was a simple pattern.  And one that goes together quickly and easily.  It’s done.  That’s all that counts in my book.

But before I show you, let’s take a tour around the design walls at some of the other projects that are coming together here at retreat.  Because I just know you’re dying to see what’s happening here.  Especially Judy.


Cookie is working on these cheerful churn dash blocks!  And in the time I’ve been putting together this blog post while hiding out in my bedroom, she has probably completed 368 more of them.  I’ll try to post an updated pic of these soon.  Along with the 735 other projects she’s already completed.  You know how most people are in a Block of the Month program?  Davene declared today that Cookie’s are a “Block a Minute.”  A whole new meaning for BOM.


These are Cookie’s too.  And she paperpieced each one of them in about 5.4 seconds.  She’s a whiz, that Cookie!


Cindy and Vicki are piecing these side-by-side wonderful carpenter’s wheel blocks in black and white/cream.  They are fabulous.  Suz is doing a bigger version but I failed to get a pic of that one yet.  You can anticipate that one in the next blog post.  Or perhaps over at Cookie’s Creek!


Cindy also did this sweet quilt.  All pieced since she arrived at retreat yesterday.  Magic is happening here at retreat!


Linda is doing fusible applique on this chocolate quilt.  Looks good enough to eat.


How about this fabulous one by Madelyn?  With wonderful Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  Those of you who know Madelyn are not at all surprised.  And this one is coming together quickly even as I type.


Davene made this absolutely spectacular dress for a granddaughter.  It’s beyond words amazing.  You need a close up look……


Smocking.  Oh, my.  Words fail me.


And how about that beautiful hem?  It’s just fabulous.  Wonder how long it will be before there are grass stains on the knees?


I think this one is Vicki’s.  She can correct me if I’m wrong.  Nice.


Don’t these faces just make you want to grin?  Sue G is putting these together…….


…..with these fabrics for a cute baby quilt.


This one is Lani’s.  Lani came to retreat pretty much straight off the boat from London.  Well, maybe she came on a plane, but straight off the boat sounds so much more special.  We are glad she is back in Texas again!  And at retreat with us.


Oh, my!  I just realized I don’t know whose quilt this is?  I think it is Sue’s.  But which Sue?  It’s a mystery……


Patti is making these wonderful hearts.  And doing yoga in between blocks.


And this one belongs to Sally.  She’s had these BOM blocks laying around her quilting room for way too many years.  Time to put them together.  And this quilt is growing and quite possibly is all finished by now!  I better stop typing and go join the sewing again.  You can’t believe how hard it is to lie on my bed and type (not) while listening to the laughter coming from the sewing room.  Well, the laughter does make it a bit difficult. But the relaxing on the bed?  Easy peasy.  I love retreat.


Melissa has quite a treasure of batik bolts here at the Compass Centre.  Just waiting for quilters to slice some off to buy and turn into quilts.  This is just a small sample of the shop she has here.  Yummy fabrics.

What’s that you say?  Oh, you want to see my quilt top that I finished?


Here it is.  A simple Magic 9 Patch.  It goes together so quickly and easily from an awesome pattern by Beverly at Quilter’s Dream, the shop where I work.  You can have a pattern and whip one out too, just by sending her an email or calling the shop.  It’s magic, truly it is.  Strip pieced and made with two simple 9 patch blocks.  Fabulous.  And finished!

More to come…..keep watching at Cookie’s Creek too.  I bet Cookie will post real soon!

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Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants

My friend, Judy gave me a kick in the pants last week.  Not literally and it didn’t hurt too bad because it was done via email.  She was out of town recently and unable to attend JSS Bee Day and wanted to know if I had taken pics.  I emailed back that I had and maybe I should blog.  Her ALL CAPS response felt like a kick in the pants.  She even told me I could just put all the pics on a blog.  I didn’t have to write a thing.  Ha!  She knew that would never happen.

So then I got in the shower and started thinking about blogging.  Just so you know, I write my best blogs in the shower.  Now if I could just remember them when I get out of the shower, we’d be good.  Somehow I don’t think my laptop, tablet or smartphone would like it in the shower with me.  But if somebody hears of a waterproof version of any of those?  I need one.  You might get a lot more blogs from me.

Here’s another reason I haven’t been blogging….


Seriously.  How is one to type when this sweet boy is laying on the laptop?  And walking on the keyboard.  And chasing the little arrow around the screen.  And biting my hands.  And getting into everything.  And…….

I had forgotten what it was like to have a kitten around the house.  If I ever think of getting one again, would somebody please remind me?

Well, anyway – on with the show!  This blog’s for Judy……

I only took pics of Show ‘n Tell.  No pics of food.  Sorry Judy.  I’m out of practice.  Suffice it to say all the food was good and Mardi Gras related.  Including the cake with the baby inside.  Whatever that means.

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (2)This quilt is one we made for a member of our Bee who is going through chemotherapy right now.  Suz organized the whole thing and we all made blocks to make this wonderful quilt for Nancy to take along with her to her treatments.  And just cuddle with whenever she needs an affirming word.  Because we all wrote words of encouragement on it.  And it turned out great!  More about this one later in the blog.

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (3)This is the back.  One block didn’t arrive in time in the mail to make it into the front of the quilt.  So it is on the back.  Davene stitched the binding.  And is pointing out the special block on the back from Lani.  Jules did the quilting.  And Pam donated fabric for backing.  Good friends coming together for a friend in need.

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (5)Not sure what’s going on with these two, but Davene made the cute little apron she’s wearing out of a man’s shirt!  And everyone wanted to know how to make one of their own.  It just might need to be a retreat project next month.

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (7)Cindy showed us some special family heirlooms (at least I think that’s what these were.  I’ve slept too many times since Bee Day.)  Gloria and Davene looking on.

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (8)This is another of Cindy’s.  I’m sure there is a story.  Ask Cindy.

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (9)This crazy patch pillow was Cindy’s too.  Very cool.

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (10)Kay has been working on <gasp> needlepoint!  But isn’t it beautiful?

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (11)Three ladies got Christmas blocks from Nancy at our Bee Day.  This is Patti.

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (12)And Sally…….

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (13)And Dede is going to get this one to Pam.

Christmas goes on and on in this group.

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (14)Patti showed us this wonderful embroidered quilt she made.  Isn’t the hanger for it cute?  And very appropriate.

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (15)Lynn has been on a machine embroidery kick with a friend.  She had this apron.

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (16)……. and also this piece with all her family names and birthdays on it.

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (17)Lynn also showed us this cute table runner.

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (18)Karen and Sue collaborated on this special quilt – I think it’s for a family member?  Wedding gift maybe?  Someone will correct me if I’m wrong, I’m sure.  Feel free to comment, Karen or Sue, and tell us the story behind the quilt!

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (19)Sue also finished this beautiful tumbling blocks quilt.  All hand pieced.  She took a class with me on hand piecing some time ago and finished this quilt.  She even added piping in her binding for a special touch.  Beautiful, Sue!

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (20)Sue also made this cute wall hanging of leaves.  Nice.

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (21)

And Sue was binding this quilt for a friend.  And that’s all I remember about the story behind this one.  Only you have to see the corners up close and how Sue is doing them……

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (22)Yikes!  Do you see how she’s going around those hexagon edges?  We all told her to just whack it off straight and make it easy on herself.  What did you end up doing, Sue?  Did you listen to the group?  We may need an updated picture on this one!

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (23)This one is Suz’.  She was working on the binding.  It’s fabulous, Suz!

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (26)This is Cookie’s Inklingo mystery quilt!  The Case of the Secret Garden.  All finished and quilted.  I’m working on this mystery too.  Mine will probably be finished in about 2025.  But you must see the quilting on Cookie’s up close……

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (24)Oh, my.

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (25)Isn’t it amazing?  One more…..

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (27)Unbelievable quilting!  And unbelievable piecing too.  Cookie’s first Inklingo project!

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (28)This lovely purple quilt is Cookie’s too.

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (29)This is the back.  It’s much more purple than it looks in this picture.  Why does purple turn blue in pictures anyway?

And after the Mardi Gras lunch…….

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (31)Stitching was happening!  Lynn and Sue….

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (32)Cookie and Kay.

And on the way home, 4 of us stopped by Nancy’s to deliver her quilt…..

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (33)Sorry for the blur, but I knew you would all want to see this picture of Nancy’s initial reaction when it finally hit her that the quilt was for her and not just some quilt we’d stopped by to show her.  And then she immediately did this:

Bee Day and a Kick in the Pants (34)She wanted to look at it up close and personal and read every block.  It was a special, special time!

And that’s how Bee Day went last month.  Did I do OK, Judy?

Maybe you all should hire Judy to kick me more often?

Posted in Inklingo, Pappy, quilts | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Crazy for Printing

I’ve been the crazy printing lady this weekend.  Printing up a storm with Inklingo shapes for the Celtic Solstice Mystery quilt.  Clue #2 was released on Friday and surprise, surprise.  I’m already behind.  I know you’re surprised.  Not.  But I’m determined to catch up soon.

Last week was crazy busy with preparing for the JSS Christmas party on Thursday.  Because you know what a procrastinator I am.  And true to form, I was busily stitching the blocks for our exchange the day before the party.  Thank goodness I only had to make 5 of them!  And the party was a huge fun time, as it always is.  Quilters come from far and wide for the big event.  And as soon as I finish sorting my 3,285 pics, I’ll do a post about the party.  I know you’re waiting with bated breath.

Then we had a nice ice storm on Thursday night.  And I use the word nice for those of you who love freezing cold weather, treacherous roads and no electricity. Freezing rain followed by sleet and it has been quite the mess in our city.


This was the view from my front porch.  And no, that is not snow.  It’s all ice!  If you look closely, you can see little glistening pieces in the middle of the pic.  That’s the icicles that have been falling out of the trees.  I have been happy to hibernate at home for the last 3 days.  We watched a neighbor back out of his driveway and then slide backwards down the slight hill that is our street yesterday.  And I decided then and there that I wasn’t going anywhere until it wasn’t so slippery.  Not to mention how hard it is to walk on that stuff.


See the icicles hanging from our house?  We don’t see those very often in Texas.  So we have to take pics and share them on our blog.  It’s required.

But I’m supposed to be telling you about my progress on the Celtic Solstice Mystery Quilt!  I’m using Inklingo to do mine and I spent a few hours over the weekend printing all the necessary shapes for Clue #2.  I had an especially fun time doing it because we have a new printer.  Wireless.  Very, very cool.  And prints Inklingo shapes on fabric ironed to freezer paper like a dream.  (See printer information at Linda’s blog.  It’s a fabulous printer.  No affiliation, just a happy Canon customer.  Thanks, Linda!)


So I got myself all organized with a binder for the clues and all my stacks of printed shapes.  I cut out enough of them to make 4 chevron units.  And I’ll be spending lots of time cutting the rest in the next day or two.  So fun with my new printer!


Here are my fun little chevron units up close and personal.  Linda’s instructions for stitching them went together like a charm!  She’s a genius with this stuff.  The way she has you stitch these is mind-boggling.  But with a handy little cheat sheet that you keep near your sewing machine with pics of every step, it’s easy peasy.  I love Inklingo!


Pappy was busy finding new places and positions to nap.  And it actually was quite helpful to have him not right in the middle of my fabric.  But when I started to stitch, oh my!  He was right by the machine, sticking his paw very near the needle.  He was quite fascinated with the machine.  Oh, joy.  He’s gonna be my helper in all steps on this one.  Next time I’ll get some pics of his paw…… helping me stitch.


This pic comes with a story.  Dear Hubby got up to get some dinner the other day.  And Pappy quickly took over his recliner.  So Dear Hubby got another chair to sit in, turned his back for 2 seconds and Panda took over that one.  A picture is worth a thousand words, isn’t it?  They were just too cute!  Cats rule at our house.

Bonnie Hunter is having her Monday morning link-up at her blog, so be sure to check out all the others who are doing the Celtic Solstice Mystery!  It’s fun to see everyone’s progress and all the different colorways on the quilt.  This is my first time to participate and I hope I can keep up.  We’ll see.  Remember…. I’m already behind.  But that’s pretty much how I roll.  I’ll get there!

Happy Monday!

Posted in Inklingo, Panda, Pappy, quilts | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments