Around the Retreat Design Wall

Design walls are a very important part of JSS retreats.  And you have to be quick if you want to capture pictures of all the beautiful works in progress!  The blocks go up and are sewed together in lightning fast speed and then they come down.  If a blogger isn’t ready with her camera at all times, she can miss an important photo opportunity.  Just sayin’.

On with the show!


These quilt blocks were made by Newbie Linda from Kentucky.  And they are all sewn together now and I think quilted and bound too.  I’m going to have a talk with these Kentucky gals.  They whip the quilts out in lightning fast speed and then back into their bags they go.  Don’t they know how important it is to declare to the group that a quilt top is finished?  All the cameras have to come out so pictures can be taken.  It’s also an important part of retreating to let everyone ooooo and ahhhhhh over your finished projects.  Finished being a relative term, of course.  You can have a finished block.  Or a finished top.  Or even perhaps a totally finished quilt.  In my case I am happy to hear ooooo’s and ahhhhhh’s over a finished seam.

Do these blocks look familiar?  These were the Saturday Sampler blocks at Quilter’s Dream last year!  Kay is finishing them with an entirely different setting.  And again, these got a lot further along, but I missed the picture before new blocks went up on the wall!  I’m going to have to learn to be faster on the camera button.

Pam is doing a T-shirt quilt.  I think it’s for a friend.  She’s my sister-in-law so you think I’d know these things.  It’s hard to keep up with it all at retreat!

This quilt belongs to Melissa, the owner of The Compass Centre.  I know there’s a big story involved and you’d think that I’d know it, wouldn’t you?  Well, you’d be wrong.  A good blogger would probably know the story.  I’m going to have to work on being a better blogger.

This is the bottom half of this cute quilt.  I’d like to point out the date on the bottom.  If I had just finished this quilt, the date would be 1997 and Mrs. Taylor’s class would all be in college and have forgotten about the quilt.  But don’t worry, Janna.  You’ll have your T-shirt quilt some day!

This is a shop hop quilt that Karen is working on.  Karen is a woman after my own heart with this one.  I think the shop hop was back in the year 1904 or something like that.  See?  Karen is finishing this one in “Barb Time.”  Thanks, Karen!  I won’t point out that she’s finished 4,325 other quilts in the meantime.

This is Jules’ quilt and an example of how design walls can change in the blink of an eye.  I turned my back for 43 seconds and the wall looked like this:

So I quickly snapped another picture!  And now Jules is gone home so the wall is bare again.   We miss you, Jules!

Look familiar, Sally?  Lani added some borders to her cute brown bag quilt that Sally made last year.  We all love it!

This happy quilt top is Patti’s.  She also put binding on a wonderful flannel quilt that was similar to one I made for Christmas in July at Quilter’s Dream last summer.  Of course I missed getting a picture of that one!  But you can see the one I made in the posting entitled “One Down, One to Go,” if you’re interested.

Look at these beautiful New York Beauty blocks that Newbie Tracie is making!  Tracie is a newbie to JSS retreats but she is obviously not new to quilting.  And this is another example of how turning your back can be nerve wracking.

I turned my back on these and I think it was 67 seconds later that they looked like this.  They multiplied like rabbits!

These gals were auditioning border fabrics for this quilt.  Either that or they were auditioning to replace Vanna White on Wheel of Fortune.

Betty just wishes they’d hurry up already and get out of the way so she can sew some more blocks together and complete her 82nd quilt top.  And that was just at this retreat alone.  She’s a whiz kid on her sewing machine!

Remember these blocks?  They are the ones we gave to Lani before she took off from Texas and moved to NEW YORK CITY!  She’s adding cute little houses to each block and we’re sure she’ll have this finished before the end of retreat.  We’ve seen her whip things out very fast before.  In fact, she might already have them done while I’m busy typing this blog!

By the way, for those of you who are interested, we have been reminding Lani that her heart is in Texas when it comes to baseball and it is imperative that she be rooting for the Rangers and not those d*** Yankees.  GO RANGERS!

These are Judy’s strips for the little log cabin blocks she’s making.

Here are a few of the Courthouse Steps blocks on her design ironing board, which is much the same as a design wall.  And yes, those logs are finished at 1/2 inch.  Crazy, Judy!

And they will be the border around this fabulous quilt when they are finished.  I think she needs a few more than 4.

Everyone loves these cute trees that Sue H is working on.  I need to see what this whole quilt is going to be – it is very nice!

Sue G is working on this cute baby quilt.  Nice, Sue!

Remember this one, Sarah?  This one is the brown bag that Sarah made for Sue H last year.  Sue added borders and TaDa!  Finished quilt top!  We all ooo’d and ahhh’d.  Take note, Kentucky gals!

The two pillowcases are Pat’s and the sweatshirt belongs to Davene.  Halloween is a predominant theme in October.  And I know that Pat made more things.  Why don’t I have any pictures of them?  And Pat is gone home.  Come back, Pat!  I need more pictures!  And what will I do if I need to dry my hair and can’t figure out the cord?

These are also Davene’s.  She was on a Halloween roll.  So cute!

Davene is also making this little doll.  Which is very cute until you see it this way:

And then it becomes a little scary.  Especially when she picks it up and starts making the sound of the music from the shower scene in Psycho.  She’s a little deranged, that Davene.  Ya gotta watch her every minute.

We watched her alright.  And took advantage of an opportunity to get a pic of her sleeping.  With her little sleeping doll.  HA!  Caught ya, Davene!  Good thing she wasn’t drooling.

This beautiful creation belongs to LaNelle!  I know, I know.  For those of you who know LaNelle, you would be inclined to think this was Vicki’s and LaNelle was taking the credit.  (See post on September 1st entitled Paper Piecing with LaNelle.)  But I can vouch for LaNelle this time.  I saw her making this with my own two eyes.  Way to go LaNelle!

This fabulous quilt is Betty’s.  Another one with Quilter’s Dream Saturday Sampler blocks from last year!  Betty is pondering her setting in this picture.  But that was 30 minutes ago.  I’m sure she has it totally quilted and bound by now.  That Betty is a wonder.  I need to hang around her more.

I close today with a few mottos around the room.

I really love this one.  How about you, Sally?  Isn’t this one great?  It’s my motto as I eat retreat food.  Way too much retreat food.  Pics soon!

I got this magnet from my Secret Sis today.  Made me start singing….. “We are fammm-i-ly!  I got all my sisters with me!  We are fammmm-i-ly! Get up everybody and sing.”  I think Madelyn put my SS up to this.  She thought we should all be together for the baseball game tonight.  You see, Suz and I broke from the group to travel 8 miles to a sports bar to watch the Rangers play last night.  We knew they had a big huge screen TV and we wanted to watch with reckless abandon with the fans.  We left the retreat with Suz’ big screen TV here and it promptly stopped working!  It was an online way to watch and not nearly as good with streaming video as it was at the sports bar.  We invited the others to go along, but they wanted to sew.  Big surprise, eh?  Since it really is all about a quilting retreat, isn’t it?  But we couldn’t get the Rangers and Yankees to postpone their games until next week just for us. 

So tonight we are going to be family.  Madelyn thought it was important.  And we’ll watch together.  We’ve done our research and found a good radio station online too.  Sure hope it all comes together the way we hope and we can sew AND watch/listen.  And be family.  Because sometimes….. family is just more important.  We love you Madelyn!  And this is a good motto.

But this one is my real motto for the day.  Maybe for the week.  Maybe the year.  Oh, shoot, it’s my lifetime motto.

Because this is my sewing table today.  How is a person supposed to sew here?  And yes, there is a sewing machine under there.  Recognize the fabric, Janna?  At least you know if I’m working on anything, it is your quilt!  And if I’d stop blogging for a bit, I might actually get some sewing done.  Don’t give up!  Miracles do happen!

And now it’s time for……….. GO RANGERS!!!!!!!!!

Keep on designing,

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8 Responses to Around the Retreat Design Wall

  1. Sally says:

    WOWWWWIIIIIEEEE! There’s some beautiful quilts in the making. I’m always so inspired by the creativity that just oozes out of you wonderful ladies. Missing you soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much!

  2. Susan Bancroft says:

    WOW! There is some serious quiltmaking going on–all the pics are fabulous!!!! But can we talk about Davene’s conjoined twins? What is UP with that doll??? There has to be some explanation for such a ghastly doll disorder. Does she sleep with the Double Doll, and does she have nightmares? I know I’ll be having one tonight.

  3. Janna says:

    Woo hoo! My fabric made it out and is unfolded. Now, you just need to organize your table so that you can get some work done with that fabric 😀 I guess I shouldn’t leave too many comments as they will distract you from sewing… if you’re even sewing right now during the game.
    I’m trying to see if I remember how to crochet a hat because I’m going to Kansas City this weekend and my friend wants to make the hats we made in college for her kiddos. I should be working on Christmas cards… I think my crafting standards are getting too high (don’t count on me asking you how to quilt any time soon- lol).

    • Barb says:

      Everyone here is getting a big kick out of the fact that you are excited your fabric is out and unfolded. And yes, it is hard to sew during the ballgame – so exciting! I WILL get something done on your quilt before I head home, though. Even if I have to stay until Christmas…..

  4. Peggy says:

    Cannot believe you and Suz took all that hi-tech equipment to watch the game at retreat and then deserted the girls for a sports bar!!! I know Karen brought beer and there is probably lots of wine around and just think of all the sewing you could have done with the non-sports fans like Tracie……….and you would be on a real high especially with the Rangers winning! And just look at how much is getting done……… all the quilts on the walls……………and the Rangers won again so more tomorrow…………and you have to come back on Thursday with something done!
    After all this is a QUILTING RETREAT!!! I, on the other hand am still trying to dig out of my sewing room, but I’m making progress, and watching the Rangers of course. I need the ‘Junk in the trunk’ poster. Think that thought can cover lots of territory.
    Hope you all are not giving the newbies too hard a time. I want them to come again when I can be there too……………………..keep on sewing, it’s not quite midnite yet!

  5. Patty Spinelli says:

    GREAT job everyone…..I wish I could be there and having fun with everyone.

  6. sue says:

    The design walls are great…I feel like I was there and then took my nap! What will you do for your last full day……other than cheer the Rangers on! What a show and tell we will have at our next meeting!
    Miss you all so much!

  7. Kay says:

    Missed all y’all before we were 5 miles down the road! You ladies are the greatest! Debbi had such fun too–since she’s retired now, maybe we can convince her to move to Texas!! : )

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