Sunday, June 7, 2015

Quilt Retreating

I had a lovely two days of quilting with my quilt guild at a retreat center in nearby Carlisle.  It was so restorative for me....  Most of the time I carry a lot of shame and guilt re: my love of quilting.  None of my close friends or family members are quilters, so I feel like such an oddball.  I rarely share that piece of my life with them because many of them they just don't get it, and even if they can appreciate quilts, I still fear being viewed as what..., I don't know.  So often, I'd rather hole up and sew because of how beautifully it nurtures my soul and spirit, but then I feel guilty - guilty that I should be getting my wreck of a house in order, guilty for not keeping up with the outside work,  guilty for not putting more effort into meals, or guilty for not reaching out to someone who might exhaust me.  And then, there's always the guilt about the money this wonderful hobby sucks out of from my bank account.

But, after sewing for two days straight with these dear ladies who love and think about quilting as much as I do, I felt revived, restored, more normal, more OK with who I am and what I love.  I didn't feel an ounce of embarrassment for a change.  And, I felt God's pleasure as I did the "good works He prepared in advance for me to do."  

I came away with a renewed determination to shut down these feelings of guilt and shame related to my love of quilting, and to make this amazing process of creativity a higher priority in my life.  As I've attempted to get back to physical health over the last few years with little success and a lot of money getting flushed down the toilet along the way, I'm wondering if the answer has been lying right under my nose all this time.  Is is possible that the creative process is the very thing that will bring the most healing for my body, will bless others as they look on, and will most honor and glorify God as I savor and share my love of quilting?

I've also been contemplating Jen Kingwell's approach to quilting, and was again inspired to simply enjoy the process and not be embarrassed that I love to make quilts that tend to be more intricate and time consuming.

OK, Enough reflecting!!  Here's a few photos of what I accomplished:

I finished piecing the final 20 6" blocks of my Modern Building Blocks quilt - whoo hoo!  It was so nice to plug away at them while chatting with my quilting buddies.

I couldn't resist taking them outside for some photos since the weather was so lovely:

I also stitched the binding on my "Canning Jars" quilt:

And, I assembled the rest of my basket blocks:

A quick trip into town to the local quilt shop yielded this retro print from the sale table: 

It will make a great quilt backing!
(The fat quarters are compliments of Narda's stash.)

Finally, I stitched away on some more "Ugly String" blocks that are hopefully destined to become this quilt.  

With Gloria's encouragement, I decided to forgo the foundation piecing.  (When I made string blocks for this quilt, I had stitched them onto paper.)  I simply used a paper template to gauge the length of the strings needed, stitched the strings, then trimmed the blocks down to 8 1/2" square.  Certainly beats picking all that paper out of the seams!

We're talking about a lot of strings!!

This was my Juki's first trip to a retreat, and she flew through these string blocks!

Thanks, ladies, for a wonderful time stitching together!

I even woke up and was motivated to do some Pilates this morning - who would have guessed?!!


  1. Good for you, go girl!! You have definitely been busy and I have to say I agree with everything you shared.

  2. I can't believe you got that much accomplished at this retreat! Did you not sleep???? Or eat???? I need to get my string quilt out, too. And your MBB blocks are beautiful!

  3. Just to clarify, I had all my MBB blocks cut out, so all I had to do is stitch them. I did sleep, but it was great to stitch away all day!