October 2019

Wow, did October go by quickly for everyone or was it just me? We ended the month with snow and cold winds on Halloween, so it sure feels like fall has arrived in full force here! This is a long post with quilting, stitching, and travel, so settle in :) 

I had another busy month of travel, but my trips weren't quite as long and one of them was my quilt retreat, so I wound up with quite a few things to show for this month. 

Actual quilting was a theme this month - I had a quilt of my mom's on the longarm when the month started, so getting that completed was job #1, then I moved on to quilt a top for a friend who goes to retreat with us. She gave me the top in May so I wanted to get it quilted and back to her at our fall retreat. Then, since things come in threes, I got another quilt on the machine last weekend. It is one of my UFOs that will soon be finished! I still have some quilting I want to do on it with my regular sewing machine, so it isn't quite ready for prime time, but here's a sneak peek. 

I took a bunch of projects to retreat (always good to have more than enough to work on), and I made good progress on several of them. I hadn't made time to pre-cut before retreat, so I spent the first evening cutting out projects for the weekend. That made it a lot easier to then jump right in when I started sewing on Thursday morning. 

I started with my camping wall hanging - it just needed binding and a hanging sleeve sewn down, so it was ready for show and tell the first night! When I got home from retreat, I hung it up in our family room. 

Next I went back to the scrap quilt that I worked on in May. I added the pieced border (which didn't take nearly as long as I'd anticipated), and then the outer border. I am so happy to have this top finished and have plans to get it quilted by the end of the year. 

Once I'd finished the two "easy" projects, I dug into log cabin blocks. These are made with 1" strips. I started this pattern back in 2018 and decided it would be purely a retreat project. It is easy and mindless to work on while chit-chatting. I spent probably a full day making 32 red/brown and cream blocks and am so happy with how they turned out. Next time I pull this project out, I will make 16 red/brown blocks and then I will be ready to assemble it. I am looking forward to that step. Here are four of the blocks together. To give you some scale, they finish at 5". 

Next up was a pattern called Ditty Bag, and I just love to make bags. I pulled fabric from my stash to make this and I really like how it turned out. The plan is to give it as a gift...but I have having a hard time with that because I like it so much! 

The last project I worked on at retreat was my half-hexagon top. This pattern is from a Missouri Start Quilt Co. Block magazine, and I loved it the first time I saw it. I chose light fabrics for my sashing (they'd used dark in the magazine) and picked a very soft linen/cotton blend. I used a layer cake that I inherited from Lois and it is a pretty old one. I love how this quilt came together! I need to find some border fabric and then also would like to get this one quilted by year end...we'll see! 

So, the last thing to share from retreat is the results of our half-yard challenge. Back in May, we had one person pick a fabric from the sale room and we all got a half-yard of it. Our instructions were to make anything with it - a few added more fabric to make theirs into a full quilt, but most of us used our fabric in smaller projects. I made a laundry bag with mine, perfect with all the travel I have going on right now! It's so fun to see how everyone interprets the fabric and decides what to make. We got our half-yard for the next challenge while we were there. 
My laundry bag
Our awesome group with our challenge projects
Speaking of fabric additions, I did do a little shopping while on retreat. There are two great quilt shops in the town of Shipshewana and I always enjoy shopping at them! I picked up 3 yards of fabric in the sale room, and then sat down for just a little too long at the boat (yes, it is a literal boat!) that is full of fat quarters and found a few that had to come home with me. My plan for the Girl Scout fabric is to make something for a giveaway at an upcoming Girl Scout event. 

Well, that's all for the quilting this month! With so much of that, I don't have much to show for the stitching. I did work on a couple projects but only one finish - and I squeaked this one in at the end of the month! Here's my October Lizzie Kate Flip-It. Such a cute little pattern. 

In addition to all this, I made a trip to Mexico City for work in the second week of September. I was a little nervous about the trip due to the circumstances that took me there, but the team couldn't have been more open and welcoming. It reminded me that even when the work content isn't the easiest that people make the difference. We didn't have much time for sightseeing, so experienced the culture mostly through the people we worked with and the meals. Here are a few highlights. 
Pretty water fountain at a mall where we had dinner
Morning view from the hotel with mountains in the distance
The most amazing souffled potatoes - best food of the trip!
Our awesome team - look at all those amazing women!
Thanks for hanging on for all for all of that! If you want to see the monthly stats, they are below. If not, thanks for stopping by, let me know which retreat project you like best, and happy quilting/stitching/crafting! 

Official stats: 
Stash Report - Linking up with Donna at quiltpaintcreate
Fabric added this month: 4 3/4 yards
Fabric used this month: 10 1/4 yards (yeah!)
Fabric added year to date: 9 yards
Fabric used year to date: 43 3/8 yards
Net fabric used: 34 3/8 yards

Days with 15 minutes of crafty time: 18/31 for 58% 
Total hours of quilting time in October: 36 1/4 hours
Linking up with Kate at Life in Pieces


chrisknits said…
What a fun retreat! We have our guild retreat in Sept 2020, I wish it was sooner!!
Laura said…
You got a lot done this month! Very cute pumpkin quilt.
Ann Marie said…
Awesome amount of stitching. I love the rainbow scrappy stars one.I am looking forward to getting back into things myself.
Kate said…
For all the work travel, you made really good progress on several fronts. Sounds like the retreat was very productive. With the holidays coming up things aren't likely to slow down very much, hopefully you can still find some time to play with needle and thread.
Carol said…
All of your quilting projects look wonderful, Jennifer! Do you hang the quilts or use them after you're finished with one? And I love the cute bag you made--I can see why you would have a hard time letting it go!

Glad your trip to Mexico City was a success. My youngest travels there a lot for work and I worry about him, but he seems to look forward to each trip.

Hope your new travel adventures for work are rewarding as well :)
What an incredible retreat you had! I love your laundry bag and it definitely beats out the plastic bags I used. Great looking fabric for it! Well done on your stitch finish! Happy to hear your trip to Mexico City was a successful one. Enjoy the week, Jennifer!