Saturday, February 11, 2012

Doll Quilt Retreat with Kathleen Tracy

Iowa quilting bee c.1930

Yours truly, Robin, Shelley, Karan and Carolyn
My quilting buds

A week ago today I was enjoying a wonderful weekend full of talented women, the whirring of sewing machines, the constant buzz of chatter, with the occasional pop of laughter.  The Grout Museum sponsors a quilt retreat during these cold, looong days of winter and happened to coincide with a new exhibit called Covered in Glory.  It is a wonderful collection of vintage and modern day commemorative pieces that relate to the American Civil War.
The Waterloo Courier also did a nice article sharing many of the details of the exhibit with a couple really nice photos as well.

Civil War commemorative quilt with it's pins on!

I bought these blocks from Marion, my local antique dealer friend several years ago.  The blocks were not made well and were all over the place in size....the fabrics in the blocks are wonderful and they just spoke to me.  So I measured them and trimmed them all to a similar size, then added the over-sized black sashing strips.  Then from there I trimmed them again to identical size, so you eye really does not see the imperfections.  The double pink print and border print are modern day.  I made it long and narrow in the "spirit" of a civil war soldier's cot quilt and hand quilted it.  
One of the highlights of the weekend was to meet Carolyn (center) from Des Moines.  She is the first blogger friend that I have met in person.....I am pretty sure we are kindred spirits.  :)  We had a delightful time of getting to know one another and she shared the most wonderful stories of her mother and grandmother while working at a fine fabric store in Des Moines.

Kathleen Tracy (right) was our guest for the weekend.  She designs small quilts with a vintage look and feel and likes to include historical diaries and writings to set the context of these quilt pieces.  That's how I met Carolyn through the yahoo group list that Kathy started.  I love these connections.
Check our Kathy's blog to get a glimpse of the Covered in Glory quilt exhibit that will be open until September 1.  She did a wonderful slide show that captures the spirit and ambiance of it.

On Friday we worked on Clarissa's Garden and let's just say I had trouble knowing which of my repro fabrics to bring with me.....soooo I brought almost all of it in a very large suitcase that my husband could barely lift....not really.  But it was very heavy.  I called it my bag 'o fun.  I took a "little" grief for that, but not much really in these circles.....they totally get it.  When you don't bring need it.  But since we were doing scrap type pieces I knew I wanted to use lots and lots.....and lots of fabrics and needed to be able to choose and it worked out well.  Thank heavens the bag had wheels and I only had to lift it once to get it back into the van to go home.

My friend Karan, made me this little thread catcher.  Isn't it darling?  You can fold it easily and makes a  great way to keep track of your threads while you are stitching and traveling.  I think you might need one of these.....

Clarissa's Garden Workshop

Beginning layout of my hourglass blocks.

Saturday's workshop doing the album block.

Carolyn brought this wonderful needle case to share out of salvages and tied closed with an old measuring tape.  She added decorative stitches and tea dyed them to give them a blended look.  Love this!!!

I enjoy Carolyn's blog too.  We like vintage finds and I always enjoy her photos of her home.  So you might want to take a look see.

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