How I celebrated my birthday

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Well, it all relates to quilting of course! I recently joined a group of fellow One Block Wonder fanatics on Facebook. Not being terribly tech saavy, I decided to post some still shots and a description of how I am able to quickly chain piece the hundreds of triangles needed in a OBW without getting any of the pieces scrambled. Of course a picture is worth a thousand words, and my instructions were unclear to many of the quilters, so they requested I do a video. So first thing this morning, I asked my incredible hubby to film my technique. This meant he had to put off leaving for his fishing trip to a local lake (he’s as obsessed with fishing as I am with quilting) for about ten or fifteen minutes, but he did it. Much to my horror, I realized at the very end that he had focused on my face, which I’d asked him not to do. Who is that fat old woman? The camera must have added 20 years as well as 50 pounds to me! But I don’t have the ability or time to figure out how to edit the video, so I decided to instead just grimace and bear it. It only took another two hours to figure out how to post a video on YouTube, since I had evidently at sometime in the ancient past created a YouTube account with my current email address and have no idea of the password. So I tried another email account that I had created a few weeks ago, and I couldn’t sign onto that one either, resulting in signing up for a third email account. That finally worked, and the video successfully uploaded. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Here is a link in case anyone is interested in either checking out this chain piecing technique or just laughing at that fat old woman at the end of the video.

With all the morning now gone, I buckled down and got the finished blocks for the raffle quilt mentioned in the last post placed on the design wall in a potential design that still needs a bit more tweaking.
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Then I got the borders on a Double Wedding Ring quilt that I made several months ago and that remains on my UFO list.
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So, it’s been a wonderful day. And the incredible husband, who was supposed to be back from fishing and hour ago, is going to take me to dinner.

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I’m freshly home from a fabulous 4-day retreat with my Quilter’s Anonymous (Quilt Guild) group. The above photo is the main building which houses the quilting room to the left, a spacious lobby in the middle and the dining hall to the right. It was held at the St. Francis Retreat Center near San Juan Bautista, CA. What an incredible setting.
These next two photos are where the rooms were located that we stayed in, a short walk from the quilting space…and more importantly…the food!
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This photo is taken from the patio in front of the dining hall looking past the quilting room.
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And this is just a lovely shot from the same patio looking towards the rooms.
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The next photos are all of the interior of the quilting room.
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This last one is of my sewing station. Looking out the window just to the right of my station, I saw a herd of 5 deer and a flock of turkeys strolling by. Of course, they wouldn’t wait for me to get my camera out.
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There were a total of 30 very talented quilters as you can see from the sampling of quilts that were hung as they were completed. The food was also wonderful…and it was such a treat to not have to cook or clean up afterwards. This was my first quilting retreat experience and I am planning to go every year from now on because it was such fun. One of the few times that I was not ready to return to my home routine after four days away.

Design Wall Tip

If you have a design wall and want to check out a large quilt top or finished quilt and don’t want pin holes in your quilt from hanging it on the wall, try this. My brillant hubby came up with this idea, proving that all the junk…I mean treasures he keeps in his garage (AKA the black hole) are not totally useless. Now the thing that makes this work for my design wall is that its hung from a copper pipe inside a rod pocket placed in curtain rod hangers, so it is an inch or so out from the wall. But it may work just as well with other styles as long as you have some room between the wall & the design wall material.
He took a bunch of these common clamps (see photo below) and clipped them to the rod holding up the design wall.
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I actually have a second flannel sheet hung from my clamps right now because I have a quilt in process on the first piece of flannel, but if I want to hang a quilt, I just open one clamp at a time and clamp the quilt along the top and it works just fine.
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In the photo below, you can see a queen-sized quilt clipped to the design wall with these clamps.
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We bought a net bag filled with a variety of sizes of these clamps at Home Depot. The smaller ones work best because my design wall is very close to the ceiling.
Next I’m going to see if they’ll work to hold down the back on my layering tables instead of taping…stay tuned. Gosh that means I have to actually finish a project. 🙂