Productive Retreat

Quilting retreats are the best!  Working from home gets lonely, so I am always excited to join other quilters for a day of sewing or taking a class together.  Last week, I joined my church’s Quilting Retreat and we had a blast.

The hostess planned simple meals and turned on Netflix while we worked. One gal sewed bindings, another hand quilted, some baby quilts were finished and many borders sewn on.

Quilting Retreat Project 1: Easy Pillowcase

My first project was a Halloween pillowcase for my daughter. The fabric was purr-fect for my cat lover.  I used the All People Quilt Roll It Up pattern. This will double as her Trick or Treat bag before it goes on the bed.roll it up pillowcase with halloween fabric

Quilting Retreat Project 2: Charity Quilt

Next on my to-do list was to finally sew my split nine patch blocks into a quilt top. It took me several years of stitching these blocks in between other projects to have enough for a 60×72 quilt.

quilt blocks

I spent some time playing with half square triangle designs in EQ7 and settled on this one.

Quilts of Valor split nine patch

Get a copy of the quilt diagram by subscribing:

HST Diamonds Pattern

* indicates required




Read more about why I love EQ7!

Quilting Retreat Project 3: Something for me!

By day three of the retreat, I was ready to tackle my final project.  At a quilt show last spring, I fell in love with the Two Color Bargello quilt (find the pattern and kits here). It comes in many colorways, but blue is my favorite so I decided this would be a new quilt for my bedroom.  It needed borders, so I improvised the inserts of the focal prints with the ombre and black fabrics.

two color bargello in blue

A very productive retreat!  And sharing stories and laughter with good friends is even better.  I highly recommend going on a quilting retreat.  If travel to a camp is not in your budget, follow the low-cost option that my church group uses. Someone opens their home, everyone brings their machine and a folding table, buy pre-made pasta for lunch and dinner and you are all set for days of stitching fun!

Free Motion Monday – Stars and Stripes

Happy Independence Day!  Here in the U.S. of A we celebrate our country’s birthday on the 4th of July, waving the Stars and Stripes and proudly displaying our patriotism in red, white, and blue.  That patriotic feeling extends to the quilting world in various ways.  My charity of choice is the Quilts of Valor Foundation whose mission is “… to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.”  When I am finishing a QOV, I include stars and stripes in the quilting designs to convey the gratitude I have for the servicemember who will ultimately receive the quilt.

quilts of valor disappearing nine patch

Adding Stars to your quilt

Most of us learned to sketch a simple five pointed star as a child which makes it a great starting point for free motion quilting. Combine the five pointed star with meandering lines and you can finish your patriotic quilt in a jiffy.

stars free motion quilting

Maybe you are feeling SPARKLY!  Quilt a straight-line star, similar to an asterisk (*) and branch off any line to move to the next space.  Sparklers can be lined up, then offset in a border, or stitched in a more random fashion.

asterisk star free motion quilting

Quilting Stripes

Adding stripes to your quilt is quite fashionable.  Straight line quilting can add modern flair to your quilt, especially when you include an unexpected pop of color as LeAnn/shecanquilt does.

stripes free motion quilting

If you want your stripes to mimic a flag, just wave~~~  put a gentle curve into your stitching line. Remember to keep the edges straight.

Stars and Stripes

Here is an example of both designs in one image.  Start with a classic star and exit to the top right to begin the stripes. Vary the spacing as desired, then travel to a new starting point.

stars and stripes free motion quilting

I have several more patriotic quilts waiting for some free motion quilting.  These stars and stripes will surely find their way to fabric soon!

Related Post: See how I quilted the Swoon pattern for a QOV.

My Summertime table runner is the perfect place to try out free motion quilting designs!