Decisions, Decisions: Quilt Retreat Dilemma

BVOverview4 Decisions, Decisions: Quilt Retreat Dilemma

Tomorrow I’m leaving for my annual quilting retreat at the foot of the Collegiate Peaks near Buena Vista, Colorado. There will be no shortage of scenery. No shortage of great food, talking, laughing, piecing, quilting, show-and-telling and general all-around good clean fun. It’s something I look forward to all year.

But I always have one major problem getting ready to leave.

I can never decide which quilty projects to take along.

?       ?       ?

There are so many choices! I go ’round and ’round with myself for days. My thoughts go something like this:

  • I should take some UFOs.
    But those are no fun and who wants to work on an old project?
  • I should take some really challenging blocks.
    But what if I get stuck and get all frustrated and waste the luxury of a retreat?
  • I should take some really easy projects.
    But won’t it be a waste of time if I don’t make something more interesting?
  • I should take a charity quilt to finish.
    But a retreat is something you do for yourself. Why don’t I sew for me?
  • I’ll get started on some Christmas gifts.
    We just had Christmas! No way.

You get the idea. I’ve come to think of the time as so valuable, nothing seems worthy of it. And that’s a problem because this is supposed to be about fun and relaxation and time with friends. Keep. Repeating. Fun, relaxation and time with friends.

Here are the candidates so far but more will undoubtedly be added.

retreat1 Decisions, Decisions: Quilt Retreat Dilemma

This is a UFO I love but have never gotten back to. I loved it so much that I made blocks in two color recipes but didn’t finish either one. Remember Jan Mullen and her Stargazey quilts? She was way ahead of her time with improvisational blocks like these Daisiez.

retreat2 Decisions, Decisions: Quilt Retreat Dilemma

Or maybe I should pursue the idea of adding this yellow Kona cotton from Robert Kaufman to some feedsacks to reproduce a vintage quilt I once saw:

retreat8 Decisions, Decisions: Quilt Retreat Dilemma

I could start making Ferris Wheel blocks, like I saw over on Twin Fibers which led me to Q is for Quilter, which I am dying dying dying to make.

This is Martha’s quilt made from Ferris Wheel blocks. (Martha is the blogger behind Q is for Quilter).

FerrisWheel 1 Decisions, Decisions: Quilt Retreat Dilemma

Martha's quilt, shown at Q is for Quilter (used with permission)

The pattern is from Aunt Martha’s Quilt Designs: Old Favorites—and New.

Jessica’s Ferris Wheel looked like this:

5381495030 bc2bd8aa65 Decisions, Decisions: Quilt Retreat Dilemma(used with permission)

And then became this pillow:

5384935917 ab5fbe376b Decisions, Decisions: Quilt Retreat Dilemma(used with permission)

Now you see why I’m dying to make it. That is just about the cutest thing I have ever seen. But I digress.

I could rev my engine by working on this improvised project started in a class with Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran last year at Empty Threads at Asilomar.

retreat3 Decisions, Decisions: Quilt Retreat Dilemma

I love the little ladies and their hats. The ladies are from Material Obsession by Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke.

retreat4 Decisions, Decisions: Quilt Retreat Dilemma

How could these be anything but fun?

I could work on my Roll Roll Cotton Boll, Bonnie’s Hunter’s latest mystery quilt.

retreat5 Decisions, Decisions: Quilt Retreat Dilemma

Luscious, right?

I could make something with my new, clean, white fabric and this pile of Westminster yum:

retreat6 Decisions, Decisions: Quilt Retreat Dilemma

Or I could be really really good and quilt this UFO string quilt I basted recently.

retreat91 Decisions, Decisions: Quilt Retreat Dilemma

Making this list has reminded me of a couple other possibilities. What’s your pick? Leave me a comment please, because I could use some help deciding. Come back next week and I’ll show you whatever I accomplish on retreat. Maybe I can do it all.

About Diane Harris

I'm an editor for Quiltmaker magazine in Golden, Colorado, USA. For six years, I wrote pattern instructions, product reviews and how-to articles. Then I spent four years as QM's Interactive Editor, working to generate much of our online content. Now I'm back to patterns and how-tos, which is a great fit for me. I still love writing about quilt-related topics for Quilty Pleasures, and I always have my finger on the pulse of the quilting world. I teach a variety of quilt classes and give guild programs, too. Reach me by email:
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19 Responses to Decisions, Decisions: Quilt Retreat Dilemma

  1. MarciaW says:

    Finish Roll Roll Cotton Boll

  2. Pingback: Retreat Recap | Quilty Pleasures Blog

  3. kwiltnkats says:

    Diane, have a wonderful time. Is it still fireplace time? Love the smell of one burning. My suggestion for order would be to do the project that you’ll have put some effort into while at the retreat but one that you can finish so when it’s time to put the sewing machines away for home you’ll have something to claim as complete for Show & Tell. Looks like Daisez is closest. Roll, Roll Cotton Boll looks close to and maybe the extra space afforded by a retreat surrounding will help lay it all out for assembly! Have a blast, wish I were joining you. Sandi

    I made those ladies as part of a block exchange about two years ago for a guild sister. It was so much fun dressing them up. Our pattern had a fancier hat and shoes…we had very well dressed ladies!

  4. Kaye M. says:

    I vote for the Ferris Wheel quilt. From your comments I think this is the one you feel the most passionate so go for it girl!!

  5. Donna Albright says:

    Ya gotta make the Ferris Wheel quilt!! It is sooooo pretty!!

  6. Carmen says:

    I feel your pain! I am going to retreat next week, and am trying to decide what I will take. Guilt over not working on UFO’s, but anticipation of new projects. I love the Star Gazey blocks, and they look pretty easy and nonjudgemental! I think you also need at least 1 new project, nothing too complicated. You want to be able to visit while you work. Have a great time.

  7. Geraldine says:

    I’m with linda, I would take most of it too. I go on 3 retreats every year, and that is always a challenge. Have fun.

  8. Melissa says:

    Hee, that made me laugh! I vote the Westminster fabric being made up into a ferris wheel quilt.

  9. Decisions, decisions, decisions… I’m so indecisive that I would be no help to you at all! But I have a severe case of Quilty ADD so for me, I’d go with Janice’s idea. Pack your favorite of those you listed ~ but maybe not both colorways of those adorable flowers. And perhaps one new project that is singing to you at the moment and start drawing numbers. If you aren’t feeling the “mojo” drop it back into the UFO bag it came out of and move to the next project. In the end you make at least some progress on something, and have a wonderful time! Well, it would work for me, but then I have Quilters ADD

  10. Barb Colvin says:

    Back in my younger days, I lived on a ranch at the base of Mt. Princeton. Beautiful area and fond memories :) I say take an old UFO for the satisfaction of finally getting it done, a challenging project because there will be others there who can help, and something that’s easy or fun because it will be relaxing. Have lots of fun and say ‘hi’ to Buenie for me!

  11. Ruthie says:

    I’m up against the same thing this week…..what to pack for my retreat. I have quite a pile started, but no pics yet.

    Have a great time!

  12. Linda says:

    Take it all!! LOL…that’s what I do!

  13. kathy h says:

    When I go on quilt retreat, I usually take easier projects or ones that I have cut out already. If I am talking and laughing and working on a project that takes too much concentration then I am lost. I also like to take something small that I can definitely finish on the weekend. At least finish the top. I usually don’t quilt anything big because it takes up so much room. I will quilt small wall hangings. I take extra projects, just in case. usually way too much but you never know. Have fun and quilt or sew something that you want to make.

  14. Love the ferris wheels and roll, roll, cotton boll. Whichever you pick, its sure to be fun!

  15. Brita says:

    When I gather with friends for fun and relaxation, I don’t ever bring anything that needs my attention! I take pre-cut parts, or a UFO that doesn’t require cutting or concentration. If I do, I make mistakes, and then I miss out on the FUN and RELAXATION part. Go for easy, it will feel just as good to get it done, and you won’t feel as bad if you don’t get it done :-)

  16. Claudia says:

    PS. I like Jessica’s Ferris Wheel too. Esp. the red one.

  17. Claudia says:

    Hmmmm, right where I’m at at the moment. I vote for the pile of Westminster and white fabrics. Enuf with winter, some spring is in order.

  18. Janice says:

    I would take them all. Put the name of each on a slip of paper, and at the retreat work on the one you pull out first, commit to at least 1 hour on each project before you pull out another name. That way if you are bored with one you can move on, or if you are excited by one you can stay put and finish.

  19. Jocelyn says:

    I think we all have this same problem. Too many beautiful projects and not enough time! The Ferris Wheel is gorgeous! I love the way the pillow turned out. And then again I always love the 30′s repro fabrics. And what CUTE little ladies…… Sounds like I am not help. Can’t wait to see what you end up doing.

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