Quilting retreat-Sunflower style

I always have enjoyed reading about quilting retreats but never have gone on any. Here in Sunflower our guild has retreats every other year mostly because they are a lot of work. This is our third year down here and this year I am able to go! YEY!!!

I guess they have been doing them for over twelve years and have it down to a science. I guess there is even a book or manual should present organizers retire from this project. I would just like to share my experiences with you all.

The retreat is actually held at a church about 5 minutes away. So convenient that some slipped out for a few hours if needed. We had 18 quilters participate and 2 event leaders. We were put into one of three groups. Each group had to bring an iron, ironing board, extension cord and power strip. We gathered up our sunflower quilters stuff and someone brought that. Cutting boards, rotary cutters with new blades, rulers of all shapes and sizes, and our accu cut machine with a new die cube we just purchased for everyone to play with. Each group was also assigned a meal to set up, finish preparing and clean up. We had a great kitchen with two dishwashers. We had a itinerary with times and what was planned. Leaders got all the food (too much but each time the reduce it) so it was well planned and organized.

As quilters we could bring anything to work on. Lots of different projects going on, laying out of blocks and plenty of options on what or how it should be done. I put my Bonnie Hunter Mystery on hold to sew the main blocks together at this retreat. 50 of them, at first I thought never will I get them all done. There was also a lot of socializing and getting to know other quilters a little more in depth and of course common discussion.

We began early Friday morning, 8:30 setup time and breakfast at 9. We all arrived with our “personal stuff”, and set up at a table. It was 3 to a table. We were greeted with a wonderful small quilted gift. After all we’re set up and everyone was hooked up to power we had a small breakfast. 930 we started our sewing.

I guess as with any retreat, lots of sewing, conversations, opinions and FOOD! It seemed like we were eating all the time. But it was all good!

Here is our big room. We usually have a small room and it gets quite noisy, but this was so nice.

Cutting area and at far end was bin of scraps and the accu cutter to play with.

These were busy and just the right amount..no waiting. One quilter also made 2 gallons of homemade Best press and we loaded up our spray bottles.

So above are our leaders in our game of the day. It was a white elephant game. You were to bring something you had and would like to get yourselves, out it in a brown bag. We all got a number and went in order, picked a bag, opened it and showed it to all. Next person did the same, but could steal that one or anyone else’s or pick a bag. So what you picked someone else could have taken it. It was lots of fun. I picked a LED headlight to do hand stitching or anything. Perfect for me, but I ended up with 2 fat quarters red hatter material which also was very cool.

We had our supper and some had enough and left. I stayed until 7pm. Back was getting a bit sore and I was pleased with my sewing progress. I was able to lay flat on floor a few times and stretch out.

We returned the following morning for breakfast and sewing. We had our lunch of leftovers and still more leftover so we all got to take 3-4 bags of leftover food items. Someone also brought in some fresh grapefruit…they are so big and fresh down here. I have been looking forward to them.

We had sort of a quilt show and some show and tell. I brought in my daughters “Packer Celtic Solstice” I made a few years ago.

(No this is not snow in AZ…old pic)

And yes I got all 50 blocks done. I did play with accu cutter as I cut several scraps into triangles and squares most of Saturday afternoon.

Here is some other picture candy.

We had one final game. Sort of a dice game. Three dice. One with L, R, C or *. We all had three fat quarters, shook the dice. And L meant pass one to the left, R to the right, C to the Center and * you keep it. You play until one person has a fat quarter in their hand. So fun…

Guess who won…ME!

We all had so much fun! I also got to take home the scrap bin as I am known as the scrap queen. I love it! All scrap batik fabrics!

So I spent Sunday sorting them by color and some by potential sewing projects! Now I have a better stash down here!

Here is today’s finish. Quilted and binding applied…next charity quilt. Reminds me of a book I read to my girls Mr. Downs and balloons.

Hope you enjoyed!

Happy Quilting!


Sunflower Quilters…busy gals

It has been a bit since I have blogged. I guess busy with quilting, beautiful weather and enjoying life. Spouse has now picked up my cough/cold or whatever. Our elderly neighbor fell (nothing broken) but weak due to flu. Very nasty so we helped him get up..his son and my husband via the blanket. I got to play home health nurse again. You never forget some things. He was able to walk around so that kept him from heading to hospital. We picked up a few groceries and hopefully he will get better in a few days. We wanted to keep our distance for our health and also Abi who is shopping out to boot camp in 2 weeks. She did not get the shot. Although probably will get it there. She is closing out her apartment this weekend and moving in with us until her ship date.

Our group of quilters has been busy with personal projects and community projects. First up some personal projects, classes by a few members.

This is Sharon’s Cathedral Windows quilt being pinned by the gals. Sunday four of us got together and pinned 10 Quilts. Three were mine.

The next class was “sugar and spice “…

This was a fun class and everyone had great colors.

This is mine. I have never purchased batiks. The pack was a Tonga jelly pop package and I took advantage of Thousands of bolts batik fabric sale for the boarders. I have a cut owl backing and this week picked up some batting. This will be for my mom. I will hand quilt it as she prefers hand quilting. This will be my next project when I finish my “straits of Magellan” quilt. 4 blocks to go.

I finished up quilting this quilt, a recovery quilt from my back surgery. We all thought this backing looked like hospital gown fabric..how fitting I guess.

Jan is finishing up this month’s mystery quilt block. The featherweight has some of my scrap blocks I am making from a bag of scraps brought in recently.

This is how it coming together. Probably a border and maybe some four patches.

Two of us played with Accuquilt. Our group is looking into more dies and we played with the 9 inch cube. These are too many pieces and too small for charity quilts. We decided to purchase the 12 inch cube and will have it by next week’s retreat.

It is funny when I am sewing blocks the gals always ask if this block is our mystery block. I said it was close, because it is. This actually is our center block so they will make only one. Only difference is that the corners are squares. I am also going to do the flying geese as two HST together. Mystery blocks are 6.5 inches unfinished so these will be small pieces for the group, but a nice final block putting all the learned skills to test. I forgot how accurate the Accuquilt dies are and sewing them is quite fun. I may have to use it prior to returning to WI and cut my pieces for a quilt.

This will be my weekend quilting project…machine quilting. Cloudy today and wind to pick up as a “winter”storm is all the rage down here. 50’s on Sunday and freezing temps Sunday and Monday night. But spouse currently playing pickleball….life goes on.

I have all my “On Ringo Lake” blocks kitted together for the retreat. Hope to get them all sewn. (50 blocks) πŸ™‚

Happy Quilting to all!

Marana Quilt Mystery

Today we constructed our fourth block in the mystery. Everyone is having so much fun. It is even better seeing all the different fabrics used by the gals. I wanted to share this block with those of you wanting to follow along.

Preppy Plaid


As I was writing up this lesson I really did not know the true name of this block. By this time you can probably notice my color theme. I have never had much aqua in my stash and a recent fabric purchase allowed me to choose several. I see in this block I actually have a plaid fabric! I am sure we all have worn some plaid in our days, even the young folk wear plaids-country singers influence I guess.

I really like this block as it goes together like a log cabin block and by turning it in different directions there are so many possibilities a very cool quilt.


You will need the following:

Fabric B: (24) 2” x 3.5” rectangles

Fabric C: (24) 2” x 5” rectangles

Fabric D: (12) 2” squares and (12) 3.5” squares

Fabric E: (12) 2” squares

Let’s begin with laying out all our pieces in the block.

Take the larger square and sew it to the multicolored strip.

Press to square

The take the top multicolored strip and sew to red block.

Press to square

Sew the light rectangle to the completed square you just made.

Press to the square

Take the other light rectangle and sew to other smaller square.

Press to smaller square

See below picture

Above block should measure 6.5” unfinished.

We will make 12 blocks for the mystery quilt.

This month’s Bonus Block

For bonus blocks pick any fabric

Fabric A: (1) 2.5” x 6.5”

Fabric B: (1) 2.5” x 6.5”

Fabric C: (1) 2.5” x 6.5”

Sunflower quilter’s blocks

I did not get everyone’s block. We had about 6 gals in class today and a few that just stopped by to do just one block.

After laying things out everyone was able to sew the block without issues.

Next month will be two blocks, March we will do the center block and assembly of quilt will be revealed!

Quilters will have the remainder of month to put blocks together prior to our business meeting for the group reveal. I want to get outdoor pictures of everyone’s creation.

Happy Quilting!

Mirana Quilt design by Linda Holzhueter prepared for Sunflower Quilters Members 2017-2018.