Although I only stayed one night, I had lots of time to reconnect with old friends, meet lots of new ones, and do lots of sewing. The guild has a Face Book page HERE and a very active Face Book page for members so it was wonderful to meet everyone in person after corresponding through the FB page. It was so nice to spend time there with my blog friend Linda, of Scrapmaster, a fellow member of the Nova Scotia Quilt Bloggers Quartet! I'm on the right.
There were 26 participants and 19 of us participated in a swag bag exchange. I decided to make zippered pouches for everyone, trying to use some of my more modern fabrics with a few extras tossed in. I had purchased a gazillion zippers a few years ago and they came in handy for this project. I used a free pattern I found HERE and adapted the size to make the bag narrower and long enough to hold a chocolate bar and some goodies.
The retreat room was perfect with plenty of space, a table for everyone, lots of outlets, and natural light. All the swap bags were on a table in one corner and they were waiting patiently to be filled...and filled they were. This is what mine looked like.
Love the label! Inside was everything you could imagine from a group of talented, creative and generous gals. There were handcrafted pouches, home made delectable treats, candies and chocolate galore, and lots of sewing treats including thread, buttons, needles, and measuring tapes. Here are just a few of the goodies:
For the retreat, I had brought three projects to work on and used my Sew-Ezi table to set up my old Janome workhorse!
The first project is called Quilt Bars. It is a free pattern by Tammy Silvers for Camelot Fabrics that you can find HERE. I had about half the fabrics already in my stash and bought a tad more to put it together.
I made two of the giant blocks before retreat and finished the quilt top by Saturday morning. The size is 48" x 60" so I will tackle the quilting on my own.
Project # 2 is called Bright Heart Wedges. Again, I chose my brightest fabrics, bought the Fons and Porter Large Wedge Ruler, and had all my wedges cut and ready to sew for retreat day.
A few hours later, I had assembled a few rows.
There will be white sashing between the rows and I'm going to extend the rows a little wider and go without a border, thanks to friend Linda of Scrapmaster for her brilliant suggestion! Here is a picture of the original pattern designed by Tony Jacobson.
At that point in the retreat, it was Power Hour! This was an hour, for those participating, that was dedicated to making our blocks for the IWK Charity quilts. You can read more about it HERE. I had brought a tote filled with the precut units and by the end of the hour had sewn 13 blocks together. Adding these to my batch from home, I now have 26 blocks of the 80 block quilt done, the suggested size of a twin quilt. I have several months to work on this so I'm sure I will have a complete top by the Fall. At some point in time, I may arrange the blocks so there is some structure to it, but right now, this is just a bunch of the random blocks.
After the hour, it was back to the wedges and then I slipped away to visit my family for the rest of the weekend.
Thank you ever so much to the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild executive and organizing committee for hosting the "First Ever MMQG Retreat". It was a time filled with friends and fabric, and so many perks, like the three free mystery projects. Although I didn't participate that day, I hope to do them down the road. Who would not want to make this adorable schooner!
The organizers had arranged for multiple draw prizes from a huge group of sponsors. I wasn't lucky enough to win any of the draw prizes, but all participants received coupons for discounts from the Canadian shops Dinkydoo Fabrics and Notions and Fabric Spark.
All in all, a wonderful time and I am hoping to stay for the full weekend next year!
Thought you might like to see the list of sponsors, all Canadian.
Located in Nova Scotia:
Bridgewater, Dartmouth, Halifax, Greenwood, New Glasgow, and Truro