Jane Stickle Quilt Retreat

I had a wonderful time at my retreat. I originally planned to write a post on Sunday but decided not to. Writing posts when suffering from sleep deprivation is not a good idea! But now I’m wide awake, most of the laundry is caught up, so here it my report.

We had very nice weather for the first 3 days of the retreat. One of the benefits of having the retreat at the Farmstead Inn is it is close enough to Yoder Department Store and Lolly’s Fabrics that I can easily walk to the stores in “downtown” Shipshe.

The Jane Stickle Quilt retreat is named to honor theIMG_0131 quilt Jane Stickle pieced during the civil war. Elaine Frey’s Jane was on display for the week-end. This quilt was made and gifted to her several years ago by retreat participants. The quilt was a gift of friendship in appreciation for her time spent organizing the retreat for so many, many years. The retreat wouldn’t exist if not for her leadership.

The first Jane block I ever pieced is in this quilt. (G5-Poof)

IMG_0183Someone commented on my last post that I should make some shopping time, and I did! Most of my shopping came from the resale table at the retreat where I bought these treasures, Ayers House Dancing Dollies Quilt by Irene Carrig and Auntie Green’s Garden by Irene Blanck of Focus on Quilts fame!

I scored the patterns on Wednesday evening and then on Thursday, Irene actually stopped by at the retreat to see her friend Patty Harant. She autographed the pattern for IMG_0132me and then we took a photo together. The whole retreat was a wonderful experience, but getting to meet Irene Blanck was the highlight of the entire week-end. Here we are, Patty, Irene and me!

A friend and I took some time on Friday to shop at Yoder’s and Lolly’s. Well, she shopped and I did reconnaissance in anticipation of Wana Night Out on December 1st. I’m getting my list ready!

IMG_0190On Saturday, I drove us through the first major winter snow storm of the year to Caroline’s Cotton Cottage in Rome City. (Hey, it’s northern Indiana. Unless I want to stay home all winter, you just have got to drive in snow!)

I bought designated fabrics for projects there. The bottom 4 fabrics are for Lucy Boston’s Patchwork of the Crosses I want to EPP someday. Doesn’t that border edge look lovely! The top left fabrics are 30’s fabrics to be used in Sweet Surrender and the blues on the top right are for the Salinda Rupp quilt, Nearly Insane. Some of the blues for Lucy Boston might make it into Nearly Insane too!

The final purchase I made was also from the retreat. I purchased a used Grace hand quilting frame that has never been used and is still in the box. (Does that make sense?) Son 2 is my handyman and he will get to put the frame together when he and his family are here after Christmas. I won’t be ready to use it until I complete quilting Jane on the old sticks and stand quilting frame. A new quilt frame gives me even more incentive to get the quilting completed. We’ll see if I can have her finished by the start of the new year.

IMG_0135Thursday evening was a pink pajama party with the famous pj’s from Target. There were 115 women at the retreat and 70 of them had the pajamas.

IMG_0146Many of the retreaters participated in a service project Friday morning and made dresses for Africa. 47 dresses and 8 britches were completed.

Late Friday afternoon Anita Shackelford was our guest speaker and gave a presentation about rescuing quilts. This was a very fascinating program with pictures from before and the finished rescued quilt. I would have thrown most of the before quilts in the trash but she took what I considered trash and turned them into treasures. She posts about her rescues on her blog. She really has given these quilts a new life.

Friday evening was Show & Tell. Only retreat participants can show & tell but the public is welcome to join us in the oohing and aahing. I didn’t get pictures of all the quilts but will just show you a few of the highlights. I also don’t remember who exhibited what except in the pictures that contain the maker. To see all of Show & Tell, visit Rosemary Youngs blog and see her smile box slide show. The first photos on Rosemary’s smile box are from the show & tell at the November 20th Moda club held at Lolly’s. Get a cup of coffee or tea, set back and enjoy all the beautiful quilts!

IMG_0154Lori displayed her Jane made with Kaffe Fassett fabrics.







IMG_0156Someone showed the start of their lovely Jane in blues. She changed up the cornerstones with itsy-bitsy 9-patches.








Val showed her 9th (!) Jane. Instead of using the normal corners, she substituted applique and embroidery.



IMG_0182Edith Shanholt showed this lovely quilt from both the Affairs of the Heart and My Mother Taught Me to Sew patterns. This picture isn’t from show & tell but was taken afterwards. Rosemary shows the actual quilt from show & tell and looks much nicer than this one displayed on the floor. Edith hand quilted her and used 950 yards of thread.

IMG_0160I can’t forget to show Lynn’s Phoebe designed by Diane Ford. This was a very long-term project and looks just beautiful.

These are just a few of the quilts from show & tell. To see them all, check out Rosemary’s slide show.

IMG_0185What did I work on over the long week-end? The main project was a kit I had purchased several years ago at Lolly’s for a queen sized, purple and green Summer Lake Log Cabin quilt designed by Judy Martin. The pattern is found in her Log Cabin Quilt Book.

This is 60 V blocks, 30 W blocks, 26 X blocks and 4 Z corner blocks. The borders are pieced piano keys. I had the strips along to sew, but just couldn’t sew another stitch on this project. All of the center blocks are pieced and I’ll lay them out and get the center sewn together sometime in January. That’s the plan anyway.

IMG_0189I also finished appliquing another album block for the Pastor’s Attic quilt.

When I started prepping for this applique quilt, I cut all the background squares. I like to overlock stitch the edges so they don’t ravel. I finished 5 edges, then decided this was extremely boring. I bagged up the remaining 20 backgrounds and took them along to the retreat. They have all been edged and are ready to be appliqued.

This retreat always kicks off my start of the winter season, a time for slowing down and doing the needlework projects I so enjoy. I also spend time in the barn feeding calves and other chores but there is no field work in the winter for me.

There are 142 days left until the April 2016 retreat which will signal the end of winter and start of the busy summertime here on the farm.

I’m linking to the following blogs –

Kathy’s Slow Stitching Sunday

Quilting is More Fun than Housework!

Love, Laugh, Quilt

Cooking Up Quilts

Esther’s Wednesday Wow




Prep Work

Since I’ve completed the embroidered quilt, I’ve  been focusing on prepping projects.

IMG_5477I need 67 attic window blocks for the siggie swap during the Jane Stickle Quilt retreat in November. They’re prepped and ready to be sewn. I’ve cut extra fabric to make more blocks. Not all of my friends are participating in the swap and I want their signatures too. There are enough prepped pieces for 80 blocks. I thought an 8 x 10 block layout would be the easiest setting.

I didn’t buy fabric for these blocks but used from my stash. The top dark blue was leftover from a project many, many years ago and the other blue is from the embroidered UFO quilt I just finished piecing last week.

I have no idea where the top medium  blue fabric came from. The middle one is another leftover from a project and the bottom fabric is from my mom’s stash. Muslin fabric is used for the signature section.

IMG_5479The sashings for the Salinda Rupp/Nearly Insane quilt have been cut and sewn. I purchased the sashing fabric after the August Inspiration Club held at  Pumpkinvine Quilting. (Designated fabric purchases are ok.) A soft yellow is the color I’ve gone with and I’m using the blue fabric leftover from Jane for the cornerstones.

The yellow shows lighter here than it actually is, but in the block photo below, it shows brighter than it actually is.


The side sashings have been sewn to block 1. The other pieces are pinned on the design wall. (I have to pin them in the summer because the ceiling fan blows them off the wall!)




The 2-patches have been sewn into 4-patch blocks. They need to be pressed but they are the lowest priority project. I’m always intrigued when I chain stitch blocks, how they spill over the edge of my sewing machine cabinet, onto the floor and then drape into a beautiful swirl.

The 600 HST’s for the Cherry Blossom quilt are ready to go. There seems to be an overabundance of brown fabric. I’ll probably piece half of the block B’s and then decide if I need some color changes for the last bunch.

IMG_5497The main focus these weeks has been on marking Jane so she can go in the quilting frame the first Saturday in September. But I decided not to wait until September and got her into the frame last Saturday.

I used a very fine point blue marker to mark the quilting. It doesn’t show in the picture but it is dark enough for me to see when I quilt. The first thing I did was to baste stitch the outside edge. I had marked a line for this and when she is bound, I will lay the edge of the binding on the basting thread.

IMG_5498My Jane has feather borders because I don’t like the scallops that were on the original quilt. I had originally planned to use a different feather stencil and she would have had a scalloped border but I changed my mind. I ran into Donna Kooistra at the AQS show in Grand Rapids and asked her thoughts (as a quilt appraiser) on my plan for the markings. She mentioned several things to take into consideration and one of them was the size of the feather compared to the pieced blocks. After I was home, I compared the quilting stencil to the pieced blocks and the feathers were too large in comparison. I bought several more feather stencils and this was the one that looked the best. So, the border is going to be straight, not scalloped.

I will be posting weekly progress on my quilting. I have no idea how long the quilting will take.

Salinda Rupp Quilt – Nearly Insane

The Jane Stickle quilt is the most challenging (to me anyway) quilt I’ve ever pieced. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much I’m enjoying the foundation paper piecing. And since I’ve found Anina’s blog, That Quilt, the piecing has gone rather smoothly. I still have the triangles to piece but I’m hoping to complete the piecing of this quilt by the end of this year.

Even though my main focus for this year has been the Jane quilt, I’m still thinking about all the other quilts I want to make. I’ve been surprised by the number of quilters who complete their Jane, then start all over again with another one! Not me, I have too many quilts I want to make to start over on the same pattern again.

When my Jane is completed, I think it is the foundation paper piecing method I’ll miss. There is something I find satisfying in the process. I was thinking about other quilts that are foundation paper pieced and one of them is the Sallinda Rupp quilt, renamed Nearly Insane by Liz Lois.

These blocks are 6 inches finished so they are larger than Jane but they usually contain even more pieces. I was hoping I could find a blog that would help me with the piecing like the That Quilt site did with Jane, but all I could find was the Nearly Insane Fans blog. No one has posted there since October 14, 2014. They don’t give detailed instructions on how to piece the blocks, they just show pictures of their blocks.

IMG_5297So, the challenge is, can I figure out how to foundation paper piece these blocks on my own? Well, here is block 1. I’m fairly satisfied with the fabrics I’ve used, the two light blues in the center are similar, but I’m not dissatisfied enough to make another one. This block contains 37 pieces but went together fairly easily.

So, yes I am going to start a Nearly Insane Quilt in January 2016 using the blues and yellows I already have in my stash. My friend Elaine is going to piece along with me. It’s nice to have someone working on the same project at the same time so we can cheer each other on.