For Your Inspiration: quilters at ocean isle, nc

I belong to a Quilt Bee. I’m the youngest of my friends there. They all either live in or near my neighborhood or used to. As far as I can tell they aren’t really interested in going to the local guilds or classes. They just really, really, really like to sew. And they sew a LOT. I love these women so much!

They also spend a week at the beach once a year. My travel schedule has only allowed me to attend twice, and only for a few days, but amazing things happen there. Three of the four other quilters there this year are working a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt together. One is making a slew of baby quilts.

This year I didn’t have a pressing deadline to meet so it was completely my choice what to bring. After dithering and waiting until the last minute I gathered up five or six finished tops, threw my entire thread cabinet and my HQ16 in the back of my van, almost forgot to pack clothes, and took off. My goal was to work on things as fast as I could for two and a half days. Things that I knew would be at the bottom of the list to get done here at home because they didn’t have a deadline and because they were all at those sticking points in the process. You know, the parts you don’t love the most. For me that is layering and machine quilting. I’ll admit it. I don’t love machine quilting. I love designing and painting and sometimes even sewing – but my love always comes to a screeching halt with the machine quilting process. I am fine once I get into it and it’s definitely worth doing because I love the way things turn out. But I have to push myself to get past that point.

By 9am Monday morning I was sewing.

This poor piece has been quilted and unfinished for around five-ish years. It was experimental and I didn’t love it and there were always other deadlines pressing. My tiny little Elna Lotus fit into my bin so it came along and helped me get the facing finished. I think I might have put the hanging sleeve on the bottom of this piece. It wouldn’t be the first time. And I think I’ve thought of a few more things I want to do to it.

Let me tell you a funny story. All my kids have been taught to sew. Some love it. Some don’t. My current 18yr old high school senior was interested enough to make about 6 of these blocks. Simple sew and flip on a foundation. No measuring or fussing. I was interested enough to make six more blocks. Then my dear friend Kathy felt sorry enough for my quilt-less son to make a bunch more and put them all together so I could finish the thing for his birthday. (I also paid her well with several boxes of thread.) Uh. I didn’t finish it. So I pulled it out, sort of kind of put big borders on, realized I didn’t have quite enough so I slapped together some terribly made blocks for the corners and there you go. I’m going to schedule a date on Becky’s long-arm and knock this thing out before the kid graduates from high school.

And this was just day 1. Amazing how productive I can be at the beach. It helped that it was raining so I wasn’t tempted to run away to the water.

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Comments

  1. Kathy Pitts says:

    Congratulations for teaching all of your children to sew. Makes them very marketable. Love that you are completing your son’s quilt, he will love it.

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