Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Guest Blogger, LeeAnn

My intention was to have a completely improvisational experience at the retreat. 
 I wanted to just show up and react to what was there--the city, the fabrics, the people,
whatever might inspire me.  I had asked everyone to bring a small bag of scraps I could 
play with, as I was flying from the West Coast and trying to bring only one carry-on bag. 
 The first inspiration was this wonderful bunch of scraps!  Victoria had several bins waiting
for us, and everyone contributed to the luscious pile.  Here's Kim and Jessica reacting with 
the joy we all felt.  Like kids in a candy shop, and we could have it all!  

I chose fabrics from the pile based on what I liked--vintage, ugly, colors I don't normally
use (like brown), lights, darks, novelty prints, and a few solids.  

The second inspiration was Victoria's Accu Quilter Go!  I had never seen one of these, 
and thought I'd like to try something new.  I ended up spending all of Friday morning cutting
out triangles.  I love that gadget, and am thinking about saving up to purchase one myself.  
My next task was to pair the triangles to get various levels of contrast and sew, sew, sew!  
I chain pieced all the triangles into squares (half-square triangles or HST's.)

By Friday night I had enough HST's to lay them on the floor and see what I could do with them. 
 I'd been wanting to make a quilt with zigzag design, so I tried it.  I realized that this design was 
really a bunch of flying geese, half  light "geese," and half dark.  

Then to sew the HST's into pairs.  This took all of Saturday.  I still wasn't sure if 
this wacky combination of colors and patterns would all work together.  

Early Sunday morning, I got up before everyone else and quietly started arranging rows 
of geese on Victoria's design wall.  I laid them there exactly as they came off the pile. 
No rearranging or thinking about what looked nice.  

The design started taking shape.  It was working!  I was so excited, I was hopping around
in my jammies, but quietly so no one would wake up.  At last, Jackie appeared.  I motioned 
for her to come and look.  Then Kim, then Victoria, then the other gals arrived and I invited 
them to take a look.  Everyone was great at sharing in my excitement.  The rest of Sunday 
was spent sewing the blocks together and saying good-byes to these wonderful new friends 
as they left for home.  Victoria was very sweet to let me keep sewing until 10:30 p.m.  At 
last, it was done!   I folded it up, put it in my suitcase, and flew back to Seattle early Monday 

All weekend, Victoria cooked us the most wonderful gourmet meals and made sure our every 
need was met.  Plus, she made a beautiful, original quilt!  She is amazing, truly--warm, 
gracious, generous and kind.  She's as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.  
Thank you, thank you, Victoria!!! 


Next up for guest blogger is Andrea from the little collection.

Have a great day!


  1. LeAnn it was such a blast to watch this quilt come together! I thought I sewed long hours, but you started way before me and kept going long after I stopped too. I love how you stuck with your plan to let the colors fall where they may. The overall effect is stunning! It was fun to see little bits of my fabrics showing up in this happy mixture. I'm so glad I got to meet you!
    And I agree that Victoria is truly amazing. She's delightfully creative and warm-hearted too.

  2. Hi all, Sorry for the content-heavy post. There were photos that went along with the story, but somehow they didn't come up.

  3. Sounds like you had a fabulous time, I loved your zig zag when V posted about your retreat. What a great piece you now have.

  4. wonderful quilt and woohoo, you got it done so fast! I have to admit I'd probably have gotten distracted and tried other things, and socialized and just not make that kind of progress!

  5. Fantastic geese, LeeAnn! I love reading about your process. It struck me while I reading, that Victoria's retreat ended over a week ago, yet it continues to generate amazing posts and inspiration! Love it.

  6. What a triumph your quilt is, Lee Ann; it certainly doesn't look vintage...or ugly!!

  7. ooooh LeeAnn, thank you sooo much for sharing your process. I really really love this quilt and think I might just secretly start sewing a few pairs of triangles together here and there .. like i *need* another project .. would love to see the rest of the pics, but your description helps a lot without making me want to make a "copy" of your quilt.

  8. LeeAnn, I share many of the same sentiments that Karen does... It was wonderful watching you work over the weekend, so diligently, I might add. And then coming up with a wonderful quilt top at the end. I was so excited on Sunday morning when you came and fetched me, not realizing that you had been up long before me. And to my surprise, a wonderful quilt top on the design wall. Victoria is a wonderful person and was very gracious to all of us and our quirky quilting habits while there. I hope she does this with us again!!

  9. LeeAnn,
    Love reading about your process.
    It would be fun to watch you create magic!

  10. I agree with Karen and Jackie....so enjoyed meeting you and watching you work. Your improvisation was carried out in a most ordered fashion. You cut and sewed without stopping and did not make a mess....and you looked so composed the whole time. Such a joy to quilt with you And yes, V took good care of us all!

  11. Amazing quilt top! Thanks for sharing the outcome of your playing;)


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