Friday, September 9, 2016

Bandon Art Retreat 2016

Back in June, Fyber Cafe textile arts group had our annual art retreat to the Oregon Coast. We went for 4 day/3 nights to the retreat center at Forget Me Knots quilt shop in Bandon, Oregon. Lots of fun was had by all, I'll put a more detailed account on the Fyber Cafe blog click here I decided to take a couple of projects to finish up, that needed machine quilting and binding. My first priority was to finish a baby quilt for my nephew's new baby, it is made with Flower Fairy fabric and I free motion quilted hearts all over and added her name and the year in stitching too.
My next project to finish, is my medallion based on a Ricky Tims book. The title is "Fire in the Hole." It is my original design of curved machine piecing, and machine applique with a blanket stitch. When I saw the book, my first impression was "that looks fun to free motion quilt" NOT. There was no room for any fancy machine quilting, I used matching rayon thread to stitch in the ditch on the piecing and an 1/8" echo quilting on the applique.
Stitching the background was more challenging, I sat down to just do a small stipple to fill the area, then decided, no, I needed something more. I use freezer paper for everything, so I got a piece and sketched a design to coordinate with the applique, folded paper is great for symmetry. I cut four layers of paper and ironed them onto each corner and stitched around the pattern. It filled the area nicely, but I still had a lot of space on each side.
I cut a symmetrical pattern to use on the side, and stitched it also. The quilt binding is solid black to finish off the edge.
My friend Susan went with me, and we had wanted to do a project together. I had gotten the book "Happy Villages" by Karen Eckmeier, I had seen this before in an old issue of Quilting Arts magazine and had wanted to do it back then. This was the perfect opportunity to try it. I choose the pattern with a hillside over a lake, with a sky in the top corner with fluffy white clouds. My colors were sort of white, warm tan, gold, terracotta and some blue. Her technique starts you off with squares of fabric that are cut into stair step shapes and arranged onto the background. Then doors, roofs, windows, stairs, trees and other details are added to compose your picture. Well I got carried away again, over achiever syndrome, I fussy cut and fiddled with the doors etc... and made them too small and detailed. I ripped a few of the lower ones off and made bigger doors & windows, and they got smaller as you went up the hill. It took a LOT longer than I thought it would to arrange and glue everything in place. I like Avery glue sticks for my raw edge applique. The whole picture was covered with light blue tulle before the free motion stitching.
Over achiever OCD person here again, I did a lot of free motion quilting, very densely, with matching rayon threads. I used a few accent colors for roof, rock walls and such. The stitching details took lots of time, the whole rest of the retreat in fact. I am very happy with the result and have another village in mind that I would like to do.
Lorraine knew we were doing this project, so she brought her village, that she had made in a class with Karen Eckmeier, it is a lot simpler and smaller, with nice warm oranges and rust colors.
Susan got her village assembled at the retreat, but did not do any quilting yet. Her colors are clear and sharp and she choose a pattern with a river running through the village, with a bridge. We had lots of fun! I am linking this to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Friday" click here check out what other textile artist are doing this week.


  1. oh what FUN!
    Thanks for leaving such a refreshing comment on my studio post... I wanted to discuss how you are finding peace with loss... but am not sure your email addy... want to email me? leeannaquilts at gmail dot com
    Thanks Amy, LeeAnna

  2. You certainly accomplished a lot on that retreat. I am particularly struck by the freezer paper garland you adapted for a quilting design. Lovely.

  3. Thanks so much for the positive feed back on my blog regarding my "flood poems". Yes, the sample had shades of blue ... which I was alright but not what I envisioned for the larger poems. I really like your village and especially references to being OCD (which, in this household, stands for Obsessive Compulsive DELIGHT!) I envy your location as I truly love Oregon and am lucky enough to have an upcoming art residency at PLAYA in the remote "Outback" along Summer Lake. I was there for the entire month of October 2015 and knew from the moment I arrived that I'd miss the place sorely when I had to leave. Susan

    1. The eastern part of Oregon is so different from the coastal, but having spent considerable college time camping in the Mojave desert, I love the high desert plateau and lava mesas of Eastern Oregon. I am glad you get to come back, since it was such a fruitful creative time for you.