When I have the opportunity to attend a quilt retreat, I have a specific approach to how I want to use my time. Going away for the weekend is a significant financial and time investment and I want to use the opportunity wisely. (Let me clarify that the retreats I have attended have been very affordable and well worth the $ spent!) I feel really gratified if I can start and finish a big project during that time. In years passed, I have completed the Kittens Quilt and the Typewriter Swoon. In the weeks leading up to the 2018 FRMQG retreat, I decided I wanted to make a quilt for my nephew, Rivers. I have made him baby and toddler bed quilts, and his mom had been offering to pay me to make him a twin sized quilt. She really loves what I make and I know I am appreciated. I didn't feel comfortable having her pay me to make him a quilt (we're family after all!) and I decided to just go for it, hopefully in time to gift it for his upcoming eighth birthday.
So I chose the fabrics from my stash (lots of Sarah Jane motifs including paper hats, rockets, and bikes) and a pattern from the book By the Bundle by Emma Jean Jansen. This pattern is called the "Hi Quilt"- so cute and easy! I had to buy gray sashing fabric and I pre-cut all of the pieces before I left for the retreat.
Once I arrived to the retreat on Friday afternoon, I bound a charity quilt and then I got working on the Hi blocks. I get so intent when I sew and I really wanted all of my blocks done fast.... But I didn't finish all 99 of them until dinner time on Saturday. It took me a lot longer than I had anticipated and I'll admit that it was a monotonous process! The same thing over and over again for sure. Finishing all of the blocks at the retreat was all that I could do for the quilt at the retreat, there was no place to lay them out to sew them into rows. I assembled the blocks into a top at home and had the quilt on the longarm pretty quickly. (I should add that I ended up making 5-6 more blocks mainly because of a minor mistake I made in calculating how many blocks I really needed).
A friend gifted me some quality polyester batting at a recent guild meeting, so I put that to use with this quilt. I quilted a somewhat dense boxy meander over the whole quilt- I really like that pattern lately- it's easy and forgiving.
A friend let me play with her decorative stitches and I finally labeled a quilt! I haven't done this in years. I backed this quilt in this white/blue dot, I've had it for way too long, and even though it doesn't match the front super well, I used it anyway to avoid buying more fabric.
This Friday, we're meeting up with my nephew's family at the Denver aquarium. I plan to gift it to him then, as his birthday is on Sunday. I am excited! I am pretty sure River's mom will be more excited than him though ;)
Linking up to Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.