Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Retreat at Toccoa

What's better than getting to quilt all weekend? Quilting with 38 of your closest friends!
I was at a Quilts of Valor retreat the first weekend in October. We stayed at the Baptist Conference Center right on Lake Louise! This view of the lake is from our window where our sewing machines were set up - beautiful!

Once we had everything setup, the sewing machines were humming away. Here is part of the room with a few dedicated quilters, working away on many of the quilts that finished.

We were in the purple room and I made friends with everyone - we are calling ourselves the Purple Peeps!

Here we are - all 9 of us. We laughed so much I think some of the others (not in our room) thought we crazy. HA! They were right!

What retreat isn't complete without the driving force of chocolate? There was plenty of that along with ton's of other stuff. Someone brought apples from their orchard, very cool.

I had decided to take along the Bear Paw I told you I was going to make for the upcoming presentation. Well...here is a sampling of the half square triangles I worked on.

and worked on...
and worked on...

So after many hours of cutting, pressing and squaring I needed to see some real progress, so I put one block together.

Ain't it purdy?

On the upside, I was able to get some blocks together - 6 total. On the down side I need 35 to make the top. I decided to group the 1/2 squares together and trim as I make the block, that way I will reward myself, after all the tedious trimming with a block. Smart huh? I brought home a project box full of stacks. I have been putting off the trimming on those 1/2 squares, but then something really cool happened. I went to the Quilt Expo in Duluth this past weekend and one of the vendor there was Bloc Loc. If you have never seen or heard of these ruler, you MUST check them out. They have a groove in the center that fits over your seam, making the trimming super easy. I timed myself tonight, and I could do 1 a minute. Here is the link to their website http://www.blocloc.com.
Check them out. I am super happy I bought them and now don't fear the 1/2 squares anymore!

There is so much more to fill you in on, but I will make that in another post. 
For now, just a reminder that we are meeting this Saturday, October 27th at Cottontail Quilts - 9:30. I will bring some stuff to work on, so I hope you can make it.

Remember - freedom is never free

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Letter from the Front Lines

I wanted to share this note - if came to the Region 8 coordinator, Susan Gordon and I thought you would like to see how QOV is making a difference in the soldiers lives.

Dear QOV Quilters: I have been receiving quite a few notes from the front lines recently in response to the quilts we have sent from this region. Today I received a handwritten note that I would like to share with all of you. These are Col. Young’s exact words:

13 July 2012
Dear Susan & Quilters,
This past Monday, 9 July, I was working at Bagram’s Craig Joint Theatre Hospital. I was examining a 44 y.o. National Guardsman who was in the ICU. 
He was in his skivvies and cold. A nurse brought him a beautiful red, white, and blue quilt and your card was attached. I pulled the quilt over him and took the card so I could write a Thank you in his behalf. He left that evening for Landstuhl Regional Med Ctr, but your quilt will be with him until he reaches home. 
I know the many hours it takes for you to make these quilts and I want to thank all of you for your generosity and patriotism. 
Col Richard You

We may never know just which quilt this young (young to me) National Guardsman received, but every day the quilts you are making are covering our wounded warriors and giving them both comfort and warmth at possibly the most difficult time in their lives. Thank you for your devotion to our most worthy cause. Every day when I count my blessings I think of all of you and your talented hands and generous hearts.
Susan Gordon

Thank you for all you do
Remember - freedom is not free!
~ Renee

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Getting super excited!!

Starting on Friday and going through Sunday I will be attending a QOV retreat in Tocca, GA!! I am looking forward to spending some time sewing away on the presentation quilt. I am also looking forward to getting some more ideas on things we can do with our own group.

Here is what I decided to make: a red, white and blue bear paw. These 2 gals inspired me with this picture they posted on the QOV Facebook page. Just so happens they are from Michigan and live near where I grew up!
I designed my version of this quilt in EQ7 and have all the 1/2 square triangles sewn together. I just need to square them up. I will post once I get something done that is worth looking at! LOL

Due to scheduling conflicts at Cottontail Quilt our meeting this month has been moved to the 27th starting at 9:30. I sure hope you can make it.
We are going to be making some changes with the schedule starting at the beginning of the year, so stay tuned.

Come and sew with us - it's always a good time for a great cause!

~Remember - freedom is never free