Weekend in Wisconsin

Fresh Lemons Quilts

Last weekend, I drove up to New Glarus, Wisconsin for a little relaxation and creative recharging with some of my favorite Iowa, Wisconsin, and Upper Peninsula Michigan quilty friends (and a couple of Houston and Nashville ladies thrown in for good measure). Somehow, I have no pictures with any of them! I suppose we were having too much fun. We rented the house you see above, about 5 miles outside the downtown New Glarus area. I had no clue that New Glarus was like a mini Switzerland, so you can imagine my surprise when I rolled into town. Lucky for me, this meant cheese fondue was on the menu and yes, I indulged.

Fresh Lemons Quilts

The weekend was just perfect. I love Wisconsin with the rolling hills and beautiful farms. On the way up from my home in the Chicago suburbs, I saw lots of corn, lots of black and white cows, a huge sunflower field, and at least 15 quilt barns.

Fresh Lemons Quilts

Our house even had sheep! I’m pretty convinced I need to move somewhere with sheep now.

Fresh Lemons Quilts

I spent quite a bit of my two days there sewing, and managed to finished all the blocks for my current quilt. Jeni came up with the perfect name too – Picnic Point. I’m so thankful that I trimmed up all the HSTs before leaving. Everything went together easily.

Fresh Lemons Quilts

I threw the blocks up on the design wall for a quick photo before packing up to leave. I’m hoping to sew the blocks together this week and start basting!

Progress and Friends

Fresh Lemons Quilts

What a fun week it has been, and it’s not over yet! Tuesday, I was lucky enough to spend the day with my Vintage Quilt Revival coauthors, and best quilty friends, Katie and Lee. Believe it or not, the three of us haven’t been all together since promoting our book at Quilt Market almost two years ago. We text each other pretty much everyday, but this felt like such a treat. Katie’s husband was in town for business so she tagged along with her new sweet baby girl.

Fresh Lemons QuiltsPhoto taken by my 8 year old :)

This was the first time our kids met! This isn’t the whole crew, as Katie’s older two kids stayed back home in Utah. But 5 out of 7 isn’t bad! After some initial shyness, everyone became fast friends as we hung out in downtown Chicago.

Fresh Lemons Quilts

Yesterday, I spent much of the day trimming those 256 HSTs that you see above. Not the most fun I’ve ever had, but I’m glad it’s done! I was admittedly easily distracted, so it wasn’t really a 12 hour job. And today, I’m packing up to head to Wisconsin for the weekend for some sewing time with fellow quilty friends. I’m feeling very spoiled to have some “me” time. I’m hoping to knock out all the blocks for this quilt top, and who knows what else! I’ll try to remember to take some pictures along the way. :)

Sewtopia Chicago

Sewtopia Chicago

Last weekend I spent my time in downtown Chicago at the Sewtopia retreat. It was super fun / exhausting! Organizers Amy Newbold and Jemellia Hilfiger and class assistants Rossie Hutchinson and Jen Carlton Bailly did an awesome job putting together a smooth running and really enjoyable weekend. The getaway was located at The Drake which is right at Michigan Avenue and Lake Michigan. It was really the perfect spot and I just loved the historic hotel. I feel like I’ve driven by it a thousand times but never gone inside.

I arrived Thursday around lunch time. Most people were out on the shop hop so I did a bit of relaxing, walking around Michigan Avenue to pick up a couple surprises for my kids, and (of course) eating! Thursday evening was the Welcome Reception and open sew time. I stayed with two of my favorite sewing friends, Lee and Angela. They both live less than 2 hours from me but we don’t get together nearly enough! It was so good to see them. :)

Sewtopia Chicago

Friday and Saturday were filled with class time and open sew. Rita Hodge of Red Pepper Quilts taught her Kansas Dugout block (HELLO y-seams!) Yep, I am going to brag for a moment. I-GOT-TO-TAKE-A-CLASS-FROM-RITA-OF-RED-PEPPER-QUILTS. I never thought I would even get to meet her, let alone take a class from her. Oh, and see her quality work in person. Just as amazing as it looks on her blog. She was just the kindest person as well. What a great experience!

Latifah of Latifah Saafir Studios (you may also know her as The Quilt Engineer) taught her Molehill pattern – lots of curves which she made non-scary and achievable! Latifah is not only crazy talented, but a born teacher. She just has this way of explaining techniques and the reasoning behind them that makes it look so easy.

Sewtopia Chicago

Between sewing time, we were able to go out and take in the (mostly) crazy beautiful weather for Chicago this time of year. I ate great good, had a lot of goofy laughs with friends, and just really recharged. I’m completely exhausted now…but it was totally worth it!

Sewtopia is a traveling retreat. The next event is in Portland and sold out, but they just announced the following city on their Facebook page. I definitely recommended attending!

Merry Christmas

From my family to yours, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year. Here’s to a bright and creative 2015!