Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Great Retreat

I'm just getting organized after spending 3 days hosting my Pet Portrait Retreat at our lakehouse in the Poconos.  It was 24/7 of sewing, eating, talking and laughing.  Everyone made great progress and I felt they left with the tools needed to finish the quilt.

We used every square inch of the house.

 Can you see my Accuquilt Studio cutter behind Roz?
 When your quilt is made up of 1,296 squares, their 2" die cutter is a beautiful thing. 
 It cuts 60 squares at a time.

 When I arrived at the lake to prep for my guests, my son and DIL were there.  Loren had gone to the Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival with her Mom.  It was a convenient place for them to stay.
I was thrilled when she offered to stay and help me with the cooking for the retreat.  I took it as an opportunity to further entice her with quilting, because the pet quilt I was planning on creating was a portrait of their dog, Cooper. It was supposed to be a surprise.  Instead I taught her the techniques and she just ran with it.
I ended up being her assistant! I did the grunt work of sewing the pieces together.  We got pretty far working as a team.

To make my map, I printed the photo of Cooper and placed a clear grid over it.
 The pattern starts to take shape using 2" squares of fabric following the grid.
Here's a close-up of the ear.
I chain pieced the top in sections.  See how much it shrinks?

 The top half is done!
Here are the start of more pet portraits:

Roz and Reggie
Wisps of Reggie's fur

Teresa and   Rosie (
Rosie's nose
 Grace and her owner, Cheryl
Grace's eye

 Luna and Rose
A Luna close-up

You can see from the close-ups that these quilts are not pixilated.  The grids are used to piece the details.  This makes the quilts look realistic. I'm looking forward to seeing them quilted and bound.

I was delighted to receive an e-mail from one of the quilters, after she arrived home that said:
"I want to thank you for a relaxing creative weekend, I feel recharged!"
I have tentatively schedule another Pet Mosaic Retreat in June.  June 12-14 th of 2015, also at the lake house.  If you're interested, shoot me an e-mail.

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  1. What a gift you have! It's so wonderful that you share it. Your students must be thrilled with the amazing results! I hope you are planning another book!!

  2. What a fun retreat, and what great quilts each of these participants will have.

  3. That looks like a fun retreat and love seeing everyone's pets, done in fabric.


  4. wow - this looks like such fun!! love those portraits!

  5. Looks like everyone had a productive time at your retreat. This is a neat idea to apply to almost any photograph. Very cool!

  6. what a great retreat,,,,,,,,,,,,,,:))


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