Updated: Jul 18, 2022
If you have been reading my blog you know that I and several of my relatives have been preparing for a wedding shower designed to be a quilting retreat as well. We all came together this past weekend to make a kingsize quilt for my niece, Melia Gallagher. The retreat was at my sister, Colleen's house. It is a beautiful home, built in 1910. With space for 16 to sleep, we had no problems where to put things. Her husband, Ray, had removed the race cars from the garage and we had everything we needed.
What a lovely time we had!
The pattern, Josephine's Knot, was perfect for a group quilt. Melia couldn't have chose better because it was a simple pattern that was built on rows. There was no matching of seams so everything went very smoothly
I had the quilt cut before we arrived. Each of the pieces were marked the with the row and what block in the row. Before we started I checked each sewing machine to make sure we all had the same quarter inch. There were 15 rows to the quilt. Some rows had 3 pieces and some had 17 pieces. We were able to give the rows with the least pieces to those that hadn't sewn much and the more accomplished quilters made the rows that had lots of pieces. As soon as one row was done they chose the next row. We started about 10 am and the center of the quilt was pieced by 7 pm.
One of the most satisfying things for me was I realized that I had taught and started all of these women in quilting. There were 15 of us total from ages 7 through 73. Over the years I had prodded and pushed for each of
them to make a quilt. For most of them it stuck!
Borders are difficult to do as a group so I tackled the borders. I was pleasantly surprised when I measured the quilt and the top and sides were square! They all did an amazing job! We always think borders will go quickly but really they don't. I measure each side and the middle, add the totals and divide by three. As the quilt got larger it was a bit more challenging but the 118"x 118" quilt was pieced by the time we left on Sunday!
We laughed, played games, ate a lot and simply enjoyed each others company.
Each row of the quilt was 6" wide which made the quilt go quickly.
The directions and the diagrams for the piecing were excellent.
We all went home Sunday feeling pretty wonderful!
I hope your weekend was as terrific!
I began quilting because I wanted to make something to leave behind that my family would remember and hold onto once I was gone. I didn't realize that that goal would include teaching so many people and start a legacy of quilting in my family. I feel blessed to have been the spark.
For now, I give you my Irish goodbye.
The menu was designed so we wouldn't be cooking all weekend and would be able to be with our guests. I thought you might like to know what we made.
Friday -Make your own pizza's, ice cream sundaes
We made our own sauce and had the fixings and toppings ready to go before they arrived. Guests grabbed a flour tortilla and each made their own concoction
Breakfast - Make Your Own Omelet Bag, fruit, juice
We were able to use some the meat and vegetables that we had for the pizza the previous evening and added omelet fixings. The guests poured the ingredients into a zip lock bag and we boiled them. I am sure many of you have done this when camping. We did learn not to boil the tomatoes as they made the eggs too watery.
We had snacks for the afternoon.
Walking tacos, fruit & Chocolate dessert -
We again were able to use the we vegetables we had cut up the night before and added lettuce, tomatoes, ground turkey and all sorts of great sauces. There were individual bags of taco chips. The guests filled the bag with all of the fixings. Karen made a chocolate mouse dessert that was exceptional.
Egg dish, fruit & pineapple upside down muffins
None of the food took a great time to make except, of course, the chocolate dessert.
A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
George Bernard Shaw