Friends and a Quilt Retreat at Sundance

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I had a full week of quilting bliss with my good friends at Sundance.  We started on Tuesday and didn’t stop until the cows came home on Friday!  It was such a delight.  I’ve been stitching with this quilt group for years.  We’ve seen each other through thick and thin.  We love our retreats and time to sew from sun up to sun down.

I decided to work on some projects that were in various stages of not being finished.  I love to purchase and cut fabric for projects.  I like to start things.  I’m not so good at finishing because the next project is always calling my name.

Since our return from Washington, I’ve been trying to work on unfinished quilts that have been piling up.  Some just need a border or a back.  Some are cut but not sewn.  Many are assembled blocks that stopped there.  I have dozens of quilts in every phase.  I’m happy to report that I’ve finished 14 quilts since we returned–I’m chipping away at my piles!

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I believe Heavenly Father created us to be creators.  We talked a lot about this process this week as we worked.  Our friends ask why we make so many quilts when they see them on every bed or draped over every chair. “Don’t you have enough of those blankets?”  (When they call them “blankets” you know they don’t get it.)

People who don’t understand look at quilting like we are making a thing that needs to be used now. We look at it like a form of art or creativity.  We also look to the future and imagine who will enjoy wrapping up in our work.  No one asks a poet if she’s written enough poems, or a composer if she’s written enough songs. Why do people ask if we’ve made enough quilts?

This is something you get, or you don’t. I feel compelled to make more quilts. I can’t explain why. I don’t need them. I won’t use them all. I don’t know if the kids will even want them, but I Must make them. It’s my creative outlet. They are each unique to me. They are my fabrics. I love each piece. I love putting them together. For some reason it’s important to me. My soul is fed by needle and thread. This is one of the things I’ll leave behind when I go. I have romantic idealist dreams of my grandkids fighting over the quilts and each wanting one for each of their children years from now. I want them to FEEL me and know me through the warmth and embrace of a quilt I’ve made. That’s important to me. Hours of my life have gone into these quilts. I hope they are loved someday.

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Tuesday I made these 9-patches.  I cut out the strip sets about 10 years ago, so I just needed to assemble the blocks.  I found the pattern I planed to use.  It called for 64 9-patches.  I cut and sewed 240.  (It’s my FTC problem.  Failure To Count.)  It’s just as fast to cut for 3 blocks as it is to cut for one, then I have extra for something else.  I do that a lot– it’s part of the reason I never catch up with myself.2019-4-9-12-Quilt-Retreat-Sundance-44.jpg

I also worked on this little project that is many years old.  I made enough 4-patches to finish the project, and stopped there for now.2019-4-9-12 Quilt Retreat Sundance (45)

Next I worked on a Grandma Gracie feedsack quilt made of large triangles.  Again, it was cut out years ago and started, but never finished.  I had enough blocks to make a large quilt and a small baby quilt.2019-4-9-12 Quilt Retreat Sundance (38)

Here is my next project.  I found 2 large bags of these 9-patch variation blocks made in the 1990s when I was the past president of the Utah Valley Quilt guild and we did a block of the month.  I made 100s and 100s of them then.  This week I divided them in to stacks of unique blocks and discovered I have about 800 blocks, or enough to make about 8 baby quilts.  Or maybe 3 baby quilts and a large one for a bed.  They make me happy.  I assembled 2 baby quilts this week.  I’ll add borders later.2019-4-9-12 Quilt Retreat Sundance (5)

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Next I worked on my log cabin quilts.  I went on a log-cutting jag a few years ago and cut enough pieces to make several quilts.  I finished one a few months ago, but wanted to experiment with the block settings.  I just sewed about 50 more blocks, then came up with these block arrangements for 2 more quilts.

I finished this one last October.

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My finished tops:2019-4-9-12 Quilt Retreat Sundance (39)

Sometimes my life feels like these pieces, just needing some time to put them into order.  Coupled with friend pieces that compliment and add contrast, we make a beautiful whole that will add something lasting to this world.  Something lovely, warm, comforting and filled with love.2019-4-9-12 Quilt Retreat Sundance (19)

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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