Quilt Retreat at Silver Lake

Last weekend the quilt guild that I belong to, the Museum Quilt Guild, had it’s third annual retreat at Asbury Retreat Center in Silver Lake, NY. 


Asbury Retreat Center
February 2013

The above photo is from last year’s retreat.  This year was more snow covered.  This is the building that we slept in. 


Asbury Retreat Center
February 2013

The building on the left is where we slept and the building on the right is where we did our sewing and eating.  It was just a short walk between the two buildings.  You can see the lake just beyond the buildings.  There were actually some people ice fishing on it this year. 

siciliano blockI spent a good deal of time making 4 blocks from a George Siciliano pattern called Glow In The Dark.  Each block is 3-1/2″ square and has 35 pieces of material in it.  Yes, you read that right, 35 pieces of fabric in a 3-1/2″ square.  They are foundation pieced, so it’s really not as bad as it sounds.  It’s part of a challenge issued to inspire our guild members to complete projects in time for this years quilt show.  We could list up to 5 UFO’s – that’s “un-finished objects” in quilter’s terms.  This is a universal term that all quilter’s get.  Non-quilters ask why I would start a new project before finishing the one I’m working on.  First, there are just so many projects out there!  Then, there are many stages of each project.  Sometimes, you’re in the mood to choose fabrics and cut.  Sometimes you want to sit at the machine sewing as fast as you can.  Sometimes, you just want to do some mindless hand sewing. 



Siciliano project is my mindless project.  If you wondering how I could possibly call this mindless, I have a system. The pattern has a list of all the fabrics and the size of pieces that you need them cut into.  I’ve cut them into the necessary sizes and put them into an organizer.  When all the material is cut for a block it only takes about an hour and a half to get one block put together.  Breaking it down this way makes it much more manageable





have 8 more of these blocks to make and 8 more larger blocks to make to finish the wall hanging.  This is what I have so far.





 There were over 20 guild members on retreat.  You can see lots of photos of from the retreat on the guild’s blog at www.museumquiltguild.blogspot.com.  Martha did a great job taking pictures and udating the blog. 

I had great fun at the retreat being kept on task by Martha too since she was at the table across from me.  I have a tendency to walk around and socialize check out what everyone is working on, thereby not getting my own work done. 

Inspired by blogs written by my friends Kathi and Martha and Emmy, I’ve decided to share a list at the end of my posts.  For today, I’ll keep the list short.

Things that make me smile:

  • Sunny days

Who doesn’t smile on a sunny day?   Whether you are remembering past sunny days or enjoying current ones at the beach, on a picnic, roller skating around Delaware park, sitting under a tree reading a book, bicycling, or doing any number of outdoor activities, all these things make us smile.  Unless, of course, the bicycling is a trip “around the block” with your boyfriend in Appleton.  In which case “around the block” is actually just over 8-1/2 miles, and you are not smiling but suffering from exhaustion at the end of it since you are a city girl whose “blocks” are significantly smaller and do not include any uphill segments.  Clearly I spend more time with a sewing machine pedal than a bicycle pedal. 

For those of you wondering how I came up with the title Sunny Day Quilting and Embroidery, I stumbled on the phrase “sunny days” about 10 years ago and it just made me smile.  Can anyone guess where I heard those two little words 10 years ago?  For those of you who’ve know me for a long time, this shouldn’t be very hard to figure out. 

Let’s go spread some sunshine!

 ~ Melanie

Mardi Gras Wall Hanging

Happy Mardi Gras!

Mardi Gras 3

Several years ago the Museum Quilt Guild which I belong to had a challenge where “Carnival” was the theme.  I immediately thought of Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras 4


I used my embroidery machine for the cocktail drinks as well as the lettering along the bottom.  I made the masks and embellished them with with trim and glitz.  I hand stitched fireworks into the black border.  Beads give the fireworks a little extra sparkle.


Mardi Gras 6

I made the 3-D flower petals on the embroidery machine.  To attach them to the piece, I hand stitched them in place, adding beads in the center.

Since I was in a crunch for time, I decided to improvise what would normally be binding on the edge of the quilt.  I used my serger and some gold metallic thread to finish the edge.  I really liked the end result.  The photo does not do the shiny gold thread justice.  Sometimes running out of time gives you an idea you wouldn’t have otherwise thought of!


This was a fun wall quilt to make.  It’s always nice to pull out something we made a while back and check it out again.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at an oldie but a goodie!

Until next time, let’s spread some sunshine!