As soon as I arrived at the retreat, I jumped right in working on my first project. I've been really excited about this pattern since it came out last fall.
The pattern is called Lincoln's Promise and is by Patchalot. Patchalot is the company name for Marcie Patch, from whom I took a class a year ago last fall and has now become a good blog/instagram/facebook friend. You can find it here.
Marcie made her version in black and cream and red. She used a pack of Pam Buda's American Gothic for the blacks and creams. I had my own fat quarter collection of the same fabrics and planned to use them. Then I had an inspirational flash!
In my stash, I had a fat quarter of this fabric. It is from the Gettysburg line by Kensington Studios for Quilting Treasures.
I used triangles of this wonderful red paisley fabric to make a square-in-a-square block. I love how the paisley plays with the frame and other trim around the portrait!
I didn't think black was going to work with this as well as brown, so I made the decision to change to brown fabrics and pulled as many as would match from my stash and also a bunch of cream background fabrics. I did the precutting at home and packed up the pattern, this center block and my other pieces into a baggie for the retreat.
I did get to make four flying-geese units, but the rest of the quilt top was half triangle squares. I felt like I would be trimming HSTs all day!
Once I got them all trimmed and ready to sew, I did get a little frustrated with the seams. I really don't like pressing points into the seam allowance, so I fussed and clipped many of the seams so there wouldn't be big lumps of bulk on the back.
I also "pinwheeled" as many of the seams as possible.
Finally, by the end of the night, I had my first project complete! (I just had to add the outer red border the first thing the next morning.)
(I'm not exactly sure what Marcie had in mind about "the Promise" but I think Lincoln is promising that you will spend ages trimming HSTs!)
I love how Marcie has you scatter a few red triangles among the brown ones. I really love this quilt and can't wait to get it quilted and bound.
As for the Major Event, the retreat was overlaid with a bit of a family crisis. My younger sister was expecting and the baby was due on March 4. It had been a difficult pregnancy. With both this one, and her first (resulting in my 8 year old niece) she suffered from terrible morning sickness for the full duration of the pregnancy. But the day before the retreat began, she had a routine OB appointment, and her blood pressure was so high that the doctor admitted her to the hospital. They began IV medication and got the pressure to come down a bit. We hoped that would be good and she could come home. However, when they tried the oral medication, she was so sick that she couldn't keep it down. Meanwhile, they were running other tests (I'm not going into all the personal details here) and it became obvious that she had preeclampsia. By Friday night, her condition was deteriorating too much and the decision was made that even at 5 1/2 weeks early, the baby had to come out. They induced, as the doctors thought a regular birth would be better than surgery and on Saturday around noon, my little nephew was born!
He weighed 5 lbs, 11 oz and was 20" long. He was such a little miracle! He needed time under the warmers, but spent the first night in the regular nursery and didn't have to be in the NICU at all. We were so relieved.
He was discharged from the hospital on Monday, but my sister was still having issues with her blood pressure. (If you remember and are Downton Abbey fans, Preeclampsia is what caused Sybil to die after having her daughter.) My sister finally got to go home yesterday afternoon!
I was sharing all of this with the ladies at the retreat and we all were praying and we all celebrated, and we all cooed over the pictures. It was nice to have support through it all. Quilters are the most wonderful people out there!
Next time I'll be talking about my second retreat project.
Have a great day!