Retreat November 17, 2014

I am retreating all this week with quilting friends in New Glarus, Wisconsin! I got up early yesterday (around 4:30am), loaded the van, shoveled snow for an hour before heading out of town. We arrived yesterday afternoon and have settled in for some quilting, catching up on what everyone’s been up to, and just having a great time.

I brought several projects along to work on; one is the UFO I took to work on during a couple of teaching trips. It’s still not done but I do enjoy making these blocks, which is a good thing because the design I’ve decided on needs 140 blocks!

UFO blocks

I have two different sets of churn dash blocks with me that are ready to be set together into quilt tops. They are just positive and negative versions of the same block. I liked both versions and since I have no shortage of fabric in my life and I love to piece blocks I’m making both!

Playing with a tub of 6″ floral squares I’ve combined them with solids. This version has the solids making the churn dash in the center.

Churn Dash A

And this version has the florals creating the churn dash.

Churn Dash B

I’ll also make the next pair of Deli Geese blocks.

Deli Geese

I have a few more projects with me, one can never bring too many to a week long retreat and sometimes I get tired of a project and want to work on something else for awhile.

Hope your week will be as great as mine!

Pat Speth author of:  Nickel QuiltsMore Nickel Quilts, Amazing Nickel QuiltsNickel Quilts & Borders, and The Big Book of Nickel Quilts

To schedule a Nickel Quilt lecture or workshop contact Pat at the email below.


Virginia Consortium of Quilters

It was a travel day for me today.  I am teaching this weekend for the Virginia Consortium of Quilters at their 2014 Celebration.  Every other year they host a 4 day event of non stop quilting fun!

I started my day at 3:30am, my alarm was set for 4:00am but I woke at 3:00am and could not get back to sleep.  This gave me a little extra time so I was not rushed getting out the door and heading to the airport.  I had a 2 ½ hour layover in Atlanta before making my connection and arriving in Roanoke.  Two wonderful quilters picked me up from the airport, a great meal in town, and then on to the conference center.

It was a fun and scenic drive, lots of curves on these mountain roads and the trees are in bloom!

trees in bloom

This is the activities building where the classes and lectures will take place.

Activities Bldg

And look at this great view from the front of the building that we get to enjoy!

view from building

I’m going to have a blast this weekend getting more quilters hooked on making Nickel Quilts!


Pat Speth author of:  Nickel Quilts,   More Nickel Quilts,    Amazing Nickel Quilts,  Nickel Quilts & Borders, and The Big Book of Nickel Quilts

To schedule a Nickel Quilt lecture or workshop contact Pat at the email below.


Road Trip Kentucky Portion

I’m on an extended teaching road trip and my first stop was the Bluegrass Quilt Festival in Shepherdsville, KY.  One of the workshops I taught there was the “Small Wonders” workshop, in which seven different quilts can be made.  And guess what quilt (along with 30 others) is traveling with me on this trip?  Turnabout!  I’m having so much fun sharing it with other quilters before I send it off to a charity this winter.  The Turnabout quilt is also constructed with what I refer to as the “Small Wonders” technique so I offered it as an additional option for this workshop.


This is South Dakota Star, just one of the quilts being worked on in this workshop.

S D Star

Now I’m leaving Kentucky behind and heading to Pennsylvania, with an overnight stop in Maryland.  The leaves are starting to turn!  I was worried that it might be a little too early in the season to see the Fall foliage but Mother Nature is already putting on the show!

Turning Leaves MD

Fall, such a great time of year! Many quilt guilds schedule retreats at this time- If you’re not sure what to pack up and take to your retreat, work on a Nickel Quilt! Grab those stash fabrics, charm packs and fat quarters, and make a scrap quilt that will be loved for years to come!


Emporia Regional Quilt Guild Retreat Part I

It was a Nickel Mania retreat weekend for the Emporia Regional Quilt Guild in Emporia, Kansas. Twenty five quilters gathered together to learn the techniques I use to create great quilts from 5″ squares of fabric.

Any and all of my published quilts (80 +) can be worked on during a Nickel Mania retreat, so there is something for everyone!

Shown are four Dawn to Dusk blocks, the quilt is in the More Nickel Quilts book.

This is Hopscotch from charm packs and I believe this quiltmaker is planning on a queen size.  This quilt is in the Nickel Quilts & Borders book.

Adorable Jacob’s Ladder blocks in 30’s prints.  This is going to be a baby quilt and the quiltmaker choose to start with smaller squares and make a smaller block.  Yes, all the same techniques I use with 5″ squares can be used with any size of square. This quilt is from More Nickel Quilts.

King’s Crown blocks will eventually be set with scrappy sashing between the blocks and cornerstones. The quilt is found in More Nickel Quilts.

More quilts to follow from this retreat in another posting.


Tulsa Trip

Packed and ready to leave, hoping that I had everything because there’s certainly not room to fit in very much more! There are six tubs of quilts stacked in the back of the van along with my two very large suitcases and two moving carts. Roxie loaded the van for me and worked out the careful arrangement of everything (one of her favorite games is Tetris).

The center part of the van gets loaded with book, patterns, fabric, and the design walls.

Here’s the route starting in St. Paul, MN and ending at the Tulakogee Conference Center in Wagoner, OK. It’s about a 12 hour drive with gas and fast food stops.  Yes, I know fast food is bad but I resort to it when driving long distances. Happiness is getting to the restaurant two minutes before a tour bus group!

This is where 39 quilters from the Green Country Quilt Guild and I gathered for a weekend of non-stop Nickel Quilting!

More information on the retreat to follow in future postings. I decided I have to limit myself on how much time I spend on the computer or nothing else gets done!


Batiks Galore

You just have to love the adventure of finding a quilt shop located in the country. Batiks Galore is in Joshua, Texas and not easy to find – not even for Texans! When teaching in Texas a month ago one of the workshops was held at the retreat center here. We even had a GPS and passed this place up twice – we ended up calling someone else who was meeting us there and she told us what buildings to look for. Does this look like the entrance to a quilt shop and retreat facility? It is!

What’s the best (besides the fabric) is the welcoming committee – so if you see these guys you know you are getting close.

And of course, since this place was sooo easy to find the first time, we decided it would make a great meeting location when I was being transferred between guilds (ha!).  I told my next program chairperson it was a good thing she had me with her or she might never find this place and we managed to only pass it by once!

This is the shop with the only sign around letting us quilters know we have finally arrived.

The adventure of finding this place might actually be a marketing strategy – one of those “I survived it” stories. So if you are anywhere near Joshua, Texas just try finding this shop – be sure to pack water and granola bars!


Granbury Quilt Guild

Whew! I’ve spent the last couple of days packing 4 tubs of quilts, boxes of product, and workshop handouts to ship to California. It takes a lot to get this show on the road and I am very thankful for all the extra work the program chairpersons do in hauling me and the quilts around.

This is a full size SUV with the back filled with tubs of quilts and boxes – for the best trunk show ever!  I love being able to share the quilts with everyone and they get shipped ahead via FedEx. I wouldn’t be able to bring this many quilts on a plane and I don’t really trust the airlines with my quilts.  In one year alone my suitcases arrived a day after I did on four different trips (not a good track record) and who needs that kind of stress!?

Look at all the quilts – those are 8 foot tables!

Half-Square-Triangles and Four Patches for this workshop – and yes, 15 different quilts can be worked on – oh the possibilities!

I don’t allow participants to get a whole lot of sewing done during class, especially in this class, since they can sew at home. Instead, I keep interrupting with demos – I have so much to share and we have a limited amount of  time together. My mission is that I want everyone to have as much fun working with 5″ squares as I do, so I need to provide tons of ideas to work with.

A stack of 5″ squares –  the possibilities are endless!

Two patch and half-square-triangle units ready to be sewn into blocks.

Beach Party blocks look great with white or black backgrounds (shown below).

Churn Dash blocks.

Jacob’s Ladder blocks.

Shoo Fly blocks are one of the blocks in the Texas Two Step quilt.

Sunny Lanes.

The strangest part of this job is getting to know and becoming friends with the gals I work closely with (like the program chairpersons and if it’s a home stay, my hostess) and then not seeing them again unless I have a return visit to the guild.  Many times like with the Granbury guild it’s the same person.  Marsha was my hostess for this guild and she put up with me for 4 nights. All my hostesses on this trip were wonderful – one of the days I may surprise someone – especially someone in Texas or another southern state and show up on their doorstep in January or February!

Okay gals let’s see those quilts!