batik talel runner
Bags & Small Quilts, Quilt Community

Retreat- renew, refresh

Hi friends!

How are you? I just back on Sunday from a retreat up in the mountains here in CO. We were up in Black Hawk. The retreat is sponsored by a local quilt shop here called Fabric Expressions and is held at a home that functions as a retreat center. 

quilt retreat
The view on my walk


Before I left on retreat, I was taping a class for Craftsy. It will be up sometime in the fall and in class we are making Christmas Stockings.

The set!


It will be a fun beginner class. Taping the class was great but tiring! I was so lucky to have a wonderful crew to work with. I left these guys on the lawn still cleaning up and drove straight to the quilt retreat.

The crew!


Have you ever gone on a quilt retreat? It was the first time for one of the ladies on retreat and the funny thing- she is doing another retreat next week! She had a blast so I am guessing she will be doing more retreats in her future.

I did not have time to plan on what to bring as I was busy getting ready to tape the class, so I just grabbed a few projects that were in bins and had my fingers crossed they had everything I needed in the bin!

First, I worked on leftover Huey Louie blocks. These were leftovers from my very first Craftsy class, 3 Blocks, 30 Quilts, so kind of funny that I grabbed them. I finished piecing blocks, sewed them together and I was able to put together a lap quilt top with 2 borders and piece a back. Cool!

I used some leftovers strips for a scrappy binding. It is now ready to be quilted!

scrappy binding
Making scrappy binding


I had 5 blocks left over- and some scraps. Four of the blocks matched the quilt and one block was different; I must have played with different placement of color at some point in time.

I pieced the 4 blocks into a table topper with borders. 

blue quilt
Table topper front


Now I needed a back. I added a few pieces of leftover fabric to the ‘odd man out’ block, then sliced right thru it, added more strips, sewed the pieces together and then just kept adding and slicing and adding…. an improv back!

Improv quilt pattern
Improv back


I even got this puppy quilted! I quilted straight lines using my trusty painter’s tape to mark the lines. Each section is quilted the same. Then I made a binding out of 2 leftover fabrics and, without planning it, I managed to have the second darker color end up in 2 opposite corners! A happy accident.

I also quilted a table runner and 2 placemats that I made a while back for a blog hop using Jackie Kunkel’s batik fabric line called Blue Moon.


batik talel runner
Table runner in Blue Moon


These will look great on my table when winter rolls around again!

batik placemats
Placemats in Blue Moon


And I cut out a new version of my brand new BOM Quilt Bee and pieced 4 blocks. I am pretty happy with how much I got done!

And while I had to wait until I got home to get any rest, I did feel good about working on things and just playing around. It was especially refreshing to see what happened with the improv quilt back. No plan; just play.

I came home feeling ready to get back to work – after I had a nap!


I hope a quilt retreat is in your future- it is always a great time when you get to sew, quilt, hang out with other quilters and laugh and visit together.

happy quilting!



4 thoughts on “Retreat- renew, refresh”

  1. Making a video is WORK. Glad you got to recharge your sewing batteries on your retreat. We all need a weekends where no one is calling “mom” or my name, asking questions, too quiet, out of sight (while not at work) too long, I worry the same as I did my boys. I have always wanted to attend one especially one that won’t judge if you squeeze in a short nap! I hope to find one soon. 🙂

    1. I hope you find one! Ours was a judgement free zone. Some worked late, some went to bed early, some went for walks during the day or went shopping… it should be whatever you want it to be, right? And if someone else cooks, even better!

  2. Hi Kate
    I attended the 2018 Lancaster quilt show. You taught a class on braided table runners. The pattern I purchased I gave to senior quilt maker. Do you have any more for purchase? Thank you.

    1. Rhoda,
      Hi! Nice to hear from you!
      I taught 2 classes in Lancaster on table runners using my Braid Template- Table Scraps which is a braid and Leftovers which used the template cut the parallelogram shapes. Click here to see my list of table runner patterns!

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