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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Quilty Pleasures Wednesday-Beaver Island Quilt Retreat Photo Goodness

Here are a few pics of the projects we worked on at the Beaver Island Quilt Retreat. It was hard to choose because so many were interesting and inspiring, but we are camping and the internet is slow here so I need to limit what I upload or I'd be sitting at this dinette table in the Airstream until Iron River, Michigan freezes over. Or something could happen if you forced a hyperactive person to sit and wait for a zillion photos to upload. It's better and safer to have just a few gems.

This is the wall displaying Gwen Marston's 37 Sketches. They were lovely to look at but their importance as a teaching tool was key to the success of the retreat. Gwen was usually up there with a retreater, pointing out elements, discussing her thinking while she was making a piece, all in her "It's here if you want to use it" way. No pressure to do it her way, but there it was if someone wanted to get inspired. They look like jewels on this black background, don't they?

Throughout the retreat, as participants finished a project they pinned it to the wall. On the last day Gwen had us point out which ones we had made and offer some comments. Gwen gets dressed up for this portion of the retreat; she uses only the finest Michigan clothing designers.

Here's the board displaying the student projects:

And just a few projects that caught my eye:

I like how the birch fabric is used sparingly at the top with a "reveal" at the bottom.

Making long curves was a group favorite. There's something satisfying about sewing those strips together. The birch fabric Pattie and I found at a local quilt shop became a group favorite.

This piece used the birch fabric in a more obvious way, also with good results.

 This one above reminds me of a small city in the shadow of tall mountains. Note the liberated log cabins.

I call this one the liberated Amish quilt and it had some interesting techniques which made it unique: check out the prairie points at the bottom and the teensy floating squares on the bottom right. I am inspired times ten! Turn my volume up to 11! (Do you think I like it?)

Gwen's book 37 Sketches is definitely a gem. No patterns, just a great and inspiring jumping off point for your own little sketches. Go ahead, try one. It's addictive!


  1. Love, love, love this! Thanks for the great inspiration.

  2. we had soo much fun. excellent review. i am definitely looking at my world differently. it was 4 days of true inspiration. thanks for the post. theer

  3. That last one is gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! Love that photo of Gwen.

  4. Now that is cool. judy

  5. Such wonderful fun! Can't wait to see more photos!!

  6. So much fun going through the photos in your post. Thanks for sharing.


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