Thursday, August 05, 2010

What I did on my summer vacation

Lazy summer days (and sweaty summer days in the garden) have slackened my posting, so it’s past time catch you up the trip I took this summer—Sandra Mollon’s Appliqué Academy at Lake Tahoe. It was a fantastic week filled with fabric, food, and a healthy dose of screwball comedy with quilting friends old familiar and new.

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This must have been early in the week, ’cause the room is still relatively clean. One of the really great things about this retreat is that we were all working on whatever hand-appliqué projects we wanted, so everyone’s stuff was totally different. By the end of the week, all the work we’d finished was up on the walls, pretty much covering the corkboards.

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Sandra was always on hand to help out with any issue that came up as we worked, and she also offered demos of techniques like making ribbon roses and inking to shade fabrics. She does the most intricate work, using silks and other fibers along with cotton to get great effects—check out the front page of her website to be wowed by one of her Baltimore album blocks (I’m sure more photos are on the way, so bookmark it too). It’s a privilege and a pleasure to learn from her.

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The scenery, of course, was remarkable too. Even if the combination of thin, high-altitude air and three-times-a-day buffet feedings left one feeling a touch out of shape. But with dessert included in every meal, I wasn’t complaining.

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I used the time to work on some retro kitchen blocks I’ve been designing. Below are the blocks I finished while there, along with Baltimore blocks from fellow retreater Mary—who was the brains behind the spoon in my colander block, which started life as an embroidered whisk that looked dreadful on the eggbeater background. Thanks for the save, Mary!

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As is often the case with these events, I was the lone male amongst almost thirty women. But I didn’t let them push me around…

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OK, so that’s a lie.

Anyway, that was my summer fun (the whole week, not just being pushed about by Vicki). Back to the grind so I can get the piggybank filled up for next year’s retreat!

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