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Monday, June 25, 2012

Crazy Quilt Retreat, O'Fallon, Illinois, 2012

That's me, third from the left in the front row, surrounded by the most amazingly talented women.  The, 3rd annual crazy quilt retreat, hosted by Mary Anne Griffin, was truly an inspiring event.  I did a lot of eating (what a surprise) and some shopping, some stitching, lots of laughing, but mostly I just oggled everybody else's creations and found myself saying "amazing" and "wow" and "ooh" to the point that I seriously thought about downloading a thesaurus into my brain.  I'm a writer, I should know more adjectives than that!  But the talent I saw in that room left me speechless, and at times, experiencing actual goosebumps (thanks to Martha Green!)

 Yes, that is the amazing Martha Green and her quilt that she did for the Crazy Quilt Journal Project  She's already finished her entire quilt and it's not even close to being December!  If you ever have a chance to take a class from her or even meet her, you won't be disappointed.  Here's a close up of some of her work.

Her use of color is phenomenal.  (I'm so proud of myself for finding a new adjective!)  You can look at her quilts for HOURS and keep finding new things.  Below is one of the blocks for the crazy quilt journal project that I mentioned above.  I think this is probably my favorite block out of everything she brought.

As long as I have been embroidering, I've yet to learn any silk ribbon.  I think that would add a whole new dimension to my work.  So, my friend Kate Hollifield, was gracious enough to show me a few stitches and I can't wait to incorporate them into my work. 
  Lisa Caryl taught me how to do a Fargo rose, and I've been Fargo rosing everything I can get my hands on!  It's so exciting to learn something new.  Here's an example of some of Lisa's amazing work:
Right?  Can you say "oooooh" and "wow!"  Lisa has talent just oozing from her!!

Freda Butler brought some gorgeous panels that she made and here are a few highlights.

Please, if you copy and reuse any of these pictures, make sure the right women get the credit for their work.

Mary Anne Griffin, aside from being a huge inspiration herself and a wonderful hostess, gave a demonstration on some new fabric paints.  Below, she's taking a picture of some lace and trim that I painted using the materials that she brought.  The paints I had the most fun with were called

Radiant Rain, and come in a spray bottle.  They're messy as heck, but I absolutely loved the results.  Another one I really liked was an acrylic called Silks.  You can purchase these at  and I'm assuming at art supply stores.  But above is the website for the product and you can see all the really amazing things they have and all the great COLORS.

Bonnie Hargrove modeled her crazy quilted vest, which is truly a purple amazement!  She was busy working on the Hoffman challenge for this year and was under a deadline.  I didn't photograph any quilt (including hers) that people were trying to finish for contests etc.  But, I'll tell you, she should win hands down.  Anyway, here's her vest:

Elizabeth Rudder made the most amazing Boho bag, and here is the link to her etsy store for all kinds of cool stuff.
 I swear, I think every woman at some point over the week, just fawned over her bag.

And when Hazel Tripp found out that I was a beader and wanted to learn polymer clay, she graciously spent hours telling me all the ins and outs.  (Now if I can just apply all that knowledge.)  Anyway, she stopped by our table to show off her shoes.
The gals from Minnesota, Mona Berning and gang.  What a great group of ladies, so helpful, so nice!! 

I'm going to miss everybody and can't wait until next year.  Until then, I'm going to try and channel their wonderful creativity. - L

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