Friday, February 12, 2016

Judy Niemeyer retreat as led by CI Karen Conley

Registration is closed for this Event

May Mester #5
Thursday, May 12, 2016 – Sunday, May 15, 2016
Camp Gravatt Conference Center
Aiken, S. C.

4 days and 3 nights of quilting fun with the Frayed Knots of One Loose Thread.

Karen Conley, Certified Judy Niemeyer Instructor

Class will begin after dinner on Thursday night with 2 hours of formal instruction. We will continue with 6 hours on Friday and 6 hours on Saturday. Class instruction will conclude on Sunday morning with 2 hours of ‘wrap up’ between breakfast and lunch. That’s 16 hours of professional instruction!! Where else would you find that except at a One Loose Thread event!! In between class times it will be ‘free time’ for working on your class project, a ufo, or reading or walking around the beautiful retreat site or just taking naps, as you choose.

Lodging will be provided on site. You may choose from a quaint cottage room that shares a bathroom with the room next door or a lodge room with 2 double beds and its own bathroom. I have set aside just a few single rooms for this event and they will be first come first served. All other rooms will be doubles. If you can’t find a roommate, I will be glad to try to pair you with someone that will be compatible for you. With very few exceptions, all rooms are on the ground level.

All meals, beginning with dinner on Thursday and finishing with lunch on Sunday, are included in your registration fee and will be prepared and served by the fantastic kitchen staff at Gravatt. If you have special diets or food restrictions, please note that on your registration forms so that we can address those. I promise that you won’t go hungry during your stay with us.
Yes, we do have a special rate for day students!! See the registration form for additional information or email
One Loose Thread
All classroom space will be close to lodging and the dining hall. I usually tell everyone the longest distance to the dinner table is 100 yards. Classroom space is on the ground level, so no steps to climb.

Class Information:
Karen Conley, Certified Instructor for Judy Neimeyer, is returning for her 4th weekend with the Frayed Knots. She will be formally teaching ‘Desert Sky for any first-timers. However, others are welcome to bring Judy Niemeyer “WORKS IN PROGRESS”. Also, any quilter with previous JN experience may work on a TOM (Technique of the Month) pattern during the retreat. She is willing to offer Glacier Star, Mariner’s Compass or Paradise in Bloom patterns. For those participants, patterns can be ordered from Karen. I have special information on ordering from Karen if that is what you would like to do. Please note that she needs at least 6 weeks notice on any patterns.

Patterns are not included in the posted fees.

This is the way that Karen describes the retreat class:

“Judy currently has three Technique of the Month patterns:
    Glacier Star
    Mariner’s Compass
    Paradise in Bloom

Each pattern contains six different Judy techniques.
Traditionally we taught the class as a six month series -
    each month was a new technique.
The CI’s are now teaching them in long retreat situations.
Students with prior JN experience often are already familiar with some of the techniques – e.g. New York Beauty from the first retreat in 2013 and feather borders in the Hosta.

All three TOM’s have an optional expansion pattern which will make queen-size quilts.

These are the patterns that can only be sold by the Certified Shops or in a TOM class by the Certified Instructors.”

So, for those of us with Judy Niemeyer experience WE CAN WORK ON JUST ABOUT ANYTHING!!!!! This is pretty much what we have been working towards the last few years. I really expect to see some big quilts out of this retreat. We will have plenty of room and if necessary we will use part of Cole Lodge for cutting larger pieces of fabrics or setting up some special design walls. That’s how we can get additional exercise, taking our units to Cole to hang on design walls…

So many choices………………I can’t wait!!! How do I decide?

Register early to reserve your 'place at the table'.



Sunday, February 7, 2016

The 'Tale of the Fire Island Hosta' as told by One Loose Thread

These posts are about this quilt:

This quilt top was started by Mary during a One Loose Thread MayMester at Bishop Gravatt Conference Center in May 2015. The whole weekend was taught by one of the most amazing Certified Judy Neimeyer instructors I have ever had the pleasure of working with, Karen Conley. Mary did not think that she could do this quilt, but, her friend Lorah convinced her that this weekend was just the thing for them to do.

So, fast forward to August of 2015 and this is the top that Mary brought to Summer Quilt Camp to hand over to me to quilt. Lorah has also convinced her to enter this into competition once it has been completed. Talk about adding some pressure to the occasion, but, I am up to the task and really looking forward to working on this piece.

December 17, 2015- It's loading day for Mary's Hosta. She had not pieced the backing, so, I did that and then squared up the back. As I am loading it on the frame, I am already talking with the quilt. This feels so good. The backing is going on so smoothly and so square. This is a really good start.
     I am planning to use 2 layers of batting on this, but, I don't want it to be stiff because Mary will eventually use it on a bed. So, I wanted to use Quilters Dream Cotton Request, but I did not have the right size, so I  will use a Quilters Dream Cotton Select that will lend a little more stability and then Quilters Dream Wool on the top for wonderful definition of the quilting. I'll be using Superior and Glide threads which I love. Then I will be stitching on my Gammill Classic Plus machine and her name is Olivia.
     Now, back to work. I will spend the next few hours/day or so, basting this all together. That way, once I start the actual quilting process, everything will be nice and stable and I can roll the sandwich back and forth as needed.
     The basting is half complete, but, I have to stop for the night. I'll finish up the basting tomorrow.

That's it for today. I'll add to this posting as I go and then, once finished, I'll post all at one time.
     Let's go do some basting.

December 20, 2015
     I was able to get back to the basting tonight. I did finish and trimmed the batting out of the way. It really looks good. Everything is nice and straight and flat and it is ready to stitch. I have to be out of the Studio tomorrow, but, I really hope to at least start on this late tomorrow.

Have a good evening.

December 23, 2015
The cornbread for dressing is in the oven. All the client Christmas quilts are complete and delivered. I only have 2 quilts left to wrap, so what better way to spend my day than doing some stitch in the ditch. I have decided to go ahead and ditch the entire quilt before I actually start any other work on it. You know, get the tedious stuff out of the way first. So, I'm off to do this. See ya later:

I am using one of my favorite tools from Jamie Wallen at Quilters , the Mystical Mini without the cut out. Love this tool.

OK I ditch quilted for more than 6 hours today and I "only" have 4 leaves left to ditch. Time to call it a day.

Nite all.

December 24, 2015
Ok, I have spent an additional 2+ hours this morning on ditching and I have completed all of that. The ditch quilting I compare to outlining before coloring in an area. It is slow and tedious but necessary for a quilt that is going to 'show'. I am not really very good with ditch quilting, because I get in a hurry............I need to work on that.

I'm going to stop on this project until after Christmas and then will start doing the 'fill-in' with beautiful threads. I pretty much know what I want to stitch, so this should go a little faster.

Want to see how it's looking? Here are 2 pictures of the back. Now, I can take all of the basting threads out of the middle of the quilt. I'll leave the ones in the background just for good measure right now. I certainly don't want any pleats or tucks to show up in that area later.


December 29, 2015

So, spent some time today working on the leaves with the open spaces. Decided to do 'bat-wing' feathers on at least one side of the leaf. Not so sure I will do the same on the other side of the leaf.

Also needed to pick threads for the green parts of the leaves.
I pulled all of these:

I ended up using these:

This was the day that I worked on the blue side of the leaf. This picture was taken after I had done the other side of the leaf. Ice blue color thread on the blue and Yellow-green on the other side of the leaf. Just spent about 2 hours on this today. Time to work on the guilds charity quilts.

December 29,2015 - January 4, 2016

18 charity quilts quilted for Devine job is done, so now, back to the business of One Loose Thread Quilting.

January 5, 2016

Four hours spent on the Hosta today. Almost finished with all of the leaves. Hope to finish the leaves tomorrow. Should only take about 3 or 4 hours. I will also need to do something in the large vein of the leaves.

Then I will be ready to do the 'feathers' around all of the leaves. I have stitched in the white areas so, I will be working in the dark turquoise.

After that...........................the background. I am still not real sure how I want to handle that. I have alot of ideas moving around in my mind, but, I haven't settled on anything yet. Whatever, I decide, will have to work with the border too.

That's it for today. It's 'Bull Bat' Time.

January 6, 2015

The leaves are complete.  Only spent 3 hours on this quilt today. I still have the triangles around the leaves to do, however, I have started working on the background. I am starting that with lines...........genius right? Yep. I do have a plan and I really hope this is going to work, but, it starts with diagonal lines across each quadrant. I hope this works out, because, it's different.

Time to call it a day: 8:30 PM. I'm going to my chair and have some time with my 'dog blanket' and the television. Have a good evening.

January 11, 2016

Now, where was I? I have completed the interior of the quilt and had also completed one whole border. Then I checked out the back of the quilt............Nope, that border stitching was not going to cut it. I started out with the border looking like this:
Then I added some stitching below the 'Bat Wings'.

I spent about 8 hours or so, removing this stitching. Lesson learned, again, to always watch the tension. This thread combination had given me not trouble at all until now.

So, I took out all of that and went to bed in hopes that the 'Quilt Fairy' would bring me a new design in my dreams. I had seen a really nice design done by a longarmer friend on a Hosta several months ago. I did not want to duplicate it, but, I did want to use some parts of  the idea. So, off to dream land I went.

I was up early this morning and at my machine by 10:00. I knew what I wanted to do, so I started plotting out the plan.
Funny how you just know something is right. I should have listened to this quilt a week ago. That certainly would have saved me a lot of time. So, the last border is in process. I have completed the top border:

The quilt is now singing. I have rolled the quilt to the bottom and work there tomorrow. Things have, again, started moving along.Thank goodness for that. I had gotten rather depressed at what I was doing. NOT ANY MORE!!!

Well, right now, Clemson is behind in the National Championship. Sure hope the game will turn around. Sure would like for them to win this game. That's it for now.


January 13, 2016
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