Monday, November 9, 2009

retreat - what a treat!

Oh my goodness, that was fun! Exhausting, but fun! Karen put on a fantastic retreat, and I'm so very glad I went. I hope it's the first of many! I came home feeling like I didn't take nearly enough pictures, but here are at least a few...

This is the big "lodge" we stayed in. I only realized on the morning we left that there was a hot tub out back! Rats! I'm not sure I would have taken the time to sit in it (and didn't bring a bathing suit anyway), but by Sunday morning, a hot soak was sounding SOOOOO good...

This little visitor was outside to greet us both mornings...

Here's a shot of our crafting space - a huge gym! I loved all the design walls around the edges - it was so fun to walk around every once in a while and admire everyone's work. We each had our own table, and I felt like I had plenty of room to spread out. I don't think it would be possible to actually quilt with this setup (except maybe a small one), but for piecing and such, it was great.

My buddy Robin was at the table across from me. Here she is, slaving away on her Prairie Pinwheels quilt blocks. Check out the full picture - isn't it gorgeous?? I'm not sure I would have taken the plunge if Robin hadn't come along with me, so thanks again my friend!

I loved snooping around at other people's setups, to see what tools they were using, and how they had their space arranged. Everyone was really friendly and helpful! For instance, my neighbor Laura saw me snipping apart my zillions of chain-stitched bits, and introduced me to this wonderful gadget:

It makes such quick work of cutting those threads - you just hold the fabric on either side (use both hands - one of my hands was holding the camera!) and pull down and it's done! So quick and easy. I'm definitely going to get myself one of these! (Um, no, I have no idea what it's called...)

As far as the sewing goes... I was sewing machine! I didn't get everything done, but I was still very productive. I got all 24 journal covers done, except for pressing and sewing closed the openings. Yahoo!! [I also took pictures for a tutorial; I hope to have that up by the end of the week.]

I finished the notebook covers on Saturday morning, sewed up the apron in a couple hours that afternoon (sorry - I forgot to take a picture!), and then moved on to the quilt that evening. Robin and I had a race to see who could reach our goal first - her blocks vs. my rows. I won (just barely!), but by then it was 2am! For a girl who normally goes to bed at 9pm, this was a major feat. I was so proud that Robin and I were the last ones to stop sewing that night!!

Here's a (pretty crappy) photo of the rows. With a lot of help from everyone nearby, I was able to work out a nice arrangement. I'm so glad to have been able to do that at the retreat - it would have been so much more difficult at home! Funny enough, this photo was taken just moments before the whole thing crashed to the floor (note to self - do not hang up a batting with painters tape - use the push-pins next time!). Thankfully, it all stuck together enough for me to number the rows. :-) I got a tiny start on the sashing, but then it was time to pack up for the drive home.

My biggest regret is that I did not do a good job of taking pictures of other people's work. Next time I'll do better. But check out Sarah's recap for some great pics of the show-and-tell sessions - there were some spectacular quilts!

And finally, I wanted to mention that the peanut butter cup cookies seemed to be a big hit! I can't believe so many people had never seen them before! Here's a couple recipes - the short way or the long way.


  1. How fun! Clearly, it was THE weekend for quilting retreats! I was on one, and I know at least one other quilter who went to one, too! Quilting in the air... :-)

    Glad you had so much fun!

    Liz @ teeny tiny quilts

  2. Evelyn, it was so great having you come to the retreat. I loved the things you were working on--and I can't wait for the tutorial!

  3. It was so fun to meet you, Evelyn! I loved seeing the projects you made and the ones you showed too (did you hear everyone gasp when you showed your first quilt?!). It was amazing.

    I loved where I was sitting because I had a clear view of your design wall in action! And your peanut butter cup cookies were insanely good - I think i had 5 of them... and I don't even like peanut butter!

  4. i have had those cookies before and i know they are a hit. i love them...maybe a little too much. that is why o don't make them often. your quilt retreat looks like it was so much fun. i would love to go to one someday. i am going to have to go an check out all your links to see more of what was made. looks like you were very productive.

  5. Hi Evelyn! It was so nice to meet you and Robin. Your quilts are gorgeous and I love your journal covers! I saw them as I was walking around and thought they were so cute. Now I see that they were yours! And I am still dreaming about your peanutbutter cup treats. Holy shmoly those were good. Hope to see you there next year! x

  6. You rock! Not only were you uber-productive, but look at all those pictures you took. Sigh... I really need to get better at that. Thanks so much for giving me the nudge-- it was an awesome experience, and I'm so glad we got to do it together!

  7. Wow!! You are so lucky - what an awesome little vacay - and I LOVE your quilt -- can't wait to see the finished product.

  8. I am hugely envious of your retreat. Looks like you got a lot done and met some great people. Fun!

  9. Looking at the seam ripper on a wooden base, all I can think of is "STAB." I would so totally poke myself full of holes with that anywhere near me... :D