Monday, November 3

Retreat continued and Show 'n Tell

When I last left off telling you about our retreat, I shared a picture of Villa Maria at dusk. It really is a lovely building and a great retreat site. It was originally a boarding school for girls from Catholic families. In 1969 a fire destroyed the dormitory and the Villa Maria that was then came to a close. It took on new life as a Retreat Center and is open to all denominations and as I've said before, used for many activities. Someone in our church women's group learned of the Villa and the group began holding an annual retreat there. While our church was not a Catholic church, it didn't matter as the Villa is a place of retreat and for restoring or renewing one's spirit is how I look at it. The first quilting retreat I hosted was in February of 2003 and from that event and the retreat we held in October of 2003, came the group of friends that make up our guests at our retreat. We are just a group of friends that love to get together. :-)

So, it was Saturday evening and time for dinner. Collette and I had laid our plans and she made sure that everyone got down to the dining room while I remained behind to do a little "quilting elf" duty. I found the cute pumpkin bags in the teacher section at the Dollar store and Collette shopped for the little "gifties" that went into the bags. I placed a bag by every one's sewing machine and then joined everyone for dinner.

The food at Villa Maria is always good and our evening dinner of roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy with garden green beans and garden cukes and onions and salad was delicious. Oh, and the pumpkin bar was so good that Sharon had seconds!

After dinner, everybody returned to the library for more sewing and look what they found - more goodies. We like spoiling our friends!! ;-)

The plan was to sew for a bit and then break for show 'n tell. Here's Barb working on some blocks that she won and that's Joan in the background. They were two very busy stitchers.

Another busy stitcher was Carol M. as she was working on a quilt top that she wanted to share at Show 'n Tell. And here it is...........

Isn't this a cheery snowman quilt? I wish I could tell you more about it but I've forgotten who Carol said it was for and who designed the pattern. Right now, I can tell you this isn't the only quilt info I forgot. Read on..........Oh, and I was going to tell you what I forgot this time that I really should have remembered............comfy shoes. All I brought were the slip-on clog things I wear with slacks which look nice but why didn't I remember my comfy tennies or my Earth shoes sandals. By Saturday night, my feet gave out and I had to do a lot of sitting!

This is Sue with her Star quilt top. It's another one that I can't remember the designer. Sue came the furthest distance as she drove up from Iowa to be with all of us. Only two years ago, we all lived just minutes away from each other, then Sue moved, then I moved and so we love it that we can connect at Villa Maria!!

Carol's log cabin that she is holding in the photo is the center block for a round robin that she is doing with friends from her quilting group. I think the cabin is really cool as it just looks like a log cabin!

Sometimes projects from past retreats come back when they're finished for Show 'n Tell and that's the case with this one above. Laura made this for her daughter's bed and imagine this - it is a paper-pieced project! We watched it "grow" and it is a stunner, isn't it?

At every retreat, I try to come up with stuff that makes us laugh and just plain have a good time. At our last retreat which was about a year and a half ago, I gave a prize that was a couple of yards of "ugly fabric". Arlis was the lucky winner of the rather overpowering pink and burgundy floral. Awful as that fabric looked then, it is awesome in the finished quilt that Arlis made from the fabric. And she even had about a half yard of it left that she gave back to me. Hmmm, wonder what I'll do with that?

About this time, I got something wrong on the setting on my camera and these pictures of Sharon are kind of fuzzy. Not sure what I did but I will be more careful in the future. On the left she's holding her picnic quilt. She won the blocks are our last retreat. I asked everyone to bring a small bag of spring florals and pastels and I provided pre-cut 2 1/2" white tone-on-tone squares for little four patch blocks. Every time you made a block you got your name in the drawing. There were only 15 of us at the retreat so you can see we made a lot of blocks hoping to win them! On the right, Sharon is holding the quilt she made that is her dog "Smoky". I can't remember the name of the technique but it begins with a photo, then a gazillion little squares that are fused on the grid of the picture guide and then tulle is placed over it all and it's machine quilted. If anyone wants more info, I'll get with Sharon and find out what the technique is called.

Gretchen is sharing her quilt from blocks that she won at her retreat called "Sew Close to Home". It's held at Emma Krumbee's in February and is not far from all of us, hence the name. I love the green that she chose to bring all the blocks together. Gretchen got lots done at the retreat which is good because I could at least watch her and others accomplish things while I got very little finished. Of course, as Gretchen reminded me, the one who coordinates the retreat really can't get much sewing done because you're always doing the stuff to keep the retreat going. This is true, so I probably brought more projects than I could have done if I weren't coordinating the retreat but I had to be sure I had plenty to do!! Here's what I did manage to finish. I made one of Ayumi's baskets and I loved it. Everyone took the blog link so they could make some at home. Barb finished a couple of them, too, but somehow I missed getting a picture of them. The large Halloween quilt in my left hand is a giant coaster. I had to make a quilt and finish something! I brought my Christmas cottage blocks to work on but other than sharing them with my friends, I never stitched a one at the retreat. I realized I needed more room to spread out and time to concentrate on them than I had at the retreat.

Collette finished the cross stitch piece that she was working on for her Grandma (my mom) so she was happy with that. After Show 'n Tell was over, the two of us cut out some make-up cases to stitch but then it was time for the popcorn and cookies we wanted to fix for everyone so we decided to put them away and try them another time.

The project for a drawing for this retreat involved words that our dear friend, Kate, considers really bad words - paper piecing! I always thought I didn't like paper-piecing and then once I got the hang of it, I discovered I love the preciseness you get with it. SO, I printed up a simple pattern for making four little sections that when assembled, make a little block. Almost everyone had made their four sections by Saturday night, except Kate. With a little bit of help, she produced her share and her name went in the drawing with all the others.

I am not sure she was convince, though, that there was any good reason to do paper-piecing but as with so many things, we all had a lot of fun and laughter over the whole thing. We had a great evening just sewing, laughing and sharing stories. We always sew later on Saturday night so it was after midnight before most headed off to bed. And again this night, it was Kate, Collette and I who were the last ones left in the sewing room. Eventually, Kate went off to bed and as the night before, I decided to go to our room and, again, can't recall why. As I opened the door to leave the sewing room...........there they were on the floor in the hall................more Gummy Bedbugs! I started laughing and couldn't even talk. Collette wondered what was wrong and I motioned for her to come see.........but this time, I didn't wake anybody up. I figured it was wiser to wait til morning to find out who the bedbug culprit was this time!!

That's all for tonight! Big day tomorrow. I am going to work on the last stitches of my patriotic crazy quilt piece and watch the election coverage. Might not post tomorrow if I get too busy watching the news. Before I forget, I have posted a link to a wonderful quilt giveaway by Abbie so be sure to check it out and go ahead and add a comment. I am hoping to win, though, just so you know. :-)

So, good night, sleep tight and may the ones you vote for win!



Sandra :) said...

More fun pictures!!! I almost feel like I was there ... except it's a good thing I wasn't, because a certain husband of mine INSISTS that I snore *pfft* - what does he know? ;)

I love love love paper piecing - it's the only way I can get accurate seams, LOL!!

sparkle jars said...

I enjoyed this post so I enjoy all of your posts. Thanks for including us. :-)

momof2gr8kids said...

woW ! these are wonderful.. can you send me again your address.. i have lost it and I am almost done with your swap stuff!!!

Jacquelynne said...

OK I am officially jealous, I want to come!!! Your retreat looks like so much fun and I really could use a nice getaway right about now. Too bad you're so far away...

Quilter Going Bananas said...

I thoroughly enjoyed all your pics from your recent retreat. Retreats are wonderful, quilting, food, laughter and friends. What more could a quilter ask for? cheers, QGB

swooze said...

I received my wonderful prize. Thank you so much!

"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
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