Sunday, October 3

More Retreat FUN!!!

If you read my blog frequently, you know that I love to tell stories and share photos and fun. I could probably do it in less words and fewer photos but I might miss sharing something. I have lots of good fun to share in this post. :-)
Some of you have e-mailed asking about details of the retreat and wished that you could go on one, too. Well, it's easy to do, if you find a place where you can create a retreat and then make it happen. You may find that some of the gift ideas that I share could be used at your retreat and so I'll share anything that I think might be of interest. I do hope you will not be bored.
First things first........... I believe that every retreat should have chocolate. :-) I have loved chocolate since I was a little girl. My husband is not as crazy about chocolate as I am but when I asked him if he would stop at the store and pick up some snack size chocolates so I could put them on the pillow of each bed, he said "sure". Note that I requested "snack size chocolates". :-) He bought full-size candy bars!!! ............ Hershey's, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Kit Kat bars. His over-indulgence was appreciated by each of the gals when they retired for the night. :-) Along with the chocolate bar, I left a little note card with thanks for coming to our retreat. And then, after they were all in bed, I left a little notecard at each guest's sewing machine along with a fat eighth of a fall fabric.

When they opened the cards on Saturday morning, one of them should have had a lucky leaf card. I say.......should have.........because I had this plan that I would write little "Welcome morning" notes on 12 little cards that featured a barn design and one that featured a maple leaf. Well, I wrote the notes on 13 barn cards and forgot to do one on the leaf card. The laughter that ensued was a good way to start the day. My daughter wrote names on slips of paper so we could have a drawing for the winner of the brightly wrapped package in this picture...........

The lucky winner was Carol M. and inside she found a pretty gold rimmed maple leaf candy dish. :-)

I was asked if we had to provide all the meals as we did at our Friday evening dinner. The answer is no. The Friday evening dinner is something that I chose to do "just because". I like to cook and make things festive, so it was a joy to prepare the Friday evening meal for my friends. That will change for our next retreat but more on that at a later date. We're going to "change things up a bit" but have already set our next retreat date for April of 2012. :-)

Everyone was busy sewing or cutting or chatting their way through Saturday morning. It was hard to believe that noon came so quickly and we were all hungry even though we had all enjoyed a good breakfast. Here's a sample of the food.............

A delicious vegetable soup with sandwich and chips, an Oriental salad (or you could have a lettuce salad and that's why I added the bread crumbs to mine) and a lemon bar with a cold glass of milk.

After lunch, we all gathered in our sewing room and I shared a brief message. I always intertwine a passage from scripture and my own inspirational thoughts to share with my friends. It adds a very personal aspect to the retreat. :-) I also shared a copy of the pattern for the candlemat I recently designed (you can find my tutorial here and then go to Michele's Quilting~Gallery for details on her swap that will be using the pattern). I had spent the morning preparing fabrics and supplies so that after lunch, I could demonstrate how to make the little candlemat. To get us started, I helped Collette (my daughter) to select the fabrics that she would like for a candlemat. I had her lay them out as you see below so that they could be "auditioned". :-)


We were having fun. I was cutting and ironing and she started sewing...............

And then as Collette began sewing, we realized that she had not placed her center fabrics correctly. Take a look at the photo above and then see how it differs in the finished top that you see in the photo.
The afternoon flew by and everyone was busy sewing but sometimes one or two would take a break and wander outside, or down to the labyrinth for a walk, or just wander the halls and look at photos of the Villa's history (initially begun in the early 1890's). This was also the All-School Alumnae weekend at Villa Maria so the halls just bubbled with laughter and stories from former students.

Late in the afternoon, Collette and I took a walk so I could take a photo of this tree. It was right across from the sewing room and it was soooooo gorgeous to look out and see it................

I could use the colors in that photo as inspiration for fabric selection for a quilt!!!
After our Saturday evening dinner, we had some Halloween treat fun for everyone. Collette is delivering little bags of peanut butter kisses to everyone. Two bags contained more candies than the other bags and so they also won extra prizes.

And then, because you know I love to give little gifties, I had a stuffed drawstring pumpkin bag (found it at the Dollar Tree store) filled with fabric wrapped things...............

like tape measures (donated by Janice at Firefly), notecards, a button tin, and other little items that were just for fun. Arlis, in the picture above with Collette, was the lucky winner of a special prize - a kit for a totebag, also from Janice at Firefly. :-)
Okay, now you know I said chocolate is a must at a retreat...........well, so are lots of other snacks. LOL!

There was no shortage of good stuff from Sue's caramel snack mix to apples to chips, candies, etc. And then I brought out the brownies. They were the best brownies I've ever made (everyone said so and I agreed) and the mix was a happy accident. I didn't have quite the right ingredients when I went to bake them and so I "fudged". Recipe for them will come next week when I post the recipes for the rice and noodle dishes.
This photo is a bit "out of order" but wanted to share it as you can see a bit of the room that we were in. It was taken Saturday afternoon. This is Carol (l.) and Deb (r.) as they were selecting fabrics and cutting the pieces for the candlemat. I had purchased several yards of fall fabrics and put them in a box and also tossed in some smaller fall pieces so that everyone could choose their own color scheme for the mat.

I think everybody selected fabrics but some of the gals were busy with the quilts that they brought along and plan to make the mat when they get home. Here are some of the finished tops for the candlemat.........

Sue (l.) and Deb (r.) are very happy with their results. Sue found that teal leaf fabric in the box. It was just a small square but she could use it for the center portion and then found other bits that coordinated. Deb, too, found a leaf design that was the base for her fabric selections. I showed the gals that the look of the mat could be changed by cutting one long strip for the "frame" pieces that go around the center of the mat. That's what Carol did on her mat. :-) I just love to see how one design can look so unique when different fabrics are used.
Laura got down on her knees to study her color choices.........
And here is how it looked when the top was finished...........

We all thought it had a very "woodsy" look to it because of the fabric she chose for the frame around the center section. The leaf fabric she used and those frame fabrics and a couple others were all part of a fabric line called "Autumn Hues". When I found it at the Deuber's Variety store in Wells (in southern MN), I knew it was perfect for a fall project. I just wish I had bought more!!!

There was a lot more sewing going on than just the candlemats and there was a lot of show 'n tell on Saturday night. I decided to split the fun into three more posts. My daughter and I thought the retreat time went by way too quickly so I am going to stretch it out over the entire next week. On Monday, I'll do my "What's on the line?" post and it will be connected to the retreat. Then subsequent posts will be about each of the gals that came to the retreat and some of the awesome things they made!


Now, I must be honest here, sort of a "confession" time ......... I have so many things I want to blog about and projects to share and I just can't get to all of them. I am behind in posting my Angel blocks and still haven't posted the photo tutorial for another tablerunner project. However, I will get to those things. My blog is for fun and inspiration. I hope you enjoy the things I write about and I hope that you will understand that sometimes "behind the pages of my blog" there are real life things that take precedence ............ like family, my mom, my health, just stuff. I share when I can and just know that if I say I am going to post something.......I will eventually get to it. However, if I forget something and you know I have forgotten, please tell me!!! I don't mind being reminded!!!

There is going to be frost on the pumpkins in our area this Sunday morning but a gorgeous day is forecasted for the rest of Sunday. Hope you have a good one! I am planning, too, for sure. :-)

Sandi

13 comments:

Caroline said...

Love your story, the swap hasn't arrived yet, so I think we have to consider it as lost. I'm very sorry for you, because of all your effort. with kind regards, Caro from the Hague.

Pat said...

I actually like Colette's "mistake" arrangement better than the arrangement shown when she auditioned her fabrics!! LOL I do love reading your reports...they aer so newsy and make us feel like we really were THERE. Keep up the great work (both in planning and conducting the retreats AND in reporting to us about them)!

luv2quilt2 said...

Your retreat looks like great fun. I love how the candlemats came out. BTW, I've found the fabric I'll use for mine and will post a picture when I get it done. Thanks for such a versatile pattern!

Mamacessories said...

Oh I wish I had been a guest! Looks like so much fun! No need to apologize for being "behind"! I think I speak for a lot of other followers when I say, I follow because you share things like this, and put family first. I started following after reading a post about your grandmother or an aunt. It was a great story and I wanted to read more - I believe I commented that you be write a book! Please keep up the GREAT work!

Crispy said...

I love coming to your blog and reading your stories. The retreat looks fabulous and don't worry about things promised....you will get to the eventually....or not, you never seem to be at a loss for words ROFL.

Crispy

Needled Mom said...

That really looks like it was fun. I loved seeing all of the "different" same designs.

I, too, am a chocoholic. I could have eaten through one of the giant Her*shey bars - with almonds!!!!

That tree is just gorgeous. I did hear that you were a bit chilly this morning! BRRRRR.

Mishka said...

The candle mats turned out awesome. Love all the Fall colours.

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

What a fun time. And the projects are all so lovely. Love the fall colors. Can't wait to see the tablerunner tute.

Mary Grace McNamara said...

Wonderful! Can't wait to start my candle mat!

MGM

Stitched With Prayer said...

Sandi, What a delightful post! I loved everything in it. The photos are great and I particularly enjoy reading about all fun little details of your retreat. So many folks leave out the fun and personal little tidbits that kind of make me feel like I'm there with you all. Thanks so much for that! I am really touched that you include a little bit of Scripture and spiritual moments because it is so very important, and it just makes the fellowship all the more wonderful. You all look like your having such fun, the food looks soooo yummy and the snacks...well, what can I say, homemade brownies are my favorite of all time! The Candlemats were all lovely and I have read your tutorial on it. I hope to get one made soon. My doctor has just released me back to normal activity after 3 1/2 months of 'being careful' and the recovery from surgery so today I am SEWING...for the first time in all the while. Feels sooo good. I guess I'd better get back to it, but I just had to comment on your post. I'm so glad you are spreading it out over the week. I will savor every word and photo! Thanks so much for sharing. Hugs...

Beth said...

Great post. The retreat sounds like it was just the best time for everyone. All of the candlemats came out so cute. Glad I don't have to pick a favorite.
I did read the tutorial for the mat, so I hope to get one done before fall is gone.
Thanks for sharing.

Di said...

Looksl ike you had a great time... bit far to join in from South Australia, and Autumn looks so pretty.

Homemade Quilts by Granny said...

I just thoroughly enjoyed this post...I have never been on a retreat and would love to go on one. Can you tell me what one would cost. God Bless Trish

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