Feb 28, 2008

Retreat wrap up

A week ago I was preparing to "roll on outta here" for the quilt retreat. I picked up Aline Thursday afternoon. It was pouring down rain, and would for a good bit of the weekend, but that didn't dampen our enthusiasm for the getaway. We were up in Collinsville (AL) in time to drop our luggage off at Joy's house and stake out our sewing spot for the weekend before dinner. The Georgia girls, Debora , Kim and Patti were already there along with Joy. We made two new friends from the Birmingham area , Jewell and Unav.

This is a great sewing space since the quilt shop is right next door if you need anything. Plenty of tables to sew on, huge cutting table and pressing station set up, lighting is good too. The GA girls stayed upstairs in the small apartment area rather than Joy's house this time. Didn't have too far to go to crash for the night. Seeing as they were are used to the EST time, that was good idea. They were up and sewing by the time we got uptown at 8 or so.

The food was provided by Nessa in our retreat costs. How wonderful to just be called to the table! One afternoon they were baking a ton of cookies!! It smelled heavenly. She brought down a freshly baked berry banana bread that tasted even better the next day. We had tea cakes ( melt in your mouth sugar cookies to me), chocolate chips, peanut butter cookies the size of saucers----yum! The best was a pecan pie cookie made from a recipe Kim had brought Nessa to try. Kim said her 9 year old boy was telling his daddy "I can't believe Momma is going away and didn't even make us any cookies" Guilt trip?! She loves to cook and bake anyway so made them 6 dozen pecan pie cookies. When the daddy joined us for supper Saturday night and Nessa served cookies along with peanut butter cake for dessert, he said he was sick of eating cookies. Wonder why? I brought a few home for DJ after Sunday "leftover lunch".

I did get my bargello top completed at the retreat. That's it up higher on the page. The quilt shop had nice yellow that I could use for the first border. I also found the Jinny Beyer greeny-blue print to go with it. I couldn't decide if I saw more blue than green in the top but I have forest green carpet so was leaning for green anyway. Got the backing as well from the markdown bin and sewed it together as well as cut and joined the binding. As I said in my last post , if I had had a big enough batt on hand, I would have probably pinned this at our meeting this week. Closer to be being on my bed and big enough to cover the blankets and pillows with that oversized mattress.
Debora and Joy were both sewing on rag quilts Thursday when we got there. Jewell is fairly new to quilting and was working on a large nine patch block while Unav was cutting and working on a double Irish chain. Aline was stitching all weekend on a Peony quilt using a pattern from Eleanor Burn's Egg Money Quilts. She found a nice fabric for the alternating blocks so had started to assemble the top by Sunday morning. I didn't get a picture of it before she packed it up, unfortunately. That's Debora with her quilt at right.
She also whipped up this little rag quilt for her niece Rosie's dollies. After that she shifted over to a star project that she had been working on through 3 or 4 retreats, shown below right. I think she said it was called "Memory Star" and was from the Caffrey book Another Can of Worms.
Joy moved onto a miniature log cabin blocks for the rest of the weekend but I don't have a picture of it.
As my other project. I got all the 1/2 inch finished frames sewed around all of the 64- 4 patched stacked posie blocks. BORING!! And I have a hard time working with such skinny pieces accurately. Won't do that again. I think I was over-tired though when it came to making the cornerstone and sashing units. DUH!! Not every strip needs a cornerstone when you pre-sash blocks, Linda! Plus they were all too long. I had to pull the stones off half of them and re-cut. I set it aside and put the borders on the bargello instead. Didn't touch my Christmas Patience corners but found a nice piece of Moda "ho, ho, ho" fabric to add to it.
In looking over the pictures I took, I realized that I had a bunch of stuff I could not really share with you. Patti and Kim were both working ahead on the row quilts. On the off chance that one of the row group will be looking at my blog, I best not post them. I DID find out that I had made two extra blocks for Joy's quilt I could have sworn that Joy said her quilt was 72 inches, not 60 and didn't bother to measure it when finished with my part. It was 72.5 on the nose, LOL. I can put the extras in Sarah's memorial quilt so no harm. I also got to see what will be coming to my house before long to get some ideas.

The Georgia girls are doing their own Block of the Month of some Mariner's Compass blocks taking turns teaching each other the blocks. Patti had her finished block to show and somehow Kim convinced Debora's sister Teresa to try it. Now, bear in mind that Debora has been trying to tell Teresa how much she might like to foundation piece since she is already sewing and flipping making crazy patches. Off to the quilt shop to pick out her fabrics--nice brights! They have a washer and dryer on premises for the tea rooms linens as well as pre-washing fabrics so she was set. Teresa ended up borrowing some pjs and a change of clothes and staying over on a blow up mattress just so she could finish her block! Jewell and Unav were Kim's other pupils though it kept her from working on the handquilting on her husband's quilt as much as she would like. Two of Debora's students Sandra and Ann came to sew with us on Saturday. Sandra was working on a some "homework" from class and Ann, a pink rag quilt.

This is a top that Aline had recently completed after Janet Worley visited the JOY group in Jacksonville. All the quilts are named after food, not sure of the book's name but this is Aline's version of "Red Velvet Cake" Beading, ruching and so forth but hard colors to pick out a backing---she will keep looking. (I have a shot of the one Lois made but will show it in my Bama Belles note. )
We had spa lady come on Friday night after supper. Penny is a good friend of Kim We got a facial as well as a hand care treatment and ran around with some foot creams and spa socks on. Penny led us through a relaxation technique at the end and had product available for sale if we were interested.
Saturday a massage therapist came for neck and shoulder massages and then led those who wanted to, in a yoga session. It was billed as "gentle stretching" but I was a bit stiff the next day from doing it. Using different muscles, I guess. I don't think I better go into what I was thinking about "air on my toes, softening eyeballs and relaxing organs"---stop laughing, FABS!! I don't think I am quite cut out for some of this "New Age" mumbo jumbo though the exercises would be good thing to continue if I could remember what she had us do. One of my local friends teaches yoga but she said "soft eyeballs" was a little out there for her too but they call it the "wind position" for a reason, LOL.
So we had a wonderful time away last weekend. Lots of laughing and bantering, good food, good company and some production. Could you ask for anything more? Aline and I will be back in August when we have the "rowers reveal retreat" Arrangements are being made at a retreat house that is opening up in the country about 5 miles out--house sleeps 10 or 11 but we will still sew near the shop and eat at Nessa's, Debora said.
Actually, Aline and I plan on going up to Joy's again late next month with two of our pals from here who could use some time away. We told them we would kidnap them if we had to. It will be dialed way back though. We will sew if we want to--or not. Relax at the house, work a puzzle, play dominoes, watch movies, or do handwork. There is a quilt show not far away and a couple of fabric shops we could visit. Nessa will be vending at that quilt show so we will be on our own for meals but that's okay too. DJ can't say I didn't tell him I'm headed out again but will need to remind of the dates when it gets closer. Think I have to bribe him with 6 doz. cookies?
That's it for this note--I'll post about the meeting in another note.


  1. You always have the best show and tell *s* Makes me want to get at that machine and sew, sew, sew!

  2. I love the Bargello! The frames on the 4-Patch Posie might be boring but you will be glad you stuck to putting them on as they add so much to the finished quilt. As I read about the "soft eyeballs" and "wind position", I am reminded of our conversation and the laughter that was going on in each of our houses!


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