Oct 27, 2012

Retreat---what fun!

Friendship Quilters Guild had the retreat at the Chula Vista Conference Center the past three days----as I have mentioned in previous posts.  This is an Assembly of God no frills facility near Pell City.  We have had sew-in events out there before---quiet, near some water, back in the woods.

The retreat committee allowed us to go as day trippers if we wished while most of the group stayed over.  They started on Thursday morning while I was home "sewing in spirit" with them.

DJ, unbelievably, had decided to play golf on Friday---the first time in a very long time.  The house was quiet, dark. cool---ideal situation for sleeping.   I had not told him to make sure I got up before he left as I have been routinely waking up anywhere between 6 and 630.  I didn't need to set an alarm.   Even if I wanted to sleep in, Skyler gets me up wanting to get his treat bite.  Even he fell down on the job!!  I woke up at 0830 and that was when I was to meet Aline at her house, about 20 minutes from me.  Actually that worked to her advantage as she was scurrying around trying to get ready to go and everything was not going according to plan.

I had half of the top together and the last 4 rows assembled but not attached and finished that up at the retreat.  Horrid picture though.  The colors are much, much prettier in person.  You'll have to trust me on that one.

I had taken a couple of things with me----one was this old class sampler.  Everything I had a class I cut out another one because I had donated away the one I had made as the class sample.  I needed some starch or sizing for these blocks.  The fabric feels nice and soft but not necessarily easy to sew with so little body especially on standard made half square triangles.  Since we were using someone else's ironing boards and iron, I elected to do something else on day two.  10 more blocks to go!

Today I was driving myself so I left here about 0730.  Skyler and DJ were both getting up at their usual time so no way was I going to sleep the morning away THIS time, LOL.

My sewing choice was Eleanor Burn's "Twin Sister" from her book Quilting Through the Seasons.  The cool part is that you get two blocks from one strip set, kind of a positive and negative of the same two colors.  She calls for 2 1/2 inch strips in the book.  The resultant blocks are like 5 inches----a bit small and you need way more blocks to get a top.  I had cut a bunch of 3 1/2 inch strips instead and the block looks like it will finish close to 7.5 inches instead.  Only thing, that is bias edge on the outside of the block.   Handle with care.  They will be sashed in the quilt adding some stability.  I still need to sliver trim them but elected to just sew some more strips instead.

OH, you cannot fold the strip in half  and/or stack cut to cut the diagonals for the half square triangle bits.  I messed up and have the things going the wrong direction with the remainder of this pairing.  When all else fails, read the directions? LOL

The retreat planners really took good care of us overnighters and day trippers!  They had contacted a bunch of vendors and had received donations for the retreat.  All kinds of goodies---and I'll show you here in a minute.

This was a cat panel piece from Red Rooster.  One of the other cat crazy gals had one as well.  Because they were rolled up and tied with a ribbon I don't think Irene knew how perfect this was for Terry and I.  Terry got hers in a trade come to think of it---mine was a cat panel.  Too cute!  I don't know that you can see the little sayings printed on each cat but it says stuff like "Love gently" " forgive easily"  "Nap often"  etc  Cattitudes by Carrie-Along-Quilts for Red Rooster DSN #22549.  Others had really cool Christmas panels and the like but I am glad the cat one is mine, LOL.

This was stuff either in my tote bag or that I received as door prizes or that were passed out by the committee at intervals.  The purse pattern was a stand up and stretch, move around game----kinda like playing "musical chairs"  They had the purse patterns arranged in a circle on the floor upside down.  When they had us stop you could either accept the one you  had in front of you, or keep going.  Actually I swapped with the gal standing next to me.  I like this one better as it has a zipper at the top, LOL.  They had done this on Thursday as well but for a different type of pattern.

Jackie C's husband made the thread holders and Jackie put on the little leather scissor holder on the side as well as the pincushion end.  Not sure who made the little thread catchers but aren't they darling?  Inside was a couple pieces of chocolate and a spool of neutral Guterman thread.   Irene made the little fall colored bag---she said where the pattern came from but it escapes me now!  Inside is a tube of Avon Care Silicone Glove and a packet of tissues.  There is also a rotary cutter holder made from a pot holder!  Clever, I tell you.

2 of the fat quarters I received today but I won one of them in a fat quarter toss.  They handed out the fats and gave us a rubber band to snug it up for tossing.  Then Jackie put a pumpkin basket on the floor placing it about 6 ft away.  I think only 4 of us made it in the basket the first toss---my luck of the draw was that pink piece in the middle.  The others all went varying numbers of rounds but the final one she practically put the basket right at their feet.  We were all laughing with some of the antics.  Fun, fun, fun.

Thursday several of the group had made hootie owl pot holders---those were oh, so cute.  They had done some mug rugs too and were voting on Viewer's Choice when I was leaving this afternoon.  Some were making a cake carrier pattern from Terry Atkinson and some were still doing the Jelly Roll 1600 but making much, much larger versions of them.  Two sisters, one from BHM and her sister from one of the Plains states, were teaming up to make sisters quilts with pineapple log cabins---those are going to be gorgeous.  Others were working on old stuck away projects.   Lots of fun stuff, even hand work and knitting going on. Aline, an animal 12 triangle donation quilt---you'll see it down the line.  I did NOT have my camera with me.  I know that Beth, our historian, was getting some good pictures that she'll post on facebook.

We even had a quilter's garage sale!  I got a couple of quilt kits.  The one on the left is actually cut out and partially pieced.  Denise indicated that there is some extra in there so I may well be able to make two donation quilts from this.  The backing fabric was included.

The other one I may not use as planned but it is nice pinks and brown tones.  I made an Indiana Puzzle for my niece once and have a good bit of leftovers to make another---for me.  Sherry said that backing fabric was at home and she'll bring it to the next guild meeting for me.

This morning they asked us to help sew up some pot holders for the 4-H /school kids program.  Some giving back---after all the bounty we had received.   They had done this last year and had the 4th grade kids throughout the county quilt up a pre-made potholder with a large X.  (Later they were challenged to make their own quilt a certain size and those were judged by the guild.)   This year they are going to do it again----the newest batch of 4th graders do the quilting but the 5th graders will work with an appliqued heart pot holder and button hole applique around the motif.  Apparently they know this is coming and are looking forward to the sessions.  We got busy this morning and Jackie said we had 135 heart pot holders and 30 plain ones were whipped up!   Normally they get together on Monday's to work on these but I cannot keep running over to Pell City.   So far they don't want us taking homework---not till we hit crunch time, I guess.

What a fun time and a chance to visit with folks more than at regular meeting.  I'm the secretary so I have to sit up front and take notes-- can't chat with the person sitting next to me.  Especially chatting with some that you don't know near as well.  THX to the retreat committee for a great weekend!


  1. Cute cat panel! Boy, did you come home with the loot!

    I have one of those wooden thread holders. My parents picked it up for me in one of their travels.

    It sounds like you had a great retreat committee that did a lot of planning to pull off such a fun event. There is nothing like a retreat to energize the creative juices!

  2. Sounds like you had a GREAT time!! - ;))


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