Apr 19, 2016

I love retreats!

I was privileged to attend the 2nd day of the JOY Quilters 1st ever Spring Retreat.  Actually it is more of an all day sew-in because you don't stay overnight but the facility was open from 8-8 for two days.  We met at First Baptist in Jacksonville in a large meeting room right next to kitchen facilities.  I only went one day as Lois and I shared a spot--she could only go Thursday so I said one day would be enough for me and we split fees.

The theme was an old fashioned quilting bee.  They asked us to wear an old fashioned apron on Friday.  Marilyn had rode with me and mentioned this just before we left the house.  She had a few extra to share but I had one of my own that my friend Pam had made for me several years ago.  I grabbed it and off we went.  Some of the girls partcipated in decorating quilting bonnets.  There was a prize for that.

They set up a lemonade station and we each got a mason jar with lid decorated with our name and little lady bugs.  Our name tags were beehives with a magnetic "pin" that our president Wendell had painted.  Later he passed little bees around and encouraged us to decorate our jars or pins with ribbons or whatever.  There is mine down in the corner.

The folded stars were a little give-away from our friend and fellow member Jennifer who does a lot of the long arm quilting for the group and the Attalla group.  They will host another retreat in the fall as they have for the last two years---I'm going!  The fat quarters were clothespinned to the trellis (that you will see below on the left). There were enough for us to go through twice and pick them out so those were my choices.  I picked a couple out for Lois as well at the organizers instructions.  There were door prizes galore too---I won a vintage Pattern box and this pillow case kit and the latest issue of 100 Quilt Blocks Summer 2016.  Jennifer has a block in it as she has done in other issues called Franny Odorlicious (cute skunk) on page 31.  She autographed it as she had donated it as a door prize!  I misplaced it though and thought I had left it behind.  It turned up in my sewing accessories bag right with the sewing machine manual.

I borrowed this image from the JOY Quilters page.  I'm at the machine on the left pinning rows to my current project or finishing up the assembly of what I would teach the girls to make that afternoon.   You can see some of the vintage quilts that decorated the room.  There was also a panel that some of the group told about their quilting mentors.  Marilyn gave her thanks to Bama Belles and our dear friend Joy Albea who co-founded the group with me.  JOY Quilters was formed out of our group some years later after a chance meeting with Ada and I at a Home Extension sewing session for cancer caps and pillows.    Wendee, my table mate, was diligently sewing on sewing 4 patches for Disappearing 4 patches in both standard and diagonal methods.

On Thursday I guess the lunch was catered but Friday we had some yummy chicken salad from one of the local Jacksonville businesses.  The committe folks set those up on croissants from Publix and had fruit, chips and desserts that some had brought to share.  I think Margarita made a pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust that was delicious!  If you went hungry, it was your own fault.

Most of the time was set up for sewing but most of the group played "Strip Poker" with 2 1/2 inch strips they were asked to bring--12 of them.  Donna came back saying she had lost her favorite purple strips, LOL.  I don't know who won or how many of them just went to see how the game was played.  I didn't want to part with my strips though!  They passed a basket of hankies with change tied into them and read a poem about hankies.  The one with the most change won a door prize and we all kept the change.  Annette's husband was the one who had his change jars raided.  There was also a reading about aprons.

Since the display boards were forgotten, I had to talk the girls through the steps of making one of my "Charming Boxes" blocks that will be combined to make a donation quilt.  I walked around with some of the sections pinned to my apron!   I'll have to make a few more blocks to go with it and will do the assembly.  Wendell will quilt them.  Most of them participated so I have a nice pile of blocks.

We were asked to make a 6 inch finished Spring block and a 12 inch finished "guy" block.  One lady one all the spring blocks.  The guy blocks will be combined for a comfort quilt.  Aline offered to sew those.  I didn't take my camera and didn't think to get a picture with my phone.  They turned out well and made for a neat display at the retreat.

You saw my completed Charming Boxes top in the tutorial that precedes this post.  I did the final rows assembly at the retreat.  Then I started on this top which is "Prairie Sticks"  named after the Prairie fabric (Corey Yoder for Moda)  So easy.  I sewed a bit yesterday afternoon and all the rows are now done, the top half all joined.  I only have to sew the last row of blocks together and 3 seams to complete it.  I may go over to the church to sew once the laundry is done.  Or I might not.   At any rate I'll probably have this top done to share in the next post.

I left the retreat about 4 on Friday.  Mostly because I was tired and my body was rebelling.  I got the worst leg cramp in my right thigh that would not let up no matter how much walking or flexion/extension I tried.  Later that night the peroneal muscle on the left lower leg kicked in.  I just cannot sit and sew for hours like I once did!

Also I needed to stop at the store on the way home to get stuff to make potato salad.  Paul, my neighbor's son and/or brother had invited us to come watch the Alabama spring scrimmage game (His mama Miss Kathryn lives across and up the lane from me in a mobile home on her daughter and SIL property.   Glynda the daughter is his sister.  Paul is a friend of mine. )  Got all that, LOL?   Us is Miss Kathryn, their friend Esther, his friend and former co-worker Charlie, his lady friend Carolyn, Paul and me.  Paul was planning on grilling burgers before the afternoon game and I offered to bring potato salad to go with it.  I knew from talking to him that he preferred dill relish.  Later I thought I should have gotten some mayo since they probably did not prefer "the tangy zip of Miracle Whip" like I would.  I borrowed some Hellman's from Miss Kathryn.  Then because it tasted so different to me with dill and mayo, I took some over to ask her if it tasted all right.  Next day I was still not so sure about it and bought a small container at the store just in case it was inedible.

I was still messing with computers this week.  I decided to hook my old one back up in the master bedroom just so I still had access to some of the software and old emails on it.  It does not have internet hookup though.  I found a small monitor at the thrift store that will work out fine and got an inexpensive pair of Logitech speakers so I can listen to downloaded music on it.  A few of the more recent additions were missing from the old desktop so I was running back and forth from the notebook, the new desktop and the old one a good bit on Sunday afternoon.   The only problem I had with hookup was the printer said it was offline---I got two new ink cartridges to do the taxes so I wanted that thing to work till it runs out!  Later as I was walking it hit me what the problem might be.   I did not recall with any degree of certainty that I had plugged the USB cord into the processor.  Sure enough, that was the problem.  I'm back in business!

Yesterday was trying to get a backup to run on the new desktop.  The initial one ran fine last week.  It took 4 tries till I finally got the job done.  I think part of the trouble was the computer kept shutting down after 20 minutes as a power saver and then the backup timed out.  Still, I was not going to stay up Sunday night for hours to see if it would go.

Today, the biggest thing that happened was Oscar somehow escaped from the back yard.  I had heated some leftover pizza slices from the freezer and went out to give him the crust end.  He was gone!  He has not escaped for 2 years and I thought we had the fence secured.  I do not know where he got out.  It seemed sturdy enough the length of the fence even where he had been digging.  Possibly he squeezed out under the back gate.  I've put a paver and/or cement block at those locations.  Miss Kathryn heard me hollering for him and then she spotted him running down the hill at Glynda's yard with her cat.   He got called by all three of his names just like any bad boy when they are in trouble with "Mama".  I had the leash in hand and he flopped on the ground for belly rubs, like it would make it all better.  He must have drunk half the bowl of water once he got home.  I have been advised to watch him without him knowing I am doing so and see if he is hanging around a spot in the yard and that might be his escape spot.  That is, if I have not thwarted him already.  He wore himself out on his unauthorized trek up the lane and has been flopped on the floor in various locations this afternoon.

Last week I caught him trying to open up the hallway gate with his head and shoulders.  I had not tightened the bungee cord across the top enough and there was some play in the gate.  He managed to get a portion of himself between the gate and frame banging it.  I was in the kitchen and he thought I wouldn't see him doing it.  Most times I wouldn't because he quits when he sees me coming around the corner, LOL.  Booger butt!

However, it is time we should BOTH go stretch our legs and I need to check the dryer too.

There you have it---thanks for stopping by to see what I've been up to.


  1. I have never been to a retreat, it is something I've thought about in the past but never done. It looks like you had a great time. Your heart must have dropped when you went outside and Oscar was not there. Thanks goodness you found him.
    The weather up here has finally started to warm up though it will never be as warm as it is for you.

  2. The retreat sounds like it was a lot of fun. I wouldn't have wanted to lose my strips playing Strip Poker either. Ha ha.

  3. wow, as usual a very busy post, sewing, cooking, walking, chasing dog, but the retreat description was a real treat! love seeing those quilts taking shape :)

  4. The retreat sounds fun. What are Oscar's three names?

  5. Sounds like you had a wonderful and inspiring retreat. Oscar is ready for 5th grade....that is what 5th graders do...what can I get away with when no one is looking???? Mwhahahaha!


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