Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My FIRST Quilting Retreat!

Last Friday morning, my mother-in-law Jody & I hit the road and headed to Shipshewana for my first quilting retreat experience. Two days of NO cooking, NO cleaning, NO responsibility for anyone except myself.....no you understand why anyone would be crazy not to sign up :) The retreat was held at the beautiful Farmstead INN. With the gorgeous snow falling outside we set up shop and went to sewing.

In case you've never heard of not been to a retreat this is how is goes down. You pack up what seems like your entire sewing room, including all your tools, sewing machine, fabric, patterns, books. Yes it will look like your entire family is coming along with you because you have at the very least THREE large bags, along with your machine and other stuff! 
Then you arrive to your own 8ft table....and it looks a little something like this.
 There were 44 women who attended the retreat this year. I was the youngest who attended by about 20-25 years, but I certainly was the last one to care about that. There is so much advice and wisdom to soak up from these women, it was a complete joy to be there with them all!
Our first day we began around 3pm and called it a night around 10:30ish. This is what I accomplished!
 Cloth Napkins 
Baby Boy Quilt 
 This is one of my new books...and a total favorite. My napkins, and baby quilt patterns came from this book. Also the fabric line I used for the baby quilt was "Pure" also made by the authors of this beautiful book! I'm in LOVE with everything these girls do...they rock! Be sure to check out their blog here! Then you can hop over to their Esty shop and buy the book or any other their other goodies. All weekend long women were picking up this book and gasping at all the cute stuff in it...then declaring they needed to get it :)
Saturday morning I awoke at 5am...to excited to get sewing again, and my mind swirling with what I was going to make. I didn't waste any time as was back at my machine around 730ish. I started off using the scraps that I had from my first quilt (above) I showed you and whipping up this lovely little boys quilt as well! I LOVED that "Pure" fabric so much I hated to waste any of it. I do have to add one more dark boarder to the outside of this yet, but I'm thrilled!
The scraps make up the middle part then I had some more charms (5" squares) around the outside.
I was able to share with all the ladies my OBSESSION, LOVE, NEED for pre-cuts. Many of them had never used them....Ohhhhhhh girls! I think I convinced many of them to get on board when you want some instant gratification (or you want to save your arms and back from all that cutting) pre-cuts are the way to go. They keep teasing me about getting so much work done and they were still on their first project....but with pre-cuts it just makes things go so much faster!
As lunch time approached we took a field trip to the local quilt store....because that would just be crazy not to! We stopped for a quick lunch and the cafe nearby and this wonderful lady offered me a FREE pretzel. She has a buy one get one FREE button. I graciously accepted and shared it with my mother-in-law......YUM! Then like any responsible blogger would do...we took a picture together!
Next stop...the quilt shop!!
 BOOKS!!! What more could you ask for? 
I walked out with nothing...now that is self control at it's finest :)

Looky what we found in the parking lot? A twin to my van...
My partners in crime for the weekend...I'm also in sewing bee with these lovely ladies plus a few others.
 My precious mother in law...love her! She's the one who got me started with my love of fabric, quilting, and beautiful patterns.....
 Cheryl...we teased her all weekend about her OCD and need to organize constantly. She was suppose to be doing a "random" scrappy pattern......hahaha
Cindy...ohhhh how we all LOVE her! She not only is super fun, but she is my long arm quilter! She does the most creative, wonderful, and gorgeous work on the long arm. She was also kind enough to show me a few things on my machine (again) to help me do some small machine quilting of my own.
The rest of my Saturday I worked on this stack of fabric...
I didn't get the quilt finished but did get 16 blocks sewn together and the top sewn together. I want to add more block plus a fun piano key boarder to it. So you'll have to wait to see the results in the weeks...or months to come.  
On Sunday morning we had "Show & Tell" with all the ladies! Here are few I captured....
 Wool Penny Rug (below)...just gorgeous!
 Isn't this darling! It was for her granddaughter Stella!
 Hand applique!
 This one was all flannel! Sooooo soft!
 These were hand towels my mother-in-law made!
 This is the twin bed quilt my mil also made this weekend!
Great weekend...Thanks to my sweet Hubby who was excited for me to go, watched all the kids the whole time I was gone, and gave me a fabulous back/neck massage when I got home!
I can't hardly wait till next year!!


Genesa said...

Looks like a wonderful time!

amy smart said...

Yay! Aren't quilt retreats the best? I'm still itching to go one where I can stay more than an evening and a morning. Just the thought of all the uninterrupted sewing time sounds SO heavenly! And how fun to get to go with your M-I-L. What a great thing to do together. So glad you had a great time - and I love the projects you finished too!

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