Quilt Retreats

Late Night Quilting and Other Delights

It is time to finish my series of posts about the annual May quilting retreat I attended with my Quilting Sisters in Vancouver, WA May 17 – 20 at Sew N Go Retreat Center. To read my previous posts about quilting retreats I’ve attended, see my post category – Retreats.

If you’d like to read my previous posts on my May 2018 retreat (it is hard to believe that was over a month ago now) here they are:

Late Night Quilting

Have you ever attended a quilting retreat? If you are not a quilter but another type of crafter, have you ever attended a crafting retreat?

Sure, I could take a couple days off work and stay at home and sew all day for free. But it would not be as fun as hanging out with a group of other quilters, having all meals prepared for you, having no responsibilities (except any pressure you give yourself to complete projects you bring), and the opportunity for Late Night Quilting!

Here is our Quilting Retreat Center during the day:

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And here it is at night when there is Late Night Quilting going on inside:

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I am not sure why I took the above photo at an odd angle, except it was late at night and perhaps I had been quilting too long and needed to go to bed.

Inside the Quilting Sweat Shop (aka The Quilt Retreat Room)

Whether during the day or late night at night, the sewing machines were humming and churning out projects:

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And on the design walls were quilts in progress such as this one by the Quilting Sister Judy:

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Sewing was not limited to making quilts, there were other projects such an adorable tote bag by my Quilting Sister Lisa:

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A Cozy Place to Sleep

After a long day of quilting, and perhaps a late night marathon of quilting, you need a cozy place to sleep. Here is the bedroom I stayed in which had quilts on every wall and several on the bed I slept in:

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Although the room had several beds in it, as we were a small group of 5, I had the room to myself.

Here is a detail of a lovely medallion quilt that was on the opposite wall from my bed:

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Getting Exercise

I knew it was a poor choice health wise to just sit around all day and sew, so I found time each day to walk around the rural farmland area of the quilt retreat center, sometimes with another Quilting Sister and sometimes alone. We had beautiful weather!

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And like last year’s May retreat, we visited with friendly horses we met on our walks:

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Good Thing I Went On Daily Walks…

As usual we had delicious meals at the Sew N Go Retreat. Each meal was a delightful surprise. Here are a couple images – a yummy main course of the most addicting chicken wings I’ve ever had; and a delicious piece of apple cake:

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And yes that is vanilla ice and caramel on top as there would not have been enough calories with just the cake!

And of Course There is Abbie

One of my favorite treats at the Sew N Go Retreat is spending time with Abbie the Quilt Retreat Kitty:

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Abbie is getting older and is not as active as she was when I first started attending the retreat many years ago. I was actually trying to read a magazine and Abbie ended up laying on top of the magazine so I could pay attention to her instead.

Here is a “vintage” photo of Abbie and I cuddling during the May 2016 Quilting Retreat:

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A Wonderful Reminder

The room I stayed in during the retreat had a wonderful needlepoint sampler that I woke up to each morning and served as a beautiful reminder of how I want to face each day.

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I am trying to keep these words in my heart now that I am back home.

Quilt Retreats, Studio

The Tale of Tango Stripe

Continuing my series of posts about the annual May quilting retreat I attended with my Quilting Sisters in Vancouver, WA May 17 – 20. To read my previous posts about quilting retreats I’ve attended, see my post category – Retreats.


In the post The Pillow Project I mentioned that for this May’s annual quilting retreat I pulled out some old unfinished objects/projects (UFOs); or as my blogging buddy Shirley @ handmadehabit calls them – “stranded” projects.

Well another “stranded” project that I brought to the quilt retreat was the Tango Stripe (pattern by Jean Wells of the StitchinPost) project.

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This quilt is made with Kaffe Fassett stripes fabric and coordinating solids. I’ve wanted to make this quilt for years after falling in love with the store sample when visiting the Stitchin’ Post.

I’ve nearly started it a couple times as evidenced by these posts:

Diving into a quilt (and other stuff) (January 2017) and Quilt Seating! (December 2016)

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A couple of months ago at the monthly art quilter group I attend, our group leader brought in her completed Tango Stripe quilt, set in olive green fabric instead of denim colored fabric, and it was fantastic. This reminded me how much I want to make my own.

So I brought my collection of Kaffe Fassett striped fabrics and solids to the retreat and finally started cutting the blocks with the templates from the pattern:

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I got this far in my progress on the quilt top during the quilting retreat:

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I know it does not seem like a lot but there is a lot of template work to create the effect of the quilt. You do not cut the whole quilt out at once per instructions but you design as you go.

I did not finish it as you can see but I made a lot more progress than I had in the 5+ years since buying the pattern!

For now it is put away as I need my large design wall to finish it up and currently my large design wall has a quilt in progress for a future WCQN exhibit that I cannot yet share. But once I finish that piece, Tango Stripe is going up on the design wall and is going to be finished!

It is a tale whose story needs to end (with a completed quilt!)


Postscript

During the retreat, one of my quilting sisters gave me a sweet Moda fabrics Frivols quilt kit for my birthday:

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This section of the insert inside the tin made me smile as I think it describes many of us well:

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Hope you have a great week of “making” if you are a “Maker“!


More stories from the May quilt retreat are coming. 

Quilt Retreats

Sasquatch Sightings

Finally a series of posts about the annual May quilting retreat I attended with my Quilting Sisters in Vancouver, WA May 17 – 20. This series of posts on the quilt retreat actual began with these posts: Please Vote On The Color!  and The Votes Are In! .


Sasquatch? What is a Sasquatch?

For my readers who do not live in the Pacific Northwestern section of North America, “Sasquatch” is another name for “Bigfoot” and one of our most beloved “urban legends” (actually more like a wilderness legend).

Wikipedia does a great job of explaining Sasquatch:

In North American folklore, Bigfoot or Sasquatch is a hairy, upright-walking, ape-like being who reportedly dwells in the wilderness and leaves behind large footprints. Strongly associated with the Pacific Northwest (particularly Washington state and British Columbia), individuals claim to see the creature across North America.

Here is the iconic Patterson-Gimlin film clip that really popularized the lore (courtesy of YouTube):

Who knows if it is someone in a suit or an actual ape-like being!

Additionally here is a link to an interesting post on the Oregon Public Broadcasting website about this iconic footage:

Film Introducing Bigfoot To World Still Mysterious 50 Years Later

Sasquatch and Quilting: The Legendary Pattern

Pattern maker Elizabeth Hartman created the Legendary quilt pattern which has been very popular in the Pacific NW and it is affectionally known as the “Sasquatch Quilt“:

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Image credit: elizabeth hartman.com

Two of my Washington state based Quilting Sisters Judy and Dana have already made this quilt in flannel; and my California based Quilting Sister Kathy is finishing up a Sasquatch quilt of her own.

Sasquatch Sightings

During our annual May quilt retreat, Dana worked on a second Sasquatch Quilt for a charity auction and Kathy worked on her quilt. Judy and Dana’s quilts were some of the first ones to use flannels (which gives an extra yummy Pacific NW feel) and to use multiple fabrics for the trees. Kathy followed suit with the same concept for her Sasquatch quilt.

Here is Dana’s second Sasquatch quilt top in progress:

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As you can see below, Sasquatch mysteriously moved to a new location on the design wall:

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Here is Dana’s completed quilt top:

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After Dana was done, she took her quilt top down and Kathy worked on assembling hers:

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Getting there – Kathy nearly done getting all the trees pieced/assembled; note her Sasquatch is a lighter brown flannel:

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Kathy took her Sasquatch back home to California. Kathy and our other California based Quilting Sister Lisa, had fun in the Portland airport photographing her Sasquatch on various adventures at the airport:

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“Sasquatches” are for Cuddling

So what does a Sasquatch flannel quilt look like completed and quilted? Well my Quilting Sister Dana was kind enough to share a photo of the one she made her husband (and I have seen it in person and it calls to you to nap under it!):

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Image Credit: Dana C. 2018

Well, I Want a Sasquatch Quilt Too!

My Quilting Sister Kathy was kind enough to share her scraps from her Sasquatch quilt which are also scraps from Dana’s quilt too! I have this huge bag of flannel scraps for my future personal “Sasquatch Sighting!”

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Quilt Retreats, Tula Time!

Please Vote On The Color!

OK this is a quickie post!

Right now I am at my annual quilt retreat with my Quilting Sisters and for fun we would like your opinion on which is the best coordinating color for a block one of my Quilting Sisters is working on (during our late night quilting marathon).

We have been debating it for 30 minutes and I thought – why don’t I throw it out there for the tierneycreates readers 😀?

Okay this is a 12″ x 12″ finished block that is part of a fussy cut center star block quilt using Tula Pink All Stars fabric line.

Here are some completed blocks:

And here is the one for you to vote on:

Should the inner triangles around the fussy cut Tula Pink square be:

  • Light gray?
  • Minty Teal?
  • Pinkish Lavender?

Thanks for giving your opinion in the comments!

Quilt Retreats

Quilt Retreat Animals

Continuing my series of posts on the annual Sew N Go Quilt Retreat in Vancouver, WA I recently attended. If you are starting with this post, here are links to the previous posts:

I am not sure if Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer would approve of this post as there were on dogs at the quilt retreat, only horses and cats.

The Horses

Sew N Go Quilt Retreat is located in a very rural area of Vancouver, WA. The retreat center itself is on acreage and is surrounded by farms. Several times a day some of the quilt retreaters, including myself,  would go on walks around the area – up to 4+ miles per day walking!

While walking we would visit with several groups of horses we discovered hanging out in pastures in area farms. The first day we ran into the horses, we were surprised how the boldly they came over to the edge of their fence to see us. So the next day we were ready with apples!

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(Several of my fellow quilt retreaters were on Weight Watchers and watching their “points”. We joked as we fed the horses apples: “No worries horseys, zero points!”)

A horse from the pasture/farm next to the one above:

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Next thing we knew, we had two horses, from two different pastures side by side visiting with us and greeting each other through their fences:

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The long walks and the visits with the horses were are delightful break from our sewing marathons at the quilt retreat!

The Cats

On one of our walks, we were invited by owners of a local farm to come onto their farm and chat. It turned out that several of them were originally from NY like my quilting sister Kathy and myself.

On their farm we met “Heshe” (he-she) – a cat of unknown gender. I do not remember the entire story but when they adopted Heshe as a barn kitty, they could not determine if it was a “he” or a “she”! Heshe was a very sweet a friendly orange tabby:

But the cat star of the 4-day retreat weekend was my beloved “Abbey the Quilt Retreat Kitty” (she should have her own blog!)

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During the retreat, Nancy the quilt retreat host, needed to give Abbey some medications.

Cats, as explained by one of my quilting sisters who is a veterinarian, are difficult to get to swallow pills. Cats do not fall for the tricks dogs fall for (hiding pills in peanut butter, cheese, etc.) and so you have to find a way to get the pill to the back of the cats throat so they will automatically swallow it.

So Abbey was made into a “kitty burrito” to restrain her paws as she was given meds. She calmly and quietly accepted her kitty burrito status but still found a way to spit out her pill! It might have been because a group of quilters were standing around cracking up laughing at how adorable Abbey looked as a burrito!

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Each year at the retreat I look forward to hanging out with Abbey, and she knows it. She knows I am “one of her people”. I always find time to snuggle with her and give her lots of attention.

Abbey and I took a lovely nap together, with her sleeping behind my pillow and quietly purring against my head. I could not believe how soothing and meditative it was to listen to her purring.

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Okay there was a dog

There was one dog at the quilt retreat, but it was not a live dog. It was a dog quilt – an adorable pattern – “Dogs in Sweaters” by Elizabeth Hartman:

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Next post, how about some evidence that actual sewing occurred during the quilt retreat? Maybe (smile).


Postscript

In yesterday’s post I shared about my purchases of a vintage Singer sewing machine while at a fundraising garage sale in Sisters, Oregon. Check our Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer’s post Saturday Schnouting (Schnauzer Outing)! for information about our outing this past Saturday in Sisters, Oregon.

A Crafter's Life, Quilt Retreats

Repost: Road Trip

 

As I prepare to head out to my annual quilting retreat with my “quilting sisters” tomorrow, I thought I would repost a story from May 2015 about my road trip to my quilt retreat and finding “car buddies”.


ROAD TRIP (May 2015)

Last May I attend the Sew N Go Retreat in Vancouver, WA (outside of Portland, OR) for the first time. I live about 3.5 + hours from Vancouver, WA and  last year, I drove to the retreat with a friend who was also attending. Last Thursday I returned to the retreat, and this time I drove alone.

I was bummed, at first, to drive alone this year to the retreat. All I could think was: “3.5 + hours in the car, not fun”.  I was wrong. Road trips with friends are great, however it can be quite fun to go  on a solo road trip!

My husband and I both have older cars (we are all about having paid off cars) and I borrowed my husband’s car, the newer car (which is only 10 years old instead of 14+ years old like my car). My husband teases me that soon my car can be registered as an “antique”, however I do not think there is much of an automobile collector’s market for classic 2001 Saturns (perhaps there is one person in Uruguay who dreams of owning a non luxury old Saturn).

One of the drawbacks with older cars is you do not have the cool technology you have with newer cars – like a built in jack for your iPhone to allow you play tunes through the car radio. I did have an old FM transmitter powered by the car jack (formerly known in the old days as “the cigarette lighter”) and once I found a FM radio channel not used by any station, I was able to transmit my tunes through the car radio!

Armed with a package of roasted almonds, a container of blueberries, water, a turkey sandwich (I was eating healthy on the way to the quilting retreat as I planned to make naughty food choices the next 4 days) and my iTunes mixes on my iPhone, I was ready for my road trip! There is something very relaxing about listening to music alone on a long drive.

Most of my drive was pretty scenic, even if it was overcast, as I journeyed through part of the Cascade Mountain range with little traffic on a Thursday morning. There were a couple moments of what I would call “pure bliss” where it was just me, the road and my tunes. I felt light and carefree and at peace with all around me. I promised myself on the drive not to think about any life worries or concerns; not think about work; and not try to plan my life (I tend to be an over-planner). I had decided to just be in the moment on my drive.

Car Buddies

Along the highway on my trip I would find “Car Buddies“. For more years then I remember I have always been into finding imaginary “Car Buddies” when on long drives.

What are “Car Buddies”? Car Buddies are other cars that you follow for a long period of time. If you are on a one lane highway and a passing lane appears, you do not pass them, They are your buddy and you stay behind them maintaining a reasonable speed. The most appealing car buddies of course, are those who are going an acceptable speed!

Sometimes if I have been with a car buddy for a long time on the road I get kind of sad for a moment when they take an exit that I am not taking. I always say aloud: “bye-bye car buddy, thanks and take care!”  Yes I am weird. I have imaginary friendships and connections with other cars on the road.

Hey you never know when you are driving long distance, if I am behind you, making you my imaginary Car Buddy!

A bonus to the peaceful and relaxing road trip was that I was headed to a fun weekend. However I did not want the road trip to end – as I got closer, I wished I had a further to drive!

Quality of Life, Quilt Retreats

Retreating is not necessarily “retreating”

I am honored to be invited to teach a hand piecing/quilting/spiritual art class at the Women’s Relaxation Reiki Retreat in Finland, August 19-22, 2016 and I am working on developing Northern Lights (aka the aurora borealis) themed project options for the class since the Northern Lights will be in view during the retreat.

This will be a working retreat for me where I get to attend some classes and teach a couple of classes. I started thinking about the whole idea of going on a retreat/retreating and Quilting Retreats I have attended in the past (and those planned with my quilting friends in the near future) and this post shares my thoughts.

If you look up the word retreat in a dictionary you made find definitions like these below:

  • movement by soldiers away from an enemy because the enemy is winning or has won a battle
  • movement away from a place or situation especially because it is dangerous, unpleasant, etc.
  • the act of changing your opinion or position on something because it is unpopular

(Source – http://www.merriam-webster.com)

None of these definitions have anything to do with the type of retreats I enjoy! To retreat is commonly thought of as backing away and/or pulling into yourself. There are retreats such as spiritual based and meditation retreats where the purpose is to back away from your daily life and worries and to pull into yourself to gain perspective or spiritual enlightenment.  I admire people who attend these type of purely inward focused retreats. However the type of retreats enjoy involve connecting with people.

I am so fortunate to have a wonderful group of quilting friends from various parts of the country. I met these women through quilting retreats and because we deeply connected, we continue to retreat together year after year. We even plan our own special group retreat where only our private group attends. Yes, I will admit it – sometimes I bring a couple projects to these retreats and do not get much quilt piecing done. However what are you going to most remember about a quilt retreat: 1) that you completed 5 projects; or 2) that you hung out with some amazing women and had many laughs?

It is magical to connect with a stranger at a retreat on other common ground beyond being a quilter. I am originally from New York and I have bonded with another quilter because she is also “a Yankee”.

If you are a quilter/crafter, I bet you could not imagine attending a quilting/crafting retreat in which you just “back away/pull into yourself”. I have met a couple people at quilting retreats who just wanted to focus on their projects and were not very social – however I am not sure they had as great a time as those that did not get as much done but had a blast connecting with other retreat attendees.

Besides connecting with fun people, the other wonderful parts of quilt retreating are a scenic peaceful location (I do love a retreat where you can go for a solitary walk in a pastoral location and take break from the group setting), impromptu outings to local quilt shops (with old or new quilt friends), and yummy food to enjoy (that I did not have to cook!)

“Happiness [is] only real when shared” – Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild