The Ups & Downs of a Quilt Retreat

Retreat Preparation

The photo above is evidence that a quilt retreat is anything but a leisurely weekend with friends.  The prep time for said event is in direct proportion to the time allotted for retreating.  Plan on triple the prep time in relation to retreat time.  It’s work–but the amount of fun you have at such an event is also directly related to the work you do ahead of time.  As you can see from the photo, I prepared for awhile.

I missed last year’s retreat.  New grandchildren have a tendency to take priority over any kind of a retreat.  So I was determined to make up for it.  Projects that should have been completed last year seemed to make it back on the list for this year.  Thus, the UFO (actually there were multiple UFOs).  No, it’s not something from outer space.  To a quilter, the UFO is an Unfinished Object–one of the many projects that get started and then life gets in the way of reaching the finishing line.  Eventually they all get done or our kids put them in a garage sale when we aren’t around to see it happen.  I was determined to get at least 3 of my many UFOs out of way at this retreat.  Did it happen?  Well, let’s just say that life got in the way.  More on that later.

While a retreat center has room for everyone to sleep, eat, sew, and have fun, with all the “stuff” everyone brings, there isn’t much room to spread out.  Some ladies bring a sewing machine, an embroidery machine, and a serger.  You carve out a space at a table, plant your “stuff” around you, and you don’t retreat until the last day.

Retreat Center

This retreat was held in the piney woods of East Texas in a little town called Kountze.  The Stone Creek Lodge has room for 24 to sleep and sew and they even host weddings.  Obviously, this wasn’t a wedding.  We were all determined to “get ‘er done” and have some fun doing it.  From a rousing game of  LCR played with fat quarters (ask me how that’s done!), to a surprise musical duo, and then a jelly roll race, everyone had fun until Saturday night.

2014 Retreat

See the pretty lady in the middle with the grey shirt?  That’s my sister–the younger, prettier sister.  On Saturday night, she had a health issue that led to a broken arm and an ambulance ride to the emergency room in nearby Beaumont.  This was definitely life getting in the way.  Needless to say, she and I didn’t get to finish our projects.  But what we did complete is worth some mention.  The two of us created an embroidery label for a wedding quilt we had started for our niece and we added binding to that quilt.  It was a queen size quilt so a good chunk of time was spent completing that project.

Ocean Quilt

I also completed one of my UFOs–a small baby quilt with monkeys as the theme.  Squares of soft Minkee fabric and flannel create the side blocks.  The back is also flannel.  I used my embroidery machine to quilt each block.  Some sweet baby is going to enjoy this soft project!  And I am glad it is off the UFO list and in  my quilt stash.

 Monkey See both

I made two Minkee tag blankets–gifts for future babies.

Tag Blankets

I came home with more UFOs than I started with.  My hope is that the projects I brought home will get done before the 2015 retreat and I can start some NEW projects.  First on the list is the Bailey Island Hobo bag.  I will be using the fabrics I didn’t get to use on the jelly roll race quilt.  Hopefully, by next year, there will be a finished bag project to highlight here.  And I did finish another project–a bunk size quilt for my grandson.  The photo below is just the top.  It is not quilted yet but that will be happening soon.  This pattern is called Happy Wheels and you can find the pattern for the twin size quilt (and the bunk size) as well as the embroidery designs at my web site.  Andrew will have fun with his cars on the roads of this quilt!

Happy Wheels Bunk

Time to start a new list of the 2015 retreat!

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  1. Jo bridges says:

    Love your sharing!!!! Love your quilt for Becky and Tommy! A true family heirloom.

    Yard sale? with your UFOS? I am headed to Texas. Gotta buy!

    another younger and….something…..sister.

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