Retreat Treat....There Were.... July 11, 2015 11:23 1 Comment
It's time to check the calendar and decide if a quilting retreat fits the schedule!
Although, let's be honest, a retreat is a necessity for those that quilt!
If you've had the pleasure of being a part of a "sewing bee", you'll know the delightful time spent with others, working together to create a quilt, is priceless. Although the quilt retreats of today are composed of more machine quilters than hand quilters, they continue a wonderful tradition of a bygone era.
I remember my first retreat experience.
The lady that put the group together, who shares my first name, told me that all levels of experience were welcome. She had a pattern that we could work on , and she would teach those that needed help. Or, we could bring a project that we wanted to complete. What I didn't know was, that I was in store for a weekend that would open a brand new world, for me!
Ladies from different states were there. Ladies of all ages were there. There were expensive, fancy sewing machines, there were the old Singers (even one like my mother had), there were machines that embroidered, and there were ladies that brought their crochet hooks! The hotel we met at is known for hosting large conferences, and, that weekend, there was another, larger, group of quilters meeting down the hall. What a plethora of beautiful fabrics and patterns I saw!
Everyone I met was open to sharing what they were working on, and showing me their techniques for everything from paper piecing to free-motion. Some were working on large quilts to be given as a gift, some were completing projects that would be entered in competitions, or auctions for charity. There were table runners, wall hangings, baby quilts, and "larger than king-size" quilts! Some of the ladies had been quilting since childhood, some had, like myself, only just begun to explore this world of cutting large pieces of fabric into small pieces and sewing them back together!
There was FOOD! Everyone brought a few snacks to share....and, oh yes, there was chocolate! Recipe swapping held a close second to pattern swapping, that weekend!
Yes, there was a diverse group of women, sewing machines, patterns, techniques, recipes and fabrics....and, as time passed, there were stories.
There were stories of past hurts, victories, discoveries, disappointments, challenges, wonder, children and families. There was laughter, there were tears, there were hugs and prayers.
My first retreat was more than I expected. Did I finish my project? No. Does it matter? No.
There have been several retreats since this first one, and they have been with the same group of ladies, give or take a few. Some of the quilting projects have been completed, some have not. The bargello technique was being taught during last year's retreat, to make a jacket. It's been on my dress form, waiting for me to get back to it....and it will go with me on this year's retreat - maybe, even, to be completed!
Whatever the next project for the next retreat is, there will be......
Until next time,