It may seem like I’m always at one quilting retreat or another, and while it IS true that I go to several every year, it’s the only way I can make really good focused progress on projects of my own, because altho I work from my home studio, and quilt all day long every day, most of that quilting is for other people and deadlines.
Retreats are the best way for me to make progress on my own UFO list!
And this particular retreat every July is with eight of my closest and dearest friends, a bunch of gals who are now almost like sisters to me, and I treasure this get-together so much every year! We all love it so much, that we’ve extended our time together to 5 days now, instead of the original 3 days we started out with, and I’m thinking an entire week would not be out of order!
Also, each year, we get some visits from other friends that live nearby, or happen to be in the area. And we make it a point to go out for dinner together as a group one evening. This time, we were joined by Brooke from Silly Mama Quilts, and Victoria (who originally started this annual retreat for us), and her daughter Beatrice.
I started out working on my Jared Takes a Wife quilt, that I started in a workshop I took from Bonnie Hunter nearly two years ago. I hadn’t touched the quilt since, so my mission was to finally turn this pile of pieces:
Into blocks like these:
I’m not sure I’ve hit the halfway point yet, because I got bored with that (naturally), and instead switched to working on my Florence Flamingo blocks (from a pattern by Elizabeth Hartman).
I got five flamingos done, and in between, I put together this little top from leftover triangle squares from another project:
I’m not completely happy with it, and since I have some more of that fabric, I think I’ll be making a few more HSTs and adding to it a bit.
We always exchange “Happies”, little gifts that can be handmade or not, and I stole Doris’s picture of what we got this year, since I already have mine scattered all over my house!
Amanda Jean (from CrazyMomQuilts) brought the quilts from her book (and a few others) to give us an informal trunk show:
And then we all got to choose a quilt to sleep under that night!!! Talk about a difficult decision! But I LOVE her “Waiting” quilt, so that’s the one I chose to sleep under:
And she also gave me a copy of the pattern, so now I think I’m going to make one of my own!
I also got my hands on her book. I’ve been wanting it since it came out, but was determined to wait and get it from her at the retreat, so I could have an autographed copy from Amanda Jean herself:
We also had a visit from Maria Hanson (@quiltmomoffive on IG), who lives fairly close to Gruber’s Quilt Shop, where we were retreating. She came over and stitched with us one afternoon, then graciously invited us all out to her house for dinner the next evening! What a fabulous treat! Stephanie’s friend, Grazina, joined us, and Heather Peterson (of Anka’s Treasures) who is good friends with Maria, and also lives close, joined us there! We had all sorts of fun visitors — and all sorts of fun!
Maria recently completed her version of my “Hazel’s Diary” quilt, and it is absolutely fantastic! I LOVE love LOVE her aqua border! The quilting was done by Rebecca of Ruby Blue Quilting. Doris took a picture of us standing together in front of it!
Maria’s home is absolutely gorgeous, and we got the grand tour. If you’d like to see more pictures of her gorgeous home, her gorgeous quilting projects, and her gorgeous knitting and crochet projects, go follow her IG account, @quiltmomoffive — and yes, that means she has five children — I don’t know how she gets so much done!
Retreat was over in a flash (how does that happen?) and now I’m back home again, working on quilting a Gravity quilt (from a pattern by Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts) for my friend, Linda. Six full days of working on it, and I’m still not quite to the 3/4 mark. I really want to finish today, but time will tell!
While I was gone, Ranger finished weaning himself! He’s so independent, and wants to be a big boy now. My Cowboy tried to bring him inside at night, and he cried and cried to go back out with Daisy, so My Cowboy put him back out, and that made him perfectly happy! I sure thought it was gonna be harder than that to get him to stay outside, but he made the decision on his own.
They’re thick as thieves, these two, but he still came over and climbed up in my lap after breakfast Monday morning.
He’ll always be my little baby. But now I can stop mixing up baby bottles and reclaim my living room!
And of course, I’ll leave you with a few quotes from our retreat:
“I don’t get outta my basement much.”
“I don’t wanna look back on my life and see that I spent it doing housework. I have better things to do with my life . . . but drawing lines on the backs of all these little squares isn’t exactly what I had in mind, either.”
“I’m looking forward to getting snarky with you over the next couple days.”
“That word ‘behoove’ just doesn’t get used near enough, does it?”
“I’m actually thinking before I speak.”
“Would you like a glass of wine?”