Thursday, June 29, 2017

Three Amigas Retreat

Each summer for about the last 8-9 years, three of us get together for a personal sew-in/retreat. Ellen moved 2 hours away 10 years ago so this is how we reconnect each year. We have a super/terrific/ideal room at a church to use, just a few miles from our homes and best of all, we sleep in our own beds, except Ellen, who bunks at one of our homes each year.

Things quickly become "tradition":  the selfie, show and tell, stories of family, now including two grand-girls, Winnie and Stella, and sons- and daughters in law. Grilled chicken dinner cooked by Sharon's husband, Rick, on Monday night--my husband joins us and we listen to Ellen's tales of her latest trip, this year it was Spain, always fun to "travel" with her. A trip to Patches and Stitches for retail therapy--Ellen doesn't have a really great quilt shop near her so stash enhancement is necessary. And there's a visit to my studio and the archaeological dig that is the spare bed, to see what I've made in the last year--too much to drag to our meeting site.

We talk and laugh, solve design dilemmas, and just have a wonderful time being together. Food is not the focus of this event, as it can be at retreats, we keep it simple. And the only things we don't talk about are politics and religion and there is no spouse-bashing--we've each been married to great men for about 40 years, bless their hearts. We love them and by now have figured out we can't change them so why bother?

Productivity is the name of the game. We usually all work on lots of projects but this year we each seemed to just stick to one major project. Ellen made this, squealing repeatedly, "It's sooooo cute!!!":

She kept hard at it and got the top just about finished before it was time to pack up:

Sew Cute!
Sharon worked diligently on a Family Reunion quilt, which she designed in great detail to show the family connections, on her husband's side of the family, no less. The legend will explain how each person is connected to the others, including babies not yet born at the last reunion; her planning and detail is amazing:

I got Long Time Gone pin basted, ready for machine quilting, or, I should say, in line for machine quilting:

After walking around and around the table for 45 minutes trying to lay this thing out flat, I decided next year I'll get two extra sets of hands to help me with that task-- it took more than 2.5 hours to baste this sucker, really cutting into my sewing time. It is nice to baste on several tables and each year I have one ready for that job.  

Then I was able to sew, paper piecing 3 of the 4 Flying Geese borders for Halo Star Medallion:

At the tail end of the 3rd day I generated a few more half square triangles for my Lifetime Quilt:

Too soon it was time to load the elevator and end this party:

It used to be 2 days but that wasn't enough time together so now it is 3 days and even that flies by too quickly and we all wish we had more time. As Sharon said at the end: "We've been in our quilt bubble for 3 days and now it's back to the real world." So, we look forward to next year...

I hope you have a special friend or two you can sew with, it's such a great thing. If not, I'll be your virtual quilting buddy, send me your photos and I'll oooh and ahhhh over them!

Let's Quilt!



  1. What a wonderful tradition you ladies share! I have quilt buddies, but we never do anything like this!

  2. sewing with friends is the best sewing time!

  3. I'm just reading this entry and loving it. I'll be picking up by best friend (who lives in Cleveland) Thursday evening then it's off to retreat for the weekend. She's been joining me every July for about 10 years for this annual retreat through my guild. She's only missed once due to surgery! We LOVE sewing together and catching up! All of us, which includes my fellow guild members, agree that going on retreats with friends is cheaper than therapy!