Almost two years ago I had an idea to host a retreat for about 20 quilters. Finding an Admin person was essential as I am too busy to handle the paperwork, arrangements, registration, etc. I found the perfect person in my friend, Kathy Root, who liked the idea and agreed to help me.
If you missed my first post about the retreat, check it out From Retreat to Reality
Last week the big day finally arrived and we headed to the Red Rooster Retreat center in Crane Hill, AL
. Kathy and I arrived early to set up the sewing stations and put up room signs so everyone could find their spots:
At 2 pm no one had arrived. At 2:15, still no one. Did we have the right day? Finally, the first arrival, a woman who lives really close by. And then, her two friends, also local. Almost an hour past the 2 pm start, the rest started to arrive--a big crash on the Interstate created traffic problems and their GPS took them "over the river and through the woods" to our remote location. And it started to rain. We quickly got everyone's cars unloaded and the retreat was underway.
Did you notice the aqua Handi-Quilter bags on each seat? Goodie bags for all, full of lots of wonderful stuff. Kathy made ALL the fantastic coffee can bucket liners and a matching 22" x 14" design board for each person:
Thanks to the many vendors who offered support for this event, especially Handi-Quilter and Quilter's Select.
Most of these women knew only a few of the others. Two of the three locals knew no one but each other, I had only met one of them a year ago. My friend, Margo, only knew me and we rarely get to see one another--she lives 4 hours from us.
So, for me, one of the very best things I observed, was how ALL of these women made an effort to meet each other, talk to each other, get to know each other, and I could see relationships form and bonds grow. Even those of us who knew each other learned a lot more about who we are as people, not just quilters.
I was determined to make that happen so I created the only game we would "play"--20 questions. After each meal, two people, selected alphabetically, selected a number 1-20 and had to answer whatever that question was on my list, they did not know the questions. Here are a few:
Who do you love?
What is your greatest strength?
What is your greatest accomplishment so far?
What would you go back and tell the girl you were at 18?
You get the idea, all the questions were positive, all helped us learn more personal info about the others. There was lots of laughter and a few tears, especially as accumulated fatigue set in over the 5 days.
Now for some photos:
I created a small project, Charming Sampler. Not mandatory, but most people tried out some of the blocks--they are 3" finished:
|Conna used indigo and shirtings|
|Sandra loves Christmas|
|Janey went bright, like her personality|
|Mazie--the "young 'un" who we all just love!|
|Joan used reproductions|
|Sue E went with batiks|
|Kim pressed on and completed all but an outer border, with sweet fabrics|
My class sample, an original design, 33" square:
An antique top I bought from Cindy Rennels
after mine was completely done, proving there is nothing new under the sun, especially in traditional quiltmaking--it sure feels similar:
More progress photos:
How about a 15 year Dear Jane project? Suzie is so close to completion--she got all but a few triangles done for her very last border--to say we were impressed with her work is putting it mildly:
|Final border triangles|
|She brought the completed center with her|
Many worked on Afternoon Delight. More progress photos:
Many worked on long-simmering projects and were thrilled to get them done or at least a lot farther along:
|Terri's Dear Daughter|
|April--my absolute favorite, one of several completions for her!|
And Sue E was determined to get this top to completion and she did--so happy for her:
The TV was never turned on and that was so smart. We all knew what was happening in the outside world, we all had 1-2 devices at the ready, news feed, social media, calls to/from home. But we were happy in our creativity and the friendships growing, not filled with anxiety about things we could do nothing about. Plenty of time for that at home.
I worked on a few things but mostly I just watched the fun happen. My progress:
|Binding on the gift quilt I received in 2017|
|Sylvia's Bridal Sampler blocks|
|Flying Geese 1.375" x .6875"--begun more than 10 years|
|The layout, several more of these to go for a quilt I am calling $795|
My goal was that each person get what she wanted from the Retreat--and I believe they all did. Everyone insisted we do it again next year, we hadn't really planned to. And all said they want to come back--a few wanted to give us money right then to be assured their space was safe. We will limit attendance to 19, that was perfect. It will be several months before we take reservations--the 17 who trusted us get first dibs on next year. If there are any spaces open, we will let you know...
Best line of the Retreat: "I can tell you, it's like riding a bicycle" (you had to be there...)
Best meal of the Retreat: they were all good--we loved hearing the dinner bell ring 3 times a day, nothing to cook or clean up, those with special dietary needs were well accommodated.
Best part: new friends were made--in fact, the 3 local women joined the Huntsville guild on the spot so they can see many of us again.
Too soon it was time to say goodbye. We highly recommend the Red Rooster Retreat Center and are on their calendar for March 10-14, 2021. They are having a special for this summer, 2020, as they have a few openings on their calendar--$25 off per person. You need a group of 12 minimum, and they can sleep 22 maximum. In the summer the pool, hot tub and lake are all available to guests.
Check out their website and Facebook page: