Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The Second Annual Joyful Journey Retreat

 Recently I had the pleasure of hosting the Second Annual Joyful Journey Retreat for 17 wonderful women:

We gathered at Red Rooster Retreat Center on Smith Lake, in Cullman, AL, about an hour and a half for most of us. Due to Covid, we were limited to 17 this year, down from 19 last year, to allow for adequate space for all. We were able to have 3 "newbies" join us this year, due to last minute cancellations, we had a great group and fun was had by all.

Perfect for quilters, we like Red Rooster because:

Lots of workspace for each person, a full table and a comfortable rolling chair

Multiple Ironing Boards and Cutting Stations provided and set up in advance

Excellent food, 3 times a day, no cooking or cleaning

Comfortable beds--it's just not the Ritz, more dormitory style

Wonderful lighting and views of Smith Lake from every window

A few photos to show off what was accomplished:

Maybe the happiest camper all week--Terri got lots of help from Suzie and Margo in making her beautiful bag: 

My view from my spot, Smith Lake:
The Wall of Completion:

The view of the pool and hot tub from the covered porch--my happy place, too cold in March for swimming, plus that would cut into sewing time: 
This group of women really like each other and LOVE the chance to "retreat" for 5 days. We were surprised and so appreciative of the gifts several of them made for everyone. A personalized drinking glass, a votive jar with our logo, tiny chicken pincushion, mask holder for around the neck, a pin celebrating this event, a fabric bowl AND, most amazing of all--in the drawstring fabric bag was a beautiful hand-made stitch ripper from a local artisan--THANK YOU to everyone who gave us these wonderful gifts--you have set the bar really HIGH!:

Two special friends--on the right is Kathy--my fantastic Admin, who takes care of all the details, room arrangements, contact with our participants, backs me up and keeps me on track, none of this would happen without her help. And in the middle, the wonderful Margo, who I  have known since the beginning of The Quilt Show, almost 15 years ago--so good to spend real time with her here--she comes that farthest to join us. Can you read the sign over our heads?

We also did fat quarter drawings, notions baskets, and swapped 2.5" light/dark strips with everyone for the special quilt project I designed just for us. Next year will bring new and different plans. 

We are all set for next year, when we fully expect to be back to our perfect number of 19. Those who attend this year get first chance to sign up for next year, when we start the process in late Summer. Then those who had to cancel this year and desperately want back in get the opportunity to come back. When the time comes, I will ask for those who want to be on the "waitlist"--as we found this year, things happen and last minute cancellations are always a possibility. 

And just so some of you can recognize us, the 2021 Joyful Journey Retreat Gang:

Let's quilt.



  1. Looks like y'all had a super good time!! And a great crowd, too, with everyone working on (and finishing!) such pretty projects. I may need to get on that waiting list! :)

  2. Looks like such a fun time, Barbara!

  3. I would love to go! I miss quilting retreats! I used to go regularly with my quilt gild in Houston.

  4. I would love to go! I miss quilting retreats! I used to go regularly with my quilt gild in Houston.