Wednesday, April 9, 2014

No longer a Retreat virgin!

Hah! I am no longer a retreat virgin! Boy! What a challenge and what a wonderful weekend! First of course we had to pack up the vehicle....
She said we had too much stuff! You can see my carrier in the pile of things to take along with my personalized Stanley tool tote!

We fit everything in the back of her car and Chef took a photo of us. I had my winter coat under my arm along with my massive purse! We were headed to the mountains! Who knows what weather we would be faced with!

We headed to the glorious Rocky Mountains (about an hour and a half from Calgary)
We arrived at the hotel which had underground parking and blessedly had a cart we could load all of our gear on! Only one trip!
We arrived early and the room was already half full! Die-hard quilters I tell you! The facility was excellent. One of the back exit doors was to the hallway where all our rooms were located! It was fabulous! You can see the youngest sitting there in awe. We had just finished setting up and were ready to roll!
each of our tables had cute little pincushions filled with chocolate! We also had cute little needlebooks and a sticker with our name on it to place on our machines! Totally unexpected and what a nice surprise!
My sewing machine was set up right in front of the coffee/water station. Very handy! The youngest was busy finalizing another of her projects on my machine on the last day so I could start packing up things. You can see one of her other projects finished hanging on the wall to the right of her -- it's a tumbler quilt in beige, blue and pink. Of course her Momma had to do the binding! 
What better place to sew on the binding than in front of the massive fireplace in the lobby area! It was a cozy spot and had a nice log table in front that you could put your feet up on to relax! 

The finished quilt all ready to pass onto the new owner!
The youngest still busy sewing away! I came back from the binding adventure in front of the fireplace and there she was! What a trooper! She was up at 8 on Saturday morning and crawled into bed at 1:30 early Sunday morning! Some ladies were up at 5 a.m. and sewed until 3 am Sunday morning! That would surely kill me! What great women!
Our retreat came to a sweet end as the local Banff  Girl Guides, set up a cookie table in the lobby! Of course I had to buy 4 boxes to bring home! I am sure they sold out in less than an hour with 18 quilters finishing off their quilting retreat weekend!

There were very few things that I forgot. Chef asked The Youngest if we were the ones with the most "stuff". 

"NO way!" she said, "Some of the ladies brought way more than what we brought!"

During the weekend there were a few things that I will add to the next retreat:
- more little projects. It seems that the ladies were switching it up between projects. Work a bit on this, then work a bit on that, and keep doing that. It would help with the boredom of doing one thing all the time. Great idea!
- Hera marker -- I found a new tip on sewing half square triangles. Instead of marking on each one with a fade or chalk marker -- use a Hera Marker and start sewing!
- more threads! I ran out and then needed a special colour. I could have done more had I have had more or shall I say a larger selection of thread!
- I forgot my thread stand -- and boy did I miss it! It was on my retreat list, but I forgot it in my haste packing up. I guess I should have re-checked my list!

Things that I discovered:
- you meet wonderful people - and sometimes some interesting people that are set in their ways! lol I know that I will meet up with many of them who were so generous with their quilting know-how! as well as those new to quilting like Youngest One -- it is nice to know that there are so many who are incredibly talented!  Special thanks to Stacey, Cindy, Karen and of course new friends Barbara and Barb! Your generous spirits are infectious! Thank you!
- you learn lots of new things and tips, no matter how great you think you are
- you are encouraged and assisted with challenging things (ie. if something goes wrong with your machine....mine was fine, but another lady had some issues with hers)
- you are motivated beyond words! I came home and set out some new projects with ease! These were things that I avoided, but got some tips that would help me along the way (i.e. machine applique with different threads and stitches!)
- best of all, I got to sew with my best quilting buddy, The Youngest! She is amazingly talented and the project she finished up was absolutely stunning.... more to come when we put both of our quilts into the Heritage Park Quilt Festival this year!

So? How was your retreat? What did you learn and what tips do you have for others? BEST tip is to spell check your list! ha! The one I had on here has some spelling errors and repeats! Forgive me!

All the best on your quilting adventures!



pizzaeater said...

My theory about retreats is bring everything possible in a cute case. You would be surprised what you need!

Margo said...

oh do tell! If there is something you forgot let me know! I'll add it to my list! I "thought" I had everything! Boy was I wrong! ha ha