Monday, November 30, 2009

A Quilting Retreat with Friends......Again!!

I have the extreme pleasure of being a member of a group of art quilters who have been getting together for a “retreat” at least twice a year for almost 15 years now. We find a hall that has a suitably large room for all of us to set up our machines and design walls, with rooms to stay for two or three nights. We have done pot luck arrangements where we did our own cooking, and that worked well, but lately we have been meeting at Tamagawa University in Cedar on Vancouver Island, tp:// where all those needs are met as well as the most spectacular meals provided. We have a full course breakfast, coffee break snacks delivered to the hall where we are sewing, a full course lunch, appetizers delivered for happy hour, and a major meal for dinner. All of which are so irresistible that we usually go back for seconds. There are minimum six pounds to be gained at one of these three day sessions!

And along with the spectacular food, is the camaraderie with long-term friends, hearing how their life has been since last time we met, and putting our minds together on projects we are working on. We have a “Show and Tell” where we show and explain the things we’ve worked on since last time we met which is always inspiring. This time the works produced by this group of women were so stunning as to bring tears to your eyes. What a talented group. It was, in fact, so emotionally uplifting to see all this beautiful work that we decided next gathering we will split show and tell into two nights so that we can actually give each participant more time to hold up their work and the rest of us to take photos. Honestly, it has that much affect on you to watch one friend after another hold up two, three or even 6 projects….all of which are breathtaking.

This time I used the time to complete projects that have been hanging around waiting for me to quilt them. I had finished the tops, sandwiched them and pinned them ready for machine quilting. But that’s where the productivity at home stopped. These were folded up and stored in a corner while I happily went on to more artistic pursuits in my textile art! So… three days of stitching, eating, drinking, talking and laughing so much that my tummy hurt, here is what I finished! These are quilted and trimmed and I’m now doing the hand stitching of the binding while I watch TV. Christmas presents ready ahead of time….what a concept!