I love going on quilting retreats! Just got back from the first of two that I'll be going on this month. Our Thursday Bee (yes - that is the name, thank you very much) went to Camp Allen in Waller County, Texas. It is a great place, all the amenities, and no hubbies or kids! We are all responsible for preparation of at least one meal, and everyone always brings extra, so there is plenty of food, plenty of snacks, plenty of deserts and best of all, plenty of MUDSLIDES - our official drink on retreats!
There were 10 of us this time. Usually, we have around 8, but we are experts at moving the cabin furniture out of the way (into closets and the larger bedroom), getting our tables set up, knickknacks off of the walls (so we can hang design walls), fireplace hearth cleared (where we set up a cutting table), food put away, ott-lites, irons and sewing machines all running. It is fortunate that we are not charged for electricity, and don't have any problems blowing fuses.
Retreat officially starts on Thursday afternoon, but I didn't go until Friday morning. That's OK, I still got a pile of 9 patches done for a swap that is due in May, my Smokey Mountains UFO quilt top nearly complete (need to figure out the borders), a customer T-Shirt quilt top pieced, and significant progress on the Wedding Ring quilt for my daughter that was married in 2001! Also learned how to knit/purl on 2 pointed needles (Thanks Nancy!). Also found out a new way to cast on stitches, and that I had been Purling wrong (thanks Mariet!). Oh, this was Mariets' first Retreat! A retreat VIRGIN! She did fine, was quiet the first day, trying to figure out WHY the rest of us brought so much STUFF (including our rolling comfy chairs).
Michelle 'thought' she knew what she was doing with her half square triangles, but on Thursday night, everybody started re-arranging her blocks, and 'informed' her that she 'would' be making some changes. After seeing a photo in the camera, Michelle saw the error of her ways and changed the layout. It is going to be an awesome quilt. Then she started on a 'typical Michelle' project - a miniature for the Ami Simms Alzheimer auction. She started working on teensey tiny 9-patches, starting with 1 inch strips! Of course, they were turning out beautifully, and no bulk!
Linda G. was at the end of the table chanting her mantra of "Fat, Fat, Skinny, Skinny" as she was cranking out he teensy tiny blocks for her quilt. Now, how many red strips did you cut? (something like 1100) She did complete over a hundred of the blocks (only 300 to go!), Nita finished pieceing her Stash Box quilt top and got a good start on another quilt. Gail finished some charity quilts and then pulled her BLOW quilt out for all to see. This is her first paper piecing project and she is doing a great job - even if she is left-handed - and doing it the way Michelle showed her to do it! We tease Michelle because when she paper pieces, the fabric is on the same side of the printing instead of the backside! (OK, my first pineapple paper piecing was done that way as well! LOL)
Connie put her 'floating' appliqued rooster on the wall and received lots of input on what else to do with her wallhanging. There is now a tree to one side, leaves, eggs, grass, and chickens peeking in from the side (again, many thanks Mariet!)
Once Sunday morning comes, we lay out all the left-overs, including the deserts, and have the best buffet breakfast! We sew a little more, then start tearing down our sewing areas. By 11 or so, we have restored the cabin to it's original glory, and no one ever knows the transformation that went on!