Fun at Retreat

Our local guild held a three day retreat last week and it was a welcome time to relax, sew with friends, and have fun. We take our machines and projects to the venue, then at the end of the day we go home to have supper and sleep. We leave all our stuff at the venue, and come back the next day to continue the fun, leaving our machines and projects in progress. Because all my energy has gone to Autumn Jubilee projects, I had nothing in the works to take, so I came up with a couple of small projects.

Before Autumn Jubilee, I let you know that a friend and I were working on a special secret stamping project. We had stamps and inks out, and worked for about an hour on the project.

Well, here it is, we made goodie bags for the retreat participants. Cute aren’t they? The bags had a line of autumn leaves on the left side, the sentiment “In the crazy quilt of life, I’m glad you’re in my block of friends” along with images of a sewing machine and pin cushion. We got some freebies to put inside, and bought some threads too. Each bag had a Quilter’s Dream batting folder, a fat eighth and a coupon from our local quilt shop, Beginnings, a pen and sticky notes from a local contractor, and a spool of Sulky 50 wt quilting thread. Pretty nice! Quilter’s Dream and Hobbs also sent door prizes!

Our organizers, Lynne and Linda Lou, had the bags in a bin ready to hand out as participants checked in.

I set up my space with my little portable Janome Gem, it needed a workout.

My first project was to make a few new potholders for my own kitchen, as mine are pretty ratty. I found this cute fabric on the free table at the guild meeting, and it seemed perfect.

I put chocolate brown binding on those and one more with a chocolate candy print.

I finished them by machine and in short order had four new pot holders. I make these only 6 inches square, a better size for me.

Next, I needed to make a case for the Kindle Fire as I was reading a book on it and it didn’t have one for me to carry it out of the house. This was a great project for one of my Japanese prints. I cut out the pieces at home. The size is two rectangles at 7×21 inches, with a same size batting piece for inside. Round off the corners on one end, then put right sides together on the fabrics with the batting on the bottom.

Sew around the edge leaving an opening for turning.

Turn right side out, push out the corners and smooth the curve, then top-stitch around the edge. Press well.

Then add velcro on the inside top and outside bottom.

Top-stitch the sides, leaving the top two inches free to fold over and close with the velcro. I made a second one for My Sweet Babboo to use when he takes the Kindle.

I got out some strips of blue and yellow fabrics left over from another project and fiddled around with them for a bit while I roamed and chatted.

I decided to sew them into a tube. Then I can cross cut, then pick out one seam at a time to offset the squares into a diagonal design.

I got most of the way on this project, and will turn it into a Project Linus quilt soon.

The bad news was the free fabric table was right on the way to the bathroom. Unfortunately, I saw something new and irresistible every time I walked by! So, on the second day, I brought some of my home stash and left it for someone else to pick up. But, I came home with much more. I’ll confess those sins on Friday when we check in on Stashbusters again.

I found these kid prints in a bag in my closet, and didn’t even remember that I had them. I had no idea where I got them either. I began doing some cutting into small squares, meaning to do an I Spy type of quilt top, but it is much easier to cut at home, so I bagged them up again for later.

So, not a lot to show for the days I was there. But the best part of those days was the friendship and laughter, chatting and having fun. A running joke made us crack up regularly, much to the chagrin of one participant, who eventually crawled under her table as we all tried in vain to contain our laughter. We were disturbing the class at the other end of the room with our mirth. LOL, good times!! I love retreats.

Have you have some sewing fun with friends?

25 thoughts on “Fun at Retreat

  1. Judy Sanders

    I love retreats as much as you do. Have not been to one since covid. Been twice to Shipshewana for retreat. What a joy. Have a blessed day and thanks again for Autumn Jubilee. Can not wait until next year.

  2. Rheanna

    Sounds like lots of fun was had. And you got to take a nice breather after all the autumn jubilee fun.
    I am actually headed to a friends cabin this weekend with 4 other ladies this weekend. I keep finding lots of projects to bring so should hopefully be a productive weekend.

  3. Julie

    What cute bags! I got the quilters dream sample at a class, it was a revelation. At the time I knew nothing about batting. I have a Janome Gem Gold for travel. Sadly, it hasn’t gotten much use lately but things are starting up again, so maybe…..

  4. diane newton

    My quild retreat is next Thursday and Friday. Relly looking forward to it. We do it the same way you did. Lots of fun. Love your blog. Grace and Peace. Diane

  5. I have never been to a retreat as I don’t belong to any groups and wouldn’t want to go to one where I have never met anyone in advance – just me but I’m kind of a shy person and would find that uncomfortable. Don’t you ever find though that once you get there you are not in a sewing mood? It sounds like you had fun.

    1. lois92346

      I’m with you 100%, Karen. I don’t belong to any groups. I fear I would be too flustered to settle down into doing anything productive. I’d be too busy looking at everyone’s machines and fabric.

  6. Cathy Walker

    Hi Carole, my group from another guild were at the same venue as yous in a different building last week. Most of us stayed overnight there. I heard at Beginnings y’all were there too and that one of their teachers was teaching a class for your group. Those bags were so nice – great idea. I love going to retreats!

  7. This sounds like just the right thing after the Jubilee — an event where you could do what you wanted, not have to organize or supervise (although those bags are so cute — and hopefully someone else had the job of stuffing them. I dearly love those potholders — you found the best material for them!

  8. Liz brown

    I think you got a lot done in a couple of days. I usually get one project done, & maybe start another. It is for the friendship & laughter. Glad you had a good time. Liz

  9. Joan Sheppard

    I’ve never been to a retreat – but some friends get together once a month to sew for Lurie”s Children’s Hospital. We meet at a local church, bring a lunch and just sew and chat. It’s nice to have a group to bounce ideas off each other and encourage each other if a project goes a little “off”. Looks like you had a wonderful time! Thanks

  10. June Neigum

    Our Scrap Happy Quilters group had a 2 day retreat in the same vain as yours this last week. I have been looking forward to it for a long time and finished two quilts and almost a third. What a fun 2 days.

  11. What a wonderful retreat. I’m so happy you were able to attend and enjoy it. I’m curious how you finished your lovely hot pads to create a hanger section by way of the binding. I’ve not done that and would like to give it a try. I’ll look to see if there is a tutorial for such. Your hot pads are so cheerful.

  12. wazoo4u

    It must be Quilty genius, because we did the same thing this year over in Blairsville! The guild had a “Sleep in your own bed” retreat at the local civic center, and it was a rousing success. I found I was way more rested the third day than I have ever been at a retreat. I know you had fun. We sure did.

  13. Sue Hoover

    Retreats are a great way to reconnect with friends. Leaving the machines & projects out overnight saves SO MUCH TIME! I just love the sleep-in-your-bed retreats here too.

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