Day Retreat and Block Drive

Last week our local guild had a sleep-at-home retreat at a conference center in Flat Rock. We have the use of the room with a full kitchen for three days, so we can haul everything there on Tuesday, and leave it overnight both nights. So projects can be started and left as they progress, to be continued the next day. Food can be left in the refrigerator, so you don’t have think about lunch each day. Tuesday, I set up my little class machine, a Janome Gem Gold, on the table space allotted. Each table was 8 feet, enough for machine, a little iron and wool mat with a protector underneath, and a work space between. Full size irons and ironing boards were provided, but I was trying to minimize steps.

I had cut a lot of fabric at home, so I could jump in sewing.

It didn’t take long, and I had 48 red and white units done.

Next, I marked diagonal lines on the white squares, and began the process of making half square triangles.

At lunchtime, the organizers did something really fun. They asked participants to bring notions no longer wanted, and put them on a swap table. You got a ticket for every one you brought. I brought two, and got two tickets. Then, tickets were drawn and you got to come up and choose a notion to take home. I didn’t get a photo of the table until we were almost done. The table was full when we started.

I got a square ruler and a roll of embroidery stabilizer. Then I won a door prize too! So a yard of black fabric and a spool of Sulky quilting thread came home too. The charm pack was on the free table, and yes, I nabbed it. I’m not sure if I will use it, or if it will get put with some other things as a prize for one of my speaker events.

Then, it was back to the sewing machine. I worked on the half square triangles the rest of the day, doing the sewing and the squaring up with the ruler I nabbed from the notions swap. Yes, the free fabric table called, 11 yards to add to my Stashbuster totals.

Wednesday, I had to do the injections in my knees and put my feet up the rest of the day, so I missed that day of retreat. On Thursday, I went back to retreat, and began sewing the blocks together. I was sitting most of the day, so it was something I could do.

I brought three more items to the swap that day, two were little sharps containers I had made. I ended up giving them to friends, as no one understood what they were on the table. Many of the participants didn’t want to take anything home, so at the end, we were allowed to take anything left. I got three really fun things during the swap – a set of fabric paints, a ruler grip, and a wool applique wallet kit.

I was moving slowly that day, and I didn’t get a lot done. I did more chatting than sewing, LOL! Plus I had to remake some of the blue HSTs because I ended up with too many of the same print. But by the end of the day I had nine blocks finished. These red, white, and blue churn dash blocks will be sent to Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework for her block drive. Read about that HERE. You have until the end of May to send blocks if you want to help with the drive.

When I got home, I put the new gripper to work squaring up those blocks. I’ll get the last three done that I have cut out and then ship out them this coming week. This gripper made it so easy to control the ruler position! It is called a Gypsy Gripper, click the link to see one at Fat Quarter Shop.

So, a fun retreat, and a chance to help a fellow blogger with her block drive. More fabric in for Stashbusters, but also some out. We will do our next check in for Stashbusters on Friday.

Are you sewing this week?


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16 thoughts on “Day Retreat and Block Drive

  1. Rheanna

    Looks like you got some sewing done and came home with some great items. Winner winner chicken dinner! The fabric that looks like stain glass irises is especially lovely.
    Thanks for sharing the block drive link. Red, white and blue fabric is what I seem to have the most of so I will try to make some up.

  2. slmrn1

    What a fun retreat idea. Glad you were able to get two days in. I can sympathize with your knee issues. Been there, done that. Thanks for the heads up on Cynthia and the churn dash block drive. I am going to try and get some finished blocks to her before the end date.

  3. Julie

    I really like the retreat idea! It would work at a club meeting too. I came home with fabric at our last meeting, but turned it right around as the backing on the comfort quilt I was finishing – so I’m staying even in the stashbuster game. I love your churn dash blocks! That was the first quilt I made this year, alternating Ohio Star & Churn Dash blocks. Busy quilting a layer cake quilt this week – one of the FQS free patterns.

  4. Diann@ Little Penguin Quilts

    Glad you were able to go to your retreat and sew! Bringing home a few prizes and free things sounds like fun, too. I’ve also been making churn dash blocks for Cynthia’s block drive – yours are really pretty!

  5. I love a “sleep at home” retreat ! Our guild “used to” have them, but in 2020 all of the “used to” fun stuff disappeared and hasn’t been restarted. Maybe next year when we get a new batch of officers.

  6. I used to work at a quilt store that had a HUGE back room, beside the stock room, that the owner used for “open sewing” as long as you were sewing for charity. Loved the comraderie .of sewing with friends. Now 20-ish of us sew once a month at a local church – more talk than sewing but nice to be able to bounce ideas off each other, colors, patterns, etc. Thanks for sharing this block. Love the ruler handle!!!!!!! Thanks,

  7. Mary

    You had a lovely time at your retreat. It’s always good to do a little sewing, a little chatting and a little ‘finding new bits to bring home’. It’s a pity the injections had to happen that week but I hope they are doing what you hope and that you’ll be able to get about with good knees for much time to come.
    Your churn dash blocks look lovely and show that there was more sewing than chatting going on! :))

  8. lois92346

    I love that you were able to leave your items overnight at the facility. That would be a real plus for me. I’m glad you were able to participate in two out of the three days. The swap table sounds like a fun thing to do. My primary machine is a Janome Quilter’s Companion but I also own and adore my Singer Featherweight and a Singer 301.

  9. Sue Hoover

    Glad you were able to enjoy yourself at 2 out of 3 retreat days. I hope that knee is feeling better than ever by now!

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