Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Quilting Retreats

One week from today I will be madly packing my supplies and suitcase to attend our annual Quilting Retreat in Lititz, PA.  I am happy to report that there has been a very excited and happy flurry of emails and instant messages between the attendees talking about what to pack, where to go, when to meet up and how busy they are planning their final preparations for this gathering.

We all look forward to the event from the date it is planned up until we all arrive and get settled into the house where we converge to sew, laugh, share, eat, sleep and be merry.  The ladies that attend this gathering are all pretty much in their 50's and 60's.  All are experienced quilters and each have a different style and favorite aspect to quilting that differ from the others.  Some are best friends, sisters, sister-in-laws, most are moms or aunts, grandmas and great aunts.  We leave behind the husbands, the kids, the jobs, the pets and the housework and cooking and come together to enjoy time doing what we love best.

We are lucky to have a nice group of 11 ladies that know each other through this event and everyone gets along very well.  This year we will make some charity quilts using a jelly roll race format.
And the rest of the time will be spent working on our own projects that we want to finish.  Some of us drag everything but the kitchen sink with us (the house has at least 2 of those) and others carefully cut everything ahead of time to expedite the sewing process.  Most of us shop while in PA, because there are many shops that offer first quality quilting cottons and supplies at prices that are not available locally to us in our native NJ, CT, MA hometowns.  We all try to leave a little space in our suitcases for treasures that we procure along the way.

On Saturday night, we gather together in one spot to do a show and tell.  We typically share items that we created and most of the time, ones that we started at the retreat in prior years or finished during the retreat we are attending at the time.  Its so much fun to see all of the items everyone else makes.  Pictures are taken and stories are swapped.  We memorialize the event in pictures that can be shared over the web and via email.

I love all the sharing of ideas and techniques that happen during this time together.  Its a special bonding between friends and we are often in awe of each other's accomplishments big and small.
If you've not tried a retreat in the past, I highly recommend it.  It is an experience that cannot be beat if the right people are involved.  I feel extra lucky to be able to do this every year and to have a wonderful group of ladies with whom to enjoy spending this time of creativity.
Year #3 in  April 2012-->

and with my baskets on their heads in 2012.
Below - in April 2011  Year 2
Below - in April 2010 - Year 1
Keep on stitching - anywhere you can! 

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