6 more days.....
Actually - 5. Because THIS time I've planned on being packed a day PRIOR. Going to work with my car all loaded up - then heading to one of my BFF's houses to taunt and tease her while SHE packs! There's always texts, and face book posts flying around the day before...all the girls poking at each other "Are you packed yet?" "Don't forget your clothes this time Jan!" Guess who's going to be sending all the messages THIS year...
"I was ready yesterday! What's your issue?!!?"
I thought I'd take a few moments to look at some of the thing I've done on a few quilt retreats past.
Last fall - was a quiet retreat for me. I had been going through some rough roads in life and was rather focused and subdued most of the weekend. I finished out the weekend with a quilt design that I drafted by hand on graph paper, made some progress on my hand applique blocks and covered up the center of a bag that used to say something else. Re-purposing of sorts. :-) Very satisfying. This had been on my to-do list for quite some time.
2 years ago - I went WAY overboard with what I brought. You get so many ideas in your head that with so much uninterupted time, you bring EVERY UFO (unfinished object) with you. Yeah - I've learned since then...that unpacking AFTER retreat weekend really sucks if you bring too much. LOL
I had borrowed my friend Linda's "Viking Designer SE" and brought it along in addition to my own SE. So I had TWO embroidery machines! ALL of my stabilizers, all of my thread, every notion, just bins and boxes galore. My truck was FULL to the brim. Both machines sat side by side humming all weekend long. So much, that at the end of the weekend, I received the UNDER-achiever award because the girls said that I didn't actually DO anything! The machines did it all for me! HA! If you are machine embroiderer - you know THAT'S not true. But it was all in good fun. And I got SOOOO much done! Embroidered shirts for my neices & nephew, Sweatshirt for my mom, a small wall hanging for my mother-in-law, Monogrammed towels for my friends Bill & Kelly, and lots of other embroidered things that were going into other projects.
On another retreat - I spent most of the weekend moving and positioning blocks around to finally complete my "Move Along Challenge Quilt". This challenge started with a yard of fabric in a bag - passed to one of 12 people. The person WITH the bag for the month, had to use your focus fabric to create a block (or any combination of blocks) that equaled 12" finished. Every month they brought the bag back to the guild meeting, showed off their creation, and passed it along to the next person. After 12 months, you got your blocks back and had to "complete" it. I went through a "Halloween\Fall" phase for several years where everything was Halloween related. (Sorta still IN that phase...but I digress).. So of course, I had to load my bag with Halloween fabric. I couldn't wait to get all my blocks back - but BOY it was a bigger challenge than I ever thought it would be! So many different sizes!
I was so proud to get them together, but I remember it took me most of that one retreat weekend to decide how to do it! I ended up with two different finished pieces out of my blocks. :-) I put them in a local Quilt Show after that retreat. No prizes won - but I was happy they were finished.
So as I sit here - trying to gear myself up to pick the "projects" I'm taking to work on for this years retreat.... All I can really think of - is how Grateful & Blessed I am to have the friends that I have. I love these women - my Quilting friends - truly changed my life and continue to walk the journey with me. Some of the faces change from year to year - but the hearts....the hearts never do.