May 3, 2012

Quilting Retreats and Having Friends In

A lot of my followers will remember a year ago I hosted a quilting retreat for 81 ladies from all across the U.S. and a couple came from abroad.  Well, I am about to host another retreat but on a much smaller scale!

I am having 8 ladies in my home for a 2 week mini retreat!  The first ladies will come on a Wednesday and the last ladies will leave 2 weeks later on Tuesday! They will all come and go at different times but there should be a couple or 3 days that we are all here together!

It is going to be so much fun and I cannot wait!!

On another note, I just had the pleasure of attending a quilting retreat in my home state of Alabama with a few of these same ladies! We met last Thursday and had a wonderful time all the way through lunch time on Sunday!  A friend flew down from Maine to ride with me and we picked up another friend 3 hours south so she wouldn't have to ride alone. We had a blast!

 Magnolia Park Retreat Center is located in Odenville, AL just minutes outside of the Birmingham area and very close to the airport!  If you are thinking about having a smaller scale retreat, this is the place for you!  She can accommodate up to 28 guests. And for 235.00 which gives you the most comfortable bed you will ever sleep on for 3 nights, and 9 fantastic home cooked meals and snacks, cokes, and bottled water a'plenty, you cannot go wrong!  Elizabeth and her crew will treat you like queens!!

I got quiet a bit of work finished this time around and was pleased with myself!  There is so much comradeship going on that you wonder how you ever get one thing completed.  No-one wants to miss a single thing but somehow we found ourselves sewing a little... even in between 2 trips to the quilt shops! ha!

I will not be going to the COF Branson Retreat this year because I am having the 8 ladies in my home, plus another Alabama retreat is already in the works for this fall... but I wanted to take part in a siggy swap they are doing among the ladies of the forum so I got my blocks sewn together for that!  64 siggy blocks all ready for signing!
At lunchtime on Friday, Elizabeth showed us 2 quilts she had made.  The quilts were different but both patterns were in the same book.
Well, I got bit!!  I wanted to make one of the same quilts so on Friday afternoon when we went quilt shopping, I found a layer cake and some charm packs of Freedom by Moda that made my mouth water!!

Well, I decided I wanted a controlled look throughout my quilt instead of pure scrappy -- I am not a scrappy quilt lover --- So I purchased the layer cake and charm packs to make my quilt with. (they didn't have yardage).  I went back to the retreat center and proceeded to cut out some strips and began making the blocks.  The first one turned out great as so did the 2nd one... Then I made the one in the photo ... Then came time to sew them together... hmmm... I think the quilt began controlling me at that point because I did not like how the diamond looked when I sewed the 3 blocks together.  I gifted the first 2 blocks to my friend Marlene and kept the one you see.  

So what is a girl to do when her layer cake does not have enough fabric in it to make a quilt... She finds yardage!! On our way home from the retreat my friend Margot and I were going to visit Phil Morgan so she could purchase a piece of his pottery but he wasn't in.. boo-hoo for us!  So we drowned our sorrows inside Ye Olde Forest Quilt Shop in Greensboro, NC!! ha!  I now have plenty of fabric to create my quilt!  

On Saturday we went to yet another quilt shop and I found some fabric that is perfect to make a quilt for a very special person!  This young woman is my ex's niece but I still consider her my niece as well. She has been training for her first run and completed that item on her bucket list last week!  When I saw this fabric I knew I had to make her a quilt! 

When I finished my siggy blocks, I pulled these fabrics out and began cutting!  I whipped this top up in no time flat! Now I will get it quilted and sent on its way!  I really hope she likes it!

On the way back we met the 3rd friend's brother so she could have a way home and once we parted company with Libby, Margot and I then got a hotel so we could go to Mary Jo's Cloth Store the next morning before coming on in home! Going in to this store is always so much fun because you cannot leave there without purchasing something!

Wanna look in my bag??

And I always buy White Kona by the bolt here... 5.59 yard when you buy the whole bolt isn't a bad deal!  I also bought a bolt of ultra lightweight fusible interfacing for my Crazy Quilt fabrics and a bolt of wonder under. They give you 20 cents off per yard if you buy the bolt.

I went to the lace section to see what yummies they had and found 2 that I had to have!!  
I bought this one for me me me.. all me.. :)

And I might cut this one up in sections and sell it in my crazy quilting supplies shop!

I also found these fabrics...

The dragonflies are for me and the knitting sheep fabric will be made in to a quilt for my oldest sister.  She sits and knits a lot so it is perfect for her!

After we left Mary Jo's we went by the Ikea store in Charlotte.  I have never been inside one and neither had Margot so we had to go have a look see! That place is humongous!! It isn't exactly what I had it pictured to be but I did love the way they had the rooms set up to give you ideas.  I found an awesome kitchen and had Margot make a photo of it for me.. If Butch and I ever build another house, this may be my kitchen!

(bummer... I went to locate the photo in my email but it did not come through! Hope she still has a copy on her phone! If she does, I will update the post later)

I didn't go in looking to buy anything but I did find some steak knives I have been hunting and also a small domed cake plate. The size is perfect for cookies!

We left there and stopped for lunch at the Hilton University Place where I hosted last years retreat.  Their quesidillas are divine (I had them 3 times in 7 days last year)  and we made pigs of ourselves! The restaurant was closed but Maureen asked Chef if we could come in to have a quiet lunch and he agreed!  It is so nice to have connections. :) 

Doesn't this look like an awesome place for a retreat!! Yes! Those lights are shining on water!  It sits on a man made lake! I am throwing around the idea of hosting the COF again in the future and am seriously thinking of bringing it back to this same location!!
Leaving the Hilton we proceeded on home, by way of ye Old Forest Quilt Shop of course, and then by the Sonic in Creedmoor so we wouldn't have to cook so late! It was after 9 when we got home!
Wheww! No wonder I am so tired....

But a happy tired!!

I always love being with my quilting buddies!!


Needled Mom said...

Wow....I am tired after reading the post! It sounds like you had a fabulous time and the place looks and sounds perfect.

Why is it that we can never enter a quilt shop and walk out empty handed?????? It looks like you made some great purchases.

Wendy said...

Looks like you had a great time at retreat! I wish I had known you were that close. You were about 30 minutes from me! And it is such a beautiful place to have a retreat.

Looks like you had a great stash enhancement day also!

Shawkl said...

And...we love being with you! Is it November yet? Ha!

Anonymous said...

What great finds you had at Mary Jo's! It's on my list of things to do and places to go, and maybe this will be the summer that I make it!

The Nikkels said...

Sounds like you had an awesome time!! So jealous of ya'll getting together and hanging out, and maybe stitchin a stitch or two :) Have a great time in the coming weeks, and I look forward to hearing all about this next retreat at your house!!!!!

Angela FlowersMoore said...

Now 8 ladies in your home all quilting sounds like a whole lotta fun.

hueisei said...

Sounds you having so much fun! :)