Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Retreat Time

The end of summer is finally here. We have a long hot one, with the major kitchen remodel still ongoing, and successful hand surgery behind me. I so needed to take a break from the continuing chaos at home when I was invited to go on a long weekend retreat with quilting friends from the Walnut Valley Quilt Guild, the very first quilt guild I ever belonged to way back in the late 1980's.

Eight quilters traveled in 3 separate vans to the beautiful area around Shell Knob, Missouri near Table Rock Lake. The 4-hour drive from Kansas ended up taking us 10 1/2 hours due to a little Quilt Shop Hopping along the way. I managed to stave off the urge to splurge, but did end up with a few fat quarters to add to my stash.

The gracious hostess for our retreat was Marilyn McSpadden. The living room in her lake house was quickly rearranged to accomodate the ironing table, two cutting tables including one for the GO cutter,  and sewing stations for 5 machines. The dining room table held 4 more sewing stations, and the refrigerator was stocked with healthy snacks. Due to my recent hand surgery, I drug my watercolor painting supplies and pencils along so that I could have some fun, too. I got a little sewing time in, helping Marilyn with her project, a rag quilt from pre-cut squares of flannel. On Friday, Marilyn's daughter-in-laws joined us. What a treat to have Jessi and Breeanna McSpadden stitch along with us.

Other retreaters included Sue McNinch, part owner of the Ripp-It Quilt Shop in Newkirk, OK, Eunice Borman, Leta Sherwood, Jeanine Bryan, (Breeana's grandmother, BTW), Debi Mildfelt, and past WVQG president Dianne Okeson. The amount of projects that were finished that weekend was incredible. Some even finished two or three projects during the weekend. Eating, sleeping, sewing, playing around little, and laughing a lot. That's what our retreat was all about.

And then there were the games: These quilters were also quite tech-savvy. Present were i-Pads and laptops. I was fascinated to to see quilters stopping in the middle of seams to turn to their i-Pads to make a play in Words With Friends while seated next to their opponents. Who'd have ever thought it? Of course, they got me hooked on the game, too.

Saturday evening after dinner at a very nice Steak House, the party games began. We laughed and laughed and laughed at the game "How's Yours?" (Oh, please don't ask...I don't think I could explain this game.) And then the Sequence board came out on Sunday night, the competition got a little stiff, and laughter kept the early-to-bedders awake a little longer than usual.

The culmination of our retreat was a visit to the Discovery Quilter's Guild meeting in Shell Knob where most of us participated in a hands-on workshop and more stitching. And another adventure on the way home: Sue's vehicle blew a tire on I-44 outside of Joplin resulting in another 4-hour drive turning into an 8+ hour journey, but all arrived home safely.

Take a look at some of our adventures:

Marilyn's hands flew like a hummingbird.
Marilyn's project
Breeanna and Marilyn laying out the rag quilt.

One of Dianne's several finished projects

One of Eunice's projects.

One of Debi's finished projects.
One of Breeanna's projects.

Jessi's Kindle cover and texture ball.

Ok, I know these aren't stitched, but I had fun, too.

Dianne, Debi, and Jeanine's table.

Sue's work station.

Eunice and Leta playing around.

The youngsters, Breeanna and Jessi.

Words with Friends???
The view from our breakfast bar.

And of course, there was eating, lots of eating.

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