Return from Retreat

Retreat Treats
Retreat Treats

I got back from the guild retreat on Monday night. I had time to relax, look at my projects, unpack as DH was out at a class.

Friend Julie was much more organized than me and took some photos of getting ready to leave. I thought about it several times as I packed, but it just didn’t happen. You can imagine what my living room looked like: bags, sewing machine, tools all piled by the door ready to be loaded into the car.

SIL#2 and I drove down to San Juan Bautista  on Friday where they have a Retreat Center. The guild went there last year, too.  We couldn’t get into the sewing room until 2pm, but they have a quilt shop in SJB that is a great place to visit. We got there a little late so we went straight to lunch with the group and then looked around SJB and went to the quilt shop as well as the Rock Shop after lunch. The Rock Shop had charms and tiny lobster clasps that I started using to make zipper pulls. They didn’t have as good a selection of clasps as they did last year and the ones I was able to buy are a little small.

April BAM Retreat setup
April BAM Retreat setup

I did take photos of my setup at the retreat center.

We each got one 6 foot table on which to work. I put some of my larger bags, like the ruler bag and my Sew Steady storage bag in the car so they wouldn’t be getting in my way with limited space.

The space worked out well for me. I sew in such a small space anyway that the 6ft table was plenty for all of my tools and supplies. In the background of the photos you can see two Tupperware storage boxes with a load of baking in them.

Retreat 2024: View from my table
Retreat 2024: View from my table

The room is large and there were about 20 people in attendance.

Friend Julie sat next to me, on my left, in the corner, which was an upgrade from last year when she was right in an aisle and kept getting bonked as people walked by. Bonnie, the Retreat coordinator, was on the other side of me. Rhonda sat across from me with Peggy the Charity Queen next to her and to my left. SIL#2 was in the corner across from Julie. I was happy with the people around me.

Retreat 2024: View from my table
Retreat 2024: View from my table

Across the room, Michelle and Nicki, who has been absent from the guild since before COVID, were the anchor in the other side of the room. They had a lovely little set up with a lamp and a vase of flowers. I was envious of the lamp as the light changed throughout the day, but had my neck light and that worked very well. I need to put a lamp on my list. I have one I often bring, but didn’t even think about it this time.

Retreat 2024: View from my table- right
Retreat 2024: View from my table- right

To the right from Michelle and Nicki was the rest of the group. Anna, LeeAnn, Sue, Nancy and Joelle were behind Rhonda. The Cravens covey was over there by the cupboards with Amy, Christine and Claire. I thought the setup was really good. There were no design walls, but we used the floor and the cutting tables and any horizontal surface we could. It wasn’t ideal, but it worked.

Peggy's Scottie Dog donation quilt
Peggy’s Scottie Dog donation quilt

People, as you might expect, worked on a variety of projects.  Peggy finished at least two quilt tops. One was an adorable Scottie Dog pattern made from 2.5 inch squares. She claims to have over 2,000 2.5 inch squares to use up, so she is a master at coming up with new patterns in which to use them.

I made a few green strip donation blocks, but these two efforts were the only charity projects going. There was no incentive to make charity blocks or quilts, which was a shame.

Rhonda's cat quilt
Rhonda’s cat quilt

Rhonda worked on a class project quilt from about 8 years ago. She was able to finish the top and the back, which was a great achievement in my mind since the project had been languishing for so long.

Rhonda’s project served as a great discussion starter for various ways of putting quilts together. I, of course, talked about chunking. Others talked about the webbing method, which I have to try some time.

Bonnie's Christmas circles
Bonnie’s Christmas circles

Bonnie get my prize for determination. She started a quilt at last year’s retreat and finished the top at this year’s retreat.

I really like the design. I am not sure what tool or pattern she used to make the quilt, but it is great. I like the delicate line of the curves. I want to make Black Jack from Color Girl Quilts, which also has circles, but is not the same sort of design. Perhaps I’ll have to have a year of circle quilts?

MaryC's Buffalo Plaid
MaryC’s Buffalo Plaid

MaryC, sitting in the Covey of Cravens, was churning out quilts and various projects like there was no tomorrow. She showed us her Buffalo Plaid quilt.

I was impressed with how it really looks like plaid even though the fabrics weren’t particularly plaid- like. She chose the right colors to make it look like a plaid.

Friend Julie brought her City Sampler quilt project and it is a beauty. Seeing hers I am embarrassed at mine.

Christine's Anna Maria quilt
Christine’s Anna Maria quilt

Christine was on a finishing jag. She finished a silk table runner and I am really sad I didn’t get a picture of it. She also finished this Anna Maria Horner pattern. The back was a fabulous large flower print that everyone loved.

I think Christine had the right idea by bringing binding and sleeves to work on. It seemed like she was showing us finished pieces every 5 minutes.

Joelle's scrap quilt
Joelle’s scrap quilt

My favorite quilt was probably Joelle’s scrap quilt. She made the lines of piecing on adding machine tape** (do you know what that is?). I like Joelle’s work. Her quilts have a clean, precise look to them that is very appealing. This quilt is no exception.

I also like the way she has sort of gradated the colors. I sort of want to make one of these, but I also don’t.

SIL#2's Pinwheels
SIL#2’s Pinwheels

SIL#2 brought her Accuquilt Go Baby** and cut up scraps, some of which she used to make pinwheels. One of our nieces is having her second baby in August and the pinwheel quilt will be for that baby.

I am not sure how big she is going to make the piece, but she said she will probably put sashing between the pinwheels. I guess she doesn’t want to make another dozen pinwheels, but wants the quilt to be larger.

Claire's Make It Work donation quilt
Claire’s Make It Work donation quilt

Finally, Claire worked on some donation projects. This one is made from many 16 patch blocks that I made, so I was excited to see what she did with the bits. This is one of her ‘Make it Work’ projects.

One of the reasons I enjoy the retreat is seeing other people’s projects. I like to see people’s progress and how they problem solve.

I’ll talk about what I worked on in another post.








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