Angela has a familiar sounding blog title; I’m not sure I know a quilter that hasn’t used the phrase, or at least agrees with it! Quilting is my therapy, and quilt retreats are the best form of that therapy! Last weekend was spent with seven lovely bloggers in Waite Park, MN, at Grubers Quilt Shop Retreat Center. This is our third Summer retreat, and each year Day 1 is just like a reunion of old forever friends. I am blessed, and honored, to call them friends. Here we are just before heading home on Sunday (standing in front of Terri’s lovely patchwork):
back row, l to r: Me, Michelle, Rene, Terri, Mary
front row, l to r: Cindy, Amanda, Stephanie
Most of the people I know don’t understand why I enjoy quilt retreats; and I’ve never found a good way to explain it to a non-quilter. But maybe visually, with a few shots of our sewing space, I can make it a little easier to comprehend.
Sewing and quilting can be a very solitary activity, lots of quiet time for introspection, relaxation, contemplation. But at retreat–cutting, piecing and sewing is surrounded by a flurry of conversation, laughter, shared obsessions; room to spread out with our sewing machines, iPads, laptops, etc., play together and inspire each other:
I borrowed this pic from Stephanie, because it is a great shot of the space, the table, and of Rene!
In a room full of bloggers, you’re bound to see some blog reading, writing, emailing, and texting going on…
Last year, we started a practice of exchanging happies (Rene explained the origin of “happies” in this post), no one is expected to give happies, but if you want to, they are always received with open arms. Last year I was not on the ball, I did not give happies. But this year I arrived the evening before everyone else, so I used the extra time to make each of my friends a vinyl zipper bag to hold sewing and quilting notions:
And what they look like inside:
I’m trying to decide if I should write a tutorial for those bags… what do you think?
and (OH, my!) the happies I received:
- A mini-trash-bucket made by Amanda (at the top of the photo);
- Lucy’s Crab Shack sachets made by Stephanie, along with a copy of The Quilted Fish book she is featured in!
- A zipper bag made by Terri from her own Spoonflower designed fabric!
- A Mardi Gras themed FQ and “therapy in session” door sign from Michelle;
- Gourmet chocolates and FQs from Rene, each representing part of where she calls home.
I brought home plenty of things I “treated” myself to in the way of fabric, as well as an autographed copy of Amanda’s book, Sunday Morning Quilts. Such talented friends–thank you all!!! We already have next year’s July retreat booked.
- Do you go to quilt retreats? Have a favorite you return to over and over?
- Does your family or group of friends have a tradition or practice similar to the Harper family practice of giving happies?