Tuesday, 28 April 2015

My First Quilting Retreat

In the last few years one of my hopes was to attend a quilting retreat. In the big scheme of my life, it doesn't really fit in. Busy mom, busy farm business, busy wife, busy, busy, busy. I relish moments to myself to do what I love but sometimes it isn't very often. Weeks and months can go by without much time taken to fill my own "bucket" up.  I have always been creative and I thrive on "making" things. I found my love of sewing, fabric and especially quilting and I love to immerse myself into it. Taking the time and money to go on a holiday devoted to quilting seemed frivolous to me for a long time but this spring I decided to just DO IT.
I loved every minute of it. 

My local quilt shop in Arnprior, Sew Inspired, organizes a retreat every year in Cornwall, Ontario at the NAV Centre. 

Once I arrived, I dropped my things in my hotel room and quickly went to set up my space in the large, bright room devoted to quilting. I finished quilting this baby quilt within a half hour. Ahhhhh... It was a great start.

 Then I worked on this quilt top for my oldest daughter. I have a new-found love for pre-cuts, which my new quilting friends were very interested in. Many seem to be traditional quilters but sharing is so much fun (one of the reasons I wanted to go) and I consider myself to be a modern traditionalist who LOVES precuts!  
I was sewing, enjoying some red wine and making new friends. It was a fantastic start to a blissful few days. Note:  I brought a travel mug so if I knocked my cup over, it wouldn't spill.  Red wine or coffee does not belong on fabric.

I found out that at Sew Inspired's quilting retreats, they always work on a charity project. This year we were encouraged to make "fidget quilts".  These are small projects made for someone who has Alzheimers disease.  By having something to "fidget" or play with is part of their relaxation and homes devoted to caring for these individuals welcome donations of fidget quilts.  It was a fun project - I looked through the junk drawers at home, raided my husband's jar where he throws his pocket items, old toys and collected what I thought might be something I could sew onto a small blanket.  I made a rag quilt and added a few things that I thought might be good for touch.

On the second day, I went out for a run.  The convention centre has this amazing view and it was a beautiful day.

One of the best things about my little trip was having a hotel room to myself.  All by myself.  Don't get me wrong, I love sleeping with my husband but I LOVE sleeping by myself and the bed was so comfy!  My room was small but perfect!  This was the view from my window.

I brought along with me many, many projects but most importantly, I wanted to start this big project.  Getting started is sometimes the hardest part because of the time involved but once I got going, it went really well.  This quilts is one of two identical quilts I am making for a customer... the fabric is so beautiful and the pattern is simple but looks great!
Fabric:  Moda Fancy
Pattern:  "Framed" by Camille Roskelley

So pretty...

Our sewing space was really big and I had this large amount of space to work with not only on my tables but on the floor.  It's not the same at home.

My finished fidget quilt.  Not bad for the first one.  

I have been swamped since I returned home.  Spring has arrived and our business is busy with preparation for the farming season and then three days after I returned home I left again for a few days to a dance competition for our daughters.  I finally got out my quilting projects again but it's an hour here and an hour there... not enough time to really feel some progress.  I miss it like crazy.  Just having the time to devote to my craft fills me up - it makes me happy.

I guess I will just have to go back next year!

1 comment:

  1. When my Dad was sick, he loved to pluck at and play with a quilt my sister made for him. I think it's great your group made these fiddle quilts, they really do help. So glad you got to go on retreat, it sounds heavenly!