Oh my goodness y'all. This last weekend was so freaking amazing. Just what I needed when the monotony of winter, the keeping children from driving me crazy, and the lack of sewing was getting to me. (And the myriad of other things that send me spiraling down the depression bunny hole this time of year.) (February is hard--the anniversary of losing my little Tristan (Eamon's twin) always sneaks up on me and gets me down.) (But onward ho! No dwelling on that, we have fun stuff to discuss!)
For the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild's first retreat, we went to Camp Burton on Vashon Island. You! Guys! The level of hospitality at Camp Burton was amazing. I have a bunch of food allergies, and they made sure I had something to eat at every meal. And it was all good food! For someone who has to make nearly all their own food, this was a godsend. It was so nice to be fed and watered at regular intervals! Yes, we had to make our own beds--it is a camp after all--but the beds were nice and comfy. And of course I brought my own quilt to add to my pile of blankets. And the building we spent the majority of our time in was great. We had a little kitchenette, plenty of hot water for tea, and hot coffee, and the guild members all brought in various snacks to share.
It was SO NICE to spend so much time sewing. I never get to do that at home because I'm always busy with my kiddos and their various therapies and extracurricular activities, or my part-time job (I'm a freelance author for Pearson Education. Who'da thunk, right? Actually, I don't think many people know that about me. Random fact of the day.)
I finished my quilt top from May of 2009. Holy. Moly. Yes, a nearly five year-old work in progress. That's how far behind I am. Whatever, the top is done. Hopefully it won't sit for another four years before I finish it!
I also made a bunch of flying geese from Jeni Baker's Nordika line. I'm in love with Ara Jane's Flock of Flying Geese quilt and wanted to try to do something similar. I told myself I couldn't look at her's again because I don't want to copy it, so I'm working as much as possible with just the idea of what it is. Mine is of course going in a different direction, which is what I want. When I first started laying it out at the retreat, I wasn't quite happy with it, so I bought some neutrals from Island Quilter to start adding in. And Chandra had the MOST BRILLIANT IDEA of adding in one giant goose. That was my turning point for this quilt. I'm loving it now that it has some more interest.
I had so much time I even went for an early morning run. I haven't had a whole lot of time lately for just me, so that was extra special. I got to wear my new shoes (which I bought because I have worn out TWO pairs of running shoes.) (Holy amazing. I never thought I'd say that about myself.)
I even had some sketchbook time! I'm taking an online workshop from Heather over at Beauty that Moves, called Hibernate. It's been a lot of fun to add in some of her recipes and tips for making winter a nice, relaxing time. These flowers are a direct copy of hers (with permission--it's part of the course!) I wasn't in the mood to share my personal drawings at the time (I rarely am, which is something I'm trying to reconcile. More on that later.)
I had some serious anxiety issues with this trip before I left. I was nervous about spending time with people I hardly knew outside of our monthly meetings (and one trip to Portland last August.) I was literally crying about it for the week before. But once I got there and got caught up in the whirlwind of energy, I had such an amazing time. And I wasn't the only one. There were a few others I spoke with who were just as nervous as me. Lesson learned: when I step out of my comfort zone, I am rewarded with personal growth and new friendships. I am so glad I went, and hope to attend more in the future!