Thursday, February 6, 2014

Vashon Island Quilt Retreat


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!

11 comments:

allierae said...

I'm glad you went too! It was awesome getting to know so many of you more :)

Tsoniki Crazy Bull said...

That sounds so awesome. I'm glad you went!!

Jaimie said...

Sounds like so much fun! I'm glad you had a nice weekend away. You deserve it! :)

Megan Riley said...

Thank goodness for comfort zones, otherwise we would never grow! Glad you had fun!

Anonymous said...

Was so great having you there! Wouldn't be as much fun without you along. Soooo happy you were with the rest of us quilting chicks!!!!

Lynne Shandley said...

LOL - you aren't alone in being worried about going away for the weekend! Between food issues, being with a bunch of people I don't know so well and weird noises that I make when I'm asleep due to my vocal cord issue, I was pretty worried too! But it was great and I can't wait for the next one!

Debbie said...

It WAS fun, wasn't it? A milestone for many of us. AND what lovely sewing! So cool you got your 5yo top done AND great progress on the geese! (And I did not know about your Tristan...I am so sorry to hear about your loss.)

Jessie Keating said...

Thank you all!!! It's so nice that so many of us had issues (I mean that in a nice way, I swear! That way I'm not alone!) I'm so glad I went! Yes, hooray for comfort zones!!!

Vicki said...

I'm really glad I got to meet you and get to know you a little bit. I'm sorry about Tristan. :( Hope to see you soon (I cannot make very many of the guild meetings, sadly.)

I'm Feelin' Crafty said...

I'm really glad you came too! Yea!

flyingjen said...

Hi! I got your swap package yesterday. It had been delivered to my neighbor by mistake and I'd been out of town, so they came by yesterday! I love it! Thank you so much. I wish I could sew better because I seriously love the little drawstring bag. And Corrine was so excited to open her present as well. She keeps telling me she needs a heart cake for her birthday except we celebrated her birthday over a month ago. (she is learning to drag it out!). So I told her it was a late birthday present! She immediately asked for paper.
Jen