Words cannot even begin to describe the amazing time I had at the retreat. I was surrounded by so many talented, creative, funny, intelligent, generous and kind women. There was not one bad apple in the entire bunch. I am seriously in awe of the women in our guild. They welcomed me (and the other first timers) with open arms and after moments it felt as if I had known some of them my entire life.
I arrived a little late on Thursday, after making a detour to the Purl Soho fulfillment center to pick up some fabric and then hitting some traffic along the way. But I hit the retreat center with enough time to see the sun start to set over the grapevines in Temecula. It's a stunning spot, really. And so peaceful. I checked into our classroom and found my way to my work station. We each got our own table so there was plenty of space to work. And Katie gave us each a personalized goodie bag filled with our favorite treats (Sugar Free Red Bull and Buffalo Bleu Potato chips for me). I was thrilled to discover that I wasn't the only one who overpacked. Everyone did!
The entire weekend was spent sewing and chatting away into the wee hours of the night. Thursday I didn't really get any sewing done until after dinner. And, truth be told, I was feeling horrible on Thursday and I was freaking out because I thought I had the flu so I spent the evening cutting and piecing fabrics for a few blocks I needed to complete a quilt top and then I retired early. Early being 11PM, but I was one of the first people to call it a night. But not before I discovered my amazing pouch that my fabric fairy made me. It was filled with thread and she even had a bottle of wine chilling for me. Carrie, you're the best! I had Tess, and couldn't sneak her surprises into her until the morning because I got down there before she woke up. I gave her some fabrics, hand quilting thread and her favorite snacks.
Friday morning I woke feeling fantastic. Thank god. Whatever had been plaguing me on Thursday had passed. I was able to finish up the blocks and start piecing the quilt top I was working on. It was just so wonderful to have all these other amazing quilters around. Everyone gave input on layout, or helped work through challenges that came up. The blocks in my first quilt weren't coming together quite right so Ramona had an awesome idea that helped me get out of my box and made that quilt top come together beautifully. Katie also organized a fabric steal and I ended up bringing home some of the Echino London prints! And Jamie and I ended up swapping quilts. She stippled mine, and I straight-lined hers. Her stippling is amazing and she is so quick. I wasn't as happy with my straight-lining, but she was so that's all that matters. Oh the pressure.
On Saturday I had to pinch myself because it wasn't over yet. Latifah taught us how to make easy-peasy cowls. Lori taught me how to knit. And Liberty had me laughing until it hurt. We even had a small rivalry with the other sewing retreat across the way called "We Sew Crazy". Well, us bad girls of sewing (temporary tattoos and all) showed them who was boss!
I came out of the weekend with new friendships, full of inspiration and even plans to buy another sewing machine. Ramona let me test drive her Bernina. Can I just say it sews like butter! I have it narrowed down to a Janome or Bernina. Now I just need to shop around. Oh, yeah. And I actually got some sewing done. Not as much as I had planned, but the weekend was so much more than that. I am so grateful on so many levels to have met the wonderful women I did this weekend. I am especially thankful for Katie who worked her little butt off organizing absolutely EVERYTHING. She even made our awesome gift bags and shopped for all the fabric for the exchange. Katie you're amazing! I encourage everyone to dive in and attend a retreat, you won't regret it. And I'm linking up to Sew Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations to show off my retreat finishes.