About 8 months ago I realized I had gone to quilt shows, quilt demos, shop hops, and quilt museums, but there were two things I hadn't done. I had never been on a quilting retreat and I had never been on a quilting cruise. I looked online and saw lots of choices for a retreat - in the pines, by the sea, in the desert - you name it. My guild was planning one as well, but it wasn't far from home and I thought if I was going to retreat I should retreat somewhere else. So I asked my favorite quilt teacher for a recommendation and she said she was having a quilt retreat in Vermont in April. So I signed up right away. I told some friends, it was announced on the Internet and it happened last weekend. This is something I'd like to do EVERY year. It was wonderful. I think it should just be called a treat the first time you go and then you get a re-treat every year after that.
I had taken the class before (it's called Fire and Ice) but I gave the quilt I made to my husband and when I visited him last November I saw it and had forgotten how pretty it was. I couldn't wait to make one of my own. When my friend and I went to a demo at a not-so-local quilt shop, we bought the fabric. I found this print (focus fabric) that I loved and picked colors from that. I tried to stay away from my normal selections. Thought I should make this something special since it was a first so I tried to go a bit outside my comfort zone.
I love the results. It wasn't exactly as planned. Carol, of course, changed my mind for me. But she knows what she's doing and it looks even better than I imagined. I was able to finish the quilt top at the retreat. [Only because I got up at 6 a.m. when everyone else was still sleeping.] I drove up to Vergennes, Vermont with a friend (we used to work together but she changed jobs) and met another friend from my local quilt guild and made about 18 other new quilting friends. We controlled ourselves and only stopped at one quilt shop on the way. I didn't even buy any fabric (been trying to cut back). We also stopped at a country store on the way where I got some cute signs for my sewing room (Quilting Queen, Going to Pieces, Measure Twice Cut Once, and Born to Quilt). We also went to the Vermont Country Store, but since I had already shopped there online, I was able to restrain from buying anything.
All I can say is Quilt Retreats are GREAT! Next year this time I'll be on a quilting cruise and I'll let you know how much I like them too. And hopefully next June I'll be going back to the Strong House Inn (bed and breakfast) and taking my mom with me.