Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Retreat

Hi Everyone,

I had a really great time at my retreat.  My friend and roommate, Janice, and I left bright and early on Thursday morning.  We could arrive as early as 8am, so we left around 7.  The retreat was held at a resort campground about an hour north of here, and was situated on an inlet of the Rappahannock River--with access out to the Chesapeake Bay.  Because it is the "off season," we got some really good prices!  We rented onsite "cottages" and set up our machines in the large activity center.  This is the first year that the campground is trying winter rentals, and it just happened to be unseasonably cold when we were there, so they really got a test of how things could be!  The cottages are essentially smallish mobile homes, but permanently attached and with decks, etc.  They weren't very well insulated, though!  The first night many people were a bit cold, but we figured out how to tweak things the rest of the time (brief showers, for instance) and so we adapted!

Janice and I were the third and fourth to arrive, out of a group of 15 of us.  The campground had already had quilters, so they had the table set up perfectly--including having tables up on risers for cutting and pressing! 

This was my area, all set up.  Two tables were placed together to be stations for two quilters.  Janice was on the other side of our table.
They had lemonade, tea, water, ice, and hot water available all day for us.  We had an enormous table for snacks, too.  Having retreated with this same group once before, I was sure that there would be plenty of food, but I was amazed by the amount of goodies.  To say that we could have eaten as much as we sewed is pretty accurate!
The campground contracted a caterer to provide us with our supper each evening, but lunch and breakfast were up to us to have in our cottages.  Breakfast was easy enough, but for lunches, Janice and I got with two of our other friends who went and were roommates and each of us provided a lunch meal for all four.  The first day was my turkey soup and a salad, the second day Robin served us curried chicken salad, Janice had sloppy Joes, and on the last day, we ate Trish's chicken chili.  It worked out brilliantly!  We had hot, delicious lunches with a minimum of effort. 
Since the group organizers know all about the quantity of snacks and other goodies, they asked for our suppers to be light--we didn't need big, heavy meals.  We had three really tasty, gourmet salads with yummy, homemade bread with two of them, and hot, French onion soup with another.  While they were really delicious, I think we all would have been happier with hot soup for each meal--it was really cold outside!
Over on the snack table, the hit was this:
This Skinny Pop popcorn was awesome!  It isn't greasy and has just the right amount of salt, and more importantly--tastes really fresh and not preserved at all.  Can you see how there are only 39 calories per cup?  That sounds great until you realize that you're on your third cup of the day! Anyway, it came from Costco.  I don't have a membership, but that may change soon!
The other really popular item was something Janice brought along.
This is a photo from Amazon--I never did get a picture of anyone wearing it.  I think if Janice had rented it out by the hour, she could have paid for the retreat and had money left over.  But, of course, she just lent it out to anyone who needed it, and it really did make the rounds.  One of the other ladies also had one.  It is a heating pad made for the neck and shoulders.  If you are interested, you can find out more details here.  One of the other ladies led us in doing some Yoga stretches to help keep our backs and necks strong and "not quite as sore" as four (well, 3 1/2) days of sewing can make them.
We could stay as late as we wanted to sew.  The workers locked the doors after supper, and the last people to leave made sure the doors shut firmly and the lights were off.  We usually stayed until sometime between 10 and 11.  We were never the last ones to leave, but at least half of the others were gone before us.

 This is my bedroom--it was a queen-sized bed, but the room was really small.  It didn't matter, though.  I was only there to sleep!

This is the front of our cottage!  See the snow?  It had snowed on Tuesday night as was still there on Friday morning when I took this picture.  In fact, there was still quite a bit when we left on Sunday.  It is unusual for snow to stay around so long here.  Yesterday it got up to the sixties--melting it all away but then a cold front came through last night and we are supposed to get another dumping today and tomorrow!

This is the view out the windows of the activity center.  You can see the water and it was all really pretty.  It would have been wonderful to go for walks and explore, but it was just too cold and slippery.  We have booked it again in April, though, and it should be gorgeous out then!

The activity room was unlocked each morning at 8.  Janice and I were always the first to arrive.  Isn't it great when friends/roommates have similar schedules?  Janice drove us down and the cottages were too far away to walk, so I guess I was really lucky that we have the same schedules!

Here are some pictures of the projects the other ladies were working on.  My biggest regret at every retreat is that I don't manage to take pictures of all the gorgeous projects!

This is Janice's Virginia Tech inspired quilt for a wedding gift

This is Trish's aqua batik quilt.  She got it mostly sashed together by the time we left.  Everyone loved the color!

We could stay until 5pm on Sunday, but one person left Saturday afternoon, and others started packing up first thing in the morning.  We stayed about and hour after lunch and then started packing up.  I got home around 4.  My husband carried all my stuff back upstairs and then I fell asleep on the couch for about a half and hour.

I was lazy yesterday and managed to get the laundry done, but little else.  Today I need to go to my sewing room and put everything away.  I will share the projects that I made the rest of this week.

Have a great day!


  1. Sounds like a wonderful retreat. Sorry it was so cold. This goofy weather to end soon. It should be beautiful in April.

  2. Aside from the chill, it sounds like a wonderful retreat. Bet you got a lot done!

  3. Looks like a wonderful place for a retreat. I need to look for that popcorn. Yum!

  4. I'm glad you had a great time. I just love retreats! I miss going to them with my friends back home but have hooked up with a group here and we are going in April. The best part is it's only 40 minutes from here! Let's hope for good weather. You never know in Colorado!

  5. Sounds like you had a wonderful retreat -- love all the sewing that was accomplished. Such pretty work. As for the heating pad I got one about 2 weeks ago and I LOVE it -- I hadn't thought about taking it to a retreat but I will the next time I go.

  6. So happy you had a nice retreat. I love, love, love retreats ... find them both productive and soul cleansing ... just you, your machine and projects, good friends and no clocks!! Wonderful place from the pictures. Oh, I just LOVE the last quilt you showed a picture of. Anyway to find out the name of the pattern? Looks like it was made from batiks ... GORGEOUS!! Looking forward to more pictures, JoAnne ... again, so glad you had fun! Linda

  7. Such a lovely retreat - great company, lovely food and wonderful finishes!!

  8. Those are some beautiful projects you showed. I especially like the log cabin and the star quilt. It sounds like you had a lot of fun. I look forward to seeing what you worked on!

  9. Your retreat sounds like it was awesome! Great location and accommodations too! Thanks for sharing all the girls' projects!