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.

Thursday, July 2, 2015


Hi Everyone,

I was gone a couple weeks ago to a quilt retreat.  I drove down to Tennessee to go with a group of quilters that my friend, Janice (from Virginia, now living in Tennessee) knows.  She; her identical twin sister, Jackie; Jackie's friend Susan (they both live in Florida) and I were going.  The plan was to meet up at Janice's cabin on a Sunday and then head to the retreat on Monday.  I procrasatinated the week prior to leaving.  Have you ever packed for a retreat?  It is complicated--you need your normal suitcase, etc. and then all of your sewing stuff, too.

I got my machine and basic supplies packed up and then decided what else to take.  I knew I wanted to take the bits and pieces from my complicated "BC" project that I'm working on this year.  You can read more about it here.  So, I packed all of that.  I also took a quilt that I've yet to start on, except for those 770 half square triangles I made last month when I only needed 600...  Because I didn't want to run out of things to do (like that ever happens at retreat) I also packed up what I needed for making the border that I wanted to add to my Austin Bluebird quilt.  And for good measure, a few small kits.

I knew that four of us would be going to the retreat in one vehicle, so I tried to keep it light.  This is the sewing stuff.  I also had a suitcase and snacks, etc.

I drove down to Tennessee on Sunday, leaving fairly early.  The trip was fine, except for an early detour, numerous road construction areas, and then in Kentucky and Tennessee, it was the campers/RVs on the road to deal with.  I arrived around 4 or so.  It was fun seeing the changes that Janice and her husband have made to the cabin as well as looking at their garden, flowers, etc.  I had met Jackie before, but Susan and I were meeting for the first time and I liked her right away!  I knew it was going to be fun.

Monday morning we got up and ready and began the ordeal of packing everything in the back of Jackie's truck.

Would it all fit?

With Jackie's great packing skills, we got it all in.  We had to unwrap a case of water and tuck the bottles in where we could, but we did take everything we wanted/planned.

Check in time at the retreat center wasn't until 3:30, but the plan was to meet up with everyone at a quilt shop and then visit 2-3 more and have lunch along the way.  The first shop was Pappy's in Maryville, TN.

It is inside an old gas station and doesn't look like much from the outside, but it was wonderful inside!  After that, we went to Sevierville and shopped at the Cherry Pit quilt shop, had lunch, and then went to the Red Barn and Iva's quilt shops.  Finally we headed for the retreat center, Carson Springs Baptist Conference Center.  The facility has a hotel, where we stayed.  We sewed in one of the meeting rooms near the lobby.  It also has a summer camp, and we were there along with 300 teenage campers.  They were elsewhere on the grounds in cabins, but we did share the dining hall with them.  We were allowed to eat first, though.  The food was great.  The best part was that we could sew all we wanted, and then go upstairs and eat--drop off the dishes, and go right back down to sew again.

There were 13 of us attending and it was a great group of diverse quilters.  Most of the fun of a retreat is seeing what everyone else is making.

Susan worked on this fun arrow quilt.

This is Janice's Kaffe Fasset strip quilt, all laid out.  She didn't get it sewn together, though.

Here she is with her hedgehog block.

One of the ladie's was making this wonderful giraffe quilt.  It is made up of perfectly cut-out flowers from Kaffe Fasset fabric and others.  That newsprint fabric behind it is perfect.  I guess she got the pattern at Paducah and everyone was in love with all the patterns, so the group put in an online order right there from retreat!

Here is Janice and one of her Tennessee friend, Donna.  

Donna's roomate and best friend, Delight, made this great curved log cabin quilt.

Jackie worked on this batik quilt after she finished her bag, below.

This is Susan working away.

And me?  I worked for two days making these:

Sashings for my BC quilt.  I think I needed 40.  They took forever!  After I finished them, I began working on border units, but I didn't get them done.  When I realized I wouldn't finish the border pieces, I decided to use the sashings to put the blocks together.  (I brought the blocks with--I'd finished them already.)

This is the center of the quilt.  It's going to be king-sized when the border is completed.  You can see the bits I did get finished up at the top.  

We sewed all week until Friday morning.  We had to check out at 10.  We went back to the Cherry Pit quilt shop and hit a JoAnn fabrics, had lunch, and went to yet another quilt shop on the way back to Janice's cabin.  

Saturday morning, it was time to leave.  Just as we were loading the cars, it began to rain.  The rain accompanied me most of the way home.  It poured through all of Kentucky, but I made it home safe.

Have a great day!


  1. Sounds like A LOT OF FUN! Do you know the name or designer of the giraffe quilt. It is very unusual.

  2. I have never been on retreat - maybe because I find I am too much on 'retreat' at home. Looks and sounds like you had a fantastic time.

  3. Thanks for taking us along on your trip, it sounds like a blast. Everyone had nice projects to work on. I especially like the curved log cabin and your BC quilt.

    Hope you have a happy and safe 4th!

  4. Do you have the link to purchase the giraffe quilt?

  5. That is a beautiful quilt. Will be looking for the finished quilt. I too would like info on giraffe quilt.