Our annual retreat at Land’s End is one of my favorite weeks of the year. 2017 was no exception. I know I’m still a newbie in the group by Alaska standards (this is only my fourth winter), but I feel welcome and like I belong and going forward I don’t intend to ever miss the retreat if I can help it!
Our Seward organizing team did an outstanding job once again. Since the Homer group will take over execution of the retreat again in 2019, I was paying particularly close attention and making notes about all the things that are so perfectly right, from the scheduling to the setup to managing the inevitable changes and making it all look effortless. Sue and Kathleen and team, you will be a tough act to follow.
I love every minute. I love walking around, chatting, eating, seeing everyone again (some I hadn’t seen since last retreat), the handmade gifts, participating in the mystery quilt -- and seeing how different they are in different fabrics and color combinations, the raffle blocks (I really wanted to win those house blocks!), shopping downstairs, watching it snow, show and tell, the gift exchange, and watching quilts appear, block by block, on the flannel design walls around the room. I hope I am not forgetting anything because I love it all!
I love listening to the noise level ebb and flow throughout the day on top of the steady hum of 60 sewing machines. It gets quiet for a while, and then a group comes back from shopping, and the noise level rises again as they tell of their experiences and show off their treasures (more fabric of course!).
Nowhere is it truer that two (or twenty) heads are better than one than at our quilting retreat. I had what I thought was a nifty idea to mimic part of the blocks into the borders on the king-size quilt I was finishing, but I didn’t know what to do on the corners. The quilt wasn’t on the floor five minutes with the new borders laid out next to it when an assembled group agreed I should put a quarter-block from the quilt in each corner. I don’t recall who said it first, but thank you! It was the perfect answer. It looks amazing. I would never have thought of it on my own; I probably would have ended up with a solid square made of one of the fabrics from the quilt. Thanks to the group process, and suggestions freely given from the heart, this may well be my finest quilt yet.
Thank you for the rulers demo, Barb Steckel. At our Thursday session after the retreat, we voted to purchase a couple of complete sets for our members to be able to check out for a couple of weeks.
And even though I see many of the Homer area quilters at our weekly Thursday sew-ins, we don’t always have the time to linger over a meal and chat about anything and everything like we do at retreat.
I came home on Sunday equally exhausted and energized. I had been sewing for five straight days and still I went right into my studio and sat down at my sewing machine to make a flange binding for my mystery quilt.
So thank you, everyone, for making my 2017 retreat another lifetime highlight. I already can’t wait for next year!
The Kachemak Bay Quilters will have an exhibit of about 25 small quilts from recent Homer quilt show and KPQG challenges in the Back Room Gallery at Ptarmigan Arts during the month of April, beginning on First Friday, April 7.
We will also have an exhibit of our service quilts at the Homer Council on the Arts later this year.
The annual Kachemak Bay Quilters quilt show at the Elks Lodge in Homer will be Mother’s Day weekend, May 13 and 14. Like last year, the show will be the weekend following the Shorebird Festival.
This year’s small quilt (no larger than 20” X 20”) challenge for the show is “Between the Tides.”
Haven House in Homer is selling raffle tickets for a queen-sized Carpenter’s Star quilt made by me and quilted by Karrie Youngblood. I believe it will be raffled off at their fundraiser in March.
We finished the 2017 Pratt Museum fundraiser quilt, “Moosin’ Around”, which will hang in the museum from early spring until December. Be sure to stop into the museum to purchase a raffle ticket (or ten!) when you are in Homer this summer. As always, there is a bonus small wall quilt made by Eileen Wythe. Purchasers of $10 of raffle tickets for the big quilt also get one ticket for the small quilt.