When the team asked me to write a post about my experiences at the recent quilting retreat, I admit I had a hard time. What do I even talk about? How amazing it was to spend 3 days learning from Marianne Fons? What did it mean to see a Quilt of Valor presentation? How awesome the wine at Covered Bridges winery was?! My heart and mind are so very full after that long weekend, I hardly know where to start.
At the end of the day, I decided this – to tell you why it is so very important to go on a quilting retreat if you have the chance.
Take Time to Renew
As mothers, spouses, friends, volunteers, employees (& the list goes on), we tend to pour ourselves out to the people in our lives. Often this leaves us with little left for ourselves and, if we take it too far, nothing left in the tank for those around us. As I get older, I realize more and more how important setting aside ME time actually is, both for me and for those around me. Having been to a couple of retreats now, I realize how wonderful these events are for recharging my batteries. Here are a few things you can look forward to:
– You don’t have to cook. On the contrary, someone is providing you with amazing meals which could include wine and chocolate. (And we all know those are essential food groups, right?)
– You cannot possibly give more than you receive during a retreat. During our Quilting Escape, we enjoyed the many, many gifts we got from fellow quilters: from the wonderful Janice sharing her coffee cake and beautiful quilts to instructors like Diane Tomlinson sharing inset seam techniques, tips on selecting the perfect batting to a gift bag filled with quilt patterns, kits and templates. We were well and truly spoiled.
– No one is asking you where their socks, phones, uniforms, etc. are. You just have to worry about you and where on earth you put your seam ripper.
– You get to connect with your tribe. You know exactly what I mean… when you get in a room with fellow passionate quilters, you just immediate feel like you are with family. And what could be better than that?
Get Inspiration for Your Next Quilt
After a retreat, you will be artistically inspired and energized to go home and CREATE. From a question and answer session with amazing quilting artists like Paula Nadelstern and Victoria Findlay Wolfe sharing their quilts and creative process to a trunk show from quilt designer Tony Jacobsen, Quilting Escapes are jam-packed with quilting inspiration… and there is literally something for everyone.
Not only did I come home with two nearly finished quilt tops (a table runner and twin quilt), but I also came home with inspiration for my next project: a twist on a double wedding ring inspired by Victoria Findlay Wolfe. I want to play with dark and light elements with just a little touch of color.
Spend Time in the Company of Experts
We were well and truly spoiled to be spending time with Marianne Fons. Not only is she a complete wealth of knowledge, but she is one of the most generous people I have met in recent years. She loves quilting and Winterset and gives herself freely to both. During this retreat, not only did she take us through making a specific quilt top (Darling from Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting Nov/Dec 2018), but she would readily answer any questions the attendees had.
It wasn’t unusual for us to take 15 minutes from our sewing to watch her share her techniques for cutting, using templates and more. If one of the quilters had a question, she would answer it. Not only that, but she would go around the room and help mark seams, press or trim for us… now many of us can say ‘Marianne Fons helped make my quilt.’ What an honor.
All of this just scratches the surface of what we experienced in Winterset. I hope you are able to join us on our next Quilting Escape… you will find it more than worth it!