It's a new year and a new retreat schedule. After a whirlwind January that included a trip to Montana, a trip to Colorado, two sew days at the house and a mystery in progress . . . . . I am sooo ready for retreat. The past two days have been crazy preparing for this, but at last, I think I'm ready to go. Brazos House: I am headed your way for 10 glorious days. Wohoo.
I arrive to discover a new table configuration that will allow all 17 to have their own table. Well alrighty then. Thank you Kay and Stan. As I am setting up the room and my station, Roberta arrives and the party begins. I have brought her a new-to-her Featherweight table and we promptly find her a place to settle in and set up. Oh the joys of sewing on these vintage lovelies.
Marti is not too much later in arriving and comes with arms full of balloons that I have requested she bring for Lee Ann's room. Her birthday takes place while at retreat and she LOVES balloons. How fun is this?
The goats have taken up a post near the door to greet any and all who arrive. Yep, we are in the country again.
Brenda, Tammy, and I decide that a walk down to the river needs to take place before it is forgotten in the busy atmosphere of the house. Ah, this place just touches my heart in a very real way. My roots are country and this takes me back.
It's a beautiful day and I am soaking in the beauty. Can you believe it is still January. I think the thermometer reads 72 degrees. Wow. The goats are entertaining as always. This one is walking the angled balance beam and does a fine job of it.
As much as I would like to stay down at the river all day, it's time to go back to the house and make sure all is running smooth. The house is full and machines are humming all around allowing the TA-DA's to start showing up. (Cathy and Marti - There is a trick to early ta-da's at retreat -- just add borders or binding, hahaha.)
Marti (again) and Tammy
Brenda with a not-quite ta-da. It's looking a wee bit short of material.
The sun is setting already but the room is buzzing with activity. I love listening to the different groups chatting away.
Haley has a TA-DA - pretty dang cute.
It's been a great first day filled with fun, laughter, and either making new friends or reconnecting with old ones. We are indeed blessed. I'll say good night with an image of some blocks I spotted on Cathy's table. They are VIVID and an incredible embroidered block. I am so jealous that I cannot even quantify how much. With that, Debi, Roberta, and I bid you good night (or morning as the case may be) after setting up for tomorrow's group project. (No this is not the end of the post -- keep reading.)
After breakfast we introduce the group project and with the added incentive of it being a start to finish golden scissors charm qualifier. Yep, cut, sewn, quilted and bound at retreat earns those coveted beauties. How many will be handed out today?
As I wander around the room --- there are winter strips being sewn EVERYWHERE! Yay. AND I'm super excited that this is a new skill for many -- it sure was for me the last few days. The QAYG occupies the entire morning for some and into the afternoon for others and YES, scissors are handed out. Here are some of the creations:
Arlene has a top to show that she completed at home. Simply lovely.
and Cathy has the TA-Da that we have all been watching. How totally gorgeous is this?
Dinner brings a birthday party for Lee Ann, Tammy, and Cy who all had birthdays this week. Yes, we love on each other here.
Debi and Elisabeth make a run out to the chickens for tomorrow's breakfast. I am serious. We work for our food here. Just kidding -- we thoroughly look forward to going to "catch" the eggs (yes, Misty -- the phrase will forever be used at Brazos) with Debi.
Next up --- IT'S GAME NIGHT!! Round one goes to Arlene! A wonderful bowl filled to the brim with neutral fat quarters. I would dearly have loved to win this one but luck was not a lady for me tonight.
Rounds 2 and 3 of LCR are won by Marti and Kathy, each of which have a lovely jelly roll to take home with them. Or there is always the option to create something with them while here.
Laughs and giggles are all around during the game as they always are.
Tonight --- Kelly is convinced that the dice are loaded - for everyone but her -- until she, too, rolls snake eyes on all three. Hmmmm.
We sew the evening away into the wee hours and I finish my nurse quilt with a TA-DA!!! I am so happy with it and that it is finished. One less thing on my mind this go round.
Kelly has the first Double Delight layout and it's divine. I absolutely love it. Debi and I take a few minutes to lay out our own units on top of it and get an idea of how ours will look. I think I'm gonna love this one.
It's been another FILLED day and again, Debi and I close the room down around 2 a.m. Now for a few hours of sleep and then do the whole thing over again. Yes, I LOVE it.
Not sure I love this picture though.
Day three --- what does it have in store for us? Well, first things first for sure. Where are my jammies? Dang - I guess I'll just have to suck it up and not be in the picture. Presenting: the pajama ladies ----
If I can't be in the jammie picture - I'll find another way. Yep -- how about a royalty pic? Thanks to a wonderful gift from Debi, we are able to enjoy some fun together. Okay ladies -- I'm cracking the whip here -- back to work. (The cabinet in the picture on the right is Debi's AMAZING new treasure.) Lucky girl.
First thing, Kelly tackles setting her Double Delight top. In doing so, she discovers that one of the blocks Debi put on it last night is still there and she didn't see it while sewing. She now has a very unique block in her setting. She shows it to me first and then I set up to photo as she shows Debi. Yep retreats always have moments like this.
Misty has a TA-DA and she needs to show it and then hide it right away as it is being stalked by another quilter.
Haley opted out of the QAYG table runner but still manages to have a start to finish with binding. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this. And the smile too. Golden scissors awarded and rightfully so. She even hand bound it after a quick lesson from yours truly.
More QAYG projects being finished today. We are getting there and I think 15 ladies are making this. Will I find them all for pics? How many were yesterday? Oh -- that's right 8. Seven to go. Here are three more and I've been informed by at least two that they will not let me take a picture of theirs.
It's time for a walk. I need to stretch my legs and am ready for my first trip up the hill. Lead on Debi. Kay offers to drive anyone up that doesn't want to walk it and we meet up with them at the swings.
We have a wonderful visit and soak up the view for quite awhile.
Now, onto checking out the animals. The minute we come over the rise and walk up to the gate, here comes one of the donkeys at top speed braying as loud as he can all the way to us. What a show and it left us all smiling all the way back down the hill.
Yep, Arlene rode down with Kay, leaving us in the literal dust.
Back at the house, I asked to take a picture of Elisabeth and Cy. For some reason they couldn't both look at me at the same time, nor stop laughing.
More TA-DA's - Debi's pillow for the exchange next weekend and Kelly's Double Delight flimsy
Brenda with a finish (quilted, not bound) and a flimsy
Cathy's TA-DA (How many is that for her now? Man I need to get in gear.)
Pre dinner group pictures. We are in the library again and I'm starting to be in my sweethearts good graces again by getting everyone in the picture the first time around. Tiaras on -- let's go. Back row: Deb H., Arlene, Jean, Cathy, Marti, Debi K., Kelly, Misty, Haley, Elisabeth. Front row: Brenda, Kathy, Roberta, Cy, Tammy, Lee Ann, Johnnie.
After a phone call, as I was walking back in, my room caught my eye. Ooooh.
Now to work into the wee hours. I am up to no good and working on a secret project. Can't show it just yet but when I can I promise, you're gonna love it. When preparing to do the good night picture, Tammy came running and said "this is better than a charm." It's not often that she makes it to the bitter end. Here ya go Tammy --- wear it proudly now that you are a member of the late night crew. Night ya'll.
Oh dear, it's the last morning. I really dislike Sundays. The only high spot in today is that Allison is arriving to spend the "in between" days with me. Bright spot in a day full of good-byes. So sad.
I gather all my "newbies" together for a parting shot and truly have loved getting to know each one of them. Thank you Kathy, Johnnie, Jean, Elisabeth, Haley, and Misty for joining our merry crew. We do hope you come back for another stay as soon as you can.
The room is almost empty, most of the good-bye have been said. Allison has arrived, Tammy, Elisabeth, and Debi are still working away on projects. Debi gets her Double Delight laid out and then settles in, delaying departure as long as she can. Tammy and Elisabeth never do leave, lol. You can see their antics in the next post as this retreat is now in the books. Thank you all -- I loved every minute of it.