Sunday, March 13, 2016

Brazos Retreat - March 2016

It's March 10th and that means it is time for another Brazos retreat.  Woot Woot.  I am amazed at how fast the past month went by but I am indeed ready for some fun with friends in the country.  After dropping Mister at work, pointing my car south, and spending some money on the Chisolm Trail, I arrive to the center as the FOURTH person there.  Goodness.  I hit the ground running and with some help from Stephanie Bowen, we soon have the place up and ready to go.  Whew.

Once my little corner of the world is in place, it's lunch time and a group of us are off to Babes.  Oh yeah.  Gotta tell ya --- best way to start a retreat is with good friends and good food. (Gosh I look large in this picture.)

With full tummies, we are now ready to get some productivity into us.  The room has filled and machines are humming all around.  Well, in most spots anyway.  A few have come to chill --- and that is simply marvelous.  I may try that one time myself although Mister says that he thinks that IS what I did at a few retreats when I come home with very little sewing to show him.

The river looks dang high from the house and when Debi arrives, we make a quick stroll down there to check it out.  It is lower than we think, BUT it appears that it was up on the patio recently as the mud covering it is pretty thick.  We have definitely see it higher, but I think it is on the way down right now.

 Okay, let's get serious here.  We have the vital food around AND our first TA-DA takes place.  Stephanie has her flag rag quilt complete.  What have I done?

Shortly after, Doris has a TA-DA as well.  Did anyone say "tequila?"  It is complete with limes, therefore I must call Kelly over to check it out.

Debi is in Easter basket  . . . . heaven?  Not sure here.  Perhaps they are getting to her.  She does manage to crank quite a few out though.

The day disappears so quick.  How can that be?

Doris is hand binding her Double Delight quilt.  It warms my heart to see these being completed.  Apparently not enough to actually get my own done, but a warm heart still the same.

Phyllis is attempting the bargello with a few of the rest of us.  She is doing it totally in reds and I just know it is going to be dramatic.

Barbara is also working on a rag quilt.  It's been years since I even thought about making one of these (never have although I did cut a ton of denim squares for one once).  Perhaps it is time to rethink this one.

LeeAnn working on a blue/yellow log cabin in her own little corner of the world.

Charlotte is hand stitching a darling block.  I'm feeling a real pull towards the hand work arena right now.  Love, love, love.

Barbara's raq quilt becomes a TA-DA

 I catch Misty at the cutting table and am given permission for a "hand" picture.  She is also doing the bargello and I adore her colors.  They remind me of a desert beach.

Elisabeth is one of the "chillers" this retreat and her machine has not even seen the light of day yet.  Good for her.  Sometimes we forget that we are RETREATING from hassles, deadlines, and pressures.  A lesson I would do well to incorporate now and then while here.

EVERYONE goes to bed fairly early tonight so I am the last one standing at 1:15 but I have the project all set up for tomorrow.  I am so excited about this one.  Night from Rainbow, TX and my shattered selfie lens.  I think it gives me a certain "aura".

Day two dawns and I, along with many others, am anxious to see it set in motion.  Before we even have breakfast, I give out the directions for our lovely little wool leprechaun (sample made by Jennifer H).  As always, these projects are not required BUT they do earn a charm.

Everyone gathered around for the instructions and in no time, people were quietly working away.  Some chose to quickly accomplish the task --- others decide fun embellishments are required.  I love the enthusiasm.

I, however, am not working on mine yet.  I REALLY want to finish my bargello top today and still have such a long way to go on it.  Sew, sew, sew.

Debi and Theresa --- working away.

Below we have Misty and Elisabeth in the first row, Kelly and Charlotte in the second, Barbara and Stephanie in the third.

Next grouping is 1 - Phyllis, 2 - Doris, and 3 - LeeAnn

Me?  Like I said --- working away on the bargello and by dinner I have it ready for my TA-DA.  Yay me.

Laurie and Tammy, like me, are deep into their own projects.

As I walk around before standing in line for my dinner, I peek a colorful bed in the dorm room.  Doris has her finished Double Delight on her bed.  YES!!!  And, that, ladies is how it is done.

Dinner is served!

After dinner, we are moving right into game night.  Yep --- I think it's better on Friday night in case someone wins something that they want to use.  That way they are not sewing until the wee hours Saturday night trying to earn golden scissors or some other such fun.  We have two jelly rolls tonight (lovingly presented by Debi) in addition to our green fat quarters.  Since there are 18 of us this time and EVERYONE is playing -- 54 fat quarters to the winner.  Who oh who will it be?

Kelly explaining to us why things work in strange way.  Or something like that.

Ah, the prize ----- and it goes to . . . .

Charlotte.  Oh yeah and she leaned over to tell me it is going to become an Irish Chain quilt.  How appropo.

Round two:  Bring on the money (well and the selfies) along with a great deal of laughter.  You absolutely have not lived playing this game until you have sat near Barbara.  Oh my.

And the winner of the first round is  - - - drumroll please . . . . Doris.  Round two goes to Tammy -- bet ya couldn't tell by the pics.

What a fun time --- laughter and fun that builds friendships that will stand the test of time.  I promise.

After a full evening, people start drifting off and while I work on some soft books for my granddaughter, others are busy as well.  I take a stroll around the room after people have gone to bed and here is what I have spied.

Kelly and Phyllis's bargellos in progress.

Miniature blocks by Charlotte.

Misty and Johnnie's bargellos in moving right along as well as some fun Irish decor at Elisabeth's station.

Tammy's house blocks for an exchange she is in and the requisite treats at Laurie's table.

Doris's beginning of an appliqued pineapple.  Love, love, love these batiks.  Oh, oh, oh -- and the beginnings of a QAYG Valentine table runner that Janet is working on.

LeeAnn's Row by Row block - I think I have this one somewhere at home.

Barbara has another TA-DA with a second rag quilt.

Elisabeth does get her machine in use and in no time has a TA-Da for us.

I'm not alone tonight for last picture.  Fun times with these ladies.  It is 2 a.m. and I'm about to turn into a pumpkin.  I'm not sure how late the others are staying up, but this chick is headed to bed.  Night ya'll.

Okay, okay.  Short night --- Good morning and it's Day Three.  How much fun can we have today.  There are people heading into town to shop, others taking a drive to Joshua, and still others dang determined to finish their projects.  Let the day commence.

Kelly finishes one of her bargello panels --- this one is really going to look striking when it is finished.  Love the black line.  Tammy has the borders on her "sayings" top.  Ah, what fun you can have with an embroidery machine.

As I continue peeking around the room, Laurie has 9 patches on the design wall.

Phyllis has her bargello TA-DA

and is now is working on another layout while Jen is making blocks.

LeeAnn has another Row by Row finished.  Ooooh -- I KNOW I have this one.  I'm seeing Row by Rows in my beach future.

Just so ya'll know --- it's not all quilting here.  Some choose knitting for a break as Doris is doing and others, well, take game breaks.  Hey there Janet.  I'm peeking over your shoulder.

Before dinner, we take a few minutes to "crown" Tammy with her Ruby crown.  She has attended 5 events with me, thus earning her the coveted pin.

Picture time!!!

My Brazos newbies this time are:  Barbara, Susan, Phyllis, Charlotte, and Laurie.  I truly had fun getting to know you all.  I can't wait to see you again.  And Susan -- we sure hope your next retreat is a bit more fun for you.  So sorry you didn't feel well.

And the group shot - which once again I was not able to count and make sure everyone was present.  I am so sorry, Janet, for that AND for the fact that I only took one picture of you to crop in.  I'll do better next retreat, I promise.

Kelly's machine gave her fits and has now been relocated to time out in a different room.  I quietly ask if she would like to use my Featherweight and after agreeing, she settle in with Barbara.  How fun it is to watch the conversion take place.  "Oh, I already feel calm and just listen to her."  Yep, I know.

I spent most of yesterday day working on Ophelia's doll and accessories.  Dang she's cute now that she is dressed and I am able to take her picture.

Misty has her bargello top finished and is ready for TA-DA.  Do you not just LOVE this one?  Like I said, reminds me of the beach.  So lovely.

As I walk by Misty and Kelly's station, it appears that fabric has exploded everywhere.  They are working on Gypsy Wife blocks and the scraps are wonderful bits of color for them to create with.

Charlotte finishes one of her Splendid Sampler blocks.  At least I think that is what the pattern is.  Goodness but some of those hearts are small.  The little ones finish at 2" I believe.

I'm back to books.  Jen and I run into town for some border fabric for her.  I come back with another book panel.  They are so fun and easy to make.  Especially when you keep the pages in order.  Now to start on it.

Phyllis wastes no time putting her top together.  WOW.  Isn't this cool?  TA-DA

I finish the new little book and then decide to start in on my leprechaun.  What type of leader am I when I haven't even made the group project.  It's about 9:00 p.m. when I start.  People gradually start drifting off while I work and before long I am the only one up.  After discovering sequins on the swap table, I am having a bit of fun putting bling on my little guy.  Around 2 a.m.  Jen wakes up and comes out to visit for awhile but soon she is back off to sleep again.  I finally finish around 4:30 a.m. and head for a few hours of much needed sleep.  See ya tomorrow.

Oh my goodness.  THIS is the mess I woke up to.  Yes, I was busy yesterday, but dang girl.

I always say that these retreat posts are HUGE but this one is extremely so.  Why is that?  Tammy has a TA-Da with the cutest dang apron while I wander the room trying to make sure I have pictures of some of the great stuff being created.  Debi K with some strips in the works.

Johnnie with 3 panels of her bargello.  Her colors are just so soothing to me.

One of Misty's Gypsy Wife blocks and Jen's blocks coming together.

As I pass Charlotte's table, I feel as though I have found a kindred spirit.

Yep, some of us just need to "let it go" while we create.  Soul Sisters in Creativity.

The finished wool projects: (The only one I KNOW of that is missing is Barbara's as she left early to take Susan home.  Poor girl.  We barely saw her since she felt so bad.)

Pajama picture.  Yep --- gotta keep the tradition going.

The last room shot as soon people start packing up to head home.  Drat.  I hate that these have to come to an end but also know that that is precisely what makes them so anticipated again.  If it was a daily experience, we would not treasure this time like we do.

Thanks so much to all who attended and I cannot wait to see you again.  (After the following room shot are some last minute TA-DA pictures that I took before shutting the room down AND some that Stephanie took of her own TA-DA's that we didn't get to see.  Enjoy them all and the group picture will be added as soon as Mister finishes it.  Shhhh.  I forgot to ask him -- will do that)

Charlotte with both her fat quarter winnings AND her projects for the retreat.  TA-DA

Laurie with her TA-DA moment as well.  Check out the sweet postcards.

Stephanie's TA-DA's

And a fond farewell to Brazos House.  See ya in May.

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