It's a pretty empty room --- lots of work to do to get ready. I should stop gawking and get busy.
I clean out the closet and set everything up before tackling the pile Mister and I left in the library when we unloaded the car so he could jet back to work.
I have located an extra small table and am going to put it to good use in my little corner. Since I am here for such a long time AND have a list a mile long of things to get done, it will be handy to have more "flat space" to fill up. Looks good, doesn't it? (The flowers are birthday beauties from my daughter -- no sense letting them die at home without me.)
The place gets hopping around 10-11 and I am thrilled. It's retreat time. Kelly has brought a finished Gypsy Wife top to share and also has a quick finish. We are off to a good start.
Jen arrives bearing gifts so I have more plants on my station now. I think it just looks loverly, don't you?
Debi has taken on a group service project for our retreats and gets us started on them right away. We all have the entire retreat to finish at least one "Beads of Courage" bag. I LOVE the enthusiasm and people start cranking them out like crazy. I even manage to make 5 of them.
Kelly's birthday is today so at every opportunity we add things to her station. She has balloons, a banner, a centerpiece, and now lights on her sweet little Featherweight --- whose name is Ruby.
Ruby is not the only new machine in the house this go round and Allison is giving maintenance lessons on these sweet things. Brenda just received hers after a wonderful spa treatment and class is in session.
Cathy has the most wonderful show and share -- it's a great "French" quilt and I have to admit that I am indeed in love with it.
Mis-matched socks for EVERYONE - both retreats. They are becoming a staple from Debi and I look forward to them each and every time.
It's just so great to see everyone again and have the blessing of meeting a few new people as well. The first day always zooms by so fast as we are unloading, setting up, working on name tags, and for today, at least, making lots and lots of bags.
A few scenes from tables I walk by before bed.
Oh - before I forget --- I had a little TA-DA too -- a new top for the baby granddaughter I am getting in July. I'm using a white minky as the back and managed to get the label and binding finished as well.
Good night from Brazos House --- Um yeah --- okay Kelly.
Day two dawns and it's our BEACH BAG day. I am so stoked about this project. I have brought enough supplies to make 8 of them and after giving 1 to Jen to do, That leaves me 7 -- I should have these whipped out in no time right? Ellen, Kelly's Mom, is our teacher for this project and she is also the one who has travelled the furthest --- from Alaska -- to retreat. Kudos to her.
I feel like I am barely making progress on these bags and there are already some finished. Ugh.
Jen has even started helping me in addition to doing her own. I'm pretty pitiful.
For those who have finished, time reconnecting is always fun and this house has so many wonderful little nooks to do just that.
Kelly has finished her dresden top with a loud TA-DA. Oops, I meant proud.
We are doing game night on Friday this time and that means after dinner fun. Three rounds of LCR net people wonderful treasures and laughter all around.
I think I've said before that this is one of my favorite parts of retreat. Everyone just lets loose and the "inner child" comes out to play. Yes, readers, we gamble for fabric.
Round one goes to a newbie --- WOOHOO Samantha. I can't wait to see what you do with all those yellow and blue fat quarters.
Round two is won by Jen and she receives a jelly roll. Again -- excited to see what it turns into. Cy takes round three and wins some 2 1/2" strips. Ample moments for creativity all around.
After dinner, Samantha lets me know she wants to make a beach bag also and since I have to teach it next week, I give Ellen and break and take her through it. I am hoping that it will get me moving quicker too as I don't want someone who just started to finish before I get even one done. However, it is not meant to be and she soon has her own version of the bag in the done column. I LOVE it.
I peek into the kitchen to find Kelly and Ellen playing with their new scan and cut machine. At least I think that's what it was. They are making the cats for Ellen's quilt and apparently having a great time learning their way around.
I make it BEFORE midnight. YES! All seven are finished and I am thrilled. My family will love these at our beach reunion in September.
The gremlins are taking over and it's time to call it a night. It's been productive and fun all at the same time. I'm hoping it is setting the tone for me for these 10 days. See ya tomorrow.
Day three dawns with finishes coming all directions. Having the chance to share what we are working on is the BEST. Bringing projects that are "just about finished" makes it even more fun.
Followed by Johnnie's TA-DA
A quick look around the center shows a nice swap table that will be ransacked today AND a table full of finished bags. We are rocking it.
Today I am teaching the fat quarter pop-up bag. Perhaps I should sit down and make one real quick. What do you think?
I do just that and in less than an hour I have a prototype and am ready to teach. Yep, I am just that good. HAHAHAHAHA
The next couple of hours are spent with me attempting to teach these wonderful little bags. Patient friends are quickly putting them together and I'm loving each one I see.
Yes, retreat is for doing things other than quilting. Jen is working on a project for her master's class. Can you think of a better atmosphere to study in?
Remember the cats from last night? Well here is Ellen's quilt top. I ADORE it. I loved the fabric from the minute we picked it out and this just is oh so cute. TA-DA
A quick look in the library finds many minds working on Misty's top.
Another TA-DA from Allison
Misty's TA-DA --- I guess everyone figured it out. This picture does not do this justice -- the colors are just vibrant.
I can't believe it's our last night already. That means group picture time right before dinner. Guess what? EVERYONE is in the picture the first time. Woohoo. Back row: Jennifer, Allison, Val, Cathy, Arlene, Debi, Kelly, Ellen, Samantha, Misty Front row: Deb, Tammy, Brenda, Cy, Johnnie, Sherry, and Gwen. What a truly great group of ladies.
While we have the camera out, Debi and I take a picture of where we are so far with the bags. Look at the amazing work these ladies have done.
Now - let's go eat some of Kay's wonderful cooking.
Oh wait --- we have a momentous event. Another RUBY being crowned. Kelly is moving on up.
Congratulations Kelly --- onto Emerald.
After dinner the TA-DA's continue -- Brenda's:
Arlene's beach bag, Cathy's wonderful puppy set, and a wonderful top from Val
Sherry's modern beauty
Have I accomplished anything today? Well, yes I have. In addition to teaching the pop-up bags, Sherry brought kits for seat belt pads and I made one of those as well as all of my pop-ups.
I have had a great time with Jen this weekend. This is the absolute best way to spend a Mother's Day weekend. I wouldn't want it any other way, unless my other daughters could join in.
It's time to say good night again. The sad part now begins with everyone packing up. (What is that in the back ground of this picture ---- well, dang -- it's part of the backing for my upcoming Chasing the Sun mystery --- yes, I teased these ladies.)
Sunday always means a bit of sadness as the place empties out and good-byes are said. What I really love is that I am not one of them this go round but it's still hard to have everyone else leave.
There is time for a few more TA-DA's though.
Allison's Elvis top
Another one from Misty
Apparently finishing that top just did her in.
Once the house clears out, Val and I are left with just each other to talk to. Do you know what? That is wonderful to me. Love, love, love it. I decide that today is a good day to get caught up on Roll Roll Cotton Boll. That only means about 600 HST's. Oh my.
Val puts a top on the board for us to think about. She's not sure just what she wants to do to it yet.
As I work away on my RRCB units, she is working on her friendship blocks by using a disappearing nine-patch. It's coming together.
Well, since I have a few days off to prepare for the next group, I am going to take advantage and get just a bit more sleep.
With that said --- good night from Brazos House. Another retreat is in the books.