Sunday, October 16, 2016

Briarwood October Retreat

Well --- where do I begin?  After a CRAZY two weeks of scrambling, our retreat is being held at Briarwood Retreat Center and it starts TODAY.  I am super excited and yet a wee bit nervous at the same time.  Please let this spot work out.

I am out of the house by 7 as I have to make a few stops on the way.  Bank deposits, balloons, and a few other necessities later -- arrival at the center takes place.  Upon arriving on location, I am greeted by a wonderful welcome sign.  I check in at the office to discover that I can go straight to the lodge and our keys are all waiting for us.  Yes!  Let's go.

As I arrive at the lodge, I discover that there is a wagon for us to haul equipment waiting for me and a room ready for us to set up in whatever layout will work the best.  It's time to get to work.  The rooms are in a separate building and we have a wonderful patio out back.  Yep, this place looks amazing.

Within an hour, we are set up and ready to go.  Tables have been put into pods, a dining area has been set up and stations are coming together.   Elisabeth has even been making it a bit homier with her plant.  NOW -- we are ready to go.

NO, I don't mean that we are totally set up.  That will still take a bit longer, but we have established territories and the fun is beginning.  I have no idea how productive this weekend will be as it turns out I have left my two major project boxes at home.  Yep -- have I brought enough small items to keep me going?  Time will tell.

Our theme this weekend is kind of double ended.  We have a tribute to Fatsy Cline (from Brazos House) going on and it is also Debi's birthday.  Additionally, I have planned the Chasing the Sun reveal to take place too.  Yep -- we have lots on the plate.

So where should I start?  My Allietare quilt is beckoning.  All I have left is to sew down the binding.  I have a wonderful chair in my corner of the room and settle in with a needle and thread.  This is so nice.

Ana has our first TA-DA as she shares her Patches and Pinwheels by Bonnie Hunter.

The day is spent laughing, reuniting with friends, and making machines buzz with creativity.  Doris has a pair of shoes for the swap table and they fit Debi perfectly.  Happy Birthday.

Before we know it, it is dinner time.  We have opted to do the meals ourselves, taking turns and I am excited to try everyone's wonderful dishes.

Towards the end of our meal, I discover that Allison has brought a bottle of Goldschlager and within minutes I remember that we have shot glasses brought from the beach retreat.  Let's get this retreat started.  (I will admit that this shot gave me a bit of the shivers -- all the way down.)

After dinner Allison, Debi, and I do the Chasing the Sun reveal one day early so that the ladies here that are working on it will be able to finish this weekend.  TA-DA  (My constant version)

And it's back

My scrappy version

And it's back


Allison's constant version

Allison's scrappy version

And her back

Allison and Valerie have brought champagne and prosecco for a toast and I am humbled indeed.  I could not have managed to accomplish this without Allison and Debi.  Their help cannot be overthanked.  Is that a word?  With a red vine as a straw, I'm in heaven.  I know, that's pretty sad isn't it?

Okay, now that the reveal is over for tonight, Debi settles into the corner to work on the binding on hers.  She is so close to being finished.

Allison has a TA-DA as well.  Isn't this just fun?  I love the modern look of it.

I have now finished Allietare and am able to have my TA-DA.

And the back

Glenda also has her Allietare top to share -- TA-DA.  I love her colors too.

Brenda has also finished a top --- isn't this sweet?

Apparently a shot of Goldschlager and a couple of glasses of champagne along with a week of no sleep has finally gotten to me.  Stick a fork in me.  I am done and off to my room for some sleep.  Here's a peek back at the room.

While I am sleeping away ---- here is the "last man standing" shot.  See ya'll tomorrow.

Good morning!  It is a GORGEOUS day.

As I stand outside talking with my sweetie, I see a flash of out of the corner of my eye in the bushes but am not sure what it is.  Upon my return to the lodge, I glance out the window to discover what I had seen.  WOW.  This beautiful bobcat sits and watches us for quite awhile before making his departure without any fanfare whatsoever.  Easy come, easy go.

 Yesterday, Valerie gifted Debi and I with lovely tulips for our stations so I thought I would share their beauty with you.  Isn't this lovely?  Yes, I turned mine into a PINK (for Fatsy) display.

Maria has arrived this morning and with her came a jar full of what she calls "grapefruit wine."  Or at least I think that's what she said.  I've dubbed it "Maria's Lemonade" and it will definitely make the evening interesting.

Ana and Brenda stop by to show me their respect for the "piggies" today.  Yes, we are all about the pigs around here.  We have also started a group project and the fabrics are laid out.  The task:  complete one mug rug, any size, any style.  Be creative.  Let's see what they come up with.

Maria has a TA-DA - Allison quilted this for her with wonderful Halloween designs.  Look close.

Glenda also has a TA-DA with her wonderful woodland animals.

I even manage to make my mug rug and am happy with it.  TA-DA

Janet shares a family heirloom quilt that she has been lucky enough to be the recipient of.  Isn't is beautiful?

Okay, it's back to the grind around here.  Chasing the Sun is EVERYWHERE I look.  My heart just could not be happier.

Stephanie, Janet, Maria, Leanne, and Ana have parts and pieces all over the place.

I even spot Stephanie's center medallion and can't resist a picture.

Soon, we have our first CTS TA-DA -- Oh Stephanie, it looks wonderful.

Glenda is just cranking things out.  Another TA-DA for her

Jennifer has brought her camera to retreat and I ask if it has a timer.  Score!  it does so we set up a spot for a group picture and she does the "set and run".  I think these turned out pretty dang good.  These ladies are indeed golden to me:  Back row - Maria, Allison, Doris, Glenda, Stephanie, Janet, Elizabeth, Brenda  Middle row - Janet, Leanne, Debi, Valerie   Front row - Ana, Jennifer, Deb

And a fun one with a pig tribute of course

The rest of the day/evening is spent working on projects and tasting Maria's "lemonade".  That means we MUST play LCR.  Let's go.

The first round is won by Leanne.  Pink pig fat quarters everywhere and, well, it only makes sense that we stuff them down her shirt.

Where on earth did that come from?

Round two and the jelly roll goes to Allison, who will love it dearly.

And the final round is won by Maria.

She is just a bit overwhelmed.  I love how Glenda is right on the spot to help her.

Aha -- there is a reason for Glenda's concern.  A petition has now been presented to Maria.

Legal aid has come into play and I'm not sure Maria is happy with the way things are going.

Enter Elizabeth and Debi --- Oh my.  Confusion runneth amok.

Meanwhile, at the sane side of the room, Jennifer has a TA-DA.  My sweetie would love this one.  These are his colors.  Sew, sew pretty.

Allison has been busy too.  It's amazing what one can do when they are not involved in a lawsuit.  TA-DA (Only pic I got.  Sorry Allison.)

And that's a wrap.  I have managed to make it into the last man standing pic tonight.  We have a wonderful moon taking us to bed.

Good night -- see ya tomorrow.

I sleep in a bit today and after a shower and attempt to get my act together (too much lemonade last night), I discover that there is a de-papering bee taking place on the patio.  I might as well join in.  It's a great start to a day --- friends working together to get a task finished.

It's swap table time.  On your mark, get set, go.  When I am back in the room, I discover that the jelly roll involved in the lawsuit last night is now sitting on Janet's desk.  Apparently first thing this morning, more events took place.  Here is a glimpse into the situation:

And, of course, it is all notarized

Moving on -- Janet has her Beads of Courage bag finished and Valerie has her mug rug.

We also have another Chasing the Sun finish.  Maria wanted to finish last night but we forced her to go to bed.  She started right back up this morning and  . . .


Everyone is busy with Beads of Courage bags, mug rugs, and personal projects and the day passes before we know it.  It's dinner time and also -- chocolate martini time.  WE must use those lovely martini glasses we were gifted at the beach retreat.

It is also Debi's birthday party tonight.  Happy, happy, my friend.

The song must also be sung in according to our theme.

After dinner, I have one task still remaining this weekend.  There are THREE rubies to be given out.  Five retreats earns one a crown with a ruby.  This weekend we are crowning:



And Janet.  Congratulations to all three ladies.

Janet also finishes her Chasing the Sun (under peer pressure I believe) and uses a slightly different take on her big blocks.  It reminds me of a God's Eye.

I have gathered all the mug rugs for a shot.  Well, I thought it was all of them but Leanne brought me hers after and I don't think I got a picture of Elisabeth's except while in process.

Most of the are pictured below though.  How fun are these?

I have worked on a project for the November retreat today and don't wish to show it just yet but I also manage to crank out another book for Ophelia/Ava since I am going there in a week to visit.  Must not go emptied handed.  The Beads of Courage bags are all together now and oh my, these ladies did so great once again.  We are also cut and ready for the November retreat too.

As the evening winds down, I am once again beat.  What is up with that?  I head off to bed and after a brief rest, wake desperately seeking water.  As I walk over to the lodge, these four are the only ones still up.  They are definitely the late night crew.

Grabbing my water, it's back to bed for me.  I must be getting old as I just can't hang this weekend at all.

The moon is again up and peeking through the trees.  Simply lovely.

See ya in the morning for the good-byes that must take place.

As I walk into the main room in the morning, these pigs are the first thing I see.  Oh dear -- last night must have been epic.

We quickly gather everyone together that has a completed Chasing the Sun top for a fun picture.  Janet's top is laying on the ground and really doesn't show too well.  I must plan this better in the future.  Maybe our photographer needed to be higher up.  Things to think about.

The room has greatly emptied out but some just don't want to leave.  Who can blame them.  This has been a magnificent weekend.

As I am packing up, I find all my treats for a quick picture.  Oh the memories.  Love, love, love everyone here and the place as well.  We WILL be back just as soon as I can book some dates.

My last view while leaving are these mushrooms in the grass.  They are absolutely huge.  Must be happy here too. Thanks to all.  I am going home with a calmer heart for sure.


  1. Thank you for the marvelous post of the Briarwood Retreat Center. So glad the retreat was salvaged and all systems go for our planned fun and impromptu fun as well! Hugs, Allison in Plano

  2. Just a quick ?- what are the "Beads of Courage" bags?

  3. Oh and I forgot to mention I love all the CTS quilts