Thursday, November 9, 2017

Grubers Quilt Retreat

The time I spend at the Gruber's quilt retreat every July is near and dear to my heart. This was my seventh year and these women are such special friends. Michelle (@speechyquilter) and Terri were not able to attend this year, and they were greatly missed.

I begin by spending the night with Amanda Jean. Her daughter, Abby, always lets me stay in her room, and always makes me feel so welcome.

She's such a cutie and I have the best time visiting with her. She is about the same age as my granddaughter, Charlotte, and I can't believe I've known her since she was about 4!
It's like a dream spending time in Amanda Jean's sewing room. SO much inspiration. Hopefully I'm not giving away any secrets here...
And I wish my fabric looked this organized.
Every year I get to choose a quilt from Amanda's vast collection of quilts to take along and put on my retreat bed. This year I chose one she had worked on the year before--you can't go wrong with Oakshott cottons and Essex linen.
There is really hardly anything better than spending quality time with good friends, catching up, sewing, laughing.
Rene' made each of us personalized Lego sewing machines!
This was my contribution. Next year I will try to actually sew something. :)
Here at home I'm surrounded by special "happies" from the retreat.
So many fun projects go on at the same time.

Stephanie worked on these two projects:
  It was such fun watching Mary's progress with these blocks.
 Mary's show and tell. I completely agree with this mini.

Doris had a couple of projects going on--her feathered stars were such fun with the Heather Ross fabric she was using.
And she made this pillow for a niece.
Rene' worked on this beautiful quilt top for her daughter, who was heading off for college.
Amanda was working on a quilt using her Marmalade jelly roll.
She even made a Charm Parade block, which was fun to see as that was my first-ever published pattern.

Oh, and pincushions. Lots of pincushions...It was July, after all, and this is the second year she has made a new pincushion each day of the month!
Behind the scenes...
I worked on a project that was secret at the time, but is no longer secret so I'll be showing lots of pictures of it soon.

Stephanie and I had won an Instagram giveaway, and we decided to take a picture together along with our winnings.
We had a couple of extra special bonuses this year. Maria Hanson (@quiltmomoffive on Instagram) had made one of the quilts from Shelly's book. She lives only about 40 minutes away from Gruber's and when she realized that Shelly was so close by, she asked if she could come meet her in real life. Of course! In the meantime, we all stalked her Instagram feed and saw some amazing things (highly recommended). She brought some hand work along and stayed and chatted for a couple of hours. It was such fun.
Shelly, Maria and Stephanie

And then she invited us to her home for dinner the next night. This is the first field trip we have taken, and it was such fun. She is a wonderful hostess and we had the best dinner. She took us on a tour of her house, which is on a lake. Shocking, I know, considering she lives in the state of 10,000 lakes.
It is definitely the house of a quilter (although she does a lot of other things--knitting, weaving...). Who wouldn't love this kitchen, with the Swoon block over that stunning red stove.
Red is Maria's signature color. It pops up everywhere. 
I'd like to make a reservation to stay in this guest room.
Or climb up the stairs with a cup of tea and read a book...
I would never want to leave her sewing room.

Thanks, Maria. We had such a lovely evening.

Amanda Jean brought the quilts from her latest book, which should be in every quilter's library. And everyone was able to choose one to sleep under our last night.

Victoria, who actually started this retreat eight years ago, was able to join us for dinner, along with her daughter. Brooke joined us as well--it's such fun to visit with her.

Stephanie, Amanda Jean, Doris, Rene', Shelly, Mary, Victoria, Brooke, me

The time goes by way too quickly. Until next year, my friends...


05 08
Charlotte M. said... #

Looks like such great fun. Beautiful quilts in progress for everyone.

Anne / Springleaf Studios said... #

You sure run with a great crowd of quilters. After coming off my first ever retreat, I can appreciate how hard it is to get much done. Looks like all of you are pros at producing lots of great projects.

lindaroo said... #

Reading about your retreat experience each year is so much fun! Thanks for sharing!