Friday, November 2, 2018

Grubers Quilt Retreat 2018

Going to the Grubers retreat in July is always one of the best, and most important, weeks in the year. Not only have we developed deep friendships over the years, but these women are a source of amazing inspiration.

I always fly into Minneapolis-St. Paul. This year I flew Fresno to San Diego, and then to Minneapolis-St. Paul, and honestly I hope I never get routed through San Diego again! Sorry for the sun glare. It was hard to find a place to take a picture--people everywhere. Most of the time it was standing room only. And I was there for six hours. Ugh.
I spend the first night with Mark's brother, Leon, and wife, Sharon, and then they drive me to Amanda Jean's house the next morning.

Her home is full of quilts. Everywhere. You wouldn't expect anything other than that, right? And her yard is beautiful.
I did a little bit of English paper piecing...
I always get to choose the quilt for my bed at the retreat. Well, sometimes I choose--often I'll have Amanda choose for me. This year it was this one.
We share a room, and this was the quilt on her bed.
I didn't have any large projects this year. I made Jeni Baker's new tote (which I love, by the way, and highly recommend).

I made another one for Amanda Jean--this time I added some fleece, and I prefer the added stability it gave the tote.

I began my red and white foundation paper pieced quilt (it's finished now and in the hands of the quilter).

We give each other little gifts, "happies" (don't you love that name?).  This was what we each got this year (I made the pillowcase).
On Friday night, we get dressed up and go out for dinner.
Mary, Stephanie, Doris, Amanda Jean, me, Michelle, Rene' (Terri and Shelley were missing this year)
Stephanie's friend, Grazina, has been joining us each year and it's always such fun to spend time with her.

Michelle didn't like the original picture with Rene' at the restaurant, so to make her happy, these are side by side pictures.
When something is completed, we have a photo op. This is Doris's Christmas quilt--which she began last year.
Behind the scenes.
I love Rene's peace sign quilt. It's her original pattern, by the way, and available on her website.
Amanda Jean's coffee cup quilt--it was a bit breezy when we were taking pictures.
Deep quilt discussions often take place.
Mary sewed a gazillion half square triangles. She is actually finished with this quilt and it is SO cute!
Stephanie did a lot of paper piecing.

Amanda did some hand sewing.

Doris did some cool improv.
I got a hands-on (ha!) sock knitting tutorial from Amanda Jean. I sure hope I finish my socks before near year's retreat!
Every year we watch the movie, Pitch Perfect. It doesn't matter that the screen is just a laptop--everyone knows the movie for memory anyway.

The closest street sign always makes me laugh.
These are dear, dear friends, and once a year is never often enough. (Rene' and Michelle had to leave early on Sunday morning to catch their flight, so no last minute pictures with them.)

I had a bonus treat this year--I got to spend the last night at Mary's house, you know the one--on Lake Pulaski! I love that she has the longitude and latitude above the front door.

Her house is right on the lake, and after dinner, she and Bob took me on a ride around the lake. It was a perfect evening.

The view up to their house from the lake.
Her sewing room is also the guest room, so I was lucky to be able to spend the night there. 
This is a "happy" that Mark made for everyone a few years back.
Way too soon it was time to head back home.
I love these special friends, and the place we meet each summer.