Thursday, May 20, 2021

Really Random Thursday, 5/20/21

 A week ago today, I did something that seemed like the most "normal" thing I have done in fifteen months--had a quilting retreat with three of my friends, all of us fully vaccinated.

This would be the 21st annual retreat I've enjoyed at my friend Dotty's cabin just outside Yosemite, only having missed last year. 

It's always been a small retreat--the most we have ever had is five.

We made it to the cabin by about 11:00 a.m. and started unpacking. We park our cars on the road and then carry everything down to the cabin, up the steps to the deck and then into the cabin.

If you are a quilter, you know what this entails--sewing machines, quilting projects, food, etc.

I'm always glad when this part is over. Although this year, I have decided that it could be much harder: these are two of the cabins down the road. All those steps--yikes!

Note: Next year I have decided that grandsons will be paid handsomely to do the job of loading and unloading both of our cars. A bonus is that the cabin is such a short distance from Yosemite Valley that we will feed them and they will still have time to spend a couple of hours in Yosemite enjoying its magnificent beauty.

We have the set-up down to a science. Years ago, in addition to everything else, we had to drag up super heavy wooden tables to sew on. Then Ruth (who sadly wasn't here this year but has promised she won't miss it next year) and I bought two lightweight 6 foot plastic tables as a hostess gift for Dotty and they are stored in the entry hall closet.  Dotty and I each claim an end of the dining table on the left.

As projects are completed, they are hung over the railing. Vicki was exceptionally prolific--I think she hung five quilt tops. Aren't those snails cute? I hung two blocks...what can I say? Those Tattoo quilt blocks are intense--each one took an entire day to complete!

Marilyn worked on this red, white and blue quilt for her cabin at Bass Lake.
Among other projects, Dotty worked on this snowmen wall hanging. So many tiny squares...
The food is always exceptional, although we never eat lunch. 
Which is really kind of a joke, because I eat more of our "non lunch" than I ever eat for lunch at home! (This is just part of what was on the counter--I couldn't fit it all in the picture. Ha!)

Each day I went for a walk to the end of the road. The dogwood were in full bloom and beautiful!

On the way I passed some barrels of tulips.

Dotty gets extremely limited cell phone reception, but I had luck by walking up to the main road and down a little ways to the firemen's memorial (the cabins came so close to being lost in a fire a couple of years ago).

It's nearly impossible to get a picture of the sunsets--this doesn't do it justice but they are always gorgeous.

Spending time with these friends, doing what we all are so passionate about, sharing our lives in a way we haven't been able to do for nearly a year and a half, was just what we all needed.

Dotty--this is her cabin, and she is also the dear friend who taught me to quilt over 25 years ago!
Marilyn. This was her first time joining us. We joked that she was on her best behavior and will be invited back again next year. :)
Vicki, Marilyn, and me.

I made one of these cute little "urchin" bowls for each friend out of 3 mm felt. They turned out so cute. Pattern by HerbstHandmade on Etsy (although I notice she is sold out of the patterns) and the felt is purchased from Etsy seller, the Felt Pod. And then I forgot to take a picture of them. So thanks, Vicki, for taking this picture.

Before I left for the retreat, I did a couple of other sewing projects. Aaron and Christa own a tent trailer from the 1980s, in very good shape but in need of updating. Christa worked hard on painting and replacing the flooring. I helped with the curtains and cushion covers. (Photos by Christa)

It's a remarkable transformation. I will say this--recovering cushions is not really part of my wheelhouse. After adding the Velcro closures, I also added this little label. Obviously by the time I reached this point, I didn't even bother getting the stitching straight. Not a problem, though, as it will not be seen.

They had big plans to take it to Kings Canyon National Park this weekend. Until they read the weather forecast: high of 47 and low of 28. Nope... So they plan on going to a lake near the central coast where the high will be 70 and the low 38, still a little chilly at night but at least above freezing...

So there you have it--my week in review. What have you been up to?


05 08
Rochelle aka Bella Quilts said... #

What a fantastic retreat with so many colorful projects and so much temptation. Those tulips were giant!! The paper piecing project I worked on last week had almost as much unsewing as sewing. The pattern is written with drawings of the back side of the blocks and I keep getting confused. Yes, it will be cold here this weekend. Freeze is in the forecast.

Robby said... #

I'm so glad you got to enjoy your retreat tradition with this group. Those are things we used to look forward to, but maybe just a little less than we do now. Thanks for "taking us along" to live vicariously.

Robby said... #

Oops! Meant to point out that your "truth in labeling" is excellent. For me, the swearing and the love might need to be reversed on that label.

Needled Mom said... #

It looks like a fun time was had by all. It is such a gorgeous place to have a retreat. It’s nice to be doing normal things again.

Patti said... #

Oh how I envy you on your retreat! I have always wanted to go on one. Those times are so special. Great to read about yours.

Anne / Springleaf Studios said... #

What a fun retreat and such a great way to display what you're working on. Your tattoo blocks are coming along nicely. I'm never motivated for that type of piecing. Glad you got away for quality in person quilty time. The steps to the other cabins do look daunting. My in person quilt time has shrunk to just me, myself and I.

Jan @Cocoa Quilts said... #

What a gorgeous place to visit and look forward to each year! I'd say yes to the boys doing the loading and unloading. Beautiful projects!

cspoonquilt said... #

Wow! What a great retreat, the place , the time of year and the People! I know I don't have to say 'have fun' because you clearly are / did!!! Great renovation on the tent-trailer!

FlourishingPalms said... #

Gosh, your quilt retreat place looks perfect (Well, except for the stairs and hauling. Makes one appreciate virtual sewing, doesn't it?) and I'm glad you got to share it with Dotty and friends. Nothing beats being with your besties, even without cell phone reception. Seems like this place isn't far from where you live, and - and wow! - that would be awesome. I have a huge dilemma coming up: a quilt retreat with friends, or a reunion with old friends... both happening the SAME weekend. Argh! Good that you could help revive the looks of the travel trailer. Sort of like working on a miniature doll house, right? Well, in between miniature and full-sized. That label is too perfect!

OPQuilt said... #

I concur with all the other comments from those above, especially Anne, with her observations on the intricate paper piecing on your blocks. It will be a glorious quilt when its finished, and only YOU could do this.
I also loved hearing about the retreat and all that goes into it--it looks like a lovely time in a lovely area. I don't see any retreats in my future, so I really enjoyed reading about yours.
I'm totally impressed with the re-do on the camping trailer and all your work (and swear words -- what a great label!). It looks great and now they'll have fun in style on their trips!