I looked back in my previous blog posts to see exactly when the first quilt retreat was that I attended, back when we referred to ourselves as "Grubers Girls." I started attending the second year of the retreat, so my first year was in July 2011.
This is how I ended the post from that year:
"We traveled from all over to spend time with each other: Wisconsin, Missouri, California, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Georgia, Florida/Montana. People are always surprised to hear that I have close friends from blogging and emailing, and I know they are thinking 'friends' with little air quotes around the word. Nothing could be further from the truth. We were ten women who shared a common bond. We laughed, ate, shared our lives, sometimes shed a couple of tears, were blown away by the creativity we saw, and were inspired by each other. I have strengthened bonds with those who invited me, and have formed new friendships that I know will be long-lasting. Thanks to you all. I hope we can do it again next year."
And next year we did it again. And every year after that until 2020, when of course nothing happened. Over the years, one or two couldn't make it for various reasons, so we just had fewer friends together.
This year came with major changes. First of all we changed retreat centers, from Grubers in St. Cloud, MN, to Stitch Supply in Altoona, WI. Along with that, for the first time we added three new friends to the mix, and because they were good friends of some already attending, they blended in seamlessly.
I will start by saying that if you ever have a chance to retreat at Stitch Supply, do it! Ann, the owner, has thought of every single detail to make the stay there seem both luxurious and comfortable. From the moment you walk into the door, you know your stay is going to be special.
The kitchen and dining area. Don't you just love those lights hanging over the tables?