Thursday, July 28, 2022

Sew Sisters Quilt Retreat 2022

 I was supposed to fly into Minneapolis on Monday, July 18, spend the night with my friend, Mary (on Lake Pulaski), and then head to our annual quilt retreat on Wednesday, the 20th. But sadly on Sunday, the day before I was supposed to head out, I was still testing positive. I've been told by several physicians that you can actually test positive for a long time, but you no longer shed the virus by Day 10. Sunday was Day 12. What? Because my brother-in-law, Leon, always drives me to my friend's house on Tuesday, and because his wife has been battling leukemia for 23 years, there was no way I could risk going with a positive COVID test, even if I was not contagious. So I canceled my flight, the shuttle to my hotel room, and the hotel room itself for Monday night. And then I proceeded to be very sad...I have not missed a retreat since the first year I attended back in 2010. 

Rene' and Caroline also canceled as well, which made me feel slightly better as I wouldn't be the only one missing, but disappointed. 

On Tuesday night, my test was negative. On Wednesday morning, I drove Aaron to work and he encouraged me to go. Mark encouraged me to see if tickets were still available for Thursday (which all hinged on whether Alaska Air had already returned our air miles so I could turn around the use them again), Christa said "GO!" and Levi said "Grandma, be adventurous! Go on your trip!"

My air miles had indeed been reinstated and the same flight as the original had seats available. The next hurdle remained getting to the retreat and then back to the airport on Sunday. Stephanie and Pam both said they were willing to leave the retreat to pick me up from the airport (a trip of about 1 hour and 40 minutes each way) and Amanda Jean said the airport was not out of her way on Sunday morning.

I booked the flight for Thursday, packed one project and hardly any clothes (ha!) so I could get everything in a carryon bag (something I've never done before). 

I always love flying into Minneapolis/St. Paul, so pretty and green.

Stephanie and Pam were there nearly as soon as I arrived. We stopped for dinner on the way, a place Pam chose based on the name because it made her laugh. The weather was absolutely lovely and we ate outside.

I was able to be at the retreat for two full days and Sunday morning, worth every single minute. These women are some of my best friends ever. 
Stephanie, Brianne, Pam, Amanda Jean, Mary, Terri, Doris, me

Friday night, Brianne's husband, Jeff, and sons, Jeffrey and Joshua, brought dinner. Jeff and Joshua are both competitive BBQers, learning about that made for a very interesting conversation. The food was fantastic--a new tradition. (I think this picture is from Christmas) but I forgot to take a picture of Jeff and the boys.

We had pulled pork, BBQ chicken, beans, cole slaw, and fresh green beans from Mary's garden. It was all so amazing!

Pam made cobbler (which I may have eaten for breakfast the next morning as well).

So many great projects.

Amanda Jean always works on a variety of things, usually involving very tiny pieces.

Mary worked on her Fresh as a Daisy quilt top. And did really well. Until the last block. Oops.
Stephanie nearly finished the puff quilt she is making for her daughter Elsa's high school graduation.

Brianne helped her tie it. 

Doris finished this quilt top, started many, many years ago. The gray and white stripe border was a genius suggestion by Pam.
And I made four pineapple blocks.
(I don't know why I don't have photos of what Brianne, Terri and Pam worked on...)

Mary brought the quilt she worked on last year, her Halloween quilt made entirely from Lizzy House Guising fabric.
Terri brought the quilt I made a few years ago using her precious stash of Anna Maria Horner Bohemian collection and my pattern, My Swedish Ex, appropriately named My Bohemian Ex.

Every year, I hope for a bit of rain and thunder. This year did not disappoint.

Each year, we exchange "happies," little gifts for each other. Not shown: the ginormous chocolate chip cookie made by Brianne and the homemade caramels that Mary makes each year. 
I made zipper pouches for everyone.

Amanda always brings a quilt for my bed. I really loved the one she chose this year. In fact, I'm thinking of making one just like it.
My roommates, Amanda Jean and Brianne.
Sunday morning, all packed up and ready to head out.

We missed Rene', Caroline, Michelle and Shelly so much. 

I say this every year, but I can't even begin to describe the importance of these women in my life. The biggest "out of my box" decision, to retreat with women I had only met online, turned out to be one of the best. 

Till next year, dear friends...

Leaving Seattle at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday night


05 08
Anonymous said... #

You write such a nice post about our retreat every year! So glad you came!!

Susan said... #

How wonderful that you eventually got to go on your much loved retreat! The zipper pouches you made as gifts would be even more special, given the effort you made to be there! Was the elephant quilt being made by one of the girls! Its a beauty! And I love Mary's Halloween quilt too!

Anonymous said... #

So glad you got to go after all. A short time is way better than no time.

Anonymous said... #

Please tell Amanda Jean that I miss her blog. I live in Canada and really enjoyed reading and seeing her projects

Anonymous said... #

I'm happy you got to go even if it was for just a few days.

Anne / Springleaf Studios said... #

I'm happy you got to go on retreat. I know it's a big one for you even if it's just for a couple of days it's better than nothing. Not sure what happened to my first comment so apologize of this comes through twice.

FlourishingPalms said... #

So glad that COVID didn't prevent you from flying out at the last minute. It's just great that you can be with one another each year. I know so many of the people in your group, and miss seeing several of them who are no longer blogging, nor are even posting on Instagram! And you got home-BBQed pulled pork! I'm drooling! It's my all-time favorite meat protein to eat. I can make myself sick on it whenever I get to visit Texas! Love those zipper pouches you made. They have such a cool-looking twist in the design. Can you please share where you found how to do that technique on a zipper bag?

Cheryl said... #

what is the pattern for those lovely zip pouches you made? I love the little twist! Quilt friends are the best.

Rochelle aka Bella Quilts said... #

What a fantastic group of friends you have. So nice to be able to reconnect with them after so much time away due to COVID. How horrible that you came down with it at the wrong time but were able to shake it off so you could still enjoy part of retreat. I love seeing all the different projects and hearing about the food (YUMM!).

Anonymous said... #

I sure missed all of you, too! I'm so glad you ended up getting to go after all. I was so sad for you when I saw that you were gonna have to cancel (cos I know that feeling all too well).