Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Virtual Quilting Retreats

Lovely bunny project
This month, I attended two virtual quilt retreats. Since COVID, I've stitched via Zoom with a couple small quilting groups. I liked the experience. I have missed our in person quilting days in addition to all the other in person activities I did before COVID. Zoom, for me, is almost like meeting in person.

The first quilting retreat was through the Mt. Hood Quilters guild. We drove to the church parking lot, where we met pre-COVID, on a specific day and time to pick up our retreat packets. There were at least five small wrapped and numbered gifts in the bag which we opened at various times throughout the retreat. I didn't photograph the gifts which I should have! All were wonderful! The retreat was scheduled over four days--Thursday through Sunday. The hours were 9am-7pm Thursday though Saturday and 9am-3pm on Sunday. 

I quilted on Unity during the retreat. I finished the last skinny border and started quilting the last full border. Every day, the retreat chair would ask a question and over the course of the day each person would answer as she called each of us by name. This was a great way to get to know people. 

One of the retreaters led us through chair yoga exercises which was a great way to break up the day as well as help the body continue to quilt. There was a lot of interaction
Retreat blocks
between the 32 attendees. I liked how people posted their show and tell projects on the Facebook page associated with the retreat. We had a story night which was wonderful.

We sewed two Lovely Bunnies for charity. A Lovely Bunny is a small comfort item for new parents who are waiting for their baby to arrive and whose baby may spend time in the NICU. We learned that sometimes, the parents hand stitch the kit while they wait for their baby to arrive because it gives new Dads a task for their fingers rather than worry about outcomes. 

In the photo you see the back and the front of the two that I made from the kit that was in my bag. I didn't have the fabric paint to complete the face which goes on the white square in the yellow  bunny. I will make more of these as I have some flannel which will be perfect for this project.
Me with my retreat bag

The first morning after the retreat, I missed hearing the "Good morning" greeting. I loved having company while I quilted away. I missed the camaraderie! I had a lovely experience.

The second online retreat was through the Clark County Quilters. It also was a Thursday through Sunday event. It has been five years since I've attended a retreat. Previously, the dates didn't work in my calendar. I was a late addition and the last to the group which had 43 participants. I got in because someone was unable to attend. This retreat had a retreat block which was Salt and Pepper by Kim Schaefer with Andover fabrics. Those that wanted to participate made four blocks. I loved the blocks and hoped that I would win some back to make this quilt!

You could also participate in a fabric square exchange. This year we exchanged 40 black and white ten inch squares. If I adapt the pattern a bit, I may still be able to make this quilt using the ten inch squares. If you wanted to participate in the block drawing and exchange, you had a deadline to submit your items. The committee collated the fabric squares back to the participants. The chair drew the winners for the blocks and included the blocks in the appropriate
Results of a scavenger hunt

retreat bag.

The committee person in charge of my group delivered the retreat bags to each of us. Another committee member and friends stitched all the bags. Sadly, I wasn't a block winner. Those that were the winners though could have their project quilted if they put their blocks together before retreat. What a sweet incentive! Three of the four winners took advantage of that option. The retreat chair is a longarmer.

We played games. One game was a scavenger hunt which was a hoot! I liked that the winner was chosen based on participation rather than who had the most right answers or who texted the photo first. I liked that approach. The games were a great stretch break too!

I spent most of my days quilting Unity. The background swirl takes a lot of time to stitch. I had a goal to piece three "Frolic" blocks and to put a few pieces of fabric on the butterfly collage. Most days I completed the first two goals.

If this had been an in person retreat, I wouldn't have been able to work on the butterfly or the quilting because of space issues. I loved sleeping in my own bed and not packing all my supplies. Yesterday, I mailed my registration for the  Spring retreat which happens at the end of February.

For people who can't get away to an in person retreat, a virtual retreat is great. In person retreats are great too and I expect that both will exist in the future. Connecting with fellow quilters so often this month sure has improved my spirits. It was great to laugh and it was great to hear laughter!


Janice Smith said...

It sounds as if you have had some good quilting fun! The organizers seemed to have put a tremendous effort into organizing those retreats.
One of my guilds is having zoom workshops with some nationally known teachers though I just haven’t felt like signing up for any yet.
Stay safe. said...

Janice, there was a lot of quilting fun! One guild hasn't found a Zoom workshop that was affordable. . .in other words, participants could take the class through another organization and pay less. . . .It is a new era. . .I'm so ready for the old normal!

Karen Fitzpatrick said...

Wow lots going on for you! I like those bunny blankets. Sweet. I enjoy reading your blog because you’re always involved with many interesting projects but stopped commenting quite a while back. I kept having trouble posting it 🥴. My fault I’m sure but I’ll try again.
Karen Fitzpatrick