Retreats are a time to share ideas, meet new friends and enjoy someone else making the meals. The Thread and Paper puts on two retreats a year, these two quilters journeyed to the fall retreat in October 2018.
Sheila’s Point of View – First Time Retreat
Upon arrival, unloaded a Forester full of all the trappings of a quilter X 2. Nancy came with me… We found our designated table space and set about getting everything ready to sew. Our bedroom was upstairs with all the others. Everyone of them with home sewn quilts on the bed.
Most sewers were already in place. Sewing, sewing, sewing… We were in a large room, crisscrossed by tables, with 35 mostly retired women. Three cutting/ ironing stations positioned around the room. The sound of sewing machines, purred. Happy chatter, occasional curse. We had been told to bring a place mat to designate our spot at the dinner table. “hmm… I bet they will all be homemade and built to show off skills I don’t have.”
My first day was spent sewing my place mat. I learned to sew a ‘star square.’ Yeah! The next 2 days were filled with sitting at my machine making more of my ‘star squares’. I thought I finished 12 but found I had 14! Yippee! The others in the room completed at least a queen quilt each day… plus shopping bags, machine pads, wall hangings, oven mitts, purses and so much more. The third and last day I lay on the floor hoping to straighten my poor back, my legs on a chair, maybe my swollen ankles would come down to their normal size? The women at this retreat were ‘sewing MACHINES.’
I don’t know how many of them put Baileys in their coffee like we did. We sewed, we chatted, we swore, we laughed, we ATE, we played games, we learned new skills, we shared. Did I say we ATE?
The highlight of my first Quilting Retreat was without a doubt was the beautiful Autumn drive from Squamish to Salmon Arm and back.
Nancy’s Point of View – A Seasoned Retreat Participant
I recently had the pleasure of travelling with a fellow quilter to a quilt retreat outside of Enderby BC., at Gardom Lake. It was hosted by Thread and Paper quilt shop in Salmon Arm BC at a very reasonable price. The retreat was housed at the Bible Camp, which was a beautiful place to be with lots of places for a daily walk and had weather permitted, I would have gone for a swim in the lake.
There were 34 of us all busy at our machines off and on all three days, from Thursday to Sunday morning. I have been to quite a few retreats and although it was quite a distance to travel, it was well worth it. The food was all excellent every day and on Sunday morning we had eggs benny with lots of fruit available – a good start to a day of beautiful sunny weather for travel home.
Lots of good friendships were formed and great laughs. The woman across from me was a new quilter. Her friend told her in the spring that she was going to a quilt retreat and Bonnie said “How boring is that,” but went along and is now hooked on quilting, She has bought three sewing machines already and took up twice the space we were allotted with all her projects and gadgets, buying more from the ‘Thread and Paper’s pop up shop that was there.
For the beginner quilter, a retreat is a great place to learn and sew uninterrupted, meals cooked, no clean up with lots of good friendships and laughter. We were encouraged to bring some of our scraps and there was a table set up that you could go through at any time. I got some bits left over from a quilt one woman had made her daughter, and put them into a preemie quilt for the hospital and the boarder was done with someone else’s strips of 2 1/2″ blocks sewn together in strips. There was also a snack table everyone had contributed to and oh my, the big table was very tempting every time I passed by.
I had a trip into Salmon Arm about 1/2 hour away with one of the ladies from the area and we of course went to “Thread and Paper” and also to Fabricland. There were three workshops, one being for a mat for under your sewing machine with pockets along the front, and shelf liner under it so your machine does not slip around, also a thread catcher with a pin cushion weighing it down to catch all your cut off threads, the third was an oven mitt liner for a silicone oven mitt.
We played two games one being the strip poker, but I was soon out of that one and the other game was using cards and everytime you lost you threw in a fat quarter. We all started with three fat quarters and guess who won 18 fat quarters, Yahoo, this lucky quilter. There was also a show and share which took almost two hours with related stories.