Winter Quilt Retreat 2012

The eleventh annual Patches & Prints Winter Quilt Retreat was a fun weekend of friends and fabric.  This event was started back when I owned the store and has continued over the years with a few changes along the way, hopefully making improvements from year to year. We started back in 2002, offering three class choices. This year we had two class offerings. There were many familiar faces, some who have been coming since the first year, some new faces, and even someone attending her very first quilt retreat!

Each year the format is pretty standard. Classes begin on Friday evening with 3 hours of class time. Following that is “Show and Tell” of last year’s quilts. Some are completely finished, quilted and bound . . . and some are still in blocks. It is nice to see how things turn out in a year’s time. Pictured below: Across the Ocean (Monique’s class), blocks from Kay’s class, Jacob’s Ladder and Blue Suede Shoes (my class).

Sewing continues all day Saturday and we end on Sunday with another “Show and Tell”, this time everyone shows what they’ve worked on during the weekend.

So let me tell you about the classes. The two classes were Crazy Eights, taught by Monique Dillard (Open Gate Quilts) from her book Fat Quarter Winners and String of Lights, taught by me, from Terry Atkinson’s book Time Out Quilts. Monique’s quilts are usually for an experienced quilter and my class is for all levels. Both of us recommend that our students do some sort of prep work before class begins in order to get lots accomplished at the retreat. Most people get their entire quilt cut at home, a big time saver. This year, I gave my ladies homework but also gave them what I called “bare minimum” work to be done so that we could all work together on Friday night.

String of Lights was really a fun quilt to do, looks very complicated but isn’t. Everyone worked on two different nine-patches on Friday night and then were able to work at their own pace based on the amount of homework they had done. This quilt goes together very easily and many people finished their quilt tops. One person even reduced the size of her blocks (see pic below) and had lots of tiny pieces to work with. A nice thing about the Sheraton where we stayed, the separating wall between the two classes turned out to be a great design wall!

Monique’s class is usually made up of the same people who take her class every year. They know what to expect,  love the challenge and lots of pieces! There is a lot of sewing going on in that room, and for some very late at night and the finished product is beautiful. Both class quilts lend themselves to any type of fabric, contemporary, traditional, batiks, brights, we had quite the variety.

It was really a fun weekend, the time goes by way too fast. Although everyone loves to sew, some knitting can be found, some hand stitching and some people work on other projects (when they get tired the class quilt or happen to finish their top) and yes, lots of socializing. Can’t wait to see all the finished quilts next year!!!!!

The next event is the “No Frills” Quilt Retreat, scheduled for November 9, 10, 11, 2012 at The Abbey, Lake Geneva Wisconsin. Details coming soon – hope to see lots of you there!!!!!


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