Archive for the ‘retreat’ Category

Retreats are…

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

Have you ever been on a retreat? Ever wonder what really goes on at one? I have run retreats and/or been entertainment at them for years now but had only been a complete guest once before (no business obligations at all)…and it was a very long time ago. I recently had the pleasure of being a complete guest and it was such a wonderful time. Can’t wait to do it all again!


Retreats come in all shapes and sizes. They can have guest teachers or just do-your-own-thing, guests can know each other previously or not, there can be lots of people or just a few, catered food or cook your own…you get the idea. There is bound to be a retreat out there that fits the bill for what you want. If not, make up your own rules and host one! Our retreat was held at Sew-clusion Retreats in Sebago Maine with our Hostess Patty Sawyer. If you need a place to have a retreat I highly recommend Patty’s place. It’s right on a lake, beautiful scenery, shopping nearby (quilty and otherwise), our rooms were well appointed (I had the purple room!) and everything was comfy cozy. The photos above are the views in the summertime and winter. Below is a view looking back from the beach during the summertime.

Why so few pictures from my visit? Well, ya know…ya get to relaxing and forget to take pictures… My fellow retreaters were equally relaxed. They snapped a couple of photos on their way there and then that was that. Here they are picking up some quilting wine at the store.


That would be, from left to right, Kris Poor of Poorhouse Quilt Designs, Penni Domikis of Cabin In The Woods Quilters, Susan Emory of Swirly Girls Design and Joanne Hillestad of The Fat Quarter Gypsy. Our hostess Patty is from Maine (obviously), Kris and I are both from New Hampshire and the other three flew in from their corners of the country. Kris had chauffeur duty to and from the airport. Ask a group of quilters to pack a car while leaving room for 4 people and they will get it done!

Our retreat was a cook-your-own-meals arrangement and we had all worked out ahead of time what we were going to fix, making sure our fly-ins didn’t have to fill their suitcases with food. So how much food does it take to feed 6 ladies for a long weekend? Apparently a lot!

 And this didn’t include what I brought. We did have a well stocked bar too…not that any of us drank any of it… no really, quilters don’t drink! That’s the rumor at least…I never listen to rumors…


So what did we all work on? Well, I can’t give you specifics or show you pictures (whew…’cause I didn’t take any!) but we all worked on new patterns coming out later this year, did some marketing strategy, shared insights and generally had a great time. We stayed up late, got up early, ate meals at odd times…there’s something to be said for spending time with people who understand the ins and outs of your particular business. More so since we all tend to work alone the majority of the time. A sounding board is a wonderful thing.

It wasn’t all business though. I did have the pleasure of escorting Penni out onto the ice. She had never been on a frozen lake before. Penni walked on water! We got a ways out and the lake made a gurgle…then there were lots of gurgles…did I mention we were standing near a fishing hole cut into the ice? That was followed by words not fit for print and some name calling directed towards lil ‘ol me. She still loves me though…I think…


I think everyone should have the retreat experience. Look around for one that looks good to you. You can start right here and check out the retreats I offer! Not to brag but I hear that I put on a pretty fun time at my retreats…


Meet my new friend…

Monday, December 7th, 2015

My New Fabric!

This past weekend I helped a friend out at her booth in an upscale artist show. There were potters, jewelry makers, painters…all manner of finished items for sale. It’s a juried show so the quality was top notch. It was a nice change of pace from the quilt shows I usually attend. Our next door neighbor had the most beautiful silk scarves I have ever seen. She makes them from tree leaves and flowers from her yard. The natural pigments in the foliage transfers to the fabrics during her process. There are no added dyes or inks. They were entrancing to stare at all weekend. I did end up buying a piece of cotton that’s pictured above. Not sure what I’m going to do with it yet. The artists name is Amelia Poole and her business is Ecouture Textile Studio. Here’s the really exciting part….Amelia will be one of the teachers at our Quilt Camp retreat in October 2017! I know that’s a long time to wait but that was the soonest that both of us are free…two busy ladies! She will be teaching us how to do this ourselves. I can’t wait. Think I can make this piece of fabric into something by then? hmmm…

A Little Bit Of Indigo

Amelia also had some Indigo pieces…one of those came home with me too…

Retreats are so much fun!

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

I had the pleasure of participating in Patty Sawyer’s Guinea Pig Retreat this weekend. What a blast.  In addition to Patty’s judging and longarming businesses, she operates a retreat venue for small groups. She asked a few of us to come on up and be her guinea pigs to get everything opened up and running. OK, I confess, she and her hubby had everything opened up from winter, we just had to make sure everything was running. It’s a tough job…here was the view from the back deck. Some of the bulbs were just starting to pop up too.

IMG_1636  IMG_1644

Patty fed us more food than a quilter has a right to eat in one weekend. Here is the ice cream sundae spread we had after dinner on Saturday. We also invented a signature cocktail, just for Patty. We named it the Guinea Pig. If you’re lucky, maybe she’ll serve you one! If her hubby offers to make pancakes, just say yes. You can thank me later.


Patty also took us on a mini shop hop to visit a few local haunts. My favorite was Oxford Mill End Store in Oxford ME. Here’s a shot of Patty and the owner Cathy Corbett acting all business like. I also backed up a bit so you can see we gave them the full paparazzi experience. Yes, we all bought stuff…sigh…more stash…

IMG_1633  IMG_1634

If you are looking for a spot to hang out with a few of your quilting buddies, this is the place. It can hold up to 8 people. The scenery is devine, the food is plentiful (and then some) and the hostess is the mostest. You can get Patty’s contact info at

Don’t delay though. I have a feeling she will have a fully booked schedule really quickly! Then you and your crew can be all relaxed and smiley just like us Guinea Pigs (Terri Sontra, Jill Mott, Judy Damon and Linda Pearl)


Quilting R&R 2014

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

lunch view

Well, our first retreat was a smashing success! We only had a few minor glitches, all of them my fault. Next year I need to bring kleenex, do formal introductions among everyone (how could I forget that?), bring more extension cords and take more pictures.  Our venue is the Snowy Owl Inn in Waterville Valley, NH. The photo above was the view out the dining room window. Our innkeepers were incredible. One of our guests forgot to pack all the cords for her sewing machine which rendered it useless for the weekend. Innkeeper Jenny to the rescue with a spare machine of hers that she let our guest use. Extra machines were not on my packing list so thank you Jenny. Our chef, George, was a big hit. If he ever needs a new family I’m sure several of the ladies would be more than willing to take him home.

We started off with a small welcome at each table…


Everyone also received a swag bag with a travel iron, travel cutting/ironing mat and more…


One of the swag items was a kit to make a holder for the travel iron. Here’s Retta with hers all done…


Sarah Ann Smith was our guest teacher for the weekend. Here are two versions of the project she taught us and Sarah working the room…

sarahs work4 sarahs work5  ironing lesson2

Did I mention that I needed to take more pictures? Yes, that’s right, I took NO pictures of the guests projects…sigh… You can see Sarah’s blog post here though. She was on the ball and took pictures. I need to hire her next year. Except I took this picture. That’s Anne working a piece of fabric. She used one piece for all her flowers and leaves. It looked awesome…if only I had a photo to show you.

working it2

We had other activities too…puzzles, block raffle (this picture was before all the blocks were added…need more pictures), raffle prizes for the scavenger hunt, chocolate…

IMG_0487block raffleraffleIMG_0484

There was lots to do outside too. Waterville Valley has a big Fall Festival that was the same weekend. There was music in the town square every afternoon and evening, 5K run…ok, these ladies did not do the 5K but they did do the 1 hour guided hike! They came back totally energized. There was even another quilting retreat at another inn and some of them came to visit us!

athletes visitors2

We had our own store for anything that was forgotten…


We could also visit the shops in the town square. Whenever I went to the square I kept seeing these hooks all over. I couldn’t figure out what they were for. Then more people started showing up and it became clear. They were for hooking up your pooch while you shopped! Zelda would be in heaven with so many people to visit with.


A huge thank you to Steve and Jenny of the Snowy Owl Inn. They were so easy to work with and made everything run smoothly. If you ever need a venue for a large gathering or just a family weekend. I cannot recommend them enough. Did I mention that each room had it’s own jacuzzi tub? They think of everything. And a huge thank you to my guest teacher Sarah Ann Smith and our entertainer Alison Bolt (again, no pictures…grr…) and to all the ladies who spent their weekend with me. I guess I did something right because ALL of them signed up for next years retreat! Well, all but one – she’s moving so I guess I’ll give her a pass…


Registration is open for our 2015 retreat. Our guest teacher will be Ami Simms and the project will be Dancing Spools. Space will be limited to 27 guests and we’re already almost 1/2 way full so don’t delay!

Now, what will I put in the 2015 swag bags…