Tuesday, August 31, 2021

August Retreat Part 2

Hello Everyone,

I have so many pictures to post from the retreat that I don't know where to start.  Here is Cindy's beautiful stack of blocks for Grammy Squares.

By Wednesday, Cindy finished making all of the blocks and started sewing them together.  This is absolute gorgeous!

In between visiting with other quilters throughout the day, everyone kept quite busy.

We also ate quite a bit throughout the day.

We could eat in the bar area.....

Or we could eat out on the deck.  You can just barely see Snowflake Lake in the background.

We did enjoy our happy hours thanks to my sister who likes to pop a cork or two!

I teach throughout the day.  I don't know what struck me so funny while I was teaching.  All I know is I like to make learning fun while teaching Leaf Peepers.

Every evening after dinner, we had a show and tell.  This is Valery's Country Sunshine quilt made with batiks.

Linda and Peggy were always having fun!

Clare did a great job on her watering can quilt.

Mary Sue made a mini Leaf Peepers wall hanging and quilted it herself.

Nancy made a Christmas Ribbons quilt.  She validated my thoughts when she said this one was an easy one to make.

My sister Gail, displayed her Zinnie's Choice quilt.  She only worked on bindings during the retreat as she's finished so many UFO's over the past few months.

It is so much fun to compare the two Row-Mancing Alaska quilts.  Here is Karen's with a light background.

Here's Valery's with a dark background.  Both quilts are so beautiful, and the girls did a fantastic job.

Aren't Kristi's houses adorable?  This is a Kim Diehl pattern.

Cathie showed us a very happy, and finished quilt.

Pat brought a Teddy Bear that she made.  It was adorable.

This was a great, creative and caring group of women.  I will share more pictures throughout the week of their creativity.


Saturday, August 28, 2021

August - Sew'n Wild Oaks Retreat

Hello Everyone,

I've been enjoying myself so much over the past few days at my very own Sew'n Wild Oaks Retreat at Snowflake Lodge in Arnold, California.  I made new friends, and reconnected with so many other friends that I haven't seen in two years. Here I am standing next to a wall hanging that Barbara and Lynnette made for me two years ago.  I think it looks just like me!

We jump started the retreat by setting up on Sunday, August 22nd.  That way we could hit the ground running Monday morning at 8am and got those machines humming.

Sunday, after set up, we had appetizers at my cabin. What a spread!!  The girls brought the most delicious appetizers which we thoroughly enjoyed.

My sister Gail, on the left, is chatting with Janice.  We all had a lot of catching up to do.

This was just part of the dessert table.

We had a feast.

The cabin was humming with chatter, laughter, hugs, and kisses.  It felt so good to be able to be together once again.

So, you just saw pictures of the beginning of the retreat.  Now here are pictures of the end of the retreat on Wednesday evening.  While we we enjoying our appetizers and wine on the deck at the Lodge, management came to me and advised me of a new fire that was just 11 miles away from us.  I looked at the CalFire website and determined at the time that is was a small fire, and we weren't in any danger.  After dinner, I huddled with management and we collectively decided it was time to pack up after reading that the fire was exhibiting an extreme rate of spread....in our direction.  

Mr. Joe went downtown to gather information about the fire at our fire station, and saw that our two gas stations had long lines.  Prior to the retreat, I had given my quilters instructions to fill up their gas tanks when they arrived in town just in case we needed to get the hell out of Dodge.  They listened to me, and it's a good thing they did. If the main road into Arnold had closed, we were going to be in a world of hurt.  Roads were closing and my fear was the main road out of the mountains would not be accessible.

What started as a small fire grew to this very quickly. Evacuation orders were starting to pop up on the web and via texts for small communities in the immediate area of the fire.  Standby evacuation orders were also posted. 

These are not images that I took.  I found this on the web taken by individuals close to the fire.

Air tankers came out in force and covered the fire with retardant.  The red you see is the retardant, not flames.

It usually takes us a fair bit of time to pack up. We were packed and gone in a very short period of time.  The girls packed up their quilting supplies, then they had to go to their rented cabins and hotel rooms to collect their things before they could hit the road.

Needless to say, Mr. Joe and I didn't get much sleep Wednesday night at the cabin.  I kept waiting for an mandatory evacuation notice.  Luckily that never happened.

As of this writing, the fire is 50% contained, and we don't feel any anxiety or worry that we are in any danger.  

The girls all have a good story to tell.  Next year we should all wear T-shirts that say, "I survived the Sew'n Wild Oaks Retreat!"  The girls were real troopers through this entire experience.

Throughout the coming week, I will post pictures of the three wonderful days we had together until we were so rudely interrupted.

I've always said that quilters are the best people on the planet. This group of quilters were exceptional. I love them all for their creativity, their desire to help each other, their compassion, their laughter, and their love.  We were truly blessed to have our three days together. 


Monday, August 16, 2021

Retreat Preparations

Hello Everyone,

It's been full steam ahead and all hands on deck here at the cabin over the past several weeks.  I'm getting ready for the first of three Sew'n Wild Oaks retreats at Snowflake Lodge.  The quilters arrive soon, and we hit the ground running on Monday, August 23rd.

Peek-A-Boo Pumpkins is going to be one of the projects I'll be teaching at the retreat.

The pattern is now available for sale in my Etsy shop by clicking HERE.

Our granddaughter was here last week and she helped me with the kits.  There's a lot of folding and cutting involved.  Right now the kits are only available for the retreaters.  I will try to get more made as I've had so many requests.

The retreaters are coming to the cabin for appetizers next Sunday night.  So.......that also involves a lot of cabin cleaning.  I can't say the cobwebs are part of my Halloween decorations!  I started tidying up my sewing room.....it was a mess.  It's starting to look a bit better now.  

I was so lucky to find this old, wooden mailbox cabinet a few years ago.  It is perfect to organize fat quarters and scraps.  I could probably make five quilts just out of this cabinet.  That would be a fun exercise when I have the time.....HA!

More cleaning and tutorial prep this week.  My list is a long one.



Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Life in the Mountains

 Hello Everyone,

It's been a long time between posts, so I'll get you caught up on life in the mountains.  First of all, Mr. Joe and I have been going to a lot of musical events over the past two weeks.

The Bear Valley Music Festival was cancelled last year due to Covid.  This year we made up for lost time and attended two events.

We packed up a picnic dinner and ate under the pine trees prior to the Caravanserai show, a Santana tribute band.  My or my where they loud!  Good, but LOUD, and I'm shouting here. Mr. Joe had selective hearing before the show......now his hearing in non-existent.  My elderly neighbor asked me to dance during the longest song in world history.  Between the high elevation, (7,000 ft) and all of the twists, turns, and swirls, I thought I was going to pass out.  During our dance, my neighbor suggested with all of the bald heads in the audience, there should be an ambulance on standby.  I must admit I had to agree with him and his bald head.

We also attended an afternoon show featuring Crawdad Republic.  Another great group which was a combination of Bluegrass and whatever.  Very entertaining.

The mountains are ringing with music throughout the week, and we regularly attend outdoor events.  There are many small venues throughout our area, and most of them are free.  

Here's a list of some of the names of the entertainment:

Burn Permit (This is in poor taste if you ask me during fire season)
Rattle Can (Too close to a rattlesnake if you ask me)
Jank Tones (Questionable name, janky mean questionable tone)
Skull Country (This is Calaveras County which means skull)
Frozen Radicals (It does get cold here in the winter)
Rusty Rockers (A lot of the band members have had many trips around the sun)
Snarky Cats (I guess they are referring to the mountain lions roaming around the mountain)
Dead Winter Carpenter (Well, this one has me stumped)

When we aren't attending a musical event, we are stacking two cords of almond wood.  The wood was delivered at the top of the hill, and we have to bring every single piece down the hill.

What a chore.  But we know we will enjoy a cozy fire during the long winter months.

In between all of this, I've been working with a technical writer on A Ribbon Runs Through It pattern.  Her suggestions are making the pattern so much better.  I really appreciate her suggestions and input.
My sister and two friends also helped me with the pattern by making some of the blocks and offered their suggestions which I incorporated into the pattern

I've also been doing some marathon kit making in preparation for my first retreat at the end of the month.  There has been so much to do.  Mr. Joe and I have been printing and stuffing patterns for hours to build up an inventory before the retreats and the Independence Hall quilt show in October.  There's never a dull moment around the cabin.  Just when I think I'm getting ahead, a big pattern order will come in and we start all over again.  This is a good problem to have!