Time to talk more about retreat.

This year we had some new faces at retreat. In fact, two of them were from close to my hometown.  In fact one of them is the sister to my uncle’s neighbor.  Isn’t that funny?  It was nice to see new faces at retreat.

Now, to get on with this spring retreat.  We did not have quite the shenanigans as we have had in previous years.  Inez left early and we had some new faces sitting with us on the porch.  Overall, I think everything went well.

We did have our moments of laughter, but this time around we did seem to be more industrious.  Blanche brought me some fabric that matched my red for my rabbit quilt.  I also made the executive decision that I just needed to finish it.  Since we had been quilt shopping before I made this momentous decision, it warranted another trip to the quilt shop to get what was needed to finish it.  Here is a picture.  I will freely admit, that it is not the best work I have ever done.  I say this because I started it nearly 10 years ago and my piecing has improved quite a bit since then.  Suffice to say, that some things don’t match up quite perfectly.  However, I am just going to go with it because I’ve waited too long for it to be done.  So, here it is.  The body of my rabbit quilt.  Now I just need to find the right border print.  In case you are wondering, the four corners are the symbols for spring, summer, fall, and winter.

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We did share a few laughs – Hattie of course was in the thick of things.  She had two choice comments: I love the smell of oil and gasoline on a man (because doesn’t everyone? ) and I’m good at digging out corns too.  Unfortunately I did not make any notes regarding the context.  I’m also not sure that I would like Hattie to dig out my corns, if I had any….

While shopping at one of the quilt stores, Sandra Dee decided that she loved the above rabbit quilt.  We even searched on our phones for the panel I bought years ago.  Believe it or not, we did find it.  I’m not sure that Sandra Dee purchased it but Hazel and I exerted some peer pressure just in case she needed a push in that direction.  However, she did find some gorgeous fabrics while we were out shopping and was entertaining using the same pattern I was with the fabrics she had purchased.  Ultimately she opted to go in a different direction and created a beautiful quilt with them.  At least she got the  body of it done.

Of course with Sandra Dee and Hazel paper piecing had to come into play.  Don’t worry, they did not begin any paper piecing patterns.  At least not at this time.  Sandra Dee was working with oriental fabrics on this new quilt.  Sandra Dee also loves pandas.  One of our new faces found a paper pieced panda pattern that Sandra Dee could put on the back of her quilt.  Unfortunately the paper pieced panda had a plethora of pieces.  The only really good thing was that we got to practice our alliteration.  Plethora of pieces in a paper pieced panda.  Also while discussing the panda, it was noted that the pattern was only 6″ to which Blanche quipped, “I’ve heard that before”.  Things rapidly disintegrated after that.

We also spend some time reliving our “glory days” of retreat with all the pranks we have pulled over the years.  Yes, I say years because Sandra Dee and I did some math and discovered that we have been doing this for close to if not 10 years.  Can you believe it?  I know I had a hard time doing so.  It also came up for discussion how we haven’t really done a whole lot over the last few retreats with regard to pranks.  Sandra Dee was happy to relive some moments when I would call her before retreat and ask lovely yet bizarre questions such as how do you feel about bugs?  The intent was to find some large rubber bugs and scatter them around, but when we couldn’t find any we (and by we I mean Inez and myself) settled for tormenting her with words prior to retreat and then doing nothing.

After bringing up our lovely history, Sandra Dee began to get cryptic about the meal she was involved in.  I should mention here that we practically had the bunk room to ourselves.  Even though we are not the type that are early to bed, all the others that were in our bunk room were up later than we were so we practically had the bunk room to ourselves every evening.  It was amazingly wonderful.  Until one night we went to bed and Sandra Dee said to me, “good night, sleep tight, watch out for lunch tomorrow”.  She didn’t say anything else after that although I thought I heard her giggle a little.  Well played, Sandra Dee.  Well played.  In case you were wondering, her lunch was a normal lunch.  They made enchilada casserole and a spicy cheese dip and spanish rice.

I’ll leave you here for now. I have a rather lengthy story that Sandra Dee shared with us that I just cannot pass up.  I also have our report on how things went with our pillow cases.  I’ll also try to have some pics of what I did get accomplished at retreat aside from the rabbit quilt as well as a bit on what everyone else was able to accomplish on this retreat.

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And We’re Back!

Did you miss us? We made it to retreat. I have to say that having that extra day was extraordinary. No, really. The bulk of us went shopping and out to lunch. It was a very nice lunch – soup and sandwiches and lots of hot tea. In fact the tea was so nice that a few of us ended up purchasing these great new tea mugs and tea. It was called Vienna Cinnamon. Mmmmm, heavenly. I do have to admit here that I was thrilled to not have to deal with hot dogs or chicken nuggets and I enjoyed the ability to complete a sentence/conversation without the interruption of small people.

The cup is from the Kati Tea Brewing System and you can see them here.  I picked out the grass one.  You can also check out the tea flavors on this website as well.  Of course you may already be familiar with Tea Forte.  Mine is the one that has grass on it.  I know what you are wondering, have I used it yet?  Well, no.  Not yet.  Although I plan to really really soon.  Saying that makes me feel like Rebecca Bloomwood.  If you’ve read the Shopaholic series, you know what I mean.  If you haven’t and you are looking for a fun read, give it a try.

We did shop 2 quilt shops before heading back to retreat where we were already mostly set up and were able to just relax and bask in each other’s company while relishing in the fact that we were already there and did not have to wake up early the next day to pack the car (and unpack the car) and drive.  That extra day really did make all the difference.  On one level we were a little concerned that perhaps that extra day may mean that it was a day too long in close quarters with each other.  I am extremely happy to report that it did not go that way at all.  We were just thrilled to be there (as usual).  Before you ask, of course we are already counting the days down until our next retreat.

I’m sure you are also wondering if having that extra day made us any more productive.  I would have to say that it did.

Unfortunately, I did not take as many photos as I normally do, but I do have a couple.

Hopefully your revolutions continue to go well.  I’ll get the rest of my thoughts and notes together and we’ll get back together to talk about the funny stuff.

And my new research project is….

Freezer meals!  I thought you were probably wondering what I had been up to since I promised not to bombard you with daily blog entries.  I’m sure you are probably wondering, why freezer meals?  If not, you might want to pretend.  Honestly, it’s because we need to eat better as a family and sometimes life seems to be too busy to cook the way I like to.  So, freezer meals and my crock pot seem to be a perfect answer to that!  Of course this means I have been spending an inordinate time on Pinterest (like I need an excuse to do that…) looking for some good recipes.  There are TONS out there.

What does this have to do with quilting?  Quite a bit actually…think about it.  You have a project you want to get finished and have planned a home sewing day or maybe have invited a few friends over to sew together.  The next thing you know, 10 minutes goes by and your family is clamoring for dinner.  I know that is an exaggeration about time, but seriously who hasn’t been in their craft room working on something and the next time you look up it’s time to go to bed?  Here is where the brilliance of freezer meals come in.

When you have those days, you know you are going to be working on your crafts and you can pull something out of the freezer that is already put together and throw it in your crock pot.  Or set an alarm to go off when it is time to put your homemade frozen lasagna in the oven.  I know, Stouffer’s makes a good one.  However, this way your family (and you!) get  a wonderful and healthier home cooked meal.  It’s a win-win!  Even on those days where a big crafting day wasn’t planned, freezer meals still make things pretty convenient.  In theory you would take something out the night before or  the morning of to thaw anyway so your dinner is already taken care of while you go about your day.  I’m sure that most of you are already aware of how to use your crock pot and that freezer meals are an option.  What I wasn’t sure of is whether or not you were aware of just how wide a variety of options are available for you.  I know I’m looking forward to trying out some new things.  I am also fortunate enough to have a buddy who is looking forward to heading down the rabbit hole of freezer meals with me.  Once retreat is over.  Then I should have more time to focus.  I hope.

As it stands, we are getting prepped and ready for our retreat.  I wish that I had done more research before now to be able to use my new-found recipes for retreat.  That’s okay though, it’s not like we don’t eat well while we are there.

My crochet project is almost finished and I just need to do the border and it will be ready to be shipped off!  Yahoo!  Don’t worry, I’ll have a picture to share before it is sent off.

Another bonus, spring appears to be sneaking in. Can’t wait to be able to send the Small Blonde out to play.  I know he’s ready to get on his slide and I’m ready to start opening windows and getting some fresh air circulating.

As far as my Revolutions, well, I need to weigh in and see how things are going… I’ve been holding steady which is certainly better than gaining!  I have managed to get on the elliptical for 2 weeks now (mostly every other day) and have bumped my time from 5 minutes to 10 minutes.  When I have music playing it’s easier to get more time in.  Now I need to decide between jumping to 20 minutes or easing into 15 minutes for next week.  As far as getting more organized, the parlor has been completely converted into a toy room with storage and it is AWESOME!  Seriously it’s Closetmaid stuff, but it all works so well including benches under with window for the kiddos to sit on while they are reading or gaming or whatever.  My living room is almost complete as well so we are making some progress.  Just have to get those habits changed.  I hope your Revolutions are going well too! Continue reading