Another word on retreating.

I know that I have really fallen off track on all the quilty things that I was hoping to get accomplished this year, but now that the kids are back in school I am looking forward to trying to get back to the fun quilty things I had planned.  Retreat was a great time and I did manage to get a few things done – I did a couple of pillow cases for the boys, finished another of the flower of the month things, and I managed to start and complete the top for one of the wedding quilts on which I am currently behind.  I also finished assembling the top for the jungle cat quilt for Small Blonde.  He and I will have to decide whether or not it will add a border.  Sorry I don’t have pictures this time, I wasn’t sure that I would really accomplish so much at retreat that I thought I would wait until we were home and the boys absconded with the pillowcases.  I know they probably have a million between them, but it is a small thing that I can do for them that they get a kick out of and will use regularly.

Now that I’m ready to get back into my sewing room I find that I still need to unpack and put away the items I took with me to retreat and as always there are some things in there that need straightening before I sit down to do any work.

Do you feel that way too when it’s time to get back into your sewing room?  That you are in a constant state of picking up?  Somehow my crafting supplies manage to migrate downstairs and sometimes I just with I had an escalator in the house.  I know that sounds silly and I feel I should revel in the exercise of going up and down the stairs multiple times a day, but sometimes I stand at the bottom of the stairs and I think “not right now….”.  I try very hard to put away items when I am done using them and that happens most of the time.  Then I start looking for the next project that needs finishing and I like choices so a few come out at a time.  I think I will need a few days to get things unpacked and put away and to also put away the things that need putting away.

I’m sure those of you that aren’t familiar with retreat wonder what it is like and what kinds of things do you pack to go to such a thing.  If you have traveled to a class, you have a basic idea.   You bring your machine and your basic sewing kit.  Sometimes a small iron/ironing pad and perhaps a small cutting mat and cutter.  Retreat means bringing a few more things..  Since there are a number of us we tend to take charge in different areas so that we don’t have 9 ironing boards and irons.  For us, 2 ironing boards and irons will do.  We also bring 2 large cutting mats and most everyone  brings their cutter and a smaller mat.  We also bring our favorite rulers although someone usually brings a good smattering so you don’t really need to bring any unless your project requires something specific.  We also bring our comfy sewing chairs and extension cords and small rugs to put over the cords so we don’t trip over them.  Often we will have Ott lights in case we need better lighting.  Most of us have a design wall (or two) and those come along as well.  Snacks are a must and so is bottled water and wine.  Some bring an iPod and we bring our favorite movies.  Of course we pack our comfy clothes and toiletries.  The most difficult things to decide on are which projects to take.  You want to make sure that you have enough to keep you busy and also that you have brought all the pieces needed for the project.

I often struggle with this because I am a mood sewer, meaning that what kind of mood I’m in determine which project I work on.  For example, if I’m feeling patient and relaxed I may opt to work on one of my more difficult projects.  Sometimes it is the colors of the fabric or the design of the pattern that pulls me.  It makes it more difficult for me to decide what projects to take with me and so I tend to over pack in this area.

Once you are packed, you are ready to go!  All you need are some friends and a place to go.  Although you could do a mini retreat by just gathering at a friend’s house and working on a singular project.  Order in dinner or throw something in the crock pot and sew until you can’t work any more.  Trust me, it’s worth it.

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