Friday, October 21, 2016

Orange Lake Resort

The week past just flew by. I left home on Thursday, October 13, and returned home Thursday, October 21 because I was on a six day/six night quilting retreat, the longest retreat I've ever attended. It was great!

My friend Karen and I were unable to go on a recent quilt retreat with fellow quilters in our Big Cypress Chapter of Quilting Guild of The Villages, and not wanting to give up attending a fall retreat, Karen arranged to use a week of her time share. There were five of us. Two retreaters are not in a chapter and work full time, so though they could spend only two nights with us, it was a rare treat for them.

Being away for so-o long meant that each of us had to make sure we had plenty of projects! Basically, I emptied my sewing room, taking two sewing machines, both of which I ended up using extensively! My room looked stripped by the time I was packed. And my car.... well let's just say it's a good thing I traveled alone!

Our retreat was in a two bedroom, ground floor condo at Orange Lake Resort in Kissimmee, about a mile and a half from the Magic Kingdom. We heard the fireworks every night we were there.

Here we all are, set up and in action. The furniture was shoved aside, or moved out of the room, so we could arrange ourselves for productivity and handy chatting.
L-R: Dee, "Annie," me (in the back), Cindy, and "Tis"
The next two pictures are all I can show of what I completed,  a 42" X 49" baby quilt. The risk is that my niece will read this post, so this is all I can show for now. That niece, nephew, and their little Madelyn will be the quilt recipients when Maddy arrives in November. Mom requested a baby quilt made with pink and gray, and elephants. 

During retreat I machine appliquéd said elephants, pieced the top, sandwiched the top with Quilter's Dream cotton request batting and flannel, pin-basted it, walking foot and free motion quilted it, and bound it. I can't wait to add a label and gift it!

This is some of the 36" X 36" 2017 QuiltCon East Michael Miller Fabric Challenge quilt top I worked on. These are Luxe fabric and one lime-colored solid. All the hand appliqué happened while on retreat and it's ready for quilting.

The last thing I worked on was two Rollie Pollies which are in progress. A RP is four zipper pouches that are carried as a roll-up, for organizing small items. Each pouch is attached and removed to the roll with Velcro. It takes a bit of time to make, but it's sure a neat design... and given the extensive instructions, it's a bargain at $6.99 for a downloadable PDF. I'm making mine with home dec fabric from JoAnn's, and assorted color zippers from the Etsy shop, Zipit

At times we got a little goofy. Some of it was from long hours - late nights! - of sewing, and the result  of downloading the iPad and iPhone app called MSQRD. These are a couple pictures of me taken from that app. Yep, I know how to have fun!

In between sewing times, we watched DVDs. Seasons one and two of the TV series Northern Exposure, which aired for six seasons beginning in 1990, is still really funny. That show stands the test of time. We watched the movies Australia (Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman), and Pride and Prejudice (Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen). Good stuff! We also watched the last presidential debate. Though all the debates were painful to watch, I think we discovered that they're better viewed with like-minded friends. 

And now... these are my co-retreaters and some of their accomplishments.

Cindy made an improv herringbone pillow top and quilted it with pale green WonderFil InvisiFil thread. Nice!
Karen - AKA "Annie" when the second Karen is around - completed her Metro Area quilt top, made from the book Patchwork City. Annie's background fabric is Kona Bone.

She also cut out and pieced this Urban Abacus quilt, a pattern by Sew Kind of Wonderful. This pattern uses a Quick Curve Ruler for rotary cutting.

Karen #2, AKA "Tis," finished this quilt top made using a 10" slicer ruler. She inserted random solid bright lime and red strips. It's so modern!

Dee attended my September foundation paper-piecing (FPP) class and finished piecing this Cartwheels Quilt, a pattern by Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced. It's a good beginner FPP project, and Dee executed it beautifully. Love the colors she chose, on a background of solid gray.

This is us! On Instagram, we're #5galsquilt.
L-R back: Dee, "Annie," "Tis"
L-R front: me, Cindy
We're good guests, leaving the condo just as it was found... well, except for a few threads on the carpet. 

A retreat is a very special opportunity to deepen friendships that are already strong because of quilting. This is the stuff of good memories. Linda


  1. What fun you all had but not only that, you've all been very busy too and accomplished a lot! Some of my friends (in Singapore) and I have been talking about doing something like this for ages, but it never happened. Now that I'm back in Switzerland the chances are it won't ever happened ;(! Oh well, I'll live vicariously through you!!! I love your Rollie Pollie bags and everything else you and your friends made!

  2. Looks like you had a great time and got lots done! I'm jelly! Leaving on quilting cruise tomorrow. Just a huge retreat in a floating hotel. Too bad I'll be a teaching assistant and not a quilter. Still will be fun to see others enjoying what I love sew much.

  3. How wonderful to be able to organize such a fun retreat with your quilty friends! I just love all the projects you each worked on and was quite smitten with the roly poly bags. What a unique idea...ingenious, really! XO

  4. Sounds like an awesome time and SO MUCH SEWING!

  5. It looks like you had so much fun! How did you do your meals?

  6. Linda, it sounded like you had a great time! Wish have joined you ;-)
    next weekend I'm away with my friends for 3 days. Really looking forward to this sewing time!

  7. How fabulous for you Linda. I am in a small group of 5 - we call ourselves the Fabulous Five, and we have a 3 day retreat. Such fun. I also go to 3 other larger retreats a year if I can. Never for a week though. Love all the work you all completed! LOVE the RP bags!

  8. I loved reading this story of #galsquilt and the wonderful retreat you had. So much was accomplished, not only including quilts! I'm totally impressed. (I'm also grateful that you watched debate #3, not #2 as that would have cast a pall over everything.) I love all the projects, the smiles, and reading about the fun. Thank you!

  9. Such a fun time! I haven't done retreats in a few years, time to start planning! And oh how I lived Nothern Exposure! Will have to search it down. My favorite episode I think was the Piano Flinging!

  10. Quilting get-a-ways with friends are the best. Looks like you had lots of fun and was quite productive. Do you think you will make it an annual thing for just you guys?

  11. A whole week- wow! What fun. And clearly you got much done. Had to laugh at your sewing room after removing its contents! Every time I pack up for a retreat, I ask myself if it's worth all that work. It is. But then you had to move furniture in the condo on top of that. Dedicated group.

  12. I cannot imagine a retreat for a whole week with 4 good friends to boot. What a wonderful time you all had by the looks of your projects. If you can send me an attachment of your elephant quilt I'd love to see what you did. I have to make a baby quilt for a new baby due in Dec. and pink and purple has been requested. I need something that would be easy to create and quilt. What I can see looks so cute. Love your rollie pollies. Great idea for taking sewing things to retreats or regular traveling items too.


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