Thursday, May 5, 2022

Quilt Retreat - Day One

 Guess what?? Yep -- we're back at a quilting retreat. YES --- I know that I'm fortunate to be able to go as often as I do. When we first started going to quilt retreats, we used to rent the same house for every retreat, and it was the same group of people, and things were easy! 

When that first house closed down, we moved to another one that was a bit closer, and that was fun. Then that one closed down, but we found another one even closer. This time, we're at a different one -- we first came here last summer, and it's a beautiful house near Huntsville. Funny enough, it's near the original place we used to rent. 

So now we split our time between the two houses, and I have a list of people who get invited to attend, so the mix is different every time. The retreats are like my vacations -- I get to chill out and relax, and yes -- we do our own cooking, but we're not fussy, and it's great to only have to cook one meal. With larger retreats at places where the meals are prepped, I find that we all overeat, and I'm not a fan of overeating. I already eat more than I should somedays, so this scenario works out great. 

I'm not a fan of driving far -- the darn car lulls me to sleep on those big highways. However, yesterday I realized that I was approaching Orillia at 9 AM yesterday. That is the exact opening time for Thimbles and Things, so I stopped by to pick up a book that had arrived the day before! I love when the timing is right! 

DUH!!!!!  Why didn't I think of that earlier? While we will miss seeing Sue in the store (as a regular feature), it's time to get to know Paula (the new owner) and Meaghan (who was there yesterday). I'm just so glad that this store found a new owner, and I'll continue teaching via Zoom for them. More about that in the fall. 

My plan was to be out the door at 7:30, and I was! How did I shorten that morning routine? I went to the gym for the 5:30 class, only to realize that there was NO class at 5:30 on Wednesday. Oh crap -- however, I was all dressed and ready to ride the bike. Fortunatley, there are bikes on the second floor in the cardio area, and I went there, and I sweated out 15 KM in 30 minutes. That's half my usual, but it was better than nothing. 

The girls both got a walk; however, it was shorter than usual. The stuff got loaded into the car, and I was on the road. 

I decided to do myself a favor and tidy up Sutdio B before I left so it wouldn't look so bad when I got home. Because it's always in pretty good shape these days, it doesn't take too long to tidy it up. 

See -- here's the sewing tables and the ironing board. All clear!

Studio B got tidied up before I left

It seems that the cutting table will never be clear! However, there is enough room on the current project table to get rid of this stuff, so that will be my plan when I get back. 

A few things on the cutting table

Even the stuff on the floor is now on the cutting table and will be dealt with when I get home. 

Even the floor is clear

We have a nice grocery store near us. While it is a chain, it's not one of the big grocery chains, and I think it's only in the GTA (Greater Toronto area). However, they are in the process of upgrading the ENTIRE store. It's being repainted, walls, ceiling - everything. The lights are being changed, all the coolers are switched out, and new ones are being installed. 

And they are doing the ENTIRE project after hours. It's totally crazy -- you never know what you're going to find when you go the next time! I feel for the employees. The other day, they had taken everything off the shelves in the coolers, and once the new ones were installed, they were putting everything back. That means that some of the work is being done during the day. I don't know, but everything is looking really slick!

New coolers at the grocery store

During this retreat, I decided to focus on different stuff. I've had a bucket of small projects sitting there for a long time, and it's been to a few retreats. This time, I will focus on those smaller projects -- I have no choice -- I don't have anything else! I also brought some of the homework that I need to get done as I'm a bit behind in a few quilts. Most of the stuff is cut out and on those mini design boards. I didn't want to bring a whole pile of them, so I brought the homework for Tula Pink. 

My 16 small log cabins are now done. As well as the two large ones. 

Small log cabins for Tula Pink

I'm working on the half square triangles that were last month's homework. Most of them are sewn, and I might start trimming them, so they are completely done. I must say that I sure miss the laser on my Husqvarna Viking Designer EPIC 2 for half-square triangles. I actually had to draw a line on the rest of the squares so I could sew them. Yep -- totally spoiled! 

I almost had a heart attack when I uncovered the sewing machine I had brought with me (The Husqvarna Viking Designer RUBY 90). There was NO ankle to put the presser foot on. Yikes!!!!! I had visions of driving home and back again; otherwise, how would I sew? Then I remembered that I had thrown the bag of accessories in my bag. I debated whether to do that or not. Some inner sense told me I had better put that in the bag. 

So you know that I'm doing these virtual walks with The Conquerer. And others have been encouraged to sign up as well. It really has been loads of fun and very motivating. France just received her FIRST medal yesterday morning, and we had a ceremony at dinner time as she opened the medal. How fun!!!

France with her first Conqueror medal

If you have never signed up, and you decide to do it, be sure to use my name as a reference -- then I get points! 

You say -- big deal -- you do a virtual challenge. But to get those medals, you NEED to walk or ride or whatever. It's a huge motivator!!!! And it gets you out walking, and that's the important thing. Here's the deal --- I recently heard a story of a 79-year-old woman who was admitted to a nursing home, she had a fall, and within a few days, she was dead. FALLS are bad for everyone. 

I asked a nurse friend of mine how can we prevent those falls. Her answer? STAY ACTIVE - Walking is ACTIVE enough to keep you active and maintain your balance and skill level. My mom has lost the ability to walk, which is unfortunate! Why did that happen? She was happy to sit in her chair all day and not move, and then her muscles/body refused to function for her. 

But what's even better is that we went for a walk in the afternoon. There is a lake near us, about 1 KM away. I told them there was a hill; however, I neglected to tell them how steep the hill was. Once they were at the lake, they had to come back - UP the hill. Susan and France made it! So I think the walk to the lake will become popular. And the lake is so calm and peaceful right now. 

Susan and I went for another walk after dinner. Our goal was a geocache that was .5 KM from the house. It took a bit of searching as the GPS had a hard time zeroing in on the darn thing. But there it was! We found two travel bugs (items with tracking numbers that travel worldwide). Both have been on the road for some years, and one has traveled 24,000 KM. I'll take a picture of them for tomorrow. 

Susan picked up one of the travel bugs, and I picked up the other. So now I have to find a new home for it.
The geocache

I checked the map, and there are others within walking distance of the house, so that will be the goal for the daily walks here. 

OH -- here's another project that I finished yesterday. The top one was done, but the bottom one was just blocks. So I added the sashing and the small border. I didn't have enough strips to put a border on the top one, but I think I still have more of this fabric at home. So I'll add a small border and then make the binding and find some backing. 

Two small wall hangings

I don't know if I want to add anything more to the bottom one, and I think it'll be fine the way it is. But this project has been sitting there for MANY years, and it didn't take long to sew it together. 

I was going to sew the binding on this project, but realized that I didn't bring labels to sew into the binding. GRRR!!!  At least the project got trimmed, and I made the binding. This is my Out of the Box project. Did I show you those projects???  I don't think so. I must check, and if not, I'll share as they are super fun. 

Binding made for Out of the Box

Let's see how many more small projects I can get done while here. I did bring some work that has to be done, but they are small, so I should be good with that. 

Today's project -- -well -- you have to wait for it. Another project that's been sitting there for YEARS, and I hope to finish it off today. Thank goodness I brought my serger for Shelly to check out. Otherwise, I would have to wait until I got home to completely finish it. 

So everyone has the digital cutter bug! Ronda got a new Cricut Maker and made us each a gift! How cool is that -- a personalized cup!

Personalized cups!!!

With a quilt saying on the back

So we will definitely be having a club for digital cutters in the fall. We currently have a Facebook group, and I need to post these pictures or Ronda should post all the cups on the page!! Thanks for the cup. Oh yes -- we got a small shot glass with our initial on it. Does that mean we're going to get something to put in the shot glass? 

If you are looking for a retreat house, we are at Seams Appropriate, which is in a beautiful wooded setting just minutes south of Huntsville. 

On that note, it's breakfast time! 

Have a super day!!!


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