Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Shared Spaces and Laughter

""Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.""
Author: Stanley Horowitz

This autumn weekend was definitely a mosaic of beauty, fun, creativity and friendship as I took part in the fall quilting retreat that our little group has each year.  The weather couldn’t have been more beautiful as Mary once again welcomed us into her beautiful lakeside home.  We had everything we needed, sewing machines, fabric, rulers, seam rippers, ironing board, food, snacks and wine.  What more is needed for a weekend with friends?

We arrived at Lake Panorama on Friday night and after claiming our sewing spot and our bedroom we went back into town for a great Italian dinner at Billy Vee’s.  Great, food, wine and service!  Then it was back to the house where we threw open all the windows and listened to the sounds of nature.  I could have sworn there were whales in the lake because of all the noise the fish made jumping out of the water after bugs.  Aside from setting up our machines and getting cozy for the evening, no work was done but we had a good time chatting and laughing and breaking into the snacks.

I didn’t even hear the thunder during the night and was surprised to find the deck wet when I woke up.  We spent a leisurely time procrastinating on the deck, while we drank coffee, shared favorite vacation spots and watched the occasional fishing boat glide by, causing gentle waves to lap at the dock.  A pair of loons surprised me.  I didn’t know we had them in this area.  They were fascinating to watch.

I had thought ahead and had all my fabric cut before this weekend.  The cutting part is my least favorite and I wanted to spend my time at the retreat doing actual sewing.

Jean was even more efficient.  She had color coordinated her fabric squares and strips into cute little boxes ready to be plucked out and worked into a quilt.  I will have to keep that idea in mind, although I’m not sure I’m quite that organized.

It’s amazing how much varied interest there is in our group.  I just love to see the intricate, fun patterns that my friends create.  Lynette was working on a wonderful bag to carry her laptop.  She had fun fabric and finished it before she went home.  I failed to get a photo of the finished product.

Mary was eager to give Lynette, the Home Ec teacher, advice on figuring how to cut her pattern.  There is no shortage of advice in our group!

Nancy got the baby quilt for her newest grandchild completed.  This new baby is only a few days old and will surely enjoy being cuddled in the soft fabric.

Karen has a finish.  Her beautiful appliqued poppies looked gorgeous against the batik background.  I’ve got her pattern now so hopefully I will find time to get to that one.  It will look great on my wall, and since she didn’t offer to send the actual quilt home with me I will have to make my own! 

Here’s another finish from Lynette.

And a new cat quilt top that Deb has been working on.

This is what I was working on.  I still have the bottom two rows that will get sewn on this week.  I just pinned it on the quilt on my wall while I was working on it, which reminded me that I had never posted the finished photo of the quilt that I was working on in my last couple posts.  Here it is hanging from my quilt rack in my hallway.

And this is what is currently in my hoop.

A quilting group shares more than just fabric and patterns.  We share, laughter, tears, celebrations of weddings and births and give comfort to each other during the changes that inevitably come as our lives play out amongst the tapestry of our years.  This weekend we shared beautiful weather, great food and made fun of each other when the quilt measurements didn’t turn out quite right.  But mostly we shared and created memories that will be woven into the fabric of our lives.

“Blessed are the children of the piecemakers, for they shall inherit the quilts.”


  1. What a wonderful experience. I miss sewing with friends!

    1. Nicole, I hope you can find a group to get together with. It is so fun to share ideas and humour.

  2. Sounds like a great getaway, Ginney! And such a beautiful spot!

    The bird you asked about was a Yellow-shafted Flicker. Thanks for calling it to my attention; I should have named it, and I have now.

    1. I'm not sure we have those around Iowa Connie but I am definitely going to keep my eyes open for them!

  3. OOh Ginney, I am envious of the beautiful quilts here and inspird too. I have started one for my granddaughter but have been a wee bit scared to finish it as Im not sure what I'm doing and I did it in tiny squares too. I love the idea of your fall quilting retreat and what a spot to have it !

  4. Ruthie it is fun to have a special place to go where the only requirement for the weekend is quilt production. It's fun to see the different colors and designs people come up with. I am the only hand quilter in the group so the rest of them get alot more done than I do, but I just keep plodding along and eventually I get them finished. You will feel such a sense of satisfaction when you get your quilt done! How tiny are your squares?

    1. Ginney they are about 2.5inches square, I had intended to make a quilt for her cot, which would ahve been fine and not too much work, but it took me so long that she is now in a cot bed and the project has grown lol!

  5. It sounds like the best 'piecemaking group' to be a part of! Fun times and beautiful works of art to show for your time together!