Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekend Recap

Friday, Teresa and I headed out to our retreat very early. I had indicated in my prior post that the retreat was located somewhere a bit different. It was at Camp Blanding which is located in a more rural area and is on a beautiful lake.
Our retreat activities were held at the Armory in the Drill Hall. We took all our meals in the dining hall with the service members and ate what they did. The food was delicious - lobster for lunch? Really? Yep, really!
The drill hall where we spent most of our time was in this building.
We had to be out of the Drill Hall by midnight so it could be locked up. Here is the scene Friday night at just a few minutes before midnight. Teresa and I stayed until midnight both nights and were at our table by 9 am each day. I was worried about it being so loud with about 200 men and women at the retreat but the high ceiling height helped. It wasn't loud at all.
Midnight at Retreat
The first day, the General came to see us at lunch and the retreat organizer donated a quilt for him to give to a soldier. They had just got back from Afghanistan and one solider was killed. The General was going to give that quilt to the family. It was a very emotional moment. 4 more quilts of valor were donated - I know one is going to a service member with lung cancer. I'm not sure about the other 3. The General talked to us for a few minutes. He was entertaining and not stuffy at all. Not a good picture but he wasn't hard on the eyes either!
Here's the view from the armory in the day time. You can't see it here but there were boats, jet skis, and skiers on the lake as the lake is shared with the public and private residences.
View at Retreat
And another shot closer to dark.
Evening View
Friday after setting up my "nest" and socializing more than I thought possible, I worked on my applique blocks for the 2010 $5 quilt. I have two more pieced blocks and 4 applique setting triangles to make and I'll be ready to sew the blocks together. I had already had the backgrounds on these blocks pieced and the applique fused down. I just stitched around each piece. All those thread changes took some time (and so did all the gabbing). The day just flew by and I was shocked at how little I got done.
Next time, I might hand applique those tiny circles in the picture above.
I also managed to start a new knitting project.
Barely. I started at 11pm.
New Start - Age of Brass and Steam Shawl
I took waaaay too much stuff to do. I guess you could say I was over prepared. I'd rather that happen than not have enough to do. Next time, I'll edit just a bit to see if I can find a happy place with how much to bring. I really underestimated how long the applique would take. I'll post more about Saturday and Sunday activities later in the week. Happy Stitches!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Working for the Weekend

I thought I'd show you a progress picture of Jenny Bean's Halloween today. I'm still really enjoying stitching this one even though progress is slow. Work has been crazy, other commitments, etc. You all know how it is.
A big highlight for me this past week was the arrival of the goodies I won from Deborah at Cranberry Samplings for her 300 followers celebration. I felt like it was Christmas! Deborah, thank you so much for your generosity. If you're not familiar with her blog, do visit her, read some of her posts and say hello. You won't be sorry!
Early tomorrow morning, DF Teresa (Girl With Needles) and I will leave for a weekend retreat. I spent the entire 3 day weekend last weekend getting prepared. It's not that far from home but it's located in an entirely different world than the city we live. It should be fun though. While I'm gone, I might start a scarf/shawlette called the Age of Brass and Steam. I love dark colored yarn so this heathered gray is perfect for me. I have another knitting project ready to go but I have a feeling I might not start that project.
Teresa and I will most definitely start Hallow Eden by Plum Street Samplers. We're going to have a SAL. For us that means "start a long". We'll start it at the same time and then do our own thing. I've wanted to do this one for a while. I have another very small stitching project kitted up ready to go should the mood strike. I'm also taking a couple of WIPs and a few ornaments as we're going to try and finish a few of them.
My time consuming prep work was all quilting related. I've never been to a retreat before but I do know that any ironing or cutting areas will have a steady stream of people going to and from. As a result, I spent a lot of time cutting things out over the weekend and prepping most of the blocks that I'm behind on from last years $5 Quilt and Stitchers Garden. I had kept up what seemed like most of the year and then all of a sudden I was really behind. I also have a small Jo Morton project planned to start should I want to and a WIP that needs some ripping and a pieced border made. The retreat location is pretty remote so there isn't anyplace to go buy something that I've forgotten. I have a lot of stuff to haul with me. There will also be about 200 people attending (I hope I won't get sensory overload) - many of whom I will not know. I thought it might be a good idea to have a rolling tote type thing to pack/haul my stuff in so Greg went to the big orange box hardware store. This is what he came home with:
The thing is HUGE. 50 gallons. And I managed to fill it up with my knitting and quilting (stitching is packed separately). I'll find out this weekend if I forgot something critical. We loaded up tonight and I made should I could get this beast into the van without killing myself. It was close.

Greg has been telling me "You're only going for 3 days, not a month". And I have to wonder if he actually saw the size of the tote he bought me. I mean, seriously, did he think I was going to take the thing half filled?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Not Completely Finished

I finished stitching the last Stacy Nash piece that was a project at A Primitive Gathering that was hosted by The Attic Needlework in January. The color of the fabric isn't true here - it's a cool bluey green. Quite lovely. I'm hoping to completely finish it at the end of the month with my DF Teresa. This project will be aged with walnut stain and will be assembled into a sewing book.
Stacy Nash project for A Primitive Gathering at the Attic Needlework 1/2011
I'm off on another work trip tomorrow morning and will return on Thursday. I have yet to finish packing. I'm going to try driving this time so I might take my personal computer so I can keep up with my blog reading. If not, I'll catch up with your posts when I return. Happy Stitches and Happy Valentines Day!

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Quick Visit and Tis Red

I have a small ornament finish to show you. Well....the stitching is finished. This is Tis Red from the JCS Christmas 2010 Edition. Stitched with the called for fabric and fiber. Now I just need to learn how to finish finish it! That's a goal of mine for 2011. One I want to be sure to meet so stay tuned!
A week or so ago, I had the pleasure to meet one of my blogging friends Pat from A Little of This and a Little of Pat. I met Pat for lunch and she brought along her friend Nancy. Both were just a delight. As you can see, we had a warm sunny day - over 70 degrees. I commented on Pat's blog that it's been rainy and gray since she left Florida and that it must not be a coincidence. Pat is just that sweet and nice!
I've picked up Jenny Bean Halloween again and hope to have a progress picture for you soon. I've also been working on my Jo Morton Prairie Basket. I've gotten almost all the quilting done. I'm unsure what to do in one of the borders though. It's 3 inches. I stippled around the basket, did cross hatching in the 1" squares and am stumped now. I might just go ahead and sew on the binding and see if I get inspired later. This project is one of my 2011 goals as well.

How is everyone doing on their 2011 goals? I'm surprised that I've even paid them the least bit of attention! Maybe there is something to writing them down?

Happy Monday and Happy Stitches!