Le Retreat...Part Four-A Huge Hodge Podge of Everything

Wednesday, July 27, 2011
 I'll get back to the above picture in a minute...
     Last week, I headed up to Gainesville for Le Retreat and scrapbooking/quilting/eating/educational discussions that will only help you if you ever compete in a television trivia game show. 
     This has become a fun summer tradition.  I wrote all about it here, with lots of great house pictures...and town pictures, and several links to links to links on the subject....OK, I think that covers my point, but it's a great house.  If you live in North Texas, or on planet earth, and like to craft, and have friends, I recommend this getting away thing with friends and gluesticks/sewing machines. 
     What I like most about retreating is laughing at things that would never be that funny if laughter wasn't contagious, but suddenly rival stand up comics in the company of friends.  I like hearing each person's personal connections with various topics that arise.  For instance, my friend Mary's mom stuffed olives for a living for a few years before heading to Oklahoma into the life of farming.  This then lead into a lengthy pimento conversation, that lead to a google search on the inter'tube', that lead to me needing to order a pimento cheese sandwich for lunch one day. 
    Another fun side effect of retreats are things you see, things you learn, or random shared traditions.  The lady that owns the house swung by when we arrived, and she had the above quilt top in her car for someone (long story).  It is from 1923, and she uses it in one of the classes she teachers called "They spoke with their needles."  In this case, a family member moved away, and each of the ladies in the family created a square from feed sack.  Each signed her name, left some information, and often a picture that somehow represented her.  Each member then embroidered their piece, and they were compiled together to send with the family member moving out of state to lay on her bed and keep her from feeling homesick. 
 Dear Friends, I want one of these.  I'm not moving anywhere, but I still think this idea is so neat, and I might consider moving just to get one...kinda tempting, huh?  It's like a needlepoint scrapbook, and each square would represent so much about the people.  I'm pretty sure I'm an Ada (see below).  A little overbearing.  A little loud. She almost needed two squares. 
      We also do a lot of eating.  The house is fully equipped for cooking all your meals, but I can't convince any of the ladies to stop working and go make me lunch so....we go out.  For a small(ish) town, the restaurants are really good.  If you go to Gainesville, the fried pie is a must, but my favorite (of the places I tried this go round) cafe was Sarah's. 
     This also (conveniently) falls around my birthday, and my friends helped celebrate with sugar...my favorite.  From Jolene: 
 From Mary and Sonia: 
      In between eating, and philosophical pimento discussions we sometimes take a break to work.  The house has ironing boards and cutting boards for quilters.  The below are a few of Mary's squares.  She went through her sewing room and pulled all her extra fabric and is making a hodge podge quilt.  I love this because most of these represent other projects she worked on for family members, and these colors are so 'Mary'-yellow and orange.
 The house is also equipped with internet for digital scrapbooking. 
 ...or introducing people to Bon Qui Qui....maybe not the right crowd, but...
There are project boards to pin finished quilts.  This is Sonia's, she completed this (after working on it for awhile pre-trip) on the retreat.  It's a block of the month quilt.  The green is a really different outline.  Cream colors, blues and reds....these scream Sonia. 
 Jolene used the board to lay out her squares and move them around once they were sewn.  This is the center of the quilt she is making for her Grandson.  There is a border too.  She makes each of her grandkids a quilt and makes a cross stitch their first year.  She also gives them each an ornament every year.  Each grandkid has their own-one gets Santa's, another Ballerina's etc to represent the year.  I'm just throwing that in because I love that idea too.  I'm a LITTLE ways off from grandkids, but I'm going to do this for godchildren....not the quilts and cross stitch, that'd be punishment, but the store bought ornaments are good.
 ...and then there is me.  I pretty much take over three tables and I scrapbook.  I'm still (a year later) working on my Europe album.  I have about 1/4 left to do even after 3 days, it was a long trip, I took a lot of pictures.  Here are a few of the pages.  Every time I scrapbook I get into some new trend, this time it was to push all the photos into the center of the pages. 
...and with so many photos, this whole album has been about cramming as many photos on a page as possible, with one introduction page for each stop. 
 Things I'm obsessed with:  flowers, and buttons.  I never have enough.  Thinking about it makes me want to go buy more. 
My aunt gave me a tag maker for my birthday.  I might need a 12 step program. 
...and another chapter closes on Le Retreat.  We are booked for next year, and I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone in commemorating in their work when the time rolls around again. 


Lori said...

Wonderful girls weekend, and happy belated birthday.

Junky Jen said...

Sounds like super fun and OMgoodness I know Bon Qui Qui now that made me LOL...it must be a teacher thing!!

Deb said...

sounds like a lot of fun....a bunch of Texas gals crafting together.....
You should have a blog quilt....we could all do a square and send it to you....