Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Moments from the Crazy Quilt Retreat

*Bright eyes, piles of stuff carted in for class. Brighter eyes, digging through ribbons, kits and charms for the perfect one(s)...

*Stitchers curled up in a chair with their latest project, stitching busily.

*A 'forest' of green trees and shrubbery, curled around the dining area, underneath a skylight. Viewing this from the sixth floor, hanging over the balcony and having a near-irresistable urge to drop a piece of paper over. Sort of like my little brother and his paper airplanes from the balcony during church.
(No, I didn't.)

*The Piecemakers quilts -- dainty girlish figures with outstretched skirts of crazywork.

*Little groups here and there, busily discussing the latest idea -- or better yet, the latest piece spread out for study (and admiration).

*Nature themes -- seems like I saw more of these than ever before. Especially mountains and ocean scenes.

*Experimenting with fabrics, as much as embellishments. (Embellishments have taken the forefront more in previous years.)

*Dainty ribbon-embroidered boxes, chatelaines, stuffed pins, lavish with flowers and dangling ribbons. Oh my, these were beautiful...

*The breast cancer raffle quilts, displayed on one wall. Bright, rich colors, framed in elegant borders. Mona calmly shelling out racks of tickets. Hoping mine were at least one of the numbers called. (Darn, they weren't. But the Breast Cancer Society came out of it richer!) Watching Kate's tears, when she won a quilt beloved to her.

*Other quilts -- and baskets, fabrics, laces, books and who-knows-what -- displayed in tempting piles on the live auction table. (I got a terrific woven basket with a pile of upholstery-type samples....yummy.) Colors and textures everywhere. (The prices weren't too bad, either; proceeds went to fund scholarships for next year's Retreat.)

*Floating in the pool late at night, mind full of ideas. Watching the waterfall flip down over the pool's edge...wondering how to translate that look in fabric. (Maybe lots of iridescent beads and sequins on a white/pale blue background?)

*Supper at the Farmhouse Cafe and Whitfields. Watching the faces of the women around me, animated as they talk about their loves, their families. How they started, who they met, what's next in their lives. Tranquil talk more nourishing than any food. (Thank you, Virginia, Karen, Mary Anne, Judy and Yvonne.)

*A bit of impromptu barbershop quartet after supper, while waiting for the van, the heat folding around us like a slightly damp blanket.

*NASCAR races. (Don't laugh -- I usually watched ten minutes or so of coverage on ESPN between morning and afternoon sessions.)

*Warm big chocolate chip cookies. Breakfast, when I want it, with no schlepping frying pans and setting the table.

*Showing the Hanky Panky group one of my 'sexy' hankies (a lady with crocheted skirt, panties -- and anatomically correctness underneath)...then noticing a guy just outside the open door in the hallway, a huge grin on his face.

*More than enough ideas to keep my projects going for years to come. Shelves, racks and baskets of great embellishments, fabrics, laces to make those projects a reality.

Bliss.

Zzzzzzzz...

After four hours at Tuesday Morning's checkout line today, I can honestly relate. Okay, maybe a nap AND a cookie.