2016 APQ UFO Challenge List

Monday, March 26, 2012

Why we retreat

This is a story about my friend Amy. Amy has never been on a retreat before the one we attended earlier this month. On day 1 of the retreat, she put several blocks on the wall from an old block of the month that she'd done. After a few hours, the blocks were back in her bag and she was fiddling around with several small projects, and unsure what to work on next. We asked her what happened to her blocks and she shared that she didn't know what to do with them, so she put them away. We encouraged (kinda forced) her to pull them out and we'd all work on a plan together. 


Here's what Amy started with. Isn't it a pretty group of batik blocks? The first suggestion was to turn them on point....
 And such a small change made the whole room go "ooohhhh." From there, Amy started pulling fabric from her bag to find a good background. Once she started entertaining backgrounds, we encouraged her to remove the one block with a dark background and then she took out one more to make it an even 12.  
 After much nashing of teeth, a trip (or two) to the front of the store, and even a trip to another store, she wound up with these two. We were evenly split in the room as to which one we like better, but then somehow, we got the idea to use them both! Aren't we brilliant? 
 She decided to add a thin sashing around each block to get them all to a uniform size as they were just barely off. We all agreed that the sashing really set off the blocks and we were almost giddy as she started to cut the background fabrics. 
 After lots of careful measuring, cutting, and then careful piecing to make sure all the points lined up well, Amy had a finished quilt top - one which none of us could have come up with alone, but which we all agreed was probably the most fantastic group project we'd ever helped with! 
And this feeling of accomplishment - both for Amy and for the whole room - is why you go on a retreat. It opens your mind, and it takes advantage of the collective skills of the group. Next year we're all planning to bring a set of wayward blocks! Can't wait to see what happens then! 

6 comments:

Mary said...

Congratulations to you all! It looks beautiful. The narrow sashing is a great idea.

Colleen said...

I L.O.V.E.D. this story. I don't quilt too much any more, but we have a retreat coming up in June and it's the sharing of ideas that I love and can't wait to experience again. The quilt looks fantastic!

Dar said...

That is one beautiful collaborative quilt!! You really turned it around to be more spectaular with all of your inputs. I love it!! Can I come next year to your retreat?? I have lots of wayward blocks! :)

Moneik said...

I just love how this turned out. I totally agree that is why we retreat! I got lots of help with my friendship swap blocks.

Regina said...

Absolutely!!!! Her quilt is gorgeous - and it sounds like great memories were made along with great projects!!! Thanks for sharing this!

jillquilts said...

What a great reason to retreat!! I can't wait for all of my retreats this year! :)