Retreat Wrap Up

Here’s the last blog post about the retreat.  Everyone was so excited to share all that they got done.  But more exciting we did a lot of work on making new friends and renewing friendships.  So many of these ladies I’ve seen time and time again.  It was so good to touch base and find out the new happenings in their lives.

Kayla was busy helping Linda work on a crochet project….

Nell and Deb got a chance to catch up.  I met Deb several years ago when Kelli and I went and talked to the Muscatine Iowa Quilt Guild.  We stayed overnight and Deb’s.  She’s the best!!

…and Nell, she’s Nell.  I’ve hung out with her several times and always have the best time with her.

It was good that my own girls were there.  I can never get enough time with them.

Deb got a baby quilt together for her great niece who is soon to arrive.

You can’t see Loretta in this picture.  It’s too dark but she’s showing off her finish…

Here’s Sue.  Congrats to Sue for jumping in and working on her May Flower quilts from our book.

Right and left on the last day we were all snapping pictures of our table mates, our friends old and new, trying to capture in one photo the lasting memory of the weekend.

Charnette, despite a few set backs, did get her tractor quilt done.  If you look below you’ll see Doreen made progress on her quilt too.

Here’s Kayla with her finish for the weekend.  She had the start of a charity quilt that her students were working on.  It needed a finish…so here it is.

Of course we had to take time to snap pictures of the cute things that the retreaters had…This is Charnette’s machine case.

…and a side view.

We all left with an emptier check book.  After trying this… me and several other gals made a bee line to Lou Ann’s shop to buy the wool ironing mat.  I am so excited about the mat.  So excited that I bought two.  This big size for downstairs and the smaller version for upstairs.  Here’s an Amazon link for them if you want to check them out.  Several of the gals had the smaller 9 X 9 size and kept them with a small iron near their sewing machines.

I know it sounds crazy but my seams ironed so much flatter and nicer with the mat.  Now I can get rid of the table top ironing board that I have.  YAHOO.  I’ve never really liked it and this…I LOVE.  I was sure it was a gimmick but after trying it, I was a believer.  I highly recommend them.  The other gals loved them too.  Lou Ann sold out of a couple of the sizes.

The other thing I caved and bought was this Slimline LED lamp.  I had been at Lou Ann’s a time or two and saw this.  I had wanted one but they are expensive.  I told myself if I sold all the Featherweights and didn’t buy fabric in the shop, I could buy a light…and I did so I did.  I ended up with the floor lamp.

The light doesn’t get hot AT ALL.  I had it on ALL DAY LONG and it never got hot.  You can see in the picture that Carver was impressed with it too.


The light I had got hot and it was helpful but not nearly as helpful for seeing as this one was.  I opted to buy the floor lamp style.  The table top was a little cheaper but I thought the floor lamp would serve my purpose best.  I added an Amazon link for those too Table Lamp  Floor Lamp .   Lou Ann sold out of the Floor Lamp version and will be ordering them again.

I know I always love knowing what the “hot new items” are….The Gypsy Quilter’s Cutting Gizmo was the other thing people were looking for.  I’ve had one for a long time and adore mine. Here’s a video to show you how it works.

I did get some fabric but I bought it from Connie.  She brought some garage sale things….Scraps included.  As the sale was ending I bought all that were left.  There’s a whole box FULL.  That’s okay.  I’m a scrap quilter.  This is my medium.

Here’s a little funny.  On the way back from eating one night a group of us stopped at Goodwill.  Everyone made the loop around the store and then went back to sew.  I was a the the tail end of the group.  I made the loop and found the fabric.  This is going to be my inspiration for the next batch of quilts I make!!

I came back with a bag full.  There were only two large pieces in the bag I wanted.  One was a red chambray.  The other was a blue.  All of the girls would have sworn there was no fabric in the store.  That’s why when people say there’s no fabric at their thrift store, I always wonder.

Before I packed up I went and had a talk with Lou Ann.  Several of the gals said they would love to come back.  We tried to think what we might plan….I had the idea to try to have Amanda Jean from Crazy Mom quilts for one class.  Then do free sewing the rest of the days.  That sounded like a popular idea.  We’re all scrappy quilt lovers just as Amanda Jean is.  If we get it all together, we’ll be opening it up for anyone to come.  We aren’t sure the time or dates or the particulars but keep it in mind.  You don’t have to be from Iowa to come.  We had girls from Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin and California.  We’d love to have you!!  If there is enough interest, we’ll open two sewing spots…one to stay at the retreat and one to find their own lodging.

Connie said, well I better start saving my $5 bills.  She said that when she has a retreat or event coming up, she saves all of her $5 bills until the event so she has enough spending money.  Great idea!!

For you with a curious mind, Lou Ann’s Quilt Garden and Retreat is awesome.  LouAnn made us breakfast and even lunch on a couple days…no extra charge.  Bonnie Hunter took some pictures of the place when she was there.  Find her impressions at this link.

…and with that, I was packed and headed home.  It was a bittersweet moment.  I was ready to go home but ready to go back.  Lou Ann and her girls were the best hostess’.  The girls at the retreat have become VERY special to me.

So many of the gals brought me goodies.  I so thank you for all of them!!  You are such a thoughtful bunch!!

Thanks to all for making this the vacation and respite I needed.  You all rock and I’ll be back!!  I hope some of you will join us!!

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12 thoughts on “Retreat Wrap Up

  1. Connie

    I am so glad that you had a great time at your first real retreat. I had a blast and I am sure that everyone that was there had a good time too. Looking forward to seeing everyone again next year!!!

  2. Jill

    It was a wonderful retreat! I am so glad you were able to actually be able to experience it as a retreater! Looking forward to next year!

  3. Cheryl

    I’ve had that slimline light for a couple of years. It’s the best for sewing…and the wool mat..precious. It’s all about the toys!

  4. Charnette

    One great weekend!! As I was leaving I noticed on the door: Enter as strangers and leave as friends

  5. Nell

    Also read somewhere not to use Best Press on the mat, but not sure where or why?? Anyone? All the things are true-had a blast, spent $$$, ate too much, made progress on En Provence. . .would LOVE to meet Amanda Jean!

  6. Kim LeMere

    What a grand time you all had! I bet you will be glad for the new light, they are amazing to use. I have not seen those wool mats, so I need to check them out. Hope everyone made it home safely and I like Connie’s idea about saving those 5’s.

  7. Lorraine

    Amanda Jean has presented a trunk show at our Guild quilt show twice. She is an inspiration! And very funny. Looks like retreat was a lot of fun.

  8. Linda

    Amanda Jean is a great teacher…she is personable and right there to help….She is as sunny as her fabrics. I loved my time with her in a class ..Nell..you would hit it right off with her…

    Wasn’t the retreat fun …I am missing it today..

  9. Rachel S

    Jo, you said it all BEST!! Was a wonderful retreat and so glad you and your daughters retreated!! LouAnn and her staff are tops as are the accommodations!! Agree on the lights and wool mats…have to have items! And getting to know each other better was so much fun, we need to continue this August retreat for 2019. Thanks for everything!!

  10. darlynn venne

    I would love to take a lesson or two from Amanda Jean….she is a fellow Minnesotan as well :)

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