Tuesday, November 24, 2015

September, er, October Retreat!

 Long ago in a far away land, ten ladies came together from across the Minnesota plains for one purpose; to escape our husbands, our homes, our routines, our troubles for what would become an epic 36 hours of both mayhem and might. To be cliché, our destination was nested away in the rural landscape of rolling hills and flowing streams, which were dotted with picturesque farms complete with BARN QUILTS (OMGosh!). This place is the real deal and is named Hutchinson or better known as just plain ol' Hutch to the locals. Right on main street is a quaint shop called Quilt Haven on Main. Previously owned by a cranky old witch, a new princess has taken up residence with her handsome prince. Gone are the days of dingy frumpy prints and dusty cival war quilts. Fresh paint, fresh finds, and fresh atmosphere are served up with such honest to goodness friendliness that you want to move right in. QHoM is comprised of two floors, both as satisfying as the next. The lower level holds the goods and the samples (which let's be honest - we want them all!) The upper level is the studio shaped in a large U around a majestic staircase. Modern sewing centers frame the perimeter of the U with quilting inspiration hanging everywhere. The front windows cast a warm light on those lucky enough to snag tables there. The back room has been converted into a mini kitchen/cafeteria for employees and sewers to fuel up and share their love of quilting. We were blessed to visit with the owner, flushed from her bike trek over (who doesn't want to bike to work!?) and then her husband who farms some and manages the finances some. The duo have a long history of hosting sewing parties at their other establishment and hubby has been known to dress in his tux to play butler.

It's no surprise then to find our Tori looking as relaxed and happy as a daisy in the field. The poor gal had a lot on her mind and just quietly sewed while the bright colors of her fabric uplifted her.
Marcia was in heaven! So much so she came back the following Thursday to sew. The trip clocked in at 1 hour 15 minutes, with Rod's instructions to stay away from 494.

 Sue had just purchased another baby quilt kit, this one inspired by her son's trip to Africa. Safari animals await that grandchild - now we just need the grandchild!


Joining us were Sarah's Mother, the lively Linda, who we know and love! And new to us were a set of twins, Karie and Kathy and their best friend, Carrie. One twin is married to Sarah's brother. These ladies do a lot of sewing together, not to mention all kinds of other life activities - travel, holidays - you name it, they're connected at the hip. And they're no novices when it comes to quilting!


Carrie was working on these tiny blocks shown with a scissor for perspective. I can't imagine making those, yet I'm oddly compelled to try. I even bought a tiny pattern (gasp!) for tiny Christmas blocks.


Lovely Sarah claimed to be sewing a prom dress as her selection was all glittery and flowy. It turned out to be a display drape for Tori's store.

I added another block to the PLUS RUNNER - not the Ecclesiatical Runner or Altar Cloth as my sister calls it. And that lovely delight below is chicken something something pizza from a neighboring restaurant. I have neither the dish or the name! Ugh. I'm not a research journalist! Aha! I am a research journalist. I looked it up. It's Zellas and it's fabulous. The item I ate was a Smoked Chicken Flatbread. So there.
 And last but never least, Pam showed off her latest quilt - a spectacular batik number and then she whipped up a patchwork sewing machine cover! Go Pam!
All too fast our retreat came to a close. Naturally, I had to leave out all the racy details that occurred eating out on Friday (Sarah's parking...Sarah leaving Marcia behind...etc) or at the hotel lobby. But feel free to ask any of us in person what really happened! ;)

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