Monday, May 19, 2008

Travelogue Part 2 - Minnesota Retreat

Our informal retreat was to be held at a relatively new facility - a farmhouse renovated with the quilter and scrapbooker in mind, near Taylors Falls, MN. We had booked it sight unseen on the recommendation of a trusted friend. We all had directions stating the white farmhouse would be on the left side of the road, yet every one of us spotted this house on the right and wondered if it was it.

Oh dear! let's hope not or we'd been sold a pig in a poke!

Ah, no, there it is over on the left as advertised. It was a gorgeous place inside and out, accommodating up to 10 people. There would be 8 of us and a little more room to spread out.

It sits on 30 acres of woods and cornfields a few miles outside of town.

The large barn is the current renovation project, being prepared to host the wedding of a woman who grew up in the farmhouse.

A closer look at the weather vanes sporting cows.

Vintage farm machinery dotted the yard.

But enough of the setting - time to get inside and to work. Here Bonnie and Cindy work at a table near the door to the deck. Friday was nice enough to sit out there and do some handwork.

LeAnn had never done a retreat like this before, but she quickly got into the swing of things.

Cindy had brought a tiara which was quickly placed on the head of the first one to declare a project finished. Poor Barb (Cindy's mom) was the first but took it well.

Nearly everyone had brought UFO's to work on, some quite near to completion, so the tiara traveled quite frequently. Mo was next. Here she consults with the other Barb.

LeAnn also joined the ranks of, "Hallelujah, I've finished something!" but decided to let her sewing machine wear the tiara. After all, it did a lot of the grunt work.

Cindy joined a Jo Morton club and worked on one of the projects from that. Here's the applique block that would be the center of a small wall hanging.

I forgot to take a picture of my project as it was laid out. I'd brought exchange blocks and worked on designing an applique border and sashing for it. Laying out the blocks really changed my mind about which of my ideas would work so I'm glad I packed them. By the time I'd gotten input from others and mulled things over, I came up with a version that included ideas from both mock-ups (see this post) plus a new idea. Here is my pile of stuff about ready to go back in the suitcase. No tiara for this kid - I only got the sashing and 3 of the borders drawn and a little bit of hand quilting ufo's are still ufo's.

No get together of quilters is complete without food - and we had lots of it. The remodeling of the kitchen opened the area up to provide this island big enough to sit around for meals and a chat.

I also failed to get a picture of the room I shared with LeAnn. My, the walls were VERY pink. The other bedrooms were more calmly decorated. The basement bedroom held 4 beds and had its own bath. There was a single on the main floor with a powder room, and the upstairs had two bedrooms with its own bathroom. Besides the main workspace complete with ergonomic chairs and raised cutting station, there was a small "parlor" where one could relax with coffee or that hand work.

Our three days sped by and we were reluctant to leave such a beautiful facility and part from old and new friends. Are you surprised that we started planning next year's retreat almost as soon as we arrived?

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