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Post-partum Quilt Show Disorder & a Giveaway!

7 Nov 2008

Frances and me
Ever since I returned home from Houston, I've been suffering from what I dub PPQSD: post-partum quilt show disorder. I'm home from the show I look forward to most every year, and now I'm back in my sleepy, bucolic town of Stow, MA. Quilt show season is officially over, and it's time to settle in for the winter. While I was away, it got colder, the leaves have fallen from the trees, and it now gets dark at 4:30.

While dressing for work this past Tuesday, I opened a drawer I hadn't opened since March: my sock drawer. I hate wearing socks, but I laughed because I couldn't find a single sock that matched. I'm not joking. See what I mean?


I'm a spring and summer girl; I'm chilly when it's 70 degrees out. I never take a beautiful day for granted, and I love wearing sandals and open-toed shoes with heels and ankle straps. I love a good pedicure and also frilly summer dresses. I am not ashamed to say I'm a girly-girl.

A panic sets in when Houston is over as I think about winter and no big event to look forward to, at least not for a few months.  While I unpacked my Open Studios supplies at home, I thought to myself: What now?

I actually made myself do something I'm really terrible at: be quiet and still for five whole minutes. I sat there thinking about my list of things I need to accomplish over the winter, but I also contemplated the freedom I have in being home for the next couple of months. I will have more time on my hands. If I could carve out a few hours a week to do anything I wanted to do, what would it be?

After my self-inflicted time-out of five minutes was up, I walked over to my pile of sketchbooks, and lo and behold, I found myself leafing through my sketches for—you may have guessed it—the "Sopranos" quilt that never got made. I spread them onto my worktable, and remembered a conversation I had in Houston with Melanie Testa, who laughed at me as I tried to explain to her my obsession with this series. "It's so incongruous with what I know of you, Pokey!" she told me.

My love (and it's nothing short of love) for this series is tantamount to my Jane Austen obsession, so that is saying something. There is a brilliance behind this show that I feel I can only explain visually with fabric and thread. So I'm going to see this quilt through and maybe share my progress here on the blog. I'm not making this quilt for any other reason than to humor myself.

In short, to maintain my cheerful disposition through winter, I am making some plans:

• Girls' Art Quilt Weekend: Every Super Bowl Sunday, my husband leaves to go on "Man Weekend"--his annual ski trip with his college roommates. I am always able to find ways to amuse myself while he's gone, but this year I'm thinking of inviting five or so fiber art friends for a weekend of stitching, wine, and imported cheese. Pure heaven! (Note to readers: don't tell my husband I am thinking of doing this. If he finds out I'm going to turn the living room into a wet studio, he'll never leave.)

• Chip away at my "Sopranos" quilt and share the progress here so you can give me feedback.

• Periodically giving screen-printed fabric away to you, kind people, because I am happiest screen-printing fabrics then sending them off to good homes.

 So why don't we start giving them away right now.

Answer the following questions and I'll give away some fabrics along with a copy of my new book (The Quilting Arts Book) to eight people. (They sent me ten complimentary copies, and heck, I only need one or two.)

Want to play?


Questions: What activities do you do to help get you through winter? And have you ever participated in an informal stitching retreat at someone's house? If you could plan a three-day weekend retreat, what would the festivities/plans look like?

I'm giving everyone until Monday, November 10, at 5:00 PM EST before I close this and choose eight names.

 And see the sock image below? I'm going to turn this sock shot into a Thermofax screen, and I promise you it will produce some interesting fabric.

Three socks 


See? I'm embracing winter and winter wear.

I'm turning lemons into lemonade.

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KatyRenee wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 5:42 PM
I love cooking stews, chilis, and casseroles. Anything warm to warm me up on the inside. I've never been involved in a stitching retreat. I think it'd be fun to learn new techniques, though. Each person teach a bit. Then having some time to just play in each other's toys. Peace, Katy
Ruth Lane wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 6:01 PM
I always have more time for my fiber art in the winter. I love to stay warm and cozy inside and work on my latest project. I've never been to a retreat but do have a fiber group that meets once a month. For a fiber retreat, I would have lots of tea, good food and tell everyone to bring their UFO's to finish. It would also be fun to have little "classes" that each person could teach their favorite technique.
Susan Cahill wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 6:08 PM
I love winter! I quilt (of course) always having a bed size quilt ready for hand quilting. I bake and bake and bake. There is nothing like the aroma of cookies or brownies wafting through the house. I play in the snow with my dog, we go for long walks and feel very invigorated. I have never been to a retreat but really want to someday. If I were planning a retreat I would include lots of food, of course. I would do some kind of challenge project, it is always so interesting to see what different quilters come up with from the same fabric. Lots of time for working on UFO's. Door Prizes. I would bring in a vendor to do demos and so we could spend, spend, spend.
Linda Teddlie Minton wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 6:13 PM
Pokey, I love your blog! It was especially fun to see the pic of you and Frances at the top of this post. She is one of my favorite people, even though I've only met her "in person" a couple of times. I already have my copy of your book (Yay!), but I wouldn't mind winning a few of your screen prints! 1) I sometimes cheer myself up on wintry days by curling up with back issues of Quilting Arts magazine ... honest! I go all the way back to the beginning and find lots of stuff that I had missed the first time around. 2) My friends and I often have stitching retreats at each others' homes. Our only rule is "no bras", LOL! (We like to be comfy in our jammies.) 3) We like to have a "theme" for our retreats ... such as "monoprinting", "beading", "collage", etc., but if somebody wants to do something different, that's OK too. And we haul everything we own to the retreat house, only about 10% of which ever gets used ... but you never know what you're going to need! Lots of chocolate and wine, and we are happy campers. Thanks for the posts about Festival ... ahhhhh, happy memories. cheers, Linda in Houston
anna wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 6:14 PM
Please enter me in your draw. What gets me through the winter is strangely enough being outside! I think the photos of nature during the winter are much more exciting than summer and as sunlight is good for you I try to be outside in the fresh air as much as possible. If it is cold and frosty wrapped up well but that is when you get hte best pics too. As to a retreat I'd lvoe to go on one but we don't have many such things here in UK.
Ann E. Ruthsdottir wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 7:10 PM
The thing I hate most about winter is the dark. I love looking at the snow falling; just not one to get out in it unless I have to. So I've developed many things to get me through. Things that get me through, include, but not limited to: 1. full spectrum lights in my kitchen 2. baking bread 3. making soup 4. having friends over for bread and soup and wine 5. knitting warm socks out of outrageous colorful yarn, especially LOVE mohair 6. put bird feeders outside my kitchen window, love to watch the birds while working in the kitchen 7. watching DVD's 8. going through all the magazines that have piled up during the nice weather 9. doing at least one major house project 10. sewing practical \necessary stuff for others 11. researching recipes and doing inventive cooking 12. thrudging through the snow with friends to a nearby theater- eatery 13. going to the neighborhood theater 14. going to as many musical events as possible 15. spending a Sunday afternoon in front of the fire at the library [OK to knit or read and it is really cosy] Now that I've found quilting, I hope to do more of that during the winter. I've never been to a retreat for quilters. LOVE the idea of a weekend retreat at someone's house or my own. Folks would just need sleeping bags. I could clear off the dining room table and fit at least 4 sewing machines. It would be like a themed slumber party. [We never slept at those either.] Now I've really talked myself into one. How to find quilters close enough and free enough to get away for a long weekend.
deb of pixeladies wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 7:12 PM
To get through the winter, I get together with girl friends. We try to dress up and go out to eat at a nice place. For mixed company we plan a Fondue and Raclette evening. Sometimes we go to a movie and then go to a themed dinner (German food and Lives of Others, Indian Food and Namesake). I have not had a stitching retreat at someone's house. For a 3-day retreat, the most important thing is a great group of people. I don't usually get a lot of work done when I'm in a group, so handwork is important. Plenty of good light is critical. Food is also important. (Can't you tell by how I get through the winter?) Oh yeah, and I go to Hong Kong in the winter to look at the lights and sights. That makes me very happy.
Melly wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 7:19 PM
I love you Pokey! This post made me laugh. Yes, I have done art retreats in friends homes and we had quite a bit of fun! We didn't plan to do anything but sew, drink wine and have fun. It was awesome. As for staying the course during the winter months? Besides shoveling 90 inches of snow last year, I think writing a book tops the list, but having just written The Quilting Arts Book, I bet that isn't a suggestion you feel up to at the moment. So just keep printing more cloth, finishing more quilt tops and playing with mixed media fun! I exempt myself from the give away but wanted to post anyway.
Mary K wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 7:43 PM
In the winter I have more time to work on my art, plus I teach beading to "mature adults" at the community college. Cooking is more fun and complex with chills and stews. While never having participated in an informal retreat in some one's home, my small fiber arts group rented a local place for a minimal fee and we played together for two days. High on the list for a three day retreat would be printing and dyeing, sitting around stitching and sharing stores, dancing and of course eating and drinking wine.
Jan in AZ wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 7:45 PM
Winter in AZ is a bit different than up north so we enjoy getting out, hiking and doing all the stuff that we can't do in the summer. I make a point to go home to Colorado at least once during the winter so I can remember how cold I get and how much I hate scraping off windshields while the car warms up! Retreats with friends are a great excuse to make a mess - anything goes - shave the dogs and felt their hair, drink wine to loosen up the free motion quilting and hang out in your jammies or crappy clothes - don't forget the chocolate. Thanks for all you do Pokey!
Cheryl wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 8:05 PM
Well, unlike you, I love winter. It's summer I don't like - I really hate hot weather, and living in Oklahoma, we get more than our share. But I tend to do more quilting in the winter, because juggling the heavy quilt around under the machine tends to be hot work - part of it invariable ends up in my lap. I've had one-day sew days at someone's house, but never a multi-day retreat. If I did, I think we would just sew and talk and laugh and eat. And the eating part would be as simple as possible, since I'm not much of a cook either.
Sharon @ norah'S wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 8:17 PM
I love to lap quilt on the couch in front of the tv and fireplace in the winter. I haven't been to an informal stitch retreat but I have been to an informal mixed media retreat. We each taught a mini workshop. Only three of us. So much fun. What about each one bring a challenge fabric swatch for everyone and then you each design and make a retreat block using all the fabric. Maybe add a theme for the block too. Can I come?
Anita Heady wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 8:29 PM
I've had that PPQSD before following Houston, but the "stuff" collected there always offers new opportunities for ideas. 1)We light a fire on every cold night and watch Northern Exposure DVD's while I hand-stitch. At the end of August I was looking forward to those relaxing and creative winter evenings with my honey. 2) In 2003 our Pensacola bee met at our friend's beach condo for a week of quilting fun and a circle quilt class. I pieced one of those circle quilts this week (see my blog at 3) The retreat would be in February, when we're sick of winter, and include a demo from each participant on something new they learned in the last year. "Group projects" would be nixed... instead we would have lots of time to work side-by-side on our personal projects. Who needs another unfinished project that isn't our favorite work?
Nancy in A2 wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 8:57 PM
How do I get through winter? I'm not sure, but I always survive. I do have plans to explore all the stuff I've accumulated over the years. Being a loner most of my life, I haven't been to any informal stitching retreats. I do love the company of other stitchers, though, so I think the first requirement is stitchers happy to share and learn. Add to that red wine and chocolate, and other great food, and we'll have a happy weekend.
Allie wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 9:01 PM
I don't usually play, but I will this time, I adore Quilting Arts! The only thing that gets me through winter is playing with fabric. I live in Michigan, which is so grey during the winter! So the brighter the fabric the better. I also have a recumbent exercise bike which helps with winter doldrums. A retreat - I've never been on one, ever - I think strong hot coffee in the mornings, to wake everyone up for a productive day...lots of chocolate scattered around for strength during the breaks would be fun, with some 50's music, to work out the stitching kinks...oh gosh it all sounds like such fun! What a splendid way to tell winter to go take a hike. *G*
Sonja Jeter wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 9:11 PM
Activities that help me through winter? I need color therapy during the winter. I have been carrying around a rainbow hand dye like Linus for the past week because I have not had time to make anything out of it. I have been so busy, I just needed the color to keep me going until I had time to quilt. I playing around with color schemes too ... laying out all of my fabrics and arranging them without cutting. It's also a good time to take all of my pictures of things that have inspired me during the spring and summer and organize them, make sketches and patterns. I have 2 boys so I have to work in microsteps. Retreat? I have only been on 1 day retreats of sorts. I have done donation quilt marathons, quilt finishing days, and just sat with hand dyes and cut from them making mini quilt tops. I need a retreat to finish those ... Dream retreat? Dying fabric, making as many small quilts as possible in a time period, just to get the ideas out ... finished, evening movies in front of the TV, massage, great food from a drop in chef. Love the blog!
Karen wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 9:31 PM
I pull out my crocheting projects as winter comes closer. I love retreats and try to go to a couple a year. My idea of a great retreat would include good friends, good food, and lots of table room and good lighting. I love to stitch on my own but classes would be nice also.
Dale Anne wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 9:32 PM
LOVED hearing about day I'm hoping to be there! I LOVE creating while listening to the hockey games in the winter. I used to go to a retreat weekend in February (usually to teach) but this year I want to have the house to myself, so am sending DH to visit his kids. I would shut off the phones, keep the computer off and just create at home because I have way too much stuff to haul somewhere. This would be my DREAM WEEKEND!!!
barb Pozek wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 9:34 PM
Winter brings possible snow days when we don't have to rush to go anywhere. There's the woodstove burning, hot chocolate and soups and more baking. I've never gone to a sewing retreat but I have participated in a day making blocks for quilts. I feel unsettled thinking I can't take everything with me I might possibly want to use. I'm not sure if you need to have everything planned for a specific project and bring that along or if you bring random stuff you think you might use as you play. I imagine besides the work you do during the day, it might be fun to have videos of quilt related movies to watch and spark conversations.Something to be relaxing, sharing, silly and fun.
Shari Adkisson wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 9:51 PM
Well, last winter I had a stress fracture so I spent the winter with my foot propped up on a stool and scanned in my Grandmother's photo albums and cut and pasted in photoshop! I have Artful Sundays after church and we all get togther and stitch, paint, etc. Any 3 days of art would be heaven, away from home without cooking or cleaning!
Nancy wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 9:52 PM
I realize winter in So. California is not like winter elsewhere but ... 1. I hike with the dog without fear of rattlesnakes. 2. I make soup. 3. I occasionally make a fire in the fireplace until the house is too hot then I open the door. 4. I quilt!!! It is hard to quilt a large quilt with all the bulk in your lap when it is hot outside so I save up projects for cooler weather. In the summer I would have to run the air conditioner. 5. I watch football and sew at the same time. I love football! I have participated in sewing retreats either in someone's home or in a community center that we rent. The latter is much easier as each person can have a table, there is a kitchen we can use and there is more room. We usually keep the retreats to 3 days. I find that is about all I can take of that much togetherness. We bring some food and order in for other meals. Some people go out in smaller groups for some meals. We tend to discourage music unless on headphones as we can't get a consensus. Hope this helps.
Carol Miller wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 9:55 PM
Our thermostats are exactly opposite! I want the AC on when it is over 71 in the house. I love warm weather because I am a gardener, but I am out there before breakfast so I can beat the heat. I have done quilting and crafts days with friends over the years, but am not a fan of unstructured retreats. Perhaps I am too old but I have felt this way for more than 30 years. I like sleeping in my own bed. One of the most fun days spent with friends was experimenting with paints in spray bottles - of course, we did that in nice weather, out on a porch. I have loved days spent in small groups making quilts for charity. I have participated in mystery quilts but since I have plenty of unfinished projects of my own, I become the designated hitter and press for people or sew on their machines when they are taking a break. Talking, eating, laughing - those are the best parts, regardless of what other activity you plan. Before I was running my own business, winter was depressing, especially January, which always seemed such a let down after the holiday season. I would squirrel things away for myself as I shopped for others and open books and supplies in January. Most of the time, I would forget what I had bought, so there was even an element of surprise. Now, December is the quietest time of the year (business wise) and there are no kids to make a holiday for - so that is when I can work on sewing projects just because I want to or paint a room or bake cookies or clean out my closets - all the things I have no have time for the other 11 months. Losing myself in a good book is a year round relaxer! And by the end of February, I have Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival to look forward to!
Patty VanHuis-Cox wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 9:55 PM
Hand stitching is so much more interesting to me in the winter for some reason. So I save all my labor intensive projects for then. We pitch a tent at least once in the living room and let the kids "camp"out in the living room - watching TV and roasting marshmallows in the fireplace. I have never done a get together stitching party but have done an art get together and paint. That always included wine, cheese, junk food and chocolate. Three day would be comfy clothes or jammies, grazing, creating, veging out and movies from my youth such as Pretty in Pink. Planning is so overrated. I tend to let things just coast along and see what happens.
karen Schoch wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 10:07 PM
In the winter I wrap up warm, get my hand stitching supplies near me in a basket and sit by the window and look out. I love looking at the snow and trees and nature. I have never done this. While I have been quilting over 20 years I just took my first week long class at the Crow Barn. I love the interactive time a group of artists have when together for a larger block of time- over several days. So I would have some discussion time with some directed questions then i would want some creative time- lots of screen printing space, a wet studio, and plenty of print paste and dyes. Sharing our lives and having shared experience together makes everyone grow to be better able to express what is in their heart in their work. I do schedule art dates with my fellow artists but they are only for an afternoon or an evening. The rest of the time we are working alone in our studios. You make a good suggestion to consider trying this winter. I hope I get picked to have a copy of your new book. I have it on my wish list for Christmas.
Candy Cox Blann wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 10:44 PM
1)I beat the winter blues by keeping the bird & squirrel feeders full outside my studio window, keep the windowsills full of blooming violets and Christmas Cactus, using all natural lites in my studio and working on a project(s) that uses bright spring colors. And a full jar of jelly bellies. 2. Yes, not as often I would like..potluck casual meals, working on you own project and catching up on chatter. 3. A site with great outdoor access and views (for inspiration, encourages exercise and movement..). Catered meals, ?who wants to cook and clean up? In Winter, a big fireplace! Good lighting and plenty of space to spread out. No TV or radios. Encourage everyone to provide a "demo" or "show n tell" of projects and family/pets or other meaningful event. And last of all comfortable beds! for those of us to need some sleep!
Dawn Browning wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 10:50 PM
I love winter!!! Living in Texas our winters are very mild and very very short. I miss the snow and ice skating in the park that I grew up with in PA. I remember the smell of Mom's homemade bread coming out of the oven on a cold snowy day. I try carry on the tradition of baking bread during the winter and having a fire in the fire place....even if I have to turn on my air conditioning to recreate it! As for a retreat, I've never had one at a friend's home, but my friends and I rent a wonderful place each Memorial Day weekend out in the country where our meals are cooked for us, we have tons of workspace, fabulous lighting, and of course, plenty of wine, chocolate and laughter! Comfy clothes, no makeup, and no responsibilities make for a very creative environment. It is a wonderful time of sharing techniques and learning new things, encouraging each other and offering a critical (but loving) eye. I was so excited to get to go to Houston for the first time in 19 years! I got to take two Make it University workshops and spend lots of time soaking everything in, buying lots of fibers, foil, DVD workshops and wonderful new things to try. It was so exciting!! The one thing I regretted not buying was your book! Maybe I'll get lucky.
Lynne wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 11:02 PM
I love the snow and winter once I resign myself to its arrival. Snow tends to hang around for a while in Vermont. I'm never anxious to relinquish the Fall since Spring is so long in coming. But I go into my studio and turn on all the lights - It's warm and cheerful... and fun. I've invited friends to come over for fabric postcard making. We had such a good time. And I've made paste paper with a friend too. We spent 2 glorious days and I came away with some wonderful pieces. We ate chocolate and laughed alot.
Joce wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 11:08 PM
I am most allergic to winter. I am fortunate to live in a warm climate where I do not have to wear socks;-) But even so, winter comes, and what gets me through is the thought of SPRING! Activities that get me through winter are Quilt shows, quilt shops, and some gardening in the deep south. Love to plant pansies, their little happy faces bring color to my life. Yes I do participate in informal stitching "retreats" with other gals at their homes. Three day retreat would be quilt projects, eating and lots of talking and laughing. Maybe watching a movie or two like "Enchanted" and "Pride and Prejudice" (w/Colin Firth). And don't forget the brownies!
Diane wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 11:27 PM
I do most any kind of sewing during the winter. This winter I am working on hand quilting a quilt I made my brother. Winter is a good time for this since I am a 48 year old woman who is hot 99 percent of the time! Having a big quilt on your lap can be very hot! I have never been to a stitcher's retreat. If I were to plan one I would have lots of food and lots of fabric and we would have lots and lots of fun!!! Have a Blessed Day, Diane
Gloria Hansen wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 11:47 PM
As soon as the holidays are over and the new year begins, I start counting the weeks before spring (I am definitely a summer girl). I look at the calendar in January and start thinking about February being just weeks away. February means March is just around the corner, and so on. I also watch the clock, recognizing that the sun is out just a bit longer each evening. If possible, I try to get to a warm climate at least for a few days. Otherwise, on some days I pile a lot of clothing on and then exercise like crazy in my home (bike, treadmill, and so on) until I feel myself so heated up that wearing a t-shirt feels great. I'll also drink a lot of tea to keep myself warm. By the time April comes, even if it's cold, I'm feeling better knowing spring is near and, better still, summer!
Nancy Vase wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 11:48 PM
What do we do in winter? Wyoming is winter and we carefully don't go very far away, we're not into snowmobiling. Several friends and I get together at a local meeting room two or three times a month and quilt and sew until we have to go home to bed. It's wonderful to share ideas and new thoughts with like-minded persons. Those of us who are adventurous try lots of new things and others just do their own thing. We have a great time and it's like a mini-retreat. Our families know those days are sacred. Planning for winter means stocking up on the new supplies we're dying to try and hoarding the Halloween chocolate for our special Saturdays Nancy.
Nikki Wheeler wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 11:52 PM
I don't really have any good advise about how to get through the winter -- I'm already sad about the rain (we don't get much snow in the Seattle area) and darkness (do we really need to change the clocks?)! I've never been to a stitching retreat, but I did attend Art Fiber Fest this year. All the ideas for a retreat sound wonderful. Having a glass of wine and playing with someone else's supplies would be high on my list. One thing I would have to add is comfy beds -- I just can't be as creative when I'm sleep deprived and sleeping away from home isn't my strong point. Have fun!
Liz wrote
on 7 Nov 2008 11:58 PM
Hi Pokey! I am part bear...I like to sleep in the winter. I love the snow (good thing since we get lots in Colorado) and I give myself snow days where I fire up the pellet stove in my studio and sew the day away. I am fortunate to belong to a fabulous group of women who go on retreat 4 or 5 times a year. Number one priority is good food followed by good wine. We all work on our own projects and of course freely give our opinions and help on each others projects. We have been known to stay up to the wee hours basting a quilt or finishing a binding. We dance and laugh and even giggle. I highly recommend the experience to everyone.
Michelle wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 12:28 AM
What activities do you do to help get you through winter? Lots of knitting and crocheting - keeps me warm, as well as getting some holiday gifts done And have you ever participated in an informal stitching retreat at someone's house? I only wish that I had. Unfortunately, no one in my 'real like' shares my love of 'creating' If you could plan a three-day weekend retreat, what would the festivities/plans look like? First of all - I'd make sure that I had at least one FANTASTIC machine quilter, so I could learn from him/her! I'd plan something in a nice quiet, country setting! Lots of show and share and lots of learning from each other!
Jeannie wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 12:44 AM
Winter? What's that in Southern California? My girlfriends and I love to attend workshops together. We rented a cabin in Idyllwild one time while attending a 3-day workshop. Palm Springs was another one of our destinations. After the class we cook dinner and keep working late into the evening...we're always so inspired! This year we've decided to do our own workshops over a long weekend. We are each teaching a new technique to the rest of the group. Can't wait!
Katina wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 1:30 AM
Hi Pokey! Winter means more "indoors" and more time for crafting so I tend to be more creative during this time. And I love my hot chocolate! I've been to a couple of stitching retreats and one of the cool things we did that I would do if I had my own retreat is to have drawings for door prizes, and you get a ticket to enter for each item you complete while at the retreat. So, the more productive you are, the luckier you can be! I would also have a house rule that you can only wear pj's, and one night I would have a "theme" dinner where all the food has to look like stuff related to quilts! One time I had a dinner for friends and the theme was "blue" food. That one was fun. I'd love to have your book, it would make a wonderful addition to my library. Katina kjkoukla(at)hotmail(dot)com
Thien-Kim wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 1:45 AM
During the winter, I brew a pot or mug of tea and curl up on the couch. Sometimes it's with a book. Sometimes it's my journal; I'll sketch or draw. Sometimes I'll do a bit of embroidery. An informal retreat sounds like fun. I love creative artsy get together. I think for a 3 day retreat there should be good comfort food. Someone that can share some her tips and techniques would be great. And great conversation starters so we can get to know each other. I think the atmosphere and people are more important.
debby wolff wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 1:46 AM
Since I live in Southern California there isn't much difficulty getting through winter. You just do what you always do and it just gets dark a bit earlier. I've never been to an informal stitching retreat at someones house, but I can imagine it would be a lot of fun. There would be lots of creating and learning and in between there might be shopping trips to find local fibers/crafts supplies, maybe a delicious group cooked meal, maybe a delicious meal out somewhere local, maybe a hike in the woods, and some kind of experiential challenge among the group members. It sounds like a great weekend! Have fun!
vero wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 1:51 AM
I go back to knitting. It is too hot in summer to knit. But it is a pleasure in winter. I do quick pieces, like scarf, or small tops so that I don't get bored,and i love using bright and soft mohair yarns.
Linda Robertus wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 1:58 AM
Here in Brisbane, Australia, winters aren't very cold, but after almost 2 years here I'm starting to miss the Dutch winters... I used to make soup and bake cakes and cookies on cold days, to warm us after walks on the beach or in the forest. A warm bath was nice too... I have been on 2 retreats with groups of quilters and at this moment am actually planning a retreat with 2 colleagues at the holiday apartment of 1 of them. We will sew, sew and sew some more, go out for dinner, do some more sewing, sleep, sew, sew etc... Heaven! Cheers, Linda in Australia
Teodora Podina ( Romania) wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 2:19 AM
Well, Pokey, I lOVE to crochet near the fireplace...and also I love to sew in my studio( even that here I don't have a fireplace...perhaps hte ideea of building a new one here, it's a start for "enjoying" the next winter ;)). 2. NO, I never-ever participate in a stitching retreat...hopefully "yet". But if I just have enough space for setting one in my home I would definitely "copy" all your ideeas : red wine, great cheese, sweets ...for the rest I'm quite sure some stitching "entre-nous" lessons will appear indoubtly...and as a small secret: I would love to have and keep as memories some art mini-quilts made by my friends evocating the spirit of these days.... you already know what happens when you give a girl some thread, some paint, a piece of fabric and freedom ... freedom for the thoughts....well, happens small miracles each time! I whish I could be a small part of your retreat ;))but it's just impossible...I will be there through your photos and your lines. Love your way to see things, Pokey. Have a great "party"!!
Diane wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 2:27 AM
I love having pots of chili or potato soup on the stove when the weather gets cooler. It always seems like there's more time to work on quilts and learn new things. I haven't been to a 3 day retreat, but I spend Quilt Week in Sisters, OR with friends. Those who don't have a class hang out at the house to work on class projects. It's also a great time to the more advanced quilters to share knowledge with those who are just learning.
Diana wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 2:53 AM
Your girls’ weekend sounds fabulous, Pokey, and how generous of you to give away some fabrics and copies of your book. Here are my thoughts... One of the things I do to get through winter is make loads of soup - vegetable varieties, mainly - and freeze enough in small batches to make sure that there’s always something really tasty I can pull out and heat up to keep me warm. I also look forward to immersing myself in new books - not just any books, but ones that I’ve been desperate to read and have bought and kept aside as a treat for those cold winter days. Have never participated in an informal stitching retreat at a friend’s house but it’s a wonderful idea. If I was planning my own three-day retreat, it might involve asking everyone to host their own session to teach the rest of us something new, and to bring along the materials and a CD of their choice to play in the background; maybe a quiz or similar simple competition (textiles-related, of course) and a lucky dip or raffle so everyone went home with some goodies; and lots of breaks for edible goodies, and either wine or hot chocolate to wash it all down!
Sylvia wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 6:00 AM
When my sewing machine store folded after Hurricane Rita--just too much damage to store stock and not insured, I still had the building--and a nice variety of thread, fabric, and machines. My husband and my friends call it my play house. It has a nice large cutting table, the machines can stay set up, the shed is perfect for wet work--and when I'm tired, I can leave it all where it is for the next day. We don't have winter here in my part of Texas---but I do a lot of dyeing and painting outdoors during this time of year--it's too hot in the summer. I have a little kitchen there--so I can make toast or heat up food in the microwave--bottled water in the fridge--and packets of hot chocolate with rum flavoring. No wine as I have to drive home---but otherwise it's a wonderful place to spend a day. If you have a spare day and want to play---please come join me.
Pam Patton wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 6:15 AM
Being an Ohio Girl we don't get much real winter here in TX but when we do get an occasional blessing of snow - it does not last long... On those cold winter days I love a good cup of Hot Chocolate (Ghirardelli Double Dark) and some sort of hearty soup with a crusty bread on the side and to sit in my room and watch the snow fall as I sew... As for a weekend retreat - how do I get invited? I would love to have a creative weekend retreat for friends where all we did was experiment with new techniques... 5 friends - each pick a technique and does a demo and then time to create and play together - Last day - challenge to put your creations into a finished piece..
Karen Beltry wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 6:18 AM
My winter activities inclued more time for my fiber art, playing the clarinet and piano,and reading at least one book a week. I have been to retreats with my local sewing group, but never in someone's home. A weekend retreat would include sewing machines all over the house, a dye studio in the basement, a refrigerator fully stocked with wine and cheese, a big pot of soup on the stove and lots of sharing and laughter. We'd probably use the back porch to burn things. What fun it would be. My small local group does this kind of thing on a monthly basis. I live for that get-together.
Bryndis Borgedóttir wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 6:30 AM
I live in the north far away in a small country, Iceland. I love the icelandic bright summernights, when we have daylight allnight long. Now it is getting darker and darker. I look forward to december with all the christmas lights on trees and houses. The lights are so important to cheer one up. The snow is also welcome to brighten up our world. But the winter is long here so it is very nice to have something to create by hand. I'm a member of a quilting club ( name: patch-art ) and we meet once a month on a saturday. Once a motnth some women in my town meet at a cafe named Bókakaffi( that also sells books ) and knit to gether, it is open for every one. I always look forward to that. Now in nowember I'm going to make some christmas gifts with a friend at work. We are going to felt and do embroidery this weekend. Being with the family, meet friends and do something creativ is the most important thing to survive the winter. And remember to light all the candles you have, in the evening !!
Fulvia wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 6:31 AM
Spinning wool gets me through the cold, dark months. Carding, dyeing and handling the wool are just such soothing steps before spinning. Come on down--I'll teach you! I would love a get-together where we paint fabric and stitch it. Thanks for the chance at the book.
Angie Platten wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 6:54 AM
Fortunate for me, I live in Phoenix so our winter is so mild, there's no "hunkering down". So, my winters look no different than any other time of year. While I have never been to an informal "stitching" retreat, I did attend an informal art retreat of a dozen women. We were all online friends and planned our own retreat. Several women agreed to teach a project or technique over the course of 3 days. A couple of the women who were really into cooking planned the menu and did a lot of food preparation. We had a blast creating together. We'd start with breakfast around 8:00 and not stop until about 1:00 a.m. the next morning. However, after doing this for a few days, one begins to feel sick from lack of sleep so I'd suggest a healthier approach! It was fun to be able to do art in your pajamas with a group of friends!
Connie in TN wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 7:08 AM
Oh, winter is so hard! I need lots and lots of sunlight, not early sunsets. My natural tendency is to hibernate -- eat everything I shouldn't eat and vegetate in front of mindless television shows. You've inspired me to make a plan! I've never been to a stitchers retreat but if I could plan my own, it would be at a mountain cabin. We live just a few miles from the Great Smoky Mt. National Park, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge and cabin getaways are plentiful. I would choose one with wonderful mountain views and a fireplace and enough electrical outlets for lots and lots of lights, sewing machines, and enough tables to spread out our stashes I would invite people to bring favorite fabrics and some ideas to share. Then the rest would be a weekend of laughter, creativity, and friendships blossoming. It would be, like this comment, a long weekend!
Darcy Thorn wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 7:31 AM
I love winter! I start with coffee inthe morning,My brain awakens at 5 am regardless, I walk into my fabric stash/supplies room and sit down in the middle and start rooting through this and that. I always have a dozen projects that need done and am hoping this winter to add alot of bead work to quilts and ATC. My mother in law comes to visit 3 times a year and we have a stitch weekend. Alot of Fun!! If I could plan a 3 day weekend. it would start with a survey a week before of what everyone is doing and a list of 3 new things that have popped into my mind to try. Everyone chooses and we plan what we need and what we are doing. Mom and I just did our first dimensional landscape soI am hoping she is up for more of that. My sister wold love to come visit and do a nice 2 dayworkshop on dying fabric and then spend the third day sewing and playing with the stitches on her machine. Well ,, The ideas go on and on! If only it would snow at night and be cleared off the roads by 6 am It would be a perfect season to spend the morning shopping at my local quilt store an hour and a half away then stitching all afternoon. God made crock pots for these occasions! God Bless! have a great day!
Virginia Spiegel wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 7:32 AM
Pokey - Oh, I'm with you. Make plans for those dreary January days. I know I'm going to hit a slump in those dark days, so my plan entails Joe making a batch of his famous oatmeal raisin cookies, a pile of quilts (made by me) to comfort me on my blue "comfy" couch and a Project Runway marathon. Of course, changing into something other than my jammies and grey fleece robe would just be wrong. Three days of complete slothdom and I'm good to go! If I still lived in NE, I would, instead, spend a weekend at the KHN Center for the Arts, painting fabric, laughing, and conducting weird experiments with fabrics including burning and discharging with Karen Stiehl Osborn and friends!
Susan Barker wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 8:04 AM
Like you, I prefer spring and summer. I grew up on the Canadian Prairies (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and was happy to escape the biting cold and move to British Columbia where it rains all winter and is dark and gloomy... But winter hear on the west coast is easier to take than a sunny snowy cold day anytime. I become somewhat of a hermit in winter - my days revolve around the sewing room, the kitchen and the computer. I don't have to go out to work so my at home choices fill my days - I am working on an I spy quilt now, but have a house quilt in the planning stages and a traditional nine patch in the back of my mind. Like many of the other comments I also make soups and stews and breads to help warm up the body during these not so favourite months. I have never been to or hosted an informal retreat but now you have put the idea in my mind and I may make the suggestion to my quilting buddies and arrange for a full day one in the near future. Now I am thinking of it, I can hardly wait! PS I know this is kinda the boring way of doing things, but if you filled your sock drawer with black and/or white socks you would always have something to match -- well at least until you got down to the last two socks and had to go out and buy more...
Juanita Olson wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 8:15 AM
My doldrums start right after the holidays. By January 2, I too am in a deep winter funk. I usually start a diet after the holidays (doesn't everyone?) and hit the treadmill. I rent some good old movies, buy lots of yarn and knit, knit, knit. This also gives me an opportunity to read through all the collected fabric related magazines that I don't get through in summer. By February I am deep into some kind of art quilt experimentation like fabric painting, needle felting or collage. A few years ago I went to a quilt retreat with a few friends and we shopped, sewed, drank wine and laughed while sitting around a roaring fireplace in our pjs.
Maggie wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 8:20 AM
Sunday afternoon at 4 I curl up under a quilt and watch cheezy chick flicks on tv. my retreat would have lots of laughs, light, good food (cooked by someone else natch) good friends & fabric. Ibelong to a small group of fibre artists and we are increasing our meeting from once a month to every two weeks over the winter mostly because we have 3 90' walls to cover for an exhibit.
Joyce wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 8:20 AM
Screen printing from your lost socks!! ROTFL!! Every time my mom comes to visit she matches all the socks in my lost sock basket. In my book, one of the most dreaded of chores... matching socks! :-P I will hunker down this winter and get some quilts finished. I've been working on my UFOs b/c of lack of quilt-money and I still have lots to go. I also bemoan the passing of summer and as much as I don't like fall, I REALLY don't like winter. Yuck! I recruited my dear friend/neighbor who is 30 yrs older than me to join a BOM. She is a new quilter however so many times we have met together to work on our blocks. We love our sewing time together. :) She is so very sweet!
Lorri Chambers wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 8:20 AM
AS I live in a tourist town winter is slow for us and january and february we are pretty much I get to play in my on projects I sketched all summer ...organize so I can find the stuff for those projects...use the supplies I have been stashing all summer and now happily get to enjoy. I love the idea of a in house retreat and there is a new group trying to get together here that are art quilters I think sleeping bags and a big family room and lots of tables are in need here. but what a blast
Janet wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 8:22 AM
WINTERTIME ACTIVITIES: 1. I begin sewing in the fall and continue until springtime. 2. I do art journaling daily usually doing a minimum of two pages a day. 3. Go to thrift shops. 4. Hang out in coffee shops and read. 5. Read my old magazines for new creative inspiration. 6. Walk, walk, walk 7. Do some beading. 8. Clean the studio. 9. Make soup. 10. Talk on the phone with friends who are also snowed in!
Marianne wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 8:51 AM
Chez moi en Suisse, pays très petit je profite de pratiquer une fois par semaine le ski, je rencontre aussi mes amies une fois par semaine pour quilter, bavarder et manger un excellent dessert.Je travaille aussi au marché de Noël de Montreux pendant un mois, manifestation très sympa au mois de décembre.Et je prends des cours par internet pour me perfectionner dans le design a fin de créer des quilts. Je fais pas de retraite en hiver mais en été à la montagne et c'est super sympa quand on peut mettre les pieds sous la table et seulement patcher le reste du temps. Si j'avais trois jours je programmerai un grand quilt que je dois absolument faire pour l'anniversaire de mon petit fils Bonnes salutations de Suisse Marianne
Lesley wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 9:00 AM
1. I have a hard time sitting still myself but I am preparing for winter with much excitement - no place to go and no pressing deadlines so hopefully I will learn to sit still too. I just dug the dyes out of storage and plan to do more dye painting. I learned I love it in Hollis's class in Houston. I am also finishing up the last of the organization in my new (albeit my bedroom again) studio. I have never had the pleasure of a girls stitching weekend and think it's a grand idea. It would have to include already prepared meals - everyone bring one and we just pop it in the oven when we pop open the beer (or wine). Maybe an outing to a favorite antique or junk shoppe to breathe in some crisp cold air and get off our butts for a while. A fireplace, cozy slippers or fuzzy socks, sweats and good lighting for old eyes and great music. But most of all good friends, old AND new. That's my recipe, simple and true.`
Veronica Richmond wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 9:02 AM
My nesting instincts come alive in the winter, and every Sunday afternoon I go into a cooking frenzy - soups, meatloaves, stews and lots of baguettes that my son devours (I LOVE my breadmaker!). I knit more, quilt more and love to read by the fire. Once a year, I go on a 4 day retreat and my retreat buddies look forward to seeing what crazy thing I'm going to do with my heat gun, soldering iron and their scraps. This year, I was handed beautiful white flannel scraps about 2"x2" which immediately went into my coffee pot (with the grounds, not the coffee!), then outside in the sun to dry, when I spied a juniper tree. My friends watched from the windows as I ground juniper berries into the flannel pieces and waited to see what nutty thing I'd do with them. Once dry, I laid them out on a 6"x8" piece of Fast2Fuse and made my first thread painting ever of an Inukshuk in the silvery moonlight. I've never done a retreat at home, but I'd love to have some friends over to make little fibre books using scraps and found objects. I'd set up different rooms of the house with themes (the kitchen being the "wet" area), where we could try different techniques we hadn't done before, then let people settle into their own work. I'd have nutritious and not-so-nutritious snacks and food available, with breaks to walk through the woods by my house, to stretch and relax our shoulders, and pick up more goodies to pound or just sew into fabric (milkweed pods look like spun silk). Thanks for asking the question...I've occasionally thought about doing it, but never given it real thought before...I'll get out my notebook and do a bit of planning now!
Pat wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 9:03 AM
I don't like it when it gets below 70 and I live in FL. Love Socks! I know the fabric you are going to give away is spectacular. If I planned a retreat, we would have lots of tea and chocolate. Lots of Ott lite and needles and threads and beads and fabric to bead on. Everyone would bring their favorite recipe and we would cook when we got hungry!
Mary Ann Van Soest wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 9:03 AM
I just LOVE winter. I have stockpiled lots of very COLORFULL and bright fabrics, ordered a bunch of dye and 2 bolts of PFD fabric, and have been collecting all sorts of rusty things to make interesting patterns on my fabric. When the Christmas decorations come down and everyone has gone away it is my time to play. I wish for lots of snow and cold weather. I go to my basement studio and I do not care or notice that in NW Indiana we will not see much sun for months. I will make my own sunny days and nights. When it gets cold its time for the soup pot to be simmering with something warm and spicey. Time to put something in the oven to make the house smell so good. I have only had the girls over to make hand-built clay bowls for that soup, but I like your idea of a retreat. Think I will send my husband away somewhere with the guys and have a fun week-end with the girls. With lots of soup, home-made bread , cheese and wine I think it would be a perfect way to go thru my stash of art materials to create some unique quilts and memories. In fact I cannot wait. I already have 2 pieces of linen soaking in the garage with steel wool, parts of an egg basket, pieces from my husbands rusty muskrat traps and lots of salt and water. A nice piece of aqua that I cannot wait the 6 days to see the great patterns that will emerge. Have a Great and Blessed Holiday Season to all of you out there and have fun this winter. Mary
Judi wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 9:20 AM
First off don't worry about the socks matching.. At all the shows lately they sell them mismatching. It's way cool I have never had a stitching weekend but I think it would be a blast to have several friends over and each one teach or show how to do a technique. The way I get through the winter is dyeing bright fabrics or better yet snowdyeing. I just love my results of snowdyeing check thme out at my store. I also like to cook stews, soups and chili's comfort food you don't eat in the hot summer months. I would love to win one of those books. Judi
Linda Koch wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 9:22 AM
Well I never get to play because I always forget but not when my fav Quilting Arts is involved!!! I actually love to have fall and then winter arrive I am not the HOT HUMID summer girl (just ask hubby as I complain how hot it is here in OH and humid!!) so this is when I love to do more knitting and wet felting is now on my to do list as well and more spinning and jewelry and also want to try some doll making again!! Anything to do with fiber and fabric!! We had a fun time working on little felting and sewing projects a couple of months ago at a friends home and we each brought our fav dishes and drinks and sat and played all day till into the late afternoon! that was a grand time! Now would so love to have a 3 day retreat type adventure in a small town setting with lots of artsy type shops and eateries near by. With lots of fun activities each day to create and learn new techniques or projects,share new ideas and have a fun day to just perhaps shop and of course eat out! My idea of a great place would be a family owned Bed and Breakfast with a great room to sit and chat at the end of the day around a roaring fire and do show and tell!! I love to learn new things from others and share our knowledge of our fav crafts and create new and innovative fun projects! thanks for making me think of all the fun things I enjoy doing so much in the fall/winter!! fun!! hugs Linda
Bonita wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 9:41 AM
Living in So. Arizona makes the winters the best time. No rattlesnakes for walks with the dog, good time to start walking again and trying to get on the old bike. I am doing spring cleaning right now as the air is off and the heat is not on. Good time to really get down and dirty. I love sitting in my gazebo outside and working on a project. Winter is nice to do this in and get the rays from the sun. This year I might work on some from the QA Gifts magazine. I saw lots of interesting things. As a 'snowbird' community we have lots of winter activities and art shows here so weekends are usually filled with activities. I have never done a retreat but have hosted day long ones where we get out the old tables and paint fabric. Dries really fast here so you can overpaint quickly. I would think wine, cheese and shrimp would be a great addition. I would also like to try rust dying.
Bonita J. Srnick wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 9:51 AM
Winter! I really enjoy hibernating with those books the sunshiine would not let me get to and I go outside and breath the cold air so I can run back inside and appreciate it even more. Still have to feed the family so warm soups, baked goods and grilled cheese sandwiches are on the menu. But, the best part of winter is handling the fabrics that I collected over the summer and making new plans for their uses. As for a weekend retreat, I have not had the pleaseure of one - yet. I would make breakfast a do-it yourself from a buffet of easy goodies (coffee, tea, latte, toast scones, muffins, cereals, bacon, pre-cooked of course, and scrambled eggs). I'd put on a pot of soup or stew to simmer for lunch/dinner while we dived into our projects. I ask someone to show us their new favorite technique. And we would work, play and eat when we were hungry. Everyone could go at their oun rate of speed. I would have pj parties at night while putting finishing touches on projects from the day; and, end it with a show and tell. My idea of heaven - one big leisure weekend craft retreat.
Lisa wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 10:17 AM
Living in FL, I look forward to winter! The humidity is low and the temps are near perfect. On those rare occasions it does get chilly, I like to snuggle in my recliner with a hand-knit shawl and a cat or two and a cup of tea. I've not been to an event of the type you describe, but if I were to plan one, it would include buffet-style food that people could "graze on" throughout the weekend, plenty of extra tools and materials for those who forget to bring enough, and inspirational pieces (or just pictures of them) taped to the walls to keep the creativity flowing. Personally I would limit it to one or two days and plan a variety of "non-creative" activities (such as watching a movie or going shopping or to a restaurant) in order to "recharge the batteries."
Carolyn J wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 10:28 AM
To get myself motivated in the winter months (which are dark and rainy in the Pacific Northwest), I start my making a list of projects to either start or complete. I go through my bin of projects to see what I have on hand and see if anything appeals to me. My best buddy and I have in home retreats when my dh is away. We plan in advance what we will work on and we usually include some kind of donation quilt project. Once we are set up, we get to work and put the pedal to the metal. Sometimes we take an afternoon break and visit a local quilt shop and always wine at 5pm. We keep our meals simple and the object of the one or two day blitz is to accomplish as much as possible. We also attend guild retreats and do the same thing - sew like crazy. I find my best time to work on projects is November and January.
Sally wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 10:38 AM
I love winter! We live on a mostly wild 3 acre lot in Wisconsin but it takes a lot of time to keep up! Somehow, I am nearly the only one to mow the lawn and last time my husband assisted with pruning out invasive plants, he chopped several lilac bushes to the ground. Winter means a rest from the outdoor work. I have had the pleasure of attending a stitching retreat at a private home located on Sister Bay in Door County Wisconsin. We each set up our machines facing west out to Lake Michigan and soak up the beauty. Mostly, we sew, bead or this year - felt. Everyone brings their own project and supplies. All the latest inspiring books and magazines are placed in the "library" on the coffee table. Input is gladly accepted. Occasionally, someone will plan a demonstration or hands on craft moment. When we are there, someone is sewing from 6 am to at least 10 pm. There is no schedule, groups will take a trip to the nearby quilting store or visit a promising rummage sale but attendance is not required. Friday night we go out for a famous Wisconsin Northern Walleye fish fry and the rest of the weekend is pot-luck. Everyone brings something and it just always works out. Besides, we are there to sew anyway! Sunday afternoon we each pack reluctantly and actual tears are seen in the eyes of the participants. Truely one of the greatest weekends of the year! Create! Sally
Leilani Pierson wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 10:48 AM
hi pokey! i'm so sorry to hear about your suffering from PPQSD (you are hilarious!). but you seem like you are on the right track to mending! ;) in our cold, brisk chicago winter... i find myself hording delicious yarns and crocheting unnecessary things... but i also piddle around in my studio and try to dream up more projects. i also love dreaming up projects for small friend-retreats. i have a couple of friends that i hook up with every fall (they are my non-artist friends)...and we love to get together for chatting, eating some kind of cookie-bars...and of course doing an art project... it is so fun to see them diving in and creating amazing pieces that they had no idea they could do. ;) that is the BEST part! ;) love the photo of the socks. i think you should take them just like that and frame them. would certainly be a conversation piece! ;) ha! happy winter dreams!! oh! and congrats on your awesome book! xoxo~Leilani
Rebecca Kemble wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 10:56 AM
I love the hibernation of winter! I have full spectrum lights in my sewing studio and I love spending hours in there without the pull of the garden to distract me. I also love to sit and knit while watching tv with my husband, and make yummy stews and soups. We put bird feeders up and watch the birds and are involved in the annual bird species count every year. We mark the seasons with the changing of the birds. If I could plan a 3 day retreat at my house, I would ask everyone to bring their favorite comfort food to share, along with their fuzzy slippers. Have lots of hot chocolate, coffee and tea available, and maybe some wine, margaritas and good cheese. Plans: Before hand, decide with my group what we want to do, i.e. learn a new technique and practice it, finish UFO's, do wet work, dry work or other surface design, take time out for formal critique during the three days or not, etc. If we want to learn a new technique, I would gather what is needed, along with as much information as possible on this new process and dive in when everyone got there! I might also have some grab bags of odds and ends of threads, fabrics, trims, etc. and challenge each person to create something, probably a post card that could be sent to FFAC or something. My group did get together this year for several days and made three quilts to give to one of the women's shelter's in town. We just pooled our scraps and pieced left over yardage for backs. One of our members has a long arm and we quilted them on it. Have fun with your retreat!
Robbie Payne wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 11:08 AM
What activities do you do to help get you through winter? Hibernate to Florida! Just for three months which is like a 3 month vaction for me. Food, fiber, more food and more fiber. I'm so blessed! Have you ever participated in an informal stitching retreat at someone's house? Yes, and it's so inspiring! We feed off of earch others talents. If you could plan a three-day weekend retreat, what would the festivities/plans look like? Food, of course!, some wine or margarita's and of course try to have a national or international artist come and show us how to REALLY play!
Sharon Schutt wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 11:09 AM
Winter is a good time for me to really focus on quilting. I don't seem to get as much done during the rest of the year as far as big projects. I like binding quilts while watching movies. Some that my girls might be watching and that has the added advantage of quiet shoulder time with them. They might decide to work on a beading project or the like at the same time. Hot chocolate or tea might be involved too! Yes! Informal stitching times are the best! One dear friend, after moving into her new home, invited three of us for the weekend. We laughed, did piece work, stayed up to the wee hours of the morning, and ate her most wonderful cooking! I attend two informal groups a month. Scrap Sunday meets the second Sunday of each month except for May (Mother's Day) and a group that meets on the 4th Thursday evening of each month. At each we bring our own projects to work on and food to share. Every January there is a group of 12 of us that rent a lodge at a local camp for a 4 day weekend. We each take turns cooking the meals. We bring our own projects to work on. We swap unwanted projects, and one yard pieces of fabric. One or two of us will offer demonstrations on something that peeked our interest over the past year. Last year we had wonderful door prizes donated from two quilt shops. We have a dorm and a cottage to sleep in. The grounds are lovely to tramp around in even in their winter state. We keep a fire roaring in the fireplace and music on the stereo. Rah! Great weekend!
Sharon Schutt wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 11:09 AM
Winter is a good time for me to really focus on quilting. I don't seem to get as much done during the rest of the year as far as big projects. I like binding quilts while watching movies. Some that my girls might be watching and that has the added advantage of quiet shoulder time with them. They might decide to work on a beading project or the like at the same time. Hot chocolate or tea might be involved too! Yes! Informal stitching times are the best! One dear friend, after moving into her new home, invited three of us for the weekend. We laughed, did piece work, stayed up to the wee hours of the morning, and ate her most wonderful cooking! I attend two informal groups a month. Scrap Sunday meets the second Sunday of each month except for May (Mother's Day) and a group that meets on the 4th Thursday evening of each month. At each we bring our own projects to work on and food to share. Every January there is a group of 12 of us that rent a lodge at a local camp for a 4 day weekend. We each take turns cooking the meals. We bring our own projects to work on. We swap unwanted projects, and one yard pieces of fabric. One or two of us will offer demonstrations on something that peeked our interest over the past year. Last year we had wonderful door prizes donated from two quilt shops. We have a dorm and a cottage to sleep in. The grounds are lovely to tramp around in even in their winter state. We keep a fire roaring in the fireplace and music on the stereo. Rah! Great weekend!
Scott at BlueNickelStudios wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 11:24 AM
1. What activities do you do to help get you through winter? I actually love winter for the studio time, as the summer my property needs constant doesn't get it, but it begs for it. My winters seem short as my job in retail manangement consumes my November/December (which I guess are technically fall, but once the leaves drop like now, it seems like winter soon to me) I have been sketching out ideas for quilts all summer, and now I am excited to actually construct them with no outdoor project screaming for my attention...I am also planning on starting my first book...I will let you know more later..I have a lot of goals this winter, but I can't publicize a lot of them, as I don't want to disappoint myself too much if they don't come to fruition. 2.And have you ever participated in an informal stitching retreat at someone's house? I have never been to an informal retreat at someone's house, but have been to quilting retreats...never enough sleep, always good food, always I bring more projects than I can get done, but make new friends, and that is great! 3.If you could plan a three-day weekend retreat, what would the festivities/plans look like? I have a friend who has a house at the ocean, and I think it would be cool to have a retreat there. Not a lot of plans, just bring some food, go out to eat one night, Maybe have a mini show and tell, just everyone work on their own projects and learn different things from each other...I think you learn a lot from each other just being together. Hope I win one of the prizes, sounds like a neat deal! Thanks for the updates on Market, Pokey, I have been experiencing the PPQDS too, and I didn't even go there this fall...I am hoping to make it to Pittsburgh, would love to meet you there.
Jane LaFazio wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 11:39 AM
Hey Pokey, A California girl in Stow... I don't know how I'd cope...Probably wine. :-) Since I live in San Diego (it does get dark earlier) but the weather isn't an issue. Maybe some rain, but we all celebrate that. We don't go camping in the winter, but otherwise I'd say nothing really changes except we use the heater instead of the air conditioner. I've had day long retreats, and to me there's something so very special and intimate about sitting around with women, stitching and talking. A weekend with the girls would be great to share our skills, and maybe have everyone teach one technique that we could all try. oh, and wine and cheese definitely!
Sallie wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 11:39 AM
Living in Southern California, there's not much "winter" to get through. But on rainy days I like to curl up with a book or magazine and often I end up in my fabric or yarn stash planning my next project. My sister and I have been walking together in marathons and half marathons for several years now, and we have been making our own "sisters' retreat" by spending a 2 or 3 day weekend together making an altered book about our marathon experiences. We try different techniques with each page and have a great time talking, drinking tea (or wine) and just spending time together creatively - it brings us closer to each other and gets us to try new things we might not think about on our own [two heads ARE better than one]
Leslie Anderson wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 11:48 AM
I've discovered that a vacation to a warm destination in January or February helps one get through the winter. I also love a nice fire in the firplace on a cold winter night! I've never been to a sewing retreat. As for a three day retreat, I would love to be at a cozy inn in the country, with great food and a variety of "classes" and instructors.
Rachel wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 11:56 AM
Pokey, You are a joy! I love all the seasons. I have no problem being still and quiet within myself; and winter seems to give a little more time for that. Watching the winter sunset outside my back windows is a favorite activity. However, taking at least one trip to warmer (or colder) climes helps to break up the long stretch. If you count any visit to Frances Alford's then, yes, I can say I have been to a stitching retreat. (Was that hotel room in Houston a retreat when every night it filled with master artists in their pajamas and you sometimes could not hear yourself think for the laughter; and the air was so thick with creativity and in-depth converstaion that you could cut it with a rotary cutter?) As I consider myself very much a neophyte, my ideal retreat would include exposure to at least one new technique in the hands of a skilled master, but not presented as a class, just let me watch and ask questions. I would need hot coffee or tea in the morning to get going. Easy-does-it meals so no one has to spend a lot of time focused on food. A good mix of open, flexible, easy-going participants with varying skill levels would be great for me. A good supply of everyone's favorite beverages is a must. (Mine happens to be wine, if you are thinking of inviting me.) I would not want a real schedule, but a loose idea of beginning and ending and maybe a planned break from stitching...I know blasphemy! I agree with a prvious poster that enough beds to go around is important. If there are not enough, could I claim mine now? I am past my "sleeping-bag-on-the-floor" phase.
Mary Heseltine wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 11:59 AM
Oh, the dark mornings that make it so hard to get up. Then it’s dark again by 4.00. Evenings somehow are not so bad, but when it’s so dark and pouring rain and the wind is blowing so hard that I can’t even get up the courage for the dash from the house to my studio at the end of the garden… What helps me to get through the winter: 1. A very bright halogen lamp – about 12 years old now and probably not very ecologically friendly but it saves me, most of the time, from the worst of the SADs that I seem to suffer from more each winter as I get older, 2. Christmas cooking helps - a lot ! – I just made the list today of the dried fruit, nuts & cherries etc that I need to make cakes, puddings, pies & relishes. These may be wrapped in a stitched or collaged piece created specially for the recipient. Or just wrapped with some bright ribbons and cellophane sitting on the shelf ready to give away. 3. Having something to look forward to helps too. Our local quilt group has planned an away weekend for the end of February. We will probably have a riotous time on the train journey – 3 hours or so – and go to bed with faces sore from smiling so much. We will stitch and chat for 2 nights and three days away from the humdrum of work and home lives. My favourite weekend retreat I was part of an all-women art retreat at the home of a childhood friend one bank holiday weekend towards the end of summer. We arrived Friday, stayed at her house and left Monday after lunch – like an extended sleepover for grown-ups (who said we are grown up?). I was the interloper! They all painted – very seriously with easels and damp cloths to cover unfinished bits and I stitched. There was lots of advice sought & given and positive critiquing of each other’s work; lots of quiet time and concentration; lots of laughter; no thought of the time - we often worked late into the night; the two men from the regular art group these women attend were “allowed” to come over one night for supper and a “glass of something”. Talk of children, husbands etc was banned. The best bit ? My friend’s husband did all the catering, cooking, serving and pouring of wine and the washing up. He even admired our work using all the right words. What a treasure!! And mine looked after the children for the weekend! Total bliss. I must remind Fiana that it’s time for another one! Keep warm! Mary
Judy Carpenter wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 12:20 PM
I live in the south, so our winters aren't nearly as long as the Massachusett's winters you experience and the ones I grew up enduring. I like to take at least one online fiber art class to keep the artistic embers glowing. I also make several art items for local charity auctions that take place during the Spring. Sad to say, I have yet to be involved in a fiber art retreat at someone's home. That said, I have been to many needlework retreats at the mountain home of a friend. There is always lots of shopping and eating involved. I have also attended one quilting retreat that a very small internet group I belong to put together. None of us had met before, and we all traveled a gazillion miles to spend a weekend about trusting one's intuitions!! Anyway, we had a blast and we all brought fabric to make our own mystery quilts.
Mary Ann Van Soest wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 12:20 PM
Wow after reading all of the comments I just want to get all of you together and create-quilt and stitch. Everyone has such great ideas and I plan on using a few of these. THis spring when my husband went fishing I looked online for something to do and discovered the Quilt show at the Rosemont. I sew but never quilted so I signed up for 2 days of classes and met some great people like Pokey and her gang. When I showed up for class and saw a woman with hot pink spiked hair and lime green tights was the instructor I knew I was in for some fun. Those Artz Girls were a blast and made me think outside of the box. After 32 years in the Real Estate field I am READY for some fun. SInce I attended the show I am addicted to color, fabric and anyting to do with art quilting. Sorry to blog again but I get such good ideas and tecnigues from you all. Read my earlier post to see my ideas. Have a great life.
Kathy Dill wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 12:28 PM
I have a group of friends who are all into fibres one way or another, quilting, knitting, weaving, spinning, etc. We get together every Friday to do our own thing and share with each other - taking turns at hosting. We have also done weekend retreats at someone's home, mostly no planned program, just doing whatever we love to do and laughing and sharing as we do it. And the good food is definitely an important part of it. We also have been doing an formal weekend art/craft retreat for over 15 years. We rent a retreat centre and have 20 to 30 people who attend. We used to plan demos and classes for various things, but we got tired of having to organize all that - so now it is "come and do what you love, share with others, laugh a lot, eat a lot(food is provided by the centre)", and we all go home feeling good and with lots of work done. At these retreats over the years, we've done felting, fabric painting, knitting classes, soap making, marbling, etc. etc. both as group activities and as individual one. Great fun and cheap too.
Belinda Spiwak wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 12:47 PM
I do a lot of nesting in the wintertime. I make scarfs and hats for the family. I think the rhythm of the needles and the softness of the yarn soothes me. I also make lots of different soups. I make homemade soup stock, freeze it, and use it as a soup base for different soups. I love cold weather because I can wear sweater after sweater. I have not been at any informal weekend retreat or anything. Except for one workshop, sewing and quilting is a solitary activity for me. I like to sit in front of the TV to do my beading and hand sewing. I do most of my machine sewing after the kids have gone to bed. I have not really thought about it until this moment. I have art playdates all the time with my friends and other artists. I even do art jewelry with them. Even though I have fabric based swaps, I like knitting,sewing, and quilting by myself. It might be that I have not had the chance to turn it into a social activity. I would love a weekend where I could do mixed media fabric techniques and learn how to quilt and do surface design with artists who have similar interests. I have seen your new book in CPS amd on Amazon. I would love to win one of your books. I think your thermofax screened fabrics are awesome! I am still pretty new in the fabric/quilting area. I am sure that I could learn a lot from your book. Congratulations! Belinda
Marie Johansen wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 1:16 PM
I need my 'therapeutic' happy light in Winter and lots of projects that 'sing' to me in order to keep focused. I also seem to use brighter colors to counteract my abject dislike of the long hours of cold darkness. A relaxing, stitch filled few days must include nothing but the most comfortable clothes, lots of munchies but no planned 'work' meals, a'challenge' of sorts with a "seed" idea, fabric or 'rule' and last, but by no means least, lots of fun things to try out - paints,yarns,fabrics .. just something new that most people have not thought of using before - which could be tied into the idea of a challenge. Group round robins are fun too. Each person starts a square (or something) and then passes it to the person and they add something until the object returns to the beginning. Our textile guild did that with a doll and it is really fun .. and I had not thought that it would be! I keep that doll at work now - complete with hanging garters !
Meredith H wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 2:11 PM
I've been salivating over your book and waiting for it to be available at Borders, so I'm totally up for this one! Getting through this winter (also in Massachusetts): I've just reorganized my workroom with tons of drawer and shelf space, and in the process finally assembled all my UFOs in one place, each one neatly packaged in a box or bag and labeled. I don't know if I win the UFO grand prize, but I think I must be in the running. I count around 8 knitting projects, including two major ones (a sweater and shawl) and a half-dozen experimental scarves; nearly a dozen sewing projects, including a silk jacket that's been cut out and thread-marked since around 1988; half-a-dozen cut out quilting projects, including two ready-to-stitch-together Halloween quilt tops and all the hand-dyed leaves, stems, and petals of six 18" applique blocks ready to be hand-stitched; the rotary-cut makings for a dozen rectangular scarves made from strips of antique kimono silks; five pairs of raw silk white wide-leg pants that I bought at 90% off at Filene's Basement, ready to be embellished; two silk cross-stitch kits, for a scissor case and a needle case, one about 90% complete, the other about 20% complete; seven fully-strung bead necklaces and three bracelets that are done except for clasps and finishing; a stack of nearly a gross of painted ATC backgrounds ready to be stamped and embellished; several dozen surface-designed papers ready to be made into cards; a dozen or so abstract painted silk pieces, to be used for ...? ; and the second sock, started about 15 years ago, ready to be finished with the rest of the yarn from my first spinning efforts, but never completed because I'm short about 3 inches of compatible yarn! And that's only the actually begun projects.... So I think that this is the year that I start to whittle down the UFO stash. I'm thinking of making a rule that for every new project I start, I need to complete at least one -- aiming for a zero-growth policy. I've been at one wonderful informal stitching retreat, years ago, when about 15 members of my Scottish Dancing demonstration group spent 3 days creating new costumes for all the dancers on the team. We had around 8 sewing machines, we taught the guys how to pin and cut out patterns, some folks baked cookies and brownies and made huge salads and fondue and beef stroganoff, and the musicians in the group kept up a nearly 24/7 background of accordian, fiddle, concertina, and pennyflute entertainment. We ended up with a dozen handsome men's poet shirts with varicolored buttoned vests and a dozen charming women's skirt, blouse, and laced vest ensembles to complement them. Both the weekend and the costumes were a huge success. In my fantasy three-day weekend retreat, I'd set up a half-dozen separate work areas -- fully stocked with all necessary equipment and supplies -- for sewing, cutting, painting, dyeing, embroidering/embellishing, and stamping. Also have a computer station with scanner and digital camera available for everyone to use. Ask everyone to bring additional fabric, yarn, threads, paper, embellishments, and 2 or 3 favorite CDs to share. Make sure we have lots of comfy seating (floor pillows?) and have the elliptical trainer available for everyone to take breaks on. Make sure the weather is warm and dry (!) so we can take walks around the cranberry bogs and through the pine woods -- and have ponchos and wellies on hand in case it rains anyway. Have a showing of the movie "How to Make an American Quilt." Cook and serve my hot spiced apple sauce and have a full fridge of healthful snack foods and salad and sandwich fixings and a dozen flavors of Ben & Jerrys and some good cheap wines available. I'm imagining the main work space happening in my large great room, which is currently being renovated and has virtually no furniture in it, so I could actually set this up once the room is finished and before we start furnishing it again! Tempting....
Patti Pasteur wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 2:26 PM
This will be my second winter in New England. After more than 40 years living in the hot, humid south, I loved the freezing cold. Sound crazy? I went hiking every chance I got and took tons of photos. I collected tiny pine cones,bark,and interesting branches. I watched deer and occasionally a moose in my backyard! My favorite time is sitting in front of the fire, drinking coco or wine(depending on the time of day), sketching out ideas for mini quilts or cards, etc. I've never participated in an informal stitching retreat. If I could plan a 3-day get-together I would ask everyone to bring in a technique to share, make something and trade with each other (ATC's, postcards....) Visit a local museum weather permitting. Bring food and wine and lots and lots of chocolate. Maybe even rent a Thermofax machine and design fun fabric? And have a rule posted: ENJOY,RELAX,CREATE,SHARE.
Phyllis wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 2:49 PM
I have a sun room that provides a lot of light even on cloudy days. That is where I like to spend my time with my fiber goodness in the winter months. If I can't live in AZ or Hawaii I settle for what sunshine I can find in Northern CA. I make art quilts, dye/paint fabric, spin, knit, and dye fiber,too. At the moment I don't have the use of my right shoulder so I've been banished to reading only until I heal (3-4 weeks hopefully). This is so depressing! :) I can't wait to get back to hands on!! I've never been to a retreat at someones house but have always thought about doing it. I'd make sure we had lots of fresh organic food and some of our great Sonoma wines!! Cheers!
Donna wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 4:36 PM
Hi Pokey . . . . your email is always the 1st one i open! . . . i live w/u vicariously. Christmas gifts & upcoming competitions are on my mind constantly . . Every Christmas I swear to not MAKE gifts . . but i always do . . . it is a bit stressful. I'm also painting & it also is due for Christmas. After Christmas, i am looking forward to pulling out all my mixed media stuff . . & buckling down for your competitions. QUICKLY. Mixed Media is inspiring for painting, & visa versa. Sewing is always a happy time . . . . . Just came back today from our kinda local Bernina dealer in Amish country . . . Hinkletown Sewing. It is such a thrill to be around all those sewing machines & goodies . . . .hop down a couple of exits to the Memonite fabric shop. Never had the pleasure to participate in a retreat. i always make a note of the quilt shows & your cruise . . . & i imagine what you are doing. My dream . . . to stay at a cottege with a LARGE fireplace with real wood . . . fire that puppy up . . . the wine & cheese, etc. sounds perfect . . . maybe some sushi?! (guess we'll order in?!) Everyone bring their stuff . . . . play, share, teach & laugh. Good movie @ night . . if we can stop creating. this should go on for a long weekend. just girls . .
Heather wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 4:53 PM
A SUI! Sewing under the Influence! LOL!! That's what we used to call our monthly weekend retreats when the "girls" got together for a bit of wine, movies and sewing! Whether it be working on a quilt, dolls or clothes, we always had projects going into the wee hours of the morning! Unfortunately, we are now spread out all over the country and don't get together quite as often, but when we do, it's still the sewing until dawn with a lot of friendship, laughter, and girl talk thrown in for good measure!
Cory wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 5:42 PM
I love to hand quilt in the winter. Not only do I get some quilts finished, but I stay warm in the process. Just one more way I multi-task :-). Thank you for offering this wonderful give-away. Take care and God bless, Cory
Dot Highter wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 6:06 PM
I have come to so hate snowy winter that I moved to North Carolina from NH to escape the snow last December. But winter is a great time for baking bread, making soup and wearing hand-knitted socks with Birks ( my daughter loves me enough to keep me in socks). A few times friends would come together with whatever fabric or fiber project they were working on; bring potluck and wine and all share. Wonderful for the long, dark days of February when winter has been going on to long. If I were able to organize a 3 day retreat it would be somewhere with a great fire place;no television (but CD player for music)or computers;comfy chairs and tables to spread out for projects. Would ask each person to bring materials for a small project in her fabric/fiber area that she could teach in a couple of hours---this would be an appetizer of what is possible. Also would like each person to bring whatever project she is currently passionate about to share with others. Like an informal retreat---great potluck and beverages in abundance to feed the physical self as projects feed the creative self. Laughter, sharing and comfortable space absolute necessity.
Diana Feit wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 6:25 PM
Send your Odd Socks to Hogwarts or just wear Two socks how ever they look 8-) Diana
Linda Friedman wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 8:18 PM
Winter is a great time for hunkering down in a baggy sweater and jeans, listening to the winter sounds as they caress the house and working on projects started during the springs and winters past. My fantasy retreat would be to spend Day 1 sketching in the open air, sharing pot-luck delights, and spending the evening in good conversation around the fireside about anything creative. Day 2 would start with fattening breakfast delights and spill into a day of designing a quilt from the sketches of Day 1. Day 3 would be spent munching goodies at will while cutting, fusing, collaging, sewing, felting and painting fabric to complete a quilt of any size from the Day 1 sketches. Can't imagine anything more fun. Thanks for the fanciful question. It's fun to dream of perfect days with friends old and new.
Liz wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 8:30 PM
I love reading your blog. I don't really like winter so I try to fill the days with stitching projects. Lots of comfort foods - and chocolate! I do like to watch the birds at the feeder, too. Never been to an overnight retreat, but there have been several one or two day get-togethers (but we go home at night. Bummer!) If I were planning a retreat? Well, potluck for at least one meal. Lots of chocolate for energy. Sewing machines going at all times of day and night. Trading stash goodies. Show and tell and taking pictures before everyone goes home.
Chris Gillig wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 8:53 PM
I love winter because I can get caught up with the projects I started and never had time to finish because summer came. I have never done a retreat but I think it would be a lot of fun getting together with other women with the same ideas. I like getting together with my church friends once a week to put quilts together. These quilts are then sent to Lutheran World Relief. We make about 100 quilts every year. It is a fun group of women who enjoy giving to others. I like being in my craft room and watching that rare snow shower we get. That is fun. I like making small quilts to give to my newcomer's club for their summer raffle. Last year I did the thing I always put off, is go through my closets and get rid of stuff that hasn't been used for a long time. I made room for more fabric.
Carole Egler wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 9:30 PM
In winter I like to Catch up on Projects - which there are plenty of to tackle. . . I don't get bored! I have done day retreats making Christmas cards (In August) with some friends. I also have done day retreats with Journaling friends. I would love a weekend to stitch. Show and Tell and a challenge of some sort and demos would all add to the fun and inspiration. Of course, we would need food to sustain the creative soul! Chocolate any one? Pokey, I love your blog and would love to have your book and the fabric would satisfy my soul! lol Hugs to you and all the quilters . . may we ever sew! Carole Egler
Judy Coates Perez wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 10:00 PM
ok, you know I don't need a book, but having an art retreat with my closest creative girl friends is the best! and you know who they are, so you can imagine how much fun we have. Years ago when I lived in Austin we brought Lucky Shie down for a small retreat, it was a blast! If we were going to have an informal retreat, of course we would have lots of fabric and paint as well as sewing machines, gel medium, batting, peltex, metal and cool threads followed by chocolate, great finger foods, wine and a tarot deck. There would not be any formal plans besides being together. The laughter and joy of being together while making art of any kind can not be beat. It is sustenance for the soul. For me, my art doesn't change much through out the year, except the fall is always so busy it is hard to get as much done.
edie wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 10:56 PM
Get through the winter: remember to take my vitamin D! And sit near my full spectrum lamp while I paint or run my fingers through baskets of beads or fibers. It's truly amazing to me how much my outlook is chemically colored (no pun intended!) I would love to go to an impromptu retreat and take my UFOs. Having a warm water pool nearby would be heavenly on my achy winter joints! I like retreats where I have time to work on what interests me as well as take mini-workshops from other participants or instructors. My energy levels ebb and flow throughout the day, and anything more than 2-3 hours taxes me. Naps! I like naps! I also love being able to leave stuff out overnight and only having to clean up once ;-) When all else fails, I give in to the need to fall into a good book and just stay in bed for a day or two. Rejuvenates the soul!
Lisa wrote
on 8 Nov 2008 11:10 PM
I love winter as long as I don't have to leave my house! My favorite things to do during the winter are to bury myself in good books and projects - cooking as well as quilting. Winter food is so comforting, and being creative is so nourishing for my soul. I have never been to an informal quilt retreat but it sounds like a lot of fun! If I were to plan such a retreat I would love to have everyone bring three things. First I would have everyone bring an ugly duckling quilt to share and laugh about. Second they would bring a pot luck item to share so that we could pig out before burying ourselves in our third item. The third thing I would have everyone bring would be a bag of scrap fabrics - pieces small and medium, nothing large, and after dumping all the scraps into a large bin we would use them to each create an art quilt. I would provide the batting, some embellishments, stamps and paints and we would spend the rest of the weekend creating. Sounds fun, huh?
Donna Funnell wrote
on 9 Nov 2008 12:24 AM
I like to cacoon on cold wintery days with my sewing machine or in front of the fireplace with some hand embroidery. One year I handquilted a king size friendship quilt on my lap. I certainly wasn't cold. My friend and I have retreated to my cottage for a weekend of quilting. We sewed whenever and for however long we wanted. We made barbecued dinners with lots of wine and made a couple of field tips to the beach and the local quilt store. If I were planning a retreat, each guest would bring a new technique with samples to share. We would have a paint party, painting fabrics. Show and share of course. All meals would be catered. And there would be lots of wine!
dorit elisha wrote
on 9 Nov 2008 12:50 AM
Hi Pokey, A few ideas for a girl get-together: * Sock dolls - everyone can bring single (washed) socks. * felted scarves out of old sweaters. * fabric journals! yum! And just for your own winter "entertainment" - studio cleaning. This always inspires new projects! Good luck!
Laura wrote
on 9 Nov 2008 1:43 AM
My memories of winter in Wisconsion were that the bird-feeders were very entertaining, as the animals and birds were new to me and it was a delight to watch them. Raccoons! Who knew? I love to have an art journalling weekend with close friends, whcih may or may not be facilitated. We do guided meditations followed by the creation of dolls, canvases or mixed media pieces that reflect our insights from the meditations. I am enjoying the Mixed Media Self-portraits book recently released. Please count me in the draw for the giveaway!
Bethel of Bethania wrote
on 9 Nov 2008 2:30 AM
G'day Pokey [I hope you don't mind me being so formal as we've not really met - so when are you coming to OZ???] As we have such a mild winter [cold to us] that I love to get out-door good time for visiting, making pea & ham bone soup & crafting to my hearts content as my Gyrlie Shed isn't too hot during the day. I've never been on a stitching retreat but have been to several Stamp Camps so I reckon I'd plan it like this ... Fri arvo... meet & greet... Fri night show & tell...Sat morn ... lazy sleep-in [from too much wine & cheese the night before] great breakie Moring tea-time ... all play with paint, colouring material, stamping material or salting material ... dry ... Late lunch ... then while doing some hand stitching/looking at art/craft books, watch the Quilting arts workshop DVD or the TV series... Arvo tea-time a brisk walk around the grounds to see what can be found to be stitched onto ArtWork plus photos to be taken ... those back first start ironing the painted cloth & then all get in & help prepare room for cutting... Evening meal ... then into the designing of your own Art Quilt - useing the fabric that was painted ...staying up late with egg-nog??? or in Oz, Bundy Rum & coke, making sure each Art Quilt is all ready for sewing ... Sun up early [if possible, too much egg-nog!!!] if there is a local craft market, quick trip until Morning smoko then back into the Art Quilt, do what machine sewing is needed then start hand sewing have Lunch keep working on your piece Arvo tea another brisk walk or maybe someone can do a little demo [maybe showing the finer points of entering a quilt show] then more sewing until Tea/Evening meal ... then maybe a lovely camp-fire to end a great w/e...Gosh can I come??? OOroo ... Bethel of Bethania
sue brown wrote
on 9 Nov 2008 4:11 AM
In winter it's time to make a cozy flannel quilt, I love the feeling of handquilting while it's wrapped around me. I have participated in an informal stiching day and I must say, my cheeks have never hurt so much from all of the laughter. Some creating happened, but mostly good food, good friends and good laughs. A 3 day weekend retreat, lets see, plenty of yummy food and maybe a drink or 2. I would make up fun kits for people to do and definately have a workshop or 2. I'd try and get my friends to try something different and new and we would sit around in pajamas and not worry about what was happening at home. Just have "me" time. ahhhh, sounds so good.
Angelika Westermann wrote
on 9 Nov 2008 7:12 AM
To get me over the long winter days I need small things: Some good books, some nice tea, and enough quilting supplies. Nothing beats snuggling up under a quilt and quilting by hand when it is cold and dark outside! I have never been to a quilting retreat, private or otherwise - you are giving me ideas! If I could organize something like that at my home I would prepare some cookies, but mainly I would plan for one evening to cook together, get some nice videos (for instance "An American Quilt" and look up my stash for a fabric exchange with my friends.
Ronnie Haley wrote
on 9 Nov 2008 7:55 AM
The way I usually deal with winter is to bake my way through it. That is probably not too smart. But it does take my mind off the horrible cold. I also am NOT a winter person! Never have been on a quilting retreat.Sad, no? My new addiction is inspired by Pokey. It was in the gifts issue. The portfolio project is beautiful. I have been painting,dying,stamping,stenciling etc. I have taken a book out of the library on silk screening because it looks so fantastic on the dyed fabric. So, maybe this newest obsession will be my low cal obsession this winter!
Doreen Kinkade wrote
on 9 Nov 2008 9:22 AM
Hi, I live in Nevada. So don't have a bad winter like you. Did live in Iowa for 27 years, so I know all about snow, ice and cold. That's why I am living here!! Never been to a retreat, but sounds like a great idea. I think it would be fun to have a small group meet and do some experimenting with fibers and textures to make some small things that you could take home completed. Not go home with UFO'S. I have enough of those.
jill wrote
on 9 Nov 2008 11:35 AM
Have spent the day playing today as its grey, wet & miserable outside so I guess thats my winter activity. I've been trying out different techniques in my sketch book and the more I've done the more I've thought about. I do have play days with a group of friends where we share ideas & materials; always good fun. For a longer time there would need to be lots of ready to eat food so we don't have to waste time stopping; a chef to cater to our whims would be great. The kettle would be constantly on the boil for refreshing cups of tea & I quite fancy a masseur or reflexologist to massage the tense limbs!
dorit elisha wrote
on 9 Nov 2008 11:57 AM
It looks like my post has disappeared so I'll recap: Favorite sewing activities for girls get together are: * sock dolls (using all the mis-matched socks you have). * fabric journal/books * small quilties. * definitely a collaborative project and stay in your pj's all weekend! Another one of my favorite winter activities is studio cleanup. It sparks so many new projects and it creates space for new finds and purchases! Have fun!!
Adena Joseph wrote
on 9 Nov 2008 11:57 AM
Hi Pokey! I have barely entered the world of "art quilts" but I have long been fascinated and mesmerized by their beauty. I would love to try for your book "Quilting Arts" so here are my answers to your questions: I live in CA so the winters are pretty calm... but we do get a lot of fog in the San Joaquin Valley, sometimes as early as 3 p.m. so I love to light candles, get in my pj's, snuggle with my dog in bed while I read or watch a movie... and of course, I hunker down in my sewing room for long uninterrupted hours of sewing or just "playing" with all my stuff. I also love to go for walks after it rains and hang out at my mom's house- she's a great cook!!! We sew together, too. I was invited to be a part of a friendship group called "loose threads" and we have met once so far... each month we are hosting a lesson of some new technique and then we are to make a journal page using that technique by the next meeting. So far we have done foiling, and I turned that into quite a little treasure. I can't wait to see what the ladies think of it! This month the host invited us to her beach house in Cambria for a weekend of sewing and eating! I have never been around women like this before who love to be creative and spend time together. It's wonderful... I am doing December's lesson- maybe your book could give me some ideas! haha As for my ideal retreat, it's pretty simple- friends, homecooking, sewing, pj's. Oh, and the CA coastline!!!
Jane M. wrote
on 9 Nov 2008 12:14 PM
I get through the winter by hand quilting and spending time with my fabric stash. Feb. finds me using purple and green. Retreat: I hope you do this! I've belonged to a small quilt group for over 20 years and we've had so much fun together! We've gone to members' cabins and homes. Sometimes we all had our own beds, sometimes sleeping bags on the floor. My favorites were the annual cabin 3 day trip. We set up folding tables, each had projects to work on and sometimes a small group project. We would each bring food for one meal and of course many snacks. Very easy. Early risers can start stitching while still in pjs, or go for a walk in the woods or down to the lake. There are no rules! Thanks for the question, I feel a collage fabric book taking shape in my head.
Wendy wrote
on 9 Nov 2008 12:49 PM
Two years ago I flew from London to Houston to stay with two women I had met only on the internet. Despite warnings that they might be mad axe murderers, I had a wonderful arty time and couldn't wait to go back. This year we went to stay in a cabin in the wild woods of New Mexico and enjoyed a wonderful three day retreat. We drank wine, ate junk food and taught each other techiniques such as needle felting, weaving with lolly sticks, bead weaving, machine embroidery and silk paper making. We made paper collages, decorated and swapped jigsaw pieces and painted tiny tickets. We watched the entire first series of quilting arts tv, and we laughed until we cried and worse. Rachel taught us garage sale-ing and we shopped until we ran out of time and had to head back to the airport. This winter I will fondle my precious purchases, remember those days and dream about when I can go again.
Beth Mastin wrote
on 9 Nov 2008 2:43 PM
I love spending time quilting and experimenting during the winter. I also cook and bake alot more trying out new recipes. I also like playing games with the kids in the evening. I have never attended a retreat but have wanted to. I have so many ideas, I don't think you could fit them into 3 days!! It would be really neat to be able to hire someone to come and run a class for us so we could all learn something new. If we couldn't do that then we could each teach a new technique or process. Maybe take a day trip down to Boston or Lowell to a museum, shows or something. Time to work on our own projects or maybe have a challenge to participate in. Have enough space to dye and paint fabric plus space to sew. The best part would be just getting together to talk, share and laugh. It would also be nice to have great food that we didn't have to make and lots of good chocolate!
Linda Spreen wrote
on 9 Nov 2008 2:52 PM
The information and pictures of The Show are wonderful. I have always wanted to go but with my husband retiring and the present economy I think its better to read blogs about the fun and what's new and just stay home and sew on a ufo without spending the money and putting up with the crowds. What amazes me about your socks is that there is someone out there very accomplished and yet not organized with her socks. It makes me feel so good because mine usually end up in a big plastic bag........... I have never been to a informal sewing event but if I were having one I would make brisket for sandwiches. Recipe follows: BEEF BRISKET 5 lb. brisket. I trim it up as much as I can. Or I buy two half ones already trimmed, but the whole ones are better, or seem to cook better anyway. Place on double strength foil and sprinkle with: Garlic salt Celery salt Onion salt Accent Pepper 1 pkg. Onion soup mix (two packets) 1/4 bottle of liquid smoke over all. Wrap tightly in foil and place in baking sheet with at least a 2" rim, in case it seeps through. Bake 225 degrees for 11 hrs. Set in window and chill after unwrapping slightly. After cool,remove the congealed grease, pour juice into a bowl. Slice meat thinly,(electric knife works the best) mix half and half, juice from brisket and Kraft Old Southern Barbeque Sauce with Hickory. Pour on Brisket. Wrap and put in oven at 350 degrees for 30-45 min. . I usually make this at night and just let it cook all night long, if you can stand smelling it through the night. Serve hot on buns. Have everyone bring their own favorite snacks. Order out pizza for one meal, have homemade soup for another,defrost frozen spaghetti sauce for another, for fast and easy meals. Have drinks appropriate for your group ( like pop and wine). I would put my art and sewing materials out so that for a specified time every one could try their hand at something new. I would specify the size, like postcard or 8x10 and give away your printed material for prizes. Everyone would vote for most unique, crazyist, most arty, most abstract and best use of most unusual material(toilet paper?). That way everyone would end up with a wonderful take home gift. I would also leave lots of time to sew on their project. It promises to be lots of laughs and memories. To survive the winter I like to have variety.I read or reread magazines on quilting as they are the cutting edge. I do genealogy, sew on my machine,do needle turn aplique, learn to knit and crochet so I can make little quilts for the new premature babies at the university, cook new recipes, go out to meet with friends, take a Feb, weekend away, and make sure I get out of the house every three days or so. I also do some exercize. I do this in my mind if time is not available. Sure hope I'm one of the winners.
Carol Johnson wrote
on 9 Nov 2008 6:33 PM
If I could, I would hibernate all winter cozied up with my 2 golden retrievers and 2 kitties. Since I can't, I just cuddle with them whenever possible. The dogs and I like to run and play in the snow too. It wears us out, and then napping is even sweeter. I also like to bake (and eat!) cookies, read, watch movies and quilt, quilt, quilt whenever I can. I haven't been to an informal quilting retreat. I would like a 3 day quilting retreat that's like a mini-MIU only with more wine and food!
linda schiffer wrote
on 9 Nov 2008 7:07 PM
Winter is dark here in Maryland so I often sit in front of a light bank in the evening (set up beside my computer at home so I can cruise the blog-o-sphere at the same time:). I enjoy hand piecing and embroidery in the winter and snuggling under 'sofa' quilts. I watch more movies in the winter and probably get more work done. Now that I'm a business owner, December is quiet so I tend to do a lot of year-end thinking and analysis ... 'housework' types of cleaning and reorganization in the shop, etc. :) Linda
Carol Sloan wrote
on 9 Nov 2008 8:23 PM
Let's see...winter activities...knitting! Any type of "sit on the couch and watch movies with hand work in my hands" type of fiber stuff. Going through my summer/fall art journals for ideas that I jotted down then promptly forgot...I love, love , love any mixed media work...oh, and did I mention piping hot winter stews? Home made breads and bold wines to top it all off..I'm making myself hungry!And the three day retreat...I'd have the meet & greet day one...cheese, wine, finger foods. A day/hal day of walking in nature with journalsing. Show & tell that evening with each 2 bring out the art supplies/sewing machines/fabric & fiber and play into day three. Oh, and lots of late night laughter and bonding time. My wonderful husband would cook for us, and take care of any other things that we need (it would be his pleasure!). And I've never been part of an informal "stitch in"...Most of my fiber friends/art friends live away from me. I'd love to be closer to my tribe...
Laurel wrote
on 9 Nov 2008 9:30 PM
I will get through some of the worst of this winter, anticipating a 3-day quilting retreat that is planned for January. Four friends will spend a weekend quilting and laughing and enjoying great food and great company at a retreat centre on Lake Simcoe. How often do we get to devote that much uninterruped time to what we love!
heavens to betsy wrote
on 9 Nov 2008 10:37 PM
Winter in southern Ohio isn't too bad--but cold enough to rationalize buying new sweaters... and polar fleece socks... and silk long underwear. Knitting and hand-quilting keep things snuggly, too. Never been to a quilt retreat, but it sounds like pure luxury. I imagine a fat quarter swap pile that everyone can dive into, a bucket of beads and salvaged jewelry parts for embellishments, chocolate milkshakes all around and--in a perfect world--a friend would show up with one of those needle felting machines and we'd each take it for a spin.
gypsysue wrote
on 9 Nov 2008 11:27 PM
- Yoga and lots of orange juice help me through the cold winter. - Not at someone's home, but I was camping for a month near the Gulf of Mexico and discovered several other 'stitchers' and we took over the community room for an entire weekend. What fun we had. - Three days. Hmmmm. I would recommend a viewing of one of the QA shows to get inspiration flowing; a challenge inspired by the show; lots of good food and a few spirits for the end of the day!
Jean wrote
on 10 Nov 2008 1:08 AM
1) I quilt more during the winter, dealing with large quilts in the summer is just too hot! 2) I have never attended a retreat of any kind at someone's house, although I did attend an off-site work 'pow-wow' at my old bosses house. Coolest part was the wire strung above the fireplace, to which was clipped various types of foreign currency. 3) A few scheduled activities (meals!) with lots of free time in between. No participation requirements, plenty of free time/space to play/plan/relax/work.
milkcan wrote
on 10 Nov 2008 2:44 AM
(1) I am actually a fan of winter, but I find that on a really yucky cold day, a bowl of warm vegetable soup makes me very, very happy! (2) I've never participated in a stitching retreat of any kind, let alone an informal one. (3) There are three things that I'm looking for right now (a) new techniques, (b) critique, (c) inspiration. So, my ideal retreat would offer all three!
MichelleJ wrote
on 10 Nov 2008 9:11 AM
Winter is the time to bake bread and make soup. I also spend more time writing to friends and family than in the warmer months. I've never been on a sewing retreat to a friend's home, but I've been to several at other locations - guild-hosted weekend "slumber parties" and 3-day retreats. The best - a weekend at a B&B, where the owners kindly agreed to provide very simple lunches and dinners as well as breakfast for 6 of us. What fun! I always thoroughly enjoy times like these - no demands, just sew/create around the clock. The last retreat I attended, a friend and I brought laptops instead of sewing machines, and we spent many hours learning EQ6 together. As for planning festivities - a game or two might be fun, as well as a demo or two. Don't overplan, though - spontaneity, relaxation, laughter - they will just happen! You and your friends will have SUCH a good time!
Nicole Romero wrote
on 10 Nov 2008 9:35 AM
I live in Cajun Land, South Louisiana, so winter is not very different from fall and spring. Weather that you would consider 'cold' only happens a very few days a year. (Snow...what's that?) Our first thoughts when cooler days roll in is making a gumbo! While that's simmering on the stove, I look through my pictures of grandchildren playing on our farm, all manner of fauna and flora, and the incredible architectural treasures of New Orleans. If I can't find an inspiration somewhere in these archives, I'm sick! Fiber art groups don't exist in my area, so my 'retreats' are solo. When my husband is traveling, I get out my treasured collection of Quilting Arts and Cloth Paper Scissors magazines and look for a new technique to try. However, if the opportunity came along to plan a retreat, it would be a 'lock-in' gathering of girls, a fridge stocked with salads, cheese, wine, and Swiss chocolates. Everyone would be required to bring a new technique to the table and share. Ahhh, in a perfect world!!
Jennifer Morlock wrote
on 10 Nov 2008 9:52 AM
The winter months bring lots of opportunity to work on art projects in my little corner of the world in Northwest Ohio. I love to take a few rides on the snowmobile, come in the house warm up and sit in front of the tv and sew. What better life could I have? I look forward to spending lots of time enjoying my studio and creating. I also like to spend Saturdays with friends quilting or long weekends. It is a great season to "sew"! Happy days! Jenna Louise
Diane Petersmarck wrote
on 10 Nov 2008 10:11 AM
I do admit I enjoy the cold weather - usually - but what I don't enjoy are those long, dreary days in January and February when it's time to bring out the bright or sparkly fabrics and try a new technique.
DJ wrote
on 10 Nov 2008 10:21 AM
Living in the south, we don't get the bitter cold and all the snow that you do up north but we do have some cool rainy periods that make you want to stay inside. The heat and humidity during the summer frequently has the same effect. During these periods- be it winter or summer- I like to focus on learning new techniques and crafts. Last winter, I took a class from Quilt University called 'Painted Landscapes'. It was great and taught me to paint and dye fabric and use it in landscape quilts. During last summer's heat wave I took a class on thread painting. I have never been to a three day retreat but have sewn and crafted with friends for a day. I particularly enjoy doing this with multi-generational groups because each generation has it's own perspective of the way to do things and brings new ideas that the others might not even think of. If I had to plan a three day retreat, I might just start with a mother- daughter retreat. My adult daughter loves to sew and craft and I have several friends with daughters who do the same. It would definitely focus on mixed media and everyone would bring their own materials and projects to share and experiment with- along with a potluck dish, a bottle of wine, and snacks- I'm not doing all the cooking! Next year, who knows, the grand daughters may be invited! What fun!
Ann wrote
on 10 Nov 2008 10:28 AM
The winter months can be even more inspiring to be creative than the summer with all of it's outdoor distractions. My best creative time is early mornings walking with my golden. My mind is clear and project ideas come easier. My daughter buys the Cloth Paper Scissors, and I always get the Quilting Arts. Many sessions of pouring over these magazines over rich, dark, hot chocolate help spur the ideas that come together in the early a.m. hours. What a great idea it is to have a creative week-end retreat. Starting, as always, with great food and drink, would get everyone's creative juices flowing. Sunday brunch would just be a blast. Sewing machine and embellisher set-ups and a "paint" table would be a must. And chocolate...lots and lots of chocolate!
Deanna wrote
on 10 Nov 2008 10:52 AM
I live in southern New Mexico and I too shiver if it drops below about 65º. It seldom snows here and winters are brown, brown and frequently windy. Socks are something I only wear because I hate cold feet. One of my goals this year was to learn to knit socks. Knitting with five needles looked so challenging. Five pair of socks later I am addicted and wearing socks has gotten a little happier. Winter is one of my busiest times of year, and I don't get to stitch as much as I would like. But I do spend lots of time in my sewing studio at the computer. The room is full of windows and looks out on my, you guessed it, very brown yard. Tomorrow I'm planting over 100 bulbs to try to overcome the brown blahs. It's warm enough here that the crocus should start blooming in late January. And if I picked the right bulbs, I should have something blooming all the way until April when the bermuda grass finally decides to turn green. I also spend the winter cooking some mean dishes with green chile. If you can't be warm on the outside, you might as well be on fire on the inside. Most of my friends don't get my "sewing thing." They would much rather spend their free time shopping. I think the "hunter" part of human evolution is still very strong in some of them. But if I did get to have a quilting weekend, I think it would have to involve experimenting with new techniques, laughing, eating chocolate, and maybe even watching a good movie.
Peggy Spence wrote
on 10 Nov 2008 11:09 AM
My favorite thing to do in winter is be a dog sofa (I have two little dogs who love to sit on me) with some sort of hand stitching quilty thing in my lap. They burrow under the project and are contented little islands of warmth and comfort while I sew away. We watch TV and have the phone and remotes close by. They also like to sit in my lap while at the machine because I only turn sideways to press things. I make soup or comfort food such as the family casserole (low-fat it AINT!) and have a nice quiet evening together. As far as retreats, we have a studio play date once a month and all get to do our own thing but together! So much fun to get like minded women together and brainstorm on techniques or just mess around. Fun being together and fun creating beautiful things.
Ruth Balster wrote
on 10 Nov 2008 11:46 AM
Winter is the perfect time for knitting (and more knitting) and getting those hand-made projects finished for the holidays . . . and when those are finished it's time for MY projects again! I enjoy trying new and different techniques or a totally new skill via classes or learning from a friend! And making chicken pot pies to have in the freezer for those coldest of days to just pop in the oven. I've done workshops, but only one-day type and usually not at someone's home, but it sounds like a lovely idea. Perhaps one idea might be to center the days around making one or two different projects and then at the end you could have an exchange, or a contest to see who's project was the most creative, wacky, etc. Or, everyone would come armed with a different item they want to "exchange" with someone (ie, unused yarn, or a tool, etc.) Most of all, it should be relaxed and easy for all to enjoy! Thanks!
Marianne wrote
on 10 Nov 2008 11:50 AM
It's not very nice to have deleted my comment in French. I preferred to do it in French because I do not know enough English writing
Trish C. wrote
on 10 Nov 2008 12:11 PM
I too get cold under 70 degrees but I live in S. California so I am lucky. I ride bicycles, go to the wineries, and work on projects for the upcoming season and next years shows I want to enter. I have participated in a "home" retreat and it was the first time I actually got my machine quilting under control. Now, that is how I finish most of my work. My retreat would be take-out menus, lots of fibers and my special quilting friends. Trish C.
Amanda wrote
on 10 Nov 2008 12:56 PM
Hi Pokey! It was great seeing you at the show! Here are my answers to your questions... I love the winter - fall and winter are my favorite time of year. This might have something to do with living in Houston. So I don't need anything to help me get through - but I must say that right now, I enjoy the knitting. My quilting group meets every third Saturday at one of our members homes. Once or twice a year, we turn it into a sleepover. I even get to bring my dog Sophie along! I love what my group does already, so I'll just describe what happens at our usual meetings. Everyone brings food. We always make time for show and tell, and we have little mini-workshops sometimes, where one of the members shares a technique that many of us have expressed interest in learning. We bring our scraps and stuff we're ready to let go of, and everyone there gets a crack before what's left goes to a new loving home (such as our guild's charity quilt program).
Sue Perkins wrote
on 10 Nov 2008 1:22 PM
Hi Pokey, Living in Florida, I am not exposed to much of a "winter". The activities that help me get through the season are making things for Christmas - things to display as well as things to give. This helps me get in the Christmas spirit even though our days are usually in the 70's and our nights are in the 50's. I have not really participated in a "stitching retreat", however, I have taken 3 day classes from elinor peace bailey, and other than the fact that we all went home at night, the fun and fellowship had to be somewhat similar to a retreat. If I were to plan a 3 day retreat weekend, I would invite my dollmaker friends to go with me to our place in the woods. We have a large screened porch and during the cooler time of the year it is so much fun to sit out there and watch the humming birds, squirrels, and other small animals. We would throw food in the crockpot (possibly soup) so that we wouldn't have to cook and sit outside enjoying the crisp fresh air and work on our dolls. After dark, if we are lucky, we can watch the deer and raccoons playing in our back yard. Hopefully after spending the time together, we will all go home charged with new ideas and plans for the new year.
Martha-Del Sol Quilts wrote
on 10 Nov 2008 2:06 PM
Thank you for your blog. I enjoy it very much..... 1.-Winters in Austin are a lot different from winters in the mid-west. I know because I lived in Michigan for 9 years. I get out more often in winter here in Austin because it is not too hot outside, my fiber art bee goes on field trips to different fiber art exhibits and quilting stores. We are always looking for excuses, no that we need any- to go and visit museums and galleries for inspiration. 2.-Once a month my fiber art bee gets together at members homes to explore new techniques, try new products and start challenges. This keeps us engaged and motivated. 3.-I would love to have a retreat in a place called Wimberly, Tx. I found the perfect spot for it this past summer. It is a cabin in the woods, with several rooms, a kitchen, fireplace (no need for unmatched socks!!) and a huge table for people to set up and create art endlessly. I would bring my trademark salads and soups and tons of Dove chocolate bars and red wine to keep us going through the night. What a treat that would be with no phones ringing, no husbands and teenagers calling to be taken places. Time to start planning!!
Debbie L wrote
on 10 Nov 2008 2:21 PM
Knitting. Staying quiet, watching movies, reading, quilting... all with the fireplace going. And I LOVE wearing socks and am rarely without a pair on... now shoes, are another thing altogether. My newest passion is painting on fabric... sheer heaven. I think there'll be a lot of that going on this winter. Thanks for all you do!
Jill wrote
on 10 Nov 2008 2:38 PM
I'm Canadian, so you'd think I'd be used to winter, but I still don't like it much! I love to read, so curling up on the couch with a good book is a nice diversion. And, of course, chocolate always helps! I've never been to an informal stitch-in, but I did have friends over recently for "Crafts Day". We made some wonderful paper inchies, swapped with each other, and then made simple folded books to display them. If I was planning a 3-day retreat: Let's see, a beautiful, quiet setting would be a good start. Plenty of projects to choose from (I like to have some instruction and structure to get me started) and some free time to work on anything we want to, with an opportunity for feedback (gentle critique!). Maybe an ATC swap. And, of course, some good food and wine!
morningDove wrote
on 10 Nov 2008 3:31 PM
To get through winter I love walking my dog and finding lost objects and coins. I love looking through magazines - my favorite QA and CPS. You see something new everytime. I enjoy my toasty heater and sipping tea wearing my fav pjs and socks.
cindylee wrote
on 10 Nov 2008 3:52 PM
having grown up in sunny california, but living my adult life in rural central texas, october thru april can get awfully cold or unbearably hot! i remember one halloween that was very windy and 11 degrees! to beat my coldest blue day, my husband always bakes chocolate chip cookies, hands me a plate of my own and a mug of easily the best cup of coffee in the county. during the year, while surfing the net, reading blogs, & listening to the recommendations of quilty friends, i borrow thru the inter-library loan system all those books that i want to leisurely review wrapped in my favourite bathrobe, eating said cookies and drinking said coffee surrounded by three little heaters (disguised as mini-dachshunds). last week, during a cold snap, i started looking at art quilt workshop by davila & waterston - loved it! although i have not attended any quilt or stitch retreats, i imagine mine would have plenty of chocolate chips cookies, hot mugs of coffee or hot chocolate, comfortable chairs and slippers, and lots of fabric! each of my quilty buddies would bring their quilt journals to share, current ufo projects to finish, and we would sew and chat and eat, encourage and inspire each other. we would have to have a tv/dvd player so we could "attend classes" with the artists featured in the quilting arts dvds and learned new techniques!!! p.s. remember the bra quilt that hung in houston few years back? the socks fabric you created could be border fabric and all your orphaned socks (embellished, of course) would make such a cool quilt. you go girl!
Allison wrote
on 10 Nov 2008 4:08 PM
Hi Pokey, WInter is such an amazing season here in Florida. The ocean gets too cold and the water gets dark and creepy with the increased threat of hazardous marine life.We don't get the typical winter, but yet the slight weather change is the best! We get "cold fronts" and the air is crisp and clear. I love the way the entire lighting changes. We get the gorgeous golden yellow sun instead of the summertime rigid white light. Only in winter, on chilly days is the sky perfectly aqua blue all day, all the greenery just POPS!! Here, we try to conjur up the feeling of northern winters and nothing works better than hot cocoa and fuzzy socks. Peppermint hot cocoa if we really need it! My mom and I do our own retreats, just us, hanging out in jammies, sipping hot cocoa and creating away. We gear up the week before by baking all sorts of yummy deserts by our fav cook, Paula Deen. Girls gotta have comfort food! We are surrounded by men ALL the time, my dad and 3 brothers. So we take a weekend and lock (hunker down--the best hurricane season phrase!) ourselves in the sewing room and have a blast trying new ideas and making mixed media art. My mom works on the quilting end of projects and I go to town on the embellishing. Before we know it, our beloved cool weather is gone and it is time to hit the beach!!
Esther wrote
on 10 Nov 2008 4:47 PM
Questions: What activities do you do to help get you through winter? I enjoy spending time with my fiancee and friends- we roast marshmallows, go out to eat, go bowling, watch movies- anything to stay social! And have you ever participated in an informal stitching retreat at someone's house? No, but it sounds like fun! If you could plan a three-day weekend retreat, what would the festivities/plans look like? Definitely great food would be involved :)
Pokey wrote
on 10 Nov 2008 7:57 PM
Dear Marianne, Hope you see this. You commented that your post was deleted and gave a reason that it was deleted because it was in French. I am the administrator of this blog and I am the only one capable of deleting any comments. I did not delete your comment. (And I certainly wouldn't if it was in French!) It's possible that your comment just never posted correctly as some information might have been missing or you may have had a bad internet connection. I will include your name in the drawing, nevertheless. I'm sorry your post did not show up. Please know that I welcome all responses in any language. I can translate using so no worries!
Joanna van Ritbergen wrote
on 10 Nov 2008 8:39 PM
I'd love to be in your giveaway. It really feels like snow is right around the corner. I find the winter season very reflective and I like to think about different techniques or ideas I'd like to try. A great activity to do in winter is to just cuddle up with my two little ones under a blanket and watch cartoons. I've never had a formal retreat at anyone's house. But, if I did have a nice winter retreat, I'd be sure to plan a place with a nice fireplace and plenty of hot cocoa.
Gayle wrote
on 10 Nov 2008 11:21 PM
What a great drawing you're having! My favorite thing about winter is no more HOT! I love to snuggle in sweaters and sweatshirts and quilts, of course. Rug hooking occupies a lot of my time that is spent on gardening during the summer months. My quilt group meets monthly, but we rarely bring our machines to it. Mostly just hand work and show & tell. For the perfect 3-day retreat we would need lots of good food and junk food. Comfortable seating. Good lighting. Music. Friends to visit with. Access to any and all supplies that were forgotten at home! LOL
Jeanne wrote
on 11 Nov 2008 9:06 AM
I have been to several one-day quilting retreats, and even had one at my home. I made chicken salad for lunch, and everyone else brought pot luck. We worked on a queen-sized quilt for charity. It was so much fun. My whole downstairs became a quilt studio with ironing boards, cutting areas, three sewing machines, and design wall. I also have been to a three-day stay at Linda Taylors's for quilting lessons. Absolutely the best: catered food served on one of Linda's quilted tablecloths, lessons all day, a nearby quilt show, more quilting into the night as we worked on charity tops, and a shop right on the premises that we could shop in our jammies. All of these activities had a love of quilting, great food, uninterrupted time, and old and new friends. As far as getting through the winter, I get much more quilting done then. It is easier for me to stay indoors and work with heavy quilts in our winters than in our hot southern summers.
Brenda Jennings wrote
on 11 Nov 2008 9:11 AM
Last fall our group went to Oglebay Resort in West Virginia for a weekend retreat. One member led a couple of quick workshops, but we mostly worked on whatever we felt like, or hiked around the resort. The first night everyone brought a potluck dish as there were kitchens in the two large cabins we stayed in. Unfortunately my oldest son broke his ankle in a football game that weekend, so I came back to even more chaos than usual! In the winters I usually work on a larger projects as it SEEMS as if there is more time to work on them. Or maybe it's because I like to see all the colorful fabrics in the winter when the skies are so gray!
Meg Rogers wrote
on 11 Nov 2008 10:04 AM
I totally understand your post-partum quilt show depression. Dennis gets to look forward to that from me everytime QSDS ends or after a class at Nancy Crow's Barn. I only get to immerse myself so totally into my art at these venues and when they're over it's back to the real world. Hope everyone who won enjoys their lovelies! I'm in lust!
Angel wrote
on 11 Nov 2008 11:32 AM
I'm very much like you Pokey, I actually get depressed in Winter. I live in Virginia Beach, VA, right across the street from the Chesapeake Bay. Having grown up on both East & West coasts, I'm partial to my beach time. Though I love a Mid-Atlantic summer, spring is my favorite season. I feel renewed if not intoxicated when the daffodil begins to bloom, and pear blossoms adorn the trees with all their splendor! I've considered getting one of those UV lights to combat S.A.D. over the winter like they do in Alaska! Southeast Virginia winters are somewhat mild compared to the northern states, so I should buck up and quit wining right? My usual strategy consists of spending lots of time with my LARGE nutty family. We make each other laugh and that seems to be the best medicine! I own the entire Gilmore Girls series being that my life parallels Laura-li Gillmore's almost identically! My daughter Brit(22) and I have Gillmore Girl marathon weekends, and cook together. We love Asian food, and making cute outfits for our toy chihuahua Soffi. I've never been to an organized/unorganized quilting/mixed media retreat, but they sound fabulous! If I were to host one... there would be a garbage can at the front door in which every attendee would be encouraged to write down the most troubling issue in their lives, & toss them before entering. Once inside...there would be tiaras for all. Along with all things artistic, the weekend would be centered around honoring ourselves as creative souls. There might even be a funky little ceremony to kick off the fun. Depending on the number of guests, time would be divided into segments,(recognized by a "Diva" bell) in order to put each artist on a designated pedestal (centrally located throne) in which she would receive proper pampering such as mani/pedi, reflexology, massage, and a mini-makeover. All of this would include amazing wines, great food, and good lighting! Sleep? who needs it? If we stay up long enough, maybe we'll see Spring arrive!
Lenore Gish wrote
on 11 Nov 2008 11:48 AM
I was actually on a one person quilting retreat to my very tiny, isolated cabin in the woods of BC Canada this past weekend. I ended up cutting by finger badly with the rotary cutter (stupid!) and then backing my new Jeep into a fence trying to get to the hospital. It was so dark I couldn't see a thing... but the quilt made great progress! I hate winter also and think a mid winter warm vacation is a must for mental health. I haven't done a quilting retreat with friends but would like to plan one. I know it would include lots of wine, country music, cheesecake (or anything that goes with whip cream and shouldn't be eaten in front of your thin husband) and of coarse quilting. I would let everyone work on whatever their current "passion" is. Sharing, encouragement and lots of laughter would be my agenda.
Denise L. wrote
on 11 Nov 2008 9:07 PM
-To help myself get through the cold dark winter, I often have starting knitting projects, though this year I plan to start some quilt projects. I also like seasonal baking: cookies, pumpkin bars and bread, pumpkin pie, my favorite butternut squash soup, my husband also makes wonderful soups when the weather starts to get cold. I also like to decorate, and leave the Christmas/Solstice decorations up until after Valentine's day (though artificial trees and wreaths only, to avoid fire hazards!) I have never attended an informal stitching retreat, though I once participated in a group art show with 13 artists, which took us a year to plan. Fun activities for a 3 day weekend retreat might be: a group quilt project, for a gift to a common friend, a cause, or for a group art project to be exhibited. Dying and printing fabric together would be fun, too, then you could exchange fabrics with each other! Lots of snacks, pizza, and great desserts would be good too! I love good coffee and tea, don't drink wine alot, but it might be good for some guests too.
Sandra wrote
on 12 Nov 2008 2:48 PM
Oh My! I didn't realize there was a rule saying one HAD to wear matching socks! Who knew!!!???
Del Vasquez wrote
on 6 Dec 2008 8:11 PM
If I could have a day with an artist, it would be Sara Lechner. I love working with fibers and threads. Sara's creations are from her heart and very original. I'm amazed how much her pieces tell - the story behind them. And her studio is amazing - so open to being free to be creative. Sara Lechner is a true artist and my inspiration.
Quilt Enthusiast wrote
on 11 Jan 2009 11:49 AM
Resting. That is what I've been up to this weekend when my winter cold required it. We had a pile of cozy blankets and quilts stacked on the couch. I snuggled all day. Tea and soup and chili were the basic food groups of the weekend. I made sure the heat was at a comfortable temperature and I rested. I have been looking at various magazines and books to see which direction my quilting will go. Basically I'll just enjoy this down time.
Pokey wrote
on 28 Jul 2009 6:17 PM

Oh, I am so sad. Someone slip me a happy pill, please . It's actually over. 2009 International Quilt

Pokey wrote
on 29 Jul 2009 6:15 AM

Oh, I am so sad. Someone slip me a happy pill, please . It's actually over. 2009 International Quilt

Pokey wrote
on 29 Jul 2009 6:19 AM

Oh, I am so sad. Someone slip me a happy pill, please . It's actually over. 2009 International Quilt

Pokey wrote
on 13 Nov 2010 4:42 PM

It’s that time of year again. Winter is coming, and although I’m in a new locale where all

Pokey wrote
on 13 Sep 2011 6:19 PM

Oh, I am so sad. Someone slip me a happy pill, please . It's actually over. 2009 International Quilt