Friday, March 7, 2014

My Virtual Retreat

I have been on a 'virtual retreat' (see below), sewing steadily since Monday.  Most of that time has been spent sewing the borders for my Woodland Creatures quilt:

Woodland Creatures, side borders

I finished these two border strips this evening.  While I love the process of applique, I do have to say that the sheer amount of sewing to get these borders done was a bit overwhelming.  I'm glad I got caught up on this project!

Now I'm just waiting for the fabrics to arrive for the top and bottom borders - the last leg of this 'voyage'.  I do have a little bit of embroidery to do on this - the butterflies and dragonflies need antennae and the snakes need eyes and mouths.  Some of the flowers need some embellishment too -  perfect handwork for quiet moments! 

I have another week and a half of 'virtual retreating' and I will use that time to put some borders on other UFOs, and get them ready for quilting.  I am loving having all this time to work on nothing but quilting.

What is a virtual retreat, you ask? 

Well a real retreat is cocooning, usually with other quilters, in a place where you can work on quilts without interruption by 'real life'.  Usually it means going to a rental house or facility.  My guild, for example, holds retreats twice a year at a place called 'Saylor's Sandcastle', a huge house right on the seawall near Ventura, CA.  We go for 4 days and do nothing but quilt!

A virtual retreat is one where you stay at home and sew as if you were on retreat with friends.  An internet group that I belong to - Stashbusters - holds a virtual retreat for one weekend every month.  We sew for up to three days (as much as we have time for), and our 'friends' along for the retreat are all online.  Well, this week, Stashbusters is holding a 10 day virtual retreat cruise - we are 'cruising' starting in Alaska, sailing down the coast of Canada and the US.. then out to sea and on to Australia!  During this virtual cruise, we will sew and quilt and stay in touch with our retreat friends via the Stashbusters Yahoo group.  We'll have chances to share our triumphs and frustrations, highs and lows.  And everyone can participate as much or as little as they have time for. 

So that's what it's all about.   Obviously, we are not really on a ship, and people will have real life issues that call them away from their sewing machines and computers, but the idea is to enjoy the virtual facilities as much as we can and work on busting those stashes!!!

I started my retreat a week early - it takes time to get up to Alaska from southern California, so I hopped on a virtual ship leaving from LA Harbor to Alaska and have been retreating the whole week up there.  I've even checked out a few of the sights along the way - the beautiful coastlines of no. Calif and Oregon, the beautiful mountains of Washington and the Canadian coast as well.  The internet is a marvelous tool!

Anyway - the official cruise started this morning, and I am on the way back down south again, this time with my fellow retreaters.  We had dinner at the captain's table tonight - (I had the Thai spring rolls) - and now I am prepping for a class tomorrow.  (In reality, I have a quilting class every Saturday morning, and I will attend for a little while, but then it will back on board after brunch out with friends).

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