Posts Tagged ‘quilt retreat’


40.1 Thoughts on The Creative Place in Spring Hill

July 31, 2016

Hey blog readers, this post is a month back, but finally got pictures uploaded. I anticipate being able to post again this week now that computer pictures have been transferred over. A majority of this was written almost a month ago, and if edited correctly, you wouldn’t notice, but please forgive future & past tense switches that do not make sense if I missed an edit.


After my March – A – Long this year where I decided to focus on free motion quilting, several miniquilts of mine were quilted in time for our local quilt show in early July.

At the end of June, I was asked to attend a local mini retreat, which was perfect timing for the last bits of quilting needing to be done before the local quilt show.

In Spring Hill, Kansas, in a small downtown area (one block), quilter Kelly Ashton has a building she is calling The Creative Place, a retreat center for crafters.


Kelly has thought of almost everything a crafter/quilter would want, and frankly, I can’t figure out what she is missing.

I did miss meeting Kelly herself. She came the 2nd night when I was sleeping, and as I was driving away at the end of the retreat, I saw her just outside the front door with the last few remaining retreaters. I did however, see her hexagon presentation to our guild last year (or was it the year before?) and was impressed with her thought process and design even then.

Anyway, this place is great. It’s all one level, so it’s inhabiting like 2 “store fronts” of the downtown Spring Hill area.


The sewing space is huge. We had 16 – 18 people there One was a grandson who was visiting on one of the days, so mom could get some sewing time in (grandma was at the retreat). We could have had more day-trippers up to 25 may not feel that crowded. We weren’t actively using 7 tables for sewing, so they became quilt design “walls” and holding areas for fans.

But, Kelly also has her own movable design wall (out of PVC pipe), which most of us didn’t need, so sat unused behind one of the main cutting areas. Maybe the 2nd design wall was also hers, or maybe that was someone who brought one.


What also sat unused, but could have had lots of use, depending on the group, was a huge light table. A large handmade table with lights underneath and plexiglass top that several people could utilize all at the same time.


What sat underneath the light table, was a GO cutter, but no one also worked with that. I believe it was Kelly’s too, and I believe she wouldn’t have minded we use it either, but that was uncertain to those of us who noticed the cutter in our sewing area.


In the main sewing area, two bathrooms, with cute decorations, a front area next to the windows, several large ironing surfaces with storage available for use underneath, a back area with lots of local food menus / suggestions, a fridge.

In the front there was also a carpeted sitting area, which would be nice for sitting and chatting with handwork for some of the weekend.


Moving from the front room, to the left is the kitchen/bathroom/shower/area.  Toward the back of the place were two more bathrooms with step-in showers with handicapped railings.


Just along the hall were numbered hooks for towels, so each overnight guest wouldn’t get them mixed up, and provide a place for them to dry.


There were cubbies with extra blankets, and open spaces for people to store their things. Nice ikea shelves with lots of room!


The dining area is in the same “room” as the kitchen with four smallish tables and four chairs around each.


Kitchen was stocked with lots of plates, bowls, a brita water pitcher, general kitchen items, two coffee pots, electric water kettle, dishwasher, microwave etc. This was the first retreat that I have personally attended, where we didn’t have “set meals” where we got to go sit and eat together. People could come eat whenever they wanted, they did have to provide the food for ourselves, and there is enough places nearby for those who wanted to eat out.

The ladies coordinated suppers together, first night lasagna, second pulled pork, those meals were sit down with each other, but the rest was “on your own”. Totally different atmosphere than what I’ve seen at other retreats, but totally worth it! More sewing time!


The only minor downside was the sleeping area. It was very well done, but it was one large room with 16 beds. The only way I am calling it a downside is if there is a majorly loud snorer or if light sleepers have a hard time with noises.

Each bed had its own footrest where the bags/shoes/clothes would be kept. Each bed also had a numbered locker with a key on a bracelet so we could store personal/sensitive things. And on the locker were these low level lights so there could be “walking around” lights during the night that were enough to see to move around at night, but not too distracting for people who were sleeping.


Behind the sleeping area in the other window store-front was another sitting area with a couch, a couple of more chairs. We had it closed due to the heat. We ended up sewing on one of the hottest weekends of the summer (so far). Fans going constantly. Everywhere.

Also for the person sleeping next to the door to the kitchen area, if the light was on in the kitchen got a blast of light. Light was also a small problem for bathroom trips from the dark sleeping area if people were up and moving around the kitchen, it was sorta jarring due to the bright kitchen area lights. This could potentially be fixed with placement of some mobile kitchen lights that could be turned on during the normal sleeping hours, so the bright overheads could be shut off and the kitchen still be usable. Perhaps they were there and I didn’t see them?

So for those very, very small issues, the rest of the place here is amazing! Highly recommend a group to sign up for this retreat center!


Across the street was a quilt shop, the Quilted Sunflower, who opened up special on Friday night. Saturday afternoon, the group took a couple of hours going to a neighboring town’s quilt shop in Paola. I missed out on the trip into town because I was on a roll and I have been downsizing my stash a little this year. I did go to the Quilted Sunflower in Spring Hill.

And there are several quilt shops within 30-40 minute drive, for people out of the KC area to use.

This place was just so wonderful, I posted in another retreat’s FB page in case they need to move or want to add an extra retreat. Price seemed reasonable, the experience was lovely! Would do it again in a heartbeat.

Personally, I knew 5 of the ladies sewing with the group that was there, the rest were new to me, but some of them familiar – probably seen them at local quilt shows etc! The lady across from me brought a pattern and fabric for these cute strawberry blocks she was making! In strawberry jam jars! I didn’t realize she wasn’t staying on Sunday and so I didn’t get to say good bye.

Anyway, I highly recommend this place to stay. Reasonable price, lots of thoughtful decisions made on Kelly’s part make this place a really special place for quilters and other crafters to stay as a retreat center! 🙂



32.9 Driving to and from SkyVue Lodge in Winslow, Arkansas

November 17, 2013

A week ago I was getting home from a relaxing retreat in Arkansas.

arkansas mountains

We were there about a week or two after the peak leaf-viewing season or so.

Some retreat experiences out of the norm.

On the way, we went to a quilt shop with consignment – Village Quilting in Bentonville, AR.

village quilting consignment area

The ladies had cards they were sending out to the service men & women. So I signed one.

letters to soldiers

And they had a completed small version of the quilt I was SO SURE I wanted to work on at retreat when it turned out that I didn’t have enough fabric (haven’t posted it yet).


And those of you who know me know I would love making that quilt, and I will some day.

The quilt shop lead us to a great local Bentonville cafe, The Station. Yum!


Yummy sandwiches & they serve kolaches (didn’t get one, but kolaches are from my past) & pies. And license plates.


And then we were in Winslow Arkansas at a wonderful bed & breakfast called the Sky-Vue Lodge. Where they go out of their way to be nice, help with bags, feed us well every day & night, love on us, & let us love on them back!

We have our normal sewing room.


With lots of natural light, where we have to play with the window shades in the morning.

We had show & tell somewhere in the middle when I was still awake!! And I was very happy!




And we heard about Moore, OK & El Reno, OK tornadoes a week apart from Kaye (who brought the minibar/shop)


Saw this quilt being put together all weekend.


And this one “sew stinkin’ cute!”


… using a fabric called “cuddle” which is a softer, lighter less textured version of minke fabric. So it was “sew stinkin soft” too.

And there were a few off/road adventures which I readily welcomed as part of my “vacation”.

The arts museum across the street had different items on display.





Complete with yarn bombed poles & trees!


And on Saturday, we adventured to the craft show at the fire station. These handbags I loved & thought about getting.


And this sweet doggie hadn’t really been inside much before.


I bought three knitted hats from the lady who brought the doggie! (pictures on other device)

And on the way back, we went to an inside sale. Basically an ongoing garage sale inside some lady’s house (never been to one before). At the inside sale, we saw a couple of old ruined quilts, one of which was over quilted on a completed quilt.


Beyond repair.

She had pretty linoleum flooring though. Quiltworthy flooring.


Up in the wonderful mountains.


Another top from someone else’s finish!


And we all got T-Shirts from the lady who does the massages who has some form of PT training as well. She apparently knows her stuff and so I am glad to help her advertise with the far-out shirts she gave out!


And here is what I was working on, the King’s Puzzle.



29.6 Retreat Progress

February 23, 2013

It’s been an interesting month. I didn’t realize it would be an entire month before posting, but here it is.

Anyway. Starting from NOW.

It’s also been an interesting week. What with going to my guild’s annual retreat and all.

And then the bereavement day. And the snow day. And now the days picking up the rest of the work resulting from snow delays, and in the future (monday), possibly more snow.

It seems things just have to be interesting right now.

Any case.

I should show you what I worked on Thursday as a compliment to what I have started with at the retreat.

weave updated smaller borders

I have reworked the corners of this quilt, removed the bright yellow inner border.

During retreat I created a total of 16 blocks of each direction of the weave border before I ran out of red fabric. I needed to have 19 blocks of each direction to complete the pattern all around plus the fabric for the corners.

I think this looks atheistically pleasing, and repeats the same numbers of blocks on each leg of the border as in the center of the quilt.

The design you see above requires 14 blocks of each direction and so I’ll be unpicking two of my completed blocks and reworking them to make the corners. If it’s possible to do, I kept similar dimensions and requirements of red for the corners compared to the original blocks.

32 of 38 weave block centers done

I currently have not designed the ends for the borders. I was trying to make the design wrap around itself, but EQ crashed for the 3rd time, so I didn’t bother retrying right now. Instead, I chose other computer time.

At least I have a direction. And I have removed the papers from about 20 of these blocks too.

Oh yeah, I need to start working on the tutorial for these blocks. Pictures have been done for a few weeks.  Getting there.

Okay, well after spending 2+ days on 9 blocks, I got out some projects that just needed borders.

So you remember the samurai Sudoku quilt I made, now it’s got its borders on, and just wowed the people at the retreat how well the borders work and are also very contrasty.

samurai sudoku quilt with borders

So now it floats in the middle of all the borders. I normally don’t like a lot of big borders, but this quilt it seemed to work quite nicely.

And the last quilt I also was working on borders for. The mystery quilt I did with my guild called Gemini Sky.

gemini sky borders started

Obviously, this picture was taken at a time when the lighting was way different. The whole picture/quilt is too pink compared with real life. I didn’t get the borders sewn on after the bright pink border, but I did add the ‘filmstrip’ quality to the already fabulous and sewn strip border.

I designed a few cornerstone blocks for the corners, but this quilt we were really rushing to work on as it was on the last day and I wanted as much sewing time as possible, also knowing I had to pack up & leave soon, so no pictures beyond this point.

Gemini Sky looks way different than I expected, but I really like it.

And if I may share one other situation from the retreat that I was a ‘small’ part of….

There was a lady who was working on a double bargello rainbow quilt twist pattern.


Not my quilt, but hey she is a math teacher, and what can I say, I really liked this quilt idea.   Great minds think alike. I would venture if I saw this pattern, I would try it out.

And so over the course of the few days, she worked on it and worked on it. The quilt requires you to sew strips and then cut the strips with a specific wedge template, sew them together in circles, and then cut portions of both of the circles, and then sew it together.


And just as what happened to me with my dancing ribbons, things weren’t lining up all that well in the wedge shape.  So we talked about it what to do to fix it, she asked another math person, and they said to tighten up all the seams coming in and out of the circle. I agreed that would help, emphasizing the amount of sewing in the center of the circles to help tighten the thing up.

And so the lady did just that, and then had both circles laid out, and things still weren’t matching up, and she wants to get this quilt finished before April (for her other guild’s quilt show), and what she was doing to fix it wasn’t helping enough to work without some MAJOR reconstructive surgery.

So on the very last day, I saw the two circles together, thought of dresden plates or drunken path blocks, and came up with a solution that I think she liked.  Just one of those things, “well what if you placed this piece here” type of things.

To save a quilt from “certain destruction”, here’s the resulting pattern which will be appliqued onto something. (or could stand alone I guess).


I am amazed that the rainbow pattern works too with this quilt. I am glad she didn’t have to trash the quilt that she had already put so much work into, and as I said, I think she likes this design too.

Best part is that with this design, you just have to be “close” to a quarter circle, so all that extra tightening, not quite necessary. no further seams to match up. Wheew!

Sew happy to have been able to help! Sew glad to have been able to see the possibilities with the design!

Alright until we meet again. It’s almost March-A-Long time.

I need to start working on that after work again, march starts the end of this coming week!!! AACK! Expect another post pronto.