Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mini Quilt Retreat

Three friends in a cottage in the woods with fabric and sewing machines -- what could be better than that?  For three and a half days last week Diane, Joyce and I sewed and talked and laughed and shopped and ate!  What a lovely time we had.

Diane and I drove up to the mountains to Joyce's little cottage last week.  In case you think Arizona is all desert and cacti, here are a few photos to show you a different side of Arizona.

Diane was driving which left me free to take photos through the windows.

The views are breathtakingly beautiful!

The lower areas still have rocks and cacti.

It makes one wonder how and why the west was settled!  Can you imagine going through this rough terrain in a covered wagon or walking?

I would have stayed here -- so cool and beautiful!

We were at above 7,000 ft and in the cool, refreshing 70's!

When we arrived, the property was covered with trees that were a bit shorter than the tall pines we traveled through.  We also passed areas where regrowth was just beginning where forest fires had claimed many acres of trees.

The garden keeps the larger critters out, but a squirrel had to be chased out shortly after we arrived.

The squirrel got the ripe tomatoes.

I loved the remains of this felled tree.  Stumps and logs have always intrigued me.

They are ready for the colder weather which will arrive soon at that high elevation!

This is the view from the back deck.  If you look closely at the center on the horizon line, there is another home.  There were closer homes on the other side, but no windows there, so it seems very private and remote!

As soon as we could, we set up our sewing machines and were humming away.  Well, we did stop to talk and laugh, too.

We each have our organization styles.  This is Diane's.  She was quite far in her project, so these are the smaller pieces yet to be joined.

Joyce had already started her project and had things all laid out to sew.

Mine was a new project, so I just had all the parts cut and in the container ready to begin chaining pieces together.

Diane is working on one of the snowball blocks to go with the stars on her quilt.

When I wasn't taking photos, I was making chains for an Fall colored quilt.

Lots and lots of chains.  There was bright sunlight streaming through the window behind me.

These are Diane's star blocks.  She had all of these done by the time we left, as well as all of the snowball blocks.  She was working on the bonus half-square triangle units from the snowball blocks by the last day.

Joyce's little bow tie blocks are tiny!  She will be making bow ties for a long time!

I only completed one of the dark blocks to see what it would look like.  The alternate block is the opposite - dark where the light is and light where the dark is.  Oops, I sewed way too many of the light 2" squares to the ends of the 6-1/2" rectangles.  I un-sewed these on the way back home!

A retreat isn't complete without chocolate.  Wednesday was my day to cook, and this was our dessert for dinner.  I learned that candy coating melts differently at a high altitude!  Some of it burned.

Still these look pretty cute, don't you think?  They were tasty, too, although the candy cup was a bit too sweet for me to finish.  But, it's all in the presentation, right?

All too soon it was time to head back down the mountain to the heat of the desert.  At least we had a few days of cool weather and a TON of fun with friends.

Do you go on retreats?  Do you get a lot done or are you there mostly to socialize?

Where is your favorite place to go and get away from the routine of your life?

Please share your favorite get away.



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