First...the location...St. Columbia Episcopal Center in Memphis, TN...
This was a wonderful place to hold a retreat. The Episcopal Center is situated on 145 wooded acres. There are two separate lodges which offer overnight accommodations for up to 75 people and a variety of meeting or recreational spaces for up to 300 people. (We only used one of the lodges.)
This is the lodge where the retreat was held. Scheibler Lodge has 20 sleeping rooms and can accommodate up to 51 people for overnight retreats.
Food (which was wonderful) was served in a dining room in the lodge that can seat as many as 100 people. As you can see from this picture, quilts decorated many of the rooms in the lodge.
DAY 1Arrival time was set for 12:30 p.m. on Friday. I knew I'd like this retreat from the moment I drove in the parking lot. Before I could even begin to unload my car, someone was there to help me. Guild members totally unloaded the car and put my "stuff" in a sewing room; they even helped with my luggage. All of my quilting stuff was unloaded in record time (and there was a lot of it).
Friendly guild members greeted me at the front desk and gave me a packet of information which included an agenda of the weekend's activities. I made my way up to my room to find a pillowcase filled with "goodies." The PUP (Pickin' Up the Pieces) retreat committee members had made every attendee a special pillowcase to take home. Inside the pillowcase was a hand-made cell phone case and many other "quilty-type" items--definitely a nice touch that made everyone feel welcome.
Sharon Schamber was the "Feature Teacher" at the retreat. Sharon has won many prestigious quilting awards including multiple wins at the AQS Show in Paducah, KY. I had the opportunity to take her "Domestic Machine Quilting" class. She is a wonderful teacher.
There was one big sewing space that had portable walls that could be used to create three individual classrooms. The room was divided and three different classes started at 1:30 p.m.--Sharon Schamber (Domestic Machine Quilting), Cathy Cutter (Storm at Sea-made simple), and Debby Cresanto (Show Pin Quilt). I took Sharon Schamber's class where we learned to make quilted feathers without marking. Dinner was at 5:30 p.m. The meal ended with a timed game of naming quilting gadgets called "Name That." A prize was given to the game winner.
The rest of the evening was spent on "free" sewing in the big sewing room (portable walls removed). Sewing in pajamas and bare feet was highly recommended after dinner! Some people took the "comfort thing" to a whole new level...notice what is hanging off the back of Tanja's chair! I knew we were kindred spirits when I saw that!
Stay tuned the next few days for a day-by-day run down of retreat activities along with lots of pictures.
...a quick update on my Dad...We moved my Dad (who had a hemorrhagic stroke and had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital while they were on vacation in Branson, MO) to an in-patient rehab facility in Memphis, TN, close to my sister. He is doing really well--gaining more movement in his right leg each day. His big wish is to be able to golf again. (He is used to golfing five days a week and walking over five miles each day--with golf clubs!) Thank you for all the prayers and well wishes; I can't tell you how much it means to me.