I have this magnet on my fridge that says “Upon the advice of my attorney, my refrigerator has nothing to say at this time.” Well, that’s how I felt last week when my deadline came and went. If I could have found an hour to myself I might have been able to prattle on about something, but really …  the box was empty.

I was getting ready to go away — the first of three out of town trips inside of a month. But I have obligations nearly every day and these obligations were not cutting me a break. I really needed this vacation.

Yes, it was a quilt retreat but there is more to these retreats than sewing. It’s about getting together with other women who really needed to get away as much as I did. When we are together we share, we commiserate, and we heal — at least for the time being. We also laugh a lot, cry a little and definitely eat too much chocolate — not that anyone is counting.

Everyone there is making something different, and if someone loves something being made they ask for the pattern and we give it to them willingly. We seasoned pros get to teach the newbies all of our tricks and they look at us like we are mystical creatures. The newbie next to me was complaining because she didn’t have a thread cutter on her machine — but I know sewing machines so I sprinkled my fairy dust and pointed to a slot in the back bar. Wallah — she had a cutter.

The person on the other side of me wanted to make something from a picture but didn’t know how to do the math. I suggested she buy the pattern and she gave me hairy eyeballs so I had to do the math, the design and the trimming. She did a great job!

Someone asked me to come see her project.  “Why doesn’t this square look right?”

“Because you sewed this piece in the wrong direction,” I tell her.

Another gal: “Why is this iron dripping?”

“Because it’s not plugged in.”  

I’m telling you, I was on fire and fairy dust was flying everywhere.

And even though we all come with a boatload of projects, one woman had made a little chicken out of two pieces of fabric just for kicks and giggles and suddenly we were all making chickens. One friend was making a whole flock and I said, “Are you making one for each grandchild?” 

“No, I’m making all of them for one child.” It seems that her daughter wants to raise chickens but she lives in the city so this is my friend’s fun way of fixing the problem.

To be honest, I think a few of these gals really come to socialize. They sit outside and enjoy the weather, or they go for nature walks or even take a dip in the water. They don’t get too much done but they seem perfectly okay with it.  Me — I figure I spent good money for this opportunity and want to get the most out of it. I shake my head at their craziness and put the pedal to the metal because I feel the need to get my money’s worth, and also I have a quilt show coming up.

I was crazy in my own right though because I had gone looking for something in my sewing room a few weeks ago and found a pile of things I meant to have ready for the show. I mean 10 or 12 possibilities that just needed a little creative juice and quiet time — which I have little of — thus the retreat.

The social butterflies also head over to the lodge early to relax in front of the fire or read a book, but I can still be found burning rubber after midnight. I don’t think they understand what a quilt retreat is all about. (Or do they?)

Sleep is over rated there, especially since the beds aren’t particularly comfy. I tried taking another mattress that was peeking out from under my bed and putting it on top. It was smaller and rather squishy.  I put my egg crate foam on that and attempted to put the sheet over all of it. It was unbalanced and quite like sleeping on a boat. About two in the morning I almost fell out of bed so I tossed the extra mattress. Unfortunately one of the other women also stacked her mattresses and actually did fall out of bed. She not only shorted out the lamp next to the bed, she tripped the breaker and took out the power to three other rooms.

Laughable moments like this are what keep us snickering long after we’ve come back home.

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