Sunday, November 7, 2010

Best Thing About Retreat

The best thing about retreat is the people.  Our daughters have been attending retreats with us as they were able ever since the beginning.  The girls are ages 18 to 28 and they still love to come to retreat at any given chance.  Our oldest daughter Monica lives in Detroit and while she doesn't get back often, retreat is a special time for her to re-connect with women who have impacted her life and whom Monica loves to share her love of sewing.

We have been sponsoring and attending retreat for eleven years.  Twice a year we get to escape the "real world" and live according to our own time clocks.  The only schedule that we adhere to is three meals a day that are graciously served to us and that are DELICIOUS.    It is amazing how NOT tiring retreat is.  I have no desire to take a nap on retreat because it is energizing to just play the days away.  In the morning when I get up, I can't wait to see everyone and get back to the project that is calling my name.  

On this fall's retreat, I took along four projects.  When I first started attending retreat,  I would take more than two dozen projects and take home most of those projects.  Too funny.  Over the years, I have learned to better gauge my projects.  I usually only take a few projects along, not necessarily that I believe I will finish all the projects.  More than that, I take a mixture of projects in case I get tired of working on one particular project.  Many people tell me that some projects are designed for them to bring back to many retreats.  As long as the projects keep making me happy, I keep bringing them along.

I worked on one project the whole time I was at retreat.  I had a great time working on machine quilting.    People don't believe me when I tell them how easy machine quilting can be on my home sewing machine.   I love being able to use a very fine thread and be able to use a small needle and be close to my work.  On this particular quilt, I used 50-weight Aurifil thread.  Typically, I use 100-weight silk thread.  However, once I started this project, I gave the Aurifil a try.  It was great.  The quilt was hand-appliqued with silk thread with great intricate detailing.  I tightly filled in the center medallion with a mixture of fill stitches.  In addition to surrounding the florals and basket, I created detailing within the leaves and added elements for texturing the baskets and more. 

Listening to other retreat attendees, I am always inspired by their motivation to accomplish great things.  Typically, I don't sew with an agenda.  I sew just for fun.  If I happen to get something done for a gift, that is great.   If I don't finish the project, I never get wired about it is "supposed to get done."   This is an acquired skill.  When I was younger, I took on impossible tasks and went crazy trying to finish things in a very tight schedule.  While I got a lot done, I didn't always enjoy peace or a real satisfaction.  I have always loved giving the things I made.  The giving often made the exhaustion worth it.  Now as I have matured, the contentment of sewing because it makes me happy and because I am motivated has taken over.  I think the giving has become so much happier for me.  As I work on a project as I think about the people I am sewing with and the people I am sewing for and I think about how much fun I am having drawing with my sewing machine. 

All the Best to You, jill


Virginia said...

The retreat was so much fun and even productive.
Thank you so much for having these retreats and having the patience to put up with me. Having just read your October blog about the Attitude Girls kits, I wanted to apologize for asking about them at retreat when I could have read everything about them in your blog. That shows my ignorance about your website and blogs. That has now been corrected.
Seeing you, your family, and all the people at retreat truly does inspire me. With so much going on in all of our lives, taking the time to reconnect with our own self-worth in an atmosphere of acceptance and creativity immeasurably inspiring. Thank you.

Ginny (Virginia) Watt

jillreicks said...

There is never any reason to apologize for asking good questions. I am glad you ask!

Thanks for joining us. It was one of the BEST retreats we have ever had.