Two weeks from today I will be heading to my semi-annual quilting and scrapbooking retreat at the beautiful Koronis Ministries camp on Lake Koronis in Paynesville, MN. Let me tell you . . . I CANNOT WAIT to get there. (Yes, my use of all caps means that I am nearly shouting those words in my own mind.) I will have a spring in my step every day for the next two weeks! My husband and daughter will sneak eye rolls at each other as I become increasingly annoying in my anticipation of KORONIS! Ten years ago two lovely ladies from our church, Pat and Diane, invited me to attend a “September Quilters” weekend retreat. I had never been on a quilting retreat before, and I was a little nervous. But what I found was a warm fellowship of women bound by common interests, strong faith, and lots of good humor. These ladies have been a blessing in my life for ten years and I am eternally thankful for the first invite that brought me into this circle.
Over the years the September Quilters expanded to include a couple of scrapbookers and paper crafters. We decided that gathering once a year was not enough, so we added a spring retreat as well. (We are warmed by the notion that we are such long-timers, the camp directors still refer to us as the September Quilters, no matter what activity we are doing and no matter if we meet in September, October, or April.)
And what was originally a weekend retreat has also grown. Instead of driving to camp after work on Friday and staying until Sunday, some of us began using a vacation day to arrive early Friday morning. Eventually the craziest in the group decided to take two vacation days, arriving Thursday morning. There are occasional giggles that we should make it an entire week, but we think most of the husbands might have a fit over that.
~ Fall Retreat 2014 ~
Occasionally someone cannot attend due to work or family commitments, and they are truly missed. But somehow we never miss a beat when we see each other next. Some of us have moved to different towns. Some of us have retired and become grandparents. Lives have changed. With the exception of my mom and a close friend who lives in my current hometown, I am only able to see these ladies twice a year. But we come together every retreat like comfortable old friends . . . picking up on conversations as though we just spoke yesterday, catching up on how much the children or grandchildren have grown, and (of course) sharing projects that we have been working on since last retreat. At KORONIS! we have held a baby shower and a wedding shower. We have spent too much money on fabric at the local quilt shops. We have forgotten to pack underwear and had to make an emergency purchase at the local discount store. We have abandoned our diets and regular fitness routines in lieu of sitting and “working” for 12 to 14 hours each day. (We get our exercise by cutting fabric or walking to the richly stocked snack table.) We have sewn in our pajamas late into the night. We have woken up to more beautiful sunrises across the lake than we can remember. We have raced to be the first in line at meal time, beating out any other groups at the camp. (After all, we ARE the September Quilters!) We have laughed, we have cried, we have gossiped (oops) and we have shared devotions.
Harriet, Ibby and I all had fun making the Moda Love Charm Quilt during the Fall Retreat 2014.
As I am writing this, I am struck once again by how lucky I am to have KORONIS! in my life. I am also wondering if someone is reading this and feeling blue that maybe you don’t. My message to you is this: make your own KORONIS! If you are a quilter, sewist, scrapbooker, jewelry maker . . . you surely know a handful of women with similar interests and warm personalities. Start with a day retreat in someone’s home. Begin a gathering. Take time for yourself with other women who share your passion and you will know a lifelong blessing!
Thanks for reading today! KORONIS! T-minus 14 days!
Good morning campers!
We are always so happy to arrive at camp! ~with Corri & my step-grandma Shirley
Two of my treasured small quilts from Fall Retreat 2014.
Ibby found a treasure at the quilt shop!
Poor Ibby, someone tried to steal her new wire basket for their stash.
Diane won the Halloween door prize!
Brenda sorts through hundreds of photos. Hmmm . . . she has some work ahead of her!
Look at this lovely pinwheel quilt Pat made from my scrap triangles from spring retreat!!!
A little Fig Tree fun . . . Navajo Star.
Nancy with her stunning quilt! What a beauty!
Mom Penny and daughter Vicki are happy with their progress.
Wow, some of our pieces are soo bitsy!
Corri . . . capturing the special moments of her beautiful family.
Shirley is making aprons for her daughters and granddaughters!
Evenings are lovely at Koronis.
~Fall Retreat 2013~
Love the soft warm colors in Brenda\’s quilt!
Our work stations . . . all lined up!
Ibby\’s beautiful Fig Tree project: Cherry Pie! Love, love, love!
Brenda working on a counted cross stitch Christmas stocking.
We love Clare, whether her eyes are open or closed!
Our favorite twins, Pam & Deb, working on their photo books.
A little fall lovely by the lovely Diane.
Harriet\’s pretty wall hanging used the layered panel / chenille technique.
Oh such warm autumn colors in Pat\’s table topper!