If you’ve been following Carried Away Quilting since the beginning, you’ll know that I am blessed to have a group of quilting buddies who meet twice a year to sew, snack, scrapbook, talk, giggle and shop. It all began eighteen years ago when two church friends invited me to a retreat at a church camp in central Minnesota. I’ve sewn a lot of quilts at those retreats, but the most valuable takeaway has been the beautiful friendships I have made. I look forward to this get-away every spring and fall.
Our retreats are very casual and unstructured. We each work on our own projects at our own pace, but we take the time to share and applaud each other’s lovely makes. Last fall, my friend Ibby suggested that we work on a project together. We both are big fans of Stephanie Sliwinski (Fancy That Design House) . . . we love her fabric, patterns, t-shirts and gift items! We decided to make one of Stephanie’s patterns that we had both admired on Instagram, the Mod Fresh Granny Tote. Here’s a photo of my finished bag!
Ibby and I sewed our exterior panels last fall while we were at retreat, and then we sent them off to Woods Edge Quilting to be quilted. We contemplated quilting them ourselves with some simple straight line quilting, but we both knew we’d be happier if we let Katy work her quilty magic.
Last weekend, Ibby came to visit and we finished assembling our totes . . . well everything but the binding and the leather strap, which we each finished on our own this week. (We had to reserve some time for shopping on Saturday too!) Ibby texted me this photo of her lovely finished bag mid-week.
We both used Stephanie’s fabric collection called Slow Stroll to make our totes. The leather straps are from Noodlehead, and they can be sewn on or attached with rivets of various kinds. The Noodlehead website includes tutorials and techniques, just click on their “Learn” menu.
Here’s a cute photo of Ibby and her mom Pat at our fall retreat. Remember when I said that two church friends invited me to my first retreat with this group? Well one of those ladies was Pat! She and I became friends first, and then over time I gained her daughter as a friend. And all because a bunch of chatty, silly, generous, creative, kind hearted ladies like to get together and make things.
I don’t often go back and read my old blog posts, but this week I read my “Koronis Quilting Retreat” post from 2015, where I shared my gratitude for my retreat ladies. It warmed my heart to think of all the good times we’ve had over the years, and I also remembered fondly two in our number who are now gone. In that post and again today, I encourage you to seek a group that will bring joy and comradery to your life. It isn’t always easy to “put yourself out there,” but it’s worth it. Host a few ladies for an afternoon of sewing. Visit your local quilt shop to see if there is a group meeting. As a wise woman once said, “Take time for yourself with other women who share your passion and you will know a lifelong blessing!” (Ahem, yes, that wise woman was me.)
Thanks for stopping by the blog. Now go and get carried away quilting!