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SBAMQG Retreat 2013


Well, it’s been a week since I’ve been back from the retreat, and I finally have my voice back. I always forget about the week-long downtime I always seem to need from sewing after a retreat or sewing gathering. I finally just unpacked my sewing machine this weekend and got some sewing done. At least the week-long post-burn no longer frightens me! (Am I the only one who gets scared during a burnout phase that somehow you’ll never want to sew again?)

Koinonia Grounds. Photo by Karen @ capitolaquilter

This year, the South Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild retreat was held at the Koinonia Conference Grounds in the Santa Cruz mountains. The room we were sewing in was HUGE and came with a stage which we put to good use laying out quilts.


I was on the retreat committee this year (major props to Karen @ capitolaquilter for leading the charge), which means I got to help put together the swag bags (and let’s be honest, that was the main reason I was on the committee — I wanted to help with the swag!) We created the large-size Open-Wide Zippy Pouch by Noodlehead for everyone. It is such a great pattern! However, after installing 25 zippers, it may be a bit before I make another one. ๐Ÿ™‚

Gillian and me bossing Jane around. Photo by Karen @ capitolaquilter

Jane and I carpooled to the event and got to the retreat early enough on Friday to help set up (and claim space on a design wall!) but then we left at 8p for the 90 minute drive to San Francisco to pick up Gillian from the airport. After an exciting treasure hunt to find our car in the very confusing parking lot, we got back to the retreat at 12:30a. Gillian had flown from Boston after teaching her two university classes, so it was 3:30a her time. Now you might think that she’d want to go to bed. But you’d be ย wrong! People were still up, and so we joined them and got to sewing!


I don’t remember when we got to bed, but it turns out that breakfast was at 8a which seems like cruel and unusual punishment. Most people were hurting for sleep but we all got right back to it. One of the most fun parts about the retreat is that any time someone finished something, people would yell “stage! stage! stage!” until the person would go up onto the stage and show off their project. Everyone would ooh and ahh, and pictures would be taken. It was a great way to celebrate all the accomplishments achieved over the weekend!

Katherine going down the slide. Photo by Sharon Cooper.

On Saturday, the grounds opened a rope course (no thank you) and mentioned a large slide that people could go down. The slide looked like an old decommissioned water slide, and you went down sitting on burlap. Many of us had to give that a go! You’d go up the sides as you went around turns, which was “exciting” in a “omg I’m going to pop off the side and rocket off into the forest” kind of way.

Saturday evening, we had a bonfire and cooked s’mores. Because: camp.

Then it was back to more sewing. Jane, Gillian and I were sharing a cabin, and we all decided at midnight we were too tired to continue. Except after a walk through the redwoods to our cabin, we were awake again, and ended up talking until 2am. Except that the time had changed on us, so we’d effectively talked until 3a. It was pretty much the equivalent of a middle-school slumber party. It was fantastic!


I was barely functioning by Sunday (and my voice was pretty much gone), so I just goofed around trying out thread doodling and trying not to fall asleep at the sewing machine. At 3p it was time to clean up and go home (and sleep like the dead.)

Monday was a whirlwhind trip with Gillian, hitting all the things she loves in Santa Cruz, and then I drove her back to SF for her flight home that night. It was an incredible four days, but I guess in retrospect I’m not that surprised I was practically non-functioning last week! I will leave you with a mosaic of most of the finishes from our very productive group!


1. first finishes, 2. sanda finish, 3. amber finish, 4. susan finish, 5. minecraft blocks, 6. lori finish, 7. karen finish, 8. minecraft block, 9. lori finish #2, 10. katherine finish, 11. katherine finish back, 12. jane finish, 13. jane finish back, 14. laura’s tiny block, 15. merydith finish, 16. dana finish, 17. laura’s appliquรฉ, 18. modified bento box, 19. urban lattice top, 20. stage


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