Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Another Weekend, Another Crafty Weekender

You may remember about a year ago I attended something called Crafty Weekender.  Or maybe you don't.  You can refresh yourself here.  Much like last year's retreat, I hadn't planned on attending but found myself with a surprise opportunity to fill an opening last minute.  Amazingly, Brent didn't have any shows scheduled and I didn't have one thing on the calendar so I was in!  I only had a few days notice so I quickly threw some random projects in a bag, did some laundry, made sure the mister and the kid could survive without me for a few days, and I was off!
This time, I was headed to a cabin in Cookson, OK which is on Lake Tenkiller.  It was only an hour and a half drive with wonderful weather and raunchy podcasts.  I did arrive a day late (seems I never get to stay at a retreat the entire time!) but the gals promised to not have any fun until I got there.  ;)  

This cabin was MADE for sewing enthusiasts because it was designed BY a sewing enthusiast!  There were existing design walls, cutting and ironing stations, patterns tacked to every wall, a fully stocked kitchen, and a quilt for every bed!  The owner is also a massage therapist so some of the gals opted for an hour of relaxation on site!  I wish I'd known about that service beforehand!
It was a tad tight with twelve people working and living here but we certainly managed and got along quite well!  Susannah consistently organizes a wonderfully laid back retreat.  New to this weekender were sponsors!  We all got goodie bags and enjoyed numerous giveaways throughout the weekend.  She also made a screen for us to use for printing which mighty cool.  Oh, and one night we gambled with fabric!  Yes!

In addition to all of that goodness, she organized a pillow swap for everyone who wanted to participate.  I immediately wrote it off because, last minute McGee here didn't have time to make a pillow...or so she thought.  Of course, the night before I left, I decided I HAD to make a pillow to swap so I did!  I played around with some Dresden diamonds (taken from Dana's wonderful book) and came up with this puppy.  I LOVED it.  I was a little sad to say goodbye but was thrilled with whom it went home! 
I scored the COOLEST sequined pillow from Linda - I know, sequins?  Briana?  These are no ordinary sequins, they flip back and forth!  You CANNOT stop touching this pillow.  I am enamored with it.  And so is everyone else in my household.  
As I attend more functions like this, I'm finding a common theme.  The community.  Spending time with folks that have similar interests creates such a positive atmosphere and the learning that goes on really blows my mind.  Every time I leave one of these retreats, I leave with new tricks up my sleeve.  In the past, I was incredibly stingy with my crafty knowledge and I wish I hadn't been.  In my recent years, I've learned that the more you share, the more you receive.  Attending events like this really reinforce that for me. 
  
So what did I make?   First, I made myself a Sylvie Dress!  Brent bought me this pattern for Christmas and I finally made time to play around with it.  I'm not 100% thrilled with the shape BUT I think I could have probably gone down a size and would have been much happier.  I plan on taking this one in a little and making another smaller one.  It was a fun make though!
I also played around with some low volume half-square triangles for a guild project that I'll talk about more in the future!  It was challenging for me but more enjoyable than I thought it would be.  It's good to push ourselves sometimes.  :)
After I was done working on that project for the weekend, I moved onto more half-square triangles in a different size and color way.  Practice, practice, practice!  Both of these triangle projects are almost done now! 
I finished off the weekend with an early morning zipper bag for a thank you gift for a friend.  Used fabrics I won during our gambling spree and a zipper from our goodie bag. 
In closing, I STRONGLY encourage you to attend something like this, whatever your interests may be!  You'll be surprised by the friendships you form, the things you learn, and the memories you'll make.  Stay crafty, my friends!

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