Monday, April 24, 2017

What a gem

After our quilt retreat at Oak Forest ceased to exist, we started looking for a new spot to land.
Mary & Sharon, my quilting pals, tried out a place in Minnesota but it was dripping in religion and and we just want to sew.

Somewhere, we heard about Kristi's Northwoods Quilt Camp and decided to give it a try.
Kristi runs several, maybe 12, camps during the fall and spring.  All are located at The St. Croix Inn at Solon Springs.  The pricing was similar to what we had been paying and this time we had motel rooms instead of a big room with bunk beds.  This allowed me to have my own room, which is what I prefer because of my sleep/no sleep patterns.

The St. Croix Inn Motel is adjacent to Lucius Woods County Park.  The setting is priceless.
The Inn has a pool, hot tub, deck out over the lake, and a bar with patio. 
There is a little quilt store in town within walking distance.
It is perfect!
St. Croix Lake - view from deck over the lake

But, we didn't know anyone here, we were nervous about how the set up would be, Mary is eating only glutin-free foods now because of a medical issue, we didn't know what to expect for food exactly and we had not seen the sleeping accommodations. 
My room at the Inn

But once we arrived, no worries.
The view from my sewing machine.

Once we settled into our sewing spots, which means toting in from the car several loads of sewing supplies, machine, fabric, etc, etc in and then setting up the machine, and finally making a comfortable place to work, then we start getting familiar with the other quilters.

We had joined Joyce at her group of tables.  Her sewing pal Colleen had to leave early, there were 3 open spots and she invited us to sit with her.  She was quiet, wearing headphones most of the time and was sewing some of the tiniest paper piecing squares I have ever seen.  But, over the course of Friday and Saturday, we got to know each other. I was sitting right next to her, so she got used to me interrupting her listening.  She turned out to be the best sewing friend.  She had been to the retreat 2-4 times per year for the past 15+ years.  This woman knew the ropes.  So, any questions we had, she knew the answers which was so perfect.
Kristi turned out to be a larger than life personality, who is a great cook and made us feel so welcome.  Everything that I had wished our last retreat to be, this one was.
Two meals a day, mid morning brunch and later supper.
A bar upstairs if you want a cocktail, which we took advantage of.
Or, you can bring your own wine/beer, no one seems to care.
Great food, and Kristi did a little prize drawing after every meal.

Mary & Sharon and I had not been there long when we decided this is our place
so we signed up for Fall and Spring 2018.

I love having my own room and at $60 per night, it is affordable for sure.
The rooms with lakeview have a little balcony, I might try one of those sometime as the view would be sweet, but truth is, we don't spend much time in the room so it's not too important.

This trip we sewed until 1:30 am the first night and about 1:00 a.m the second night.  I was up and sewing by about 8:30am both mornings, Mary & Sharon were up and at it a little earlier.
We got our money's worth in the sewing room.

So, here are a few of my projects.
Christmas table topper

Stand & Stow bag, size medium

Stand and Stow bag - Large

Snap Bag, this is upside down, but the white border is the opening

Cloth napkins - this was our Earth Day project.
I made these for myself, I'm going to stop using paper napkins and start using these little cuties.

Rain Fall is the the name of the pattern.  just 3 squares of a quilt but you get the idea.
It's all shade of coffee, latte, creams.

When we were doing the napkins, we learned a sweet technique for mitering corners.

Learning the miter spread through the room, many sewers learned a new technique.
After brunch on Sunday and when Kristi is done with her clean up, the quilters gather for Show and Tell.  Everyone gathers around the center of the room and each sewer shows a project to the group.
We didn't participate this year, 
but I can see this is part of the camaraderie and I'll plan for it next time.
Show and tell

37 quilters had been here.
One of her largest groups ever.
I think a smaller group will be kind of nice.

This was the cutest quilt.
I got on the road about 2:00 p.m.
I took a drive past The Sandcastle on the way home.
All was well at the castle.
We are lucky, no break ins, no sign of mice.
 The township must be working on 'firewise' clean up.  
Sand road had been brush hogged back about 10 feet off the road.  

I saw a little herd of deer of Connors Meadow Road.
Funny how they spring when they get spooked.

All in all, a really great weekend.
I am already looking forward to Fall at Kristi's Northwoods Quilt Camp.
Sometimes you find a gem up north.

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