Our 7th annual Quilting in the Rockies retreat got under way last week at the Inn at Palmer Lake just north of Colorado Springs. These quilters braved the dark, rainy conditions that we were experiencing in Colorado that week. We certainly have dedicated quilters who travel from across the United States to attend and a handful have made it every year. There were quilters from California to Pennsylvania, and we even had several from flood stricken Lyons and Boulder, Colorado. Sadly, a couple had to leave a little early when husbands reported basement flooding. Eventually we braved the dreary condition and warmed our selves by getting to work.
The week started out on Tuesday afternoon when everyone got checked in and settled into their rooms. The Inn is a cozy place with just 24 rooms, but each one has a spectacular view of the front range or of Elephant Rock. A meet and greet was held and a lot of lugging in of equipment. It’s not an easy task to take your sewing on the road.
Two quilts are offered, an early bird quilt, which is optional, and the much anticipated mystery quilt. With a theme of Surf’s Up, you could be sure they would be fun and a little whimsical. The early bird quilt was a serene sea themed quilt in sea glass greens and blues. Its a collection called Serenity by Cheri Strolle for Northcott fabrics. It definitely brought to mind a beach cottage and gentle waves (we’ll show you a picture later this week). The waves were created by the split second ruler and enhanced with a sprinkling seashell appliques.
This year’s mystery quilt, designed by Julie, was certainly influenced by her recent trip to Hawaii! It was offered in bright, beachy batiks or a softer, neutral palette of Stonehenge by Northcott. Both were spectacular in their own way. While the batiks evoked the warm tropics, the neutrals brought to mind the beauty of southwestern nature. Each day the quilters watched her demonstrate a block or two, then they were given the fabric for the block and went to work. The blocks were titled Pineapple, Trade Wind, The Sun, The Wave and Birds of Paradise. Lot’s of dedicated work, but also a lot of laughs, friendship and fun went on during the week.
The days had plenty of time for breaks and the ladies were served excellent meals. We also had additional make-and-take crafts, such as a pineapple pin cushion and a fabric hibiscus. And of course, there is always time for some games and giveaways. The Homespun Hearth store was set up in the corner so our quilters could take a break and pick out some fat quarters, kits or the latest supplies.
The weekend wrapped up on Saturday night with a real pig roast. It was delicious, but most were slightly creeped out by its green olive eyes! By Saturday night, everyone was happy (and a bit tired! ) and very excited to have accomplished a new quilt top. I know many will be back and hopefully some new quilters will join us for the 8th annual festivities in 2014.