I went to a three day quilt retreat with the Greater Middletown - Heart of the Valley Quilt Guild at YMCA Camp Hazen in Chester, Connecticut a couple of weeks ago and wanted to share about my experiences there. I have not been able to participate in any quilt activities the past 6 months because of my cataracts. After the cataracts healed from the surgery in October and I got my new glasses, I was able to thread a needle again, so I was a last minute signup for the retreat and filled the last empty spot. I have been attending quilt retreats for well over 10 years (see Quilt Retreat and Friendship) and these respites from daily life with good friends are very important to me.
Usually I go to a retreat with too many projects to complete and I stay up late and don’t take enough time to relax and visit with friends. This time I was the first one in bed on Friday night instead of doing marathon sewing and being one of the last ones going to bed. I signed up for a chair massage by the fireplace on Saturday and that was wonderful as all the tension in my shoulders melted away. I worked on some small journal page size experimental art quilt pieces without having any plan in mind. I signed up for the art doll class with the talented and creative Pat Gardiner. Her dolls have been exhibited widely including Houston Quilt Festival, the biggest quilt show on earth. While this was not a doll I would have chosen to make on my own, it was a fun experience and everyone in the class enjoyed themselves in the process of making the dolls and sharing our own stories.
Friends are important - the good, healthy kinds of friends who don’t have a hidden agenda and have your best interests at heart. These are the friends who accept you as you are and don’t expect you to compromise your values or do something that makes you feel uncomfortable. They don’t cross or push your boundaries - they respect your autonomy as a person and your right to be who you are. That is what friends are all about.
Here are some photos from the quilt retreat. Enjoy!
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