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    “The most potent muse of all is our own inner child.”
    Stephen Nachmanovitch

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    Location: Colorado, United States

    I'm a wife, a mom, a dog lover, a complete lefty, a true scorpio, and I'm on a creative journey. I welcome you to join me.

    Sewing Southpaw...

    Is the place where I share my creativity, my hobbies, and other stuff!

    02 October 2009

    CQI Retreat 2009 update

    Too Much Fun........That's exactly how I would describe this year's CQ Retreat in Breckenridge, Colorado. Don't get me wrong, last year's retreat was a really good time, too. It's just that this year we had more room, more "crazy ladies" in attendance, more time to stitch and visit, truly gorgeous mountain views, and new places to shop - BONUS!

    One of those being the Breckenridge Bead Gallery. They have a wide variety of beads, charms, bits and pieces, and the prices are SOOOOOO reasonable. The little gal working that day was just giddy from all of us, and other customers, piling up our purchases. CaChing, CaChing, CaChing!!!!

    I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that 14 women, over 4 days, in relatively close quarters managed to get along so well. Everyone was so happy to share their 'stuff', their stories, their techniques and ideas, their beautiful work, and there was so much laughter. It's good to laugh!

    I really can't thank Leslie and Gerry K enough for the effort they put forth. Not only with the EATS (which were fantastic, BTW) but with just everything that organizing this adventure required. I must also note here that Lauri makes a mean spaghetti sauce - YUMMMMMMY! With everyone taking turns prepping and cleaning, each meal, tutorial, and 'event' was nearly seamless (pun, pun, pun). Kudos to EVERYONE~

    (Remember to click on the image to enlarge it)

    This is the view from the condo that I stayed at with Lauri and Ingrid.

    The place is huge! Top floor, three bedroom, 2 bath, fireplace, wall of glass for amazing views, and a deck running the full length of the condo. One of the bedrooms is a master with on-suite bath and sliding glass door to the deck. Plenty of parking, great kitchen and I even ended up with the purple bedroom~~~~

    This condo is about 5 miles from the "Main Cabin" so we were able to get back and forth quickly and not miss any of the festivities. The main cabin has a really nice open floor plan with a good size kitchen, dining area, and living area. In addition to a 2 car garage for storing extra 'stuff' and a hot tub on the patio. The place has bedrooms and bathrooms everywhere. LOL.

    That's my little camp chair and PILE of stuff in the lower right corner. I swear, I don't know how we managed to get all of the suitcases, boxes, totes, etc., that we brought into that cabin. Let alone how we managed to so easily maneuver around it. We must truly be a ONE with our stashes. LOL. BTW, I must, must, must tell you that Ingrid had the stash that WE WERE ALL in awe of. WOW, to be the cat while she's away!

    There were so many activities and tutorial going on over the course of our time there, that I can't even remember all of them. I've listed what I do remember:

    Hot tubbing (I'm not going to go there. LOL) Button painting tutorials, lace dying, making clay faces/objects, ugly silk tie grab, Stash and Dash, velvet embossing, Angelina fibers, Brazilian embroidery, various types of flower making, and of course, the Chinese Auction.

    This is what I brought home with me. It's a Janet original.

    Don't you just love this box??? I do!!! Although, I didn't have much hope that I would snag it in the Chinese Auction (sorry Theresa). Talk about a swapping frenzy. LOL. It was truly a hoot with so many wonderful gifts being offered up.

    Leslie made this very pretty Santa CQ and offered to finish it into a pillow for its owner. And while Debbie originally opened it, I believe it was Kerry who took it home. But it looks like Debbie was happy taking home the penguin that I made. I can't believe I forgot to take a photo before I wrapped him up - DUH! Thank goodness I did get one photo and was able to swipe another one.

    As to who got the rest of the gifts...It's pretty much a blur. I'll list what I can remember. However, I can assure you that Janet and Cathy got to open the most presents. Sadly, someone else just kept claiming them as their own - if only for a little while - before they were reclaimed again for the 3rd and final time, and became off limits.

    And Carolyn had the most gifts pass through her hands. She seemed to want everything that was opened. LOL. But who can blame her? Everything was so, sew, wonderful. Here she is visiting Cathy for (I believe) the second time. LOL.

    Alas, in the end, Carolyn found herself the proud owner of a lovely tea cozy made by Diane. And Diane took home a darling, heart-shaped pincushion made by (I think) Claudina.

    Lauri made this beautiful quilt and a teacup pincushion. And while Cathy didn't get to keep the quilt, she did end up with the teacup pincushion and a sweet little handmade lavender sachet.

    And Connie claimed this lovely pincushion (made by Gerry K).

    Ingrid got to take home this lovely little CQ'd box, full of goodies and fairy note cards (from Debbie). She also graciously split the note cards with Janet.

    And Janet??? Well, she took home the most amazingly glass button collection from Kerry. I think she was really happy with the way things turned out!

    Here are a few more of the photos that made it home on my camera. I hope you enjoy them.

    Let me tell you that when the stash (and scissors) come out, there is no stopping this bunch. It's a fabric sharing frenzy, the likes of which most people never get to experience. Proudly, I have been there twice! LOL. (A note of thanks here to Cathy who always manages to bring a TON of fabrics left over from her charities)

    Okay, now on to the eye candy............

    Lauri brought her Under the Sea (UTS) quilt that she has been working on. It is beyond stunning! And its beauty is only matched by its weight. Yes, you read correctly - its weight. This thing is HEAVY. But then why wouldn't it be? It's approximately 5 foot square and is completely covered with beads, charms, buttons, and any number of assorted DO-DADS. The stitching is exquisite and she has hand drawn/created most of the motifs herself. Talk about WOW factor! In fact, those who see it in person are so enthralled with it that they have started gifting her goodies to attach to it. Needless to say - I love it. (See her blog [link above] for more photos and information)

    Claudina brought her crazy quilt for use to drool over. And yes, it is beautiful, too. Hers is much more traditional in style. Not that it is 'just usual' by any means. She has created a quilt that is truly elegant and timeless.

    Ingrid also brought a fabulous surprise for us. She had the 2009 PieceMaker's quilt with her. I did not take any photos of it (I'm such an idiot!) but I did find this photo at their website.

    This quilt is breath-taking! I would estimate it to be approximately 5 foot by 4 foot. It is backed and bordered with black velvet. Each square is meticulously stitched and embellished. It truly is a labor of love and I am so very thankful for having had an opportunity to see it in person. Ingrid also brought each of us a 2009 calendar, which features each square and patterns to make them. What a treat!

    In fact, a number of the ladies attending brought a gifty of some sort. Leslie made all of us a wonderful CQI tote and brought us an eye candy calendar from the Rocky Mountain Crazy Quilter's association.

    Here are just a sampling of some of the goodies that came home with me. They are a combination of gifts, stash dash, and free for all items.

    Believe it or not with all of the goings on, I did actually get some stitching done while on retreat. Here is the progress on my Crazy Quilted Christmas Stocking, aka Victorian Boot Christmas Stocking.

    So, here we are at the end of the retreat and what did we accomplish? Well, according to Cathy, "when crazy quilters get drunk they make a sane quilt." I guess Cathy is right! LOL. But you be the judge. (From bottom to top: Ingrid, Janet, Theresa, Carolyn, Leslie, Claudina, Debbie, Cathy, Gerry K, Gerry H (me), Diane, Kerry, and Connie)

    And after they drink? Well, they need to stagger up the stairs to use the 'ladies room.' LOL. (only kidding - well sort of)

    Oh, and did you notice that our dear, sweet Lauri was missing? That's becaise she graciously offered to take photos for all of us. Wasn't that nice of her? So, as not to leave her out, and because we all know how much she loves to have her picture taken (NOT!!!!!), this one's for you my dear friend: You're BUSTED! (Isn't she just a doll???)

    I encourage you to visit the blogs linked to see more eye candy and to hear everyone else's stories. You won't be disappointed. And if you have a blog/link that you would like me to add to this post, OR if I've misremembered anything, please just shoot me an email.

    Our 2008 Retreat info is here.

    Thank you so much for joining me on this journey down my recent memory lane. Have a great weekend and don't forget that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Don't forget to Give.

    Until Next time...Happy Needling!!!


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    Blogger Lauri said...

    Very nice post and recap..................until the last pic. Geeeez Some people!! LOL
    Couldn't you at least photoshop about 50lbs off me?

    That's the last pic of me. Next year I wear a hood :)


    October 2, 2009 at 7:45 PM  
    Blogger kerrykatiecakeskeb43 said...

    Hi Gerry! It was great to read all about the retreat and relive it again! I had a blast and am already planning for next year (bought several truly ugly ties today at the thrift store, lol) It was wonderful meeting you in person as well as everyone else. See you next year!

    October 2, 2009 at 11:45 PM  
    Blogger Ruby said...

    Thanks, Gerry, I enjoyed this so much. Almost as good as being there! Ha!

    October 3, 2009 at 6:25 AM  
    Blogger Charlene said...

    wow - that was an exciting weekend, wasn't it. So glad you (and everyone) had a great time! Love the look of your blog!! Great job there, too!

    October 3, 2009 at 7:51 AM  
    Blogger Cat said...

    ALL wonderful! Great pictures of the views, the art, the goodies, and the poeple! I saw the drunks on the stairs on Cathy's blog!

    I'm glad you had such a good time... and you're ready to settle in fo the Winter of stitching now?


    October 3, 2009 at 9:13 AM  
    Blogger gocrazywithme said...

    Love the new look of your blog! What fun! And I think you got all the retreat info right; it was fun reading about it again. I'm impressed that you got it all into one post. I'm still working on a second post, but I didn't take very many pictures compared to last year.

    October 3, 2009 at 9:33 AM  
    Blogger Cathy K said...

    Great post, Gerry! I think you did a maaaahvelous job of capturing everything and everyone (even our sweet Lauri, who doesn't realize how cute she is!!). It was great to see you again and spend some time chatting and laughing. I didn't realize what similar senses of humor we have! ;-) Hugs, Cathy

    October 3, 2009 at 7:40 PM  
    Blogger Maddie Can Fly said...

    How did Ing smuggle the Piecemaker's quilt there? I know she's got friends in high places, but WOW! To actually be able to see the real quilt. (I'd ask Ing, but I've heard she's having computer problems)

    October 5, 2009 at 8:40 AM  
    Blogger Gerry said...

    Thanks for stopping by ladies, and for letting me know that I got 'it' right.

    I will repond to you all personally, at your blogs. Tootles.

    October 11, 2009 at 2:43 PM  
    Blogger Diane said...

    What a great recap of our cq adventure together. I've never attended anything like this before and I enjoyed myself so much! I'm already looking forward to next year's!

    October 11, 2009 at 9:01 PM  

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