Quilt Retreat

When I left you last, I was on my way to a quilt retreat in Logan, Utah. It was to be my first -ever- and I was looking forward to it with such enthusiasm! The few acquaintances I’ve met in my new small town were well aware of my upcoming trip as I talked about it all the time.

Mark was in town and the goal was to take the boys and daddy to his mother’s house, Grandma Donna, and drop them off. From there, Jen and I would head on to Logan and check into our over abundant hotel/guesthouse for a night. In taking the babies to their grandma, I got to keep my promise that Grandma wouldn’t miss out on the boys because I moved 2 hours farther away from where she lived. The original plan, before we realized Mark would be in town, was to have the boys visit grandma by themselves. Since Mark was in town, he got to see his mom, as well. I’m quite sure, because of his stoic nature, his mom was more enthused about that visit than he was.


On the way down, I convinced Mark to stop at Clark Canyon Reservoir and walk the boys on the ice lake. They’ve never had opportunity to actually walk on a lake iced over so it was perfect. With dad there, I had opportunity to not stress the falling through the ice as bad. He tested it and we went where he thought was safe. Honestly, the entire section of lake might be safe but I felt much better knowing he was testing where my boys were going to walk and play.


“It’s cold, Mom!” They were trying to break ice chunks that had been pushed up onto the shoreline area during a thaw/refreeze. They soon realized that it was really too cold for this idea.


“Do you really have to take my picture?” Why yes, yes I do.


Trying to push Brendan on a block of ice. It was fun watching them try. With Caiden, a bit older and wiser, it was a lot easier.


Look at that smile! With everything else going on right now, just seeing that smile makes my mother’s heart break and my eyes water.


Brendan had my camera so you get to see a picture of me!


Beautiful. Stunning. Gorgeous. So amazing. And no, I’m not talking about the mountains. My boys are amazing. It’s a shame all the bad they are going through right now.


Caiden is trying to clear the snow off the ice so he can look at it.


Brendan dropped down and started making snow angels in the layer of snow on top of the ice. Caiden followed suit and it was such fun to watch them play and be little boys for a bit.


Brendan put feet sticking out of the bottom of his angel. That was an interesting concept. How many of us have made snow angels and not put feet sticking out of her dress?


Of course, right back to trying to smash the 3-4″ thick ice. And with that, we got back in the car to head down to SLC.

On the way to SLC, a freak accident with my phone sliding off the dash and hitting the metal hardware of the passenger seat in the car smashed the screen. Instead of arriving at Grandma Donna’s and heading off to our hotel with hours of extra day left, we were stuck at a Verizon in SLC trying to get me a phone replacement. Eventually, we did and we set out to our respective places for the weekend.

Jen and I didn’t arrive to our hotel/suites until well after dark.


The place Jen and I stayed was not over-priced and it was as beautiful as advertised. I am really looking forward to packing up my sewing supplies and heading down to the same spot for an entire weekend of sewing. Looking at the pictures, I’m sure you would agree that it is a perfect getaway for a sewing retreat all by itself; no need to head to a quilt shop for it!


The other side of the living room/front room. I could work there for hours and hours!


A full kitchen – and I do mean full. It even had cooking utensils, pots, pans, dishes, cups and coffee!


French doors off the kitchen leading to the bedroom.


Two queen-sized beds.


Store-bought quilts on the beds but that’s alright. They are inspiration because they are beautiful.


Antique-look furniture in the bedroom. Plenty of space to get settled and comfortable for a weekend (or longer!).


Jacuzzi tub bathroom (with separate shower) for when you’re hurting from sitting and working on quilt tops for too long. I did try it out – and it was amazing!

Can you really beat such luxury for $110 a night? I am looking forward on how to convince Mark to take me down on a weekend getaway with my sewing machine. Maybe the boys (with Jen?) can visit Grandma Donna and he can feed me while I spend the weekend in luxury, sewing until my fingers bleed? We’ll see.

On Saturday morning, I woke to such pains in my belly. Since the birth of Caiden, I’ve been plagued with kidney stones and the morning on the quilt retreat, a really doozy showed up. I was sweating buckets but freezing at the same time, it hurt to stand and would make me dizzy enough to fall over (or bump into things) and it was all I could do to just lay in bed and moan, texting Mark about my imminent demise due to kidney stone pain. If you’ve never had a kidney stone, let me just say: it’s damn near worse than childbirth. I’ve experienced both (with cesarean twice but same difference) and it’s just as bad as that, if not more so.

Mark asked if I wanted to go to the VA hospital. I told him it was a waste of time. They’d give me some really awesome pain meds but then make me wait to see if I could pass it on my own. In the process, I’d miss my first-ever-so-excited-to-go quilt retreat.

It was to start at 8 a.m. and by 8:10 a.m., I decided that I was going. I didn’t care! I wasn’t going to miss it. We got dressed (my hair a mess from the bath the night before but I didn’t care) and head off. I took some Advil and survived the day. With each passing hour, things calmed down until, by the end of the day, the worst of it was gone.


On arrival, we were given our cutting instructions. Everyone local (not living three states away) was given cutting instructions earlier and were already done with the cutting. Jen and I spent over an hour working on cutting everything we needed to get our day started. I love their cutting tables, by the way! They are antique-looking furniture with a huge space for cutting mats. Beautiful! I didn’t get a picture; I’m sorry. You can see part of it in the above picture, though.


A little army of pieces cut and ready to be sewn. I didn’t get a lot of pictures because I didn’t want to offend anyone by putting their picture up on my blog; however, I’ll show you the rest of the pictures I’ve got.

Did I tell you the story about trying to figure out how to get my sewing machine down to the quilt retreat? No? Well, then…


I have a beauty of a machine. I know it’s not a Janome or a Baby Lock but it’s mine. It cost me a lot and it does what I want it to do. When I finally have enough patience to figure out the embroidery party (with out all the goofs), it’ll be an awesome day. Mark took us to Idaho Falls the weekend before the quilt retreat so I could find a way to transport my machine to the quilt retreat. We went to Jo Ann’s (where they sell the Futura) and the lady swore to me that my machine would fit in the bag she sold me for half off the original price of $89.99. When we got home, it would not fit. It was so small!

On Sunday, we took a family trip to Butte to look at perhaps getting a smaller sewing machine. I love my Singer so I figured I’d just buy a smaller one for the retreat weekend and be happy.

No dice. The smaller, newer one annoyed me. It didn’t have half the buttons I’m used to. Switches and other buttons were in the wrong spot. It was a disaster. On Wednesday, Mark and I went to Butte and returned the machine. I was never going to use it so we had to find a different idea. I didn’t get a picture but we wandered the mall in Butte and found a suitcase big enough to fit my machine and all the extras I could possibly consider taking with me. It’s awesome! I might remember to get a picture for y’all later.

During the quilt retreat, I looked around and noticed, several women were carrying their machines by the handles – no cases to put them in. Maybe I could have just carried my machine, like I did down to Oklahoma to sew with my mom. O’well. They also gave me other ideas of supplies and such that I could get to travel with me to make my life easier, as well!


It was a mystery quilt so, halfway through the day, we had a ton of little pieces sewn together and still no idea on what it would look like when done. I was doing pretty good, moving right along and caught up to the other ladies. In fact, I was being teased towards the end of the day. I was being called the, “Netflix Lady.” I was listening to a documentary on my little Motorola XYBoard (a tablet) and sewing up a storm. I actually got ahead of the other ladies because I just kept going and going and going. I don’t believe the speed at which I finished the pieces is what caused the problem you’ll hear about later but it could have been. I’m not sure.


Jen was sewing away. She did really good for her first attempt at a queen-sized quilt and under pressure. She’s sewn two things together up till this point – blocks for a quilt for me and then her own set of blocks to make a throw quilt. She was the baby of the class and the teacher’s pet (despite her continual peeking and cheating). The teacher helped her, gave her hints and tips and generally kept her going in the right direction.


The first of two mystery blocks complete. When done, there would be 18 of these little guys and 18 of the other block we were creating. This was step 15 of 16 and the end of the night – it was to end at 8 p.m. and we were there until 1045 p.m. I didn’t realize it until later but I was bone tired and my hands would swell overnight from all the work.

I’m at 1868 words – it’s time to sign off here and finish later. Too long on a post and people get bored and quilt reading.


Categories: Quilting, Trips | Leave a comment

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