Quilting Retreat – Part 1

Remember those amazing retreats with those amazing women that I’m always talking about. Well, we had another one!

I always say this, but I can’t even begin to describe how much fun we had and how much we enjoy spending time with each other.

Marilyn hosted this time at her house in Topeka. Most of the 11 of us live in Topeka. My mom, aunt, and myself are the three that don’t. Topeka is a good place to meet because it’s only a couple of hours for my mom and aunt and a little over an hour for me.

We all got there on Friday night after work and the fun immediately started.



Debbie and Kim made each one of us a shirt. I’ll show a picture later with all of us and our shirts. It’s not secret that I really love chevrons.



They also made awesome bags for our shirts. Stickles…that’s their secret. Debbie and Kim scrap book so they are multi talented in the crafting world. They are also heroes in my eyes because I am not a scrapbooker. I am very bad at it.


Kim’s said Sew Cool.

ShirtDerenda was Queen of UFOs.



Becky’s said Fabric Hoarder. Marilyn is apparently a Fabric Floozy and Cec is the Quilting Girl Gone Wild. We thought they were all pretty funny.



Aunt Cathy is the Quilting Queen. So true.



Here’s Kim again with her Sew cool shirt and Debbie is a Material Girl.



Mom is a Quilt Diva. It looks like I missed a picture of Marty and Marie. Marty’s said Quilters Rock and Marie is a Fabric Fanatic.


Besides shirts, we also got fun surprises from Marilyn and Becky. We each received a sack and there was a fabric cup cozy to go around your coffee cup, a fat quarter, a pen, a pencil, a notepad, and some candy. The rules are that we have to make something – a table runner, a wall hanging, a bag, whatever – before the next retreat and we’ll swap items then. I think that’s such a cool idea. I’m not sure what I’m going to make yet.


There were a lot of other swapping/giving going on. Everybody is just so nice and generous. I ended up going home with quite a few extras. Derenda was very deliberately trying to give stuff away. She’s reading a book where every seven days she has a challenge that deals with the number seven. One week she had to only wear seven items of clothing. Another week she could only eat seven foods. And this week she has to give seven things away every day. I ended up with some tea, some fabric, and a small wine decanter. I know others ended up with stuff as well. And Marilyn’s neighbor ended up with a decorative pumpkin. HAHAHAHAHA! I’ll explain that story later.



Here’s some of the other stuff I came home with. Again, more chevrons. 🙂 I just can’t get enough of them.

Besides swapping stuff and giving away stuff, we always take a tour of the hostess’ home. Marilyn has a sweet home with a beautiful back deck and yard. Of course, her home is filled with quilts. Here are some of the ones we saw.

Hexie Quilt


Why is this upside down? I’m too lazy to take it out of WordPress and flip it. I know…I suck.

Hexie Quilt


But this is the picture that really matters. LOOK HOW TINY THOSE ARE! This quilt is a heirloom. I believe Hal’s mother made it and Marilyn even has the papers she was drafting the pattern on. Cool, right? Hal is Marilyn’s husband.

Let’s talk about Hal for a second. Awesome dude. He was an awesome host. He carried our stuff in from our cars. He put lids on food. He listened to us talk incessantly about quilting. He let us INVADE his home. Marilyn and Hal were high school sweethearts and now they are only a few years away from their 50th wedding anniversary. I think Hal said they were on 47…hopefully he was right in case Marilyn reads this… 🙂 Marilyn, if he’s wrong, blame me because I probably wasn’t listening very well and I thought he said 47 and he actually said the correct number. If he’s right and I was listening, then ignore everything I just said.



That is Marilyn’s senior portrait. No wonder Hal proposed to her. 🙂

Ok. Back to quilts.

Hexie Quilt

Hexie Quilt


This is the back of the above quilt. All of that hand quilting must’ve taken hours. Speaking of hand quilting…Marilyn likes to hand quilt.

Sunbonnet Sue


She must really like hand quilting because that’s a lot of echoing around Sunbonnet Sue. I’m awed.

Sunbonnet Sue


I don’t think I could ever do anything like that. So I will never be as cool as Marilyn. However, Marilyn also paper pieces and that’s something I can do.

Paper Piecing


I really like stars. This quilt was very heavily quilted and it was heavy. I really like blue and yellow together. Becky does, too, because Mom and I stayed at her house in a blue and yellow room that was gorgeous!

Paper Piecing


This picture gives you more of an idea of the quilting and how dense it was. I think Marilyn had this long armed.

Then I walked around taking pictures of random quilts and things in Marilyn’s house.

Sewing Machine


I think this also belonged to Hal’s mother. Marilyn and Hal also have a lot of cool antiques. They also have Marilyn’s mothers machine. It was electric!



Marilyn is working on an adorable snowman quilt. Apparently Marilyn doesn’t really like snowmen, but this quilt caught her eye. And when I saw the pattern, it caught my eye, too. I can’t remember the name of the pattern (anybody want to add it in the comments?), but it was very cute. She’s using fabric from Cec’s favorite designer, French General.



Marilyn sent me the completed block last night. I love the little snowman at the top who is peeking out.



Look how tiny that is! This is a small wall hanging that she had hanging on a quilt rac.

String Quilt


There was a string quilt that went from a low volume to a dark volume. I couldn’t get a good picture of the entire thing, but the low volume side was my favorite. FYI: All of the sashing is hand sew on. Craziness.



This pillow was laying around and I really liked it.



This is kind of like a chevron, right?



Of course, I really like stars. This was hanging at the bottom of her stairs. There are stars quilted into it in the borders.


This is a top that needs to be quilted. It was made using a jelly roll. I believe Marty has one, too, because it was a retreat project. I am kind of inclined to maybe make one of these someday. Maybe using a V & Co Simply Color ombre jelly roll.

Marilyn can make so many beautiful quilts because she has an amazing sewing room.

Sewing Room


Look at all of that fabric! I was instantly jealous.



And check out the closet with all of the quilting books and patterns. Notice the door frame. That wood is from a relative’s house and it’s very old. When the house was torn down, Hal was able to get that wood from it and used it as a door frame. I think that’s a really cool way to preserve history.

Well, that was quite a picture overload, but luckily I’m kind of at the end of what we did on Friday. So look forward to our Saturday adventures…and we really did have an adventure.


  1. Becky’s avatar

    What a great narrative of the perfect quilting weekend! It is fun to relive the events that happened. Marilyn (and Hal) did an awesome job hosting. Looking forward to September.


  2. Joni’s avatar

    How did I miss some of the quilts you posted? So glad you put the pictures up for all of us to enjoy. See you in a few hours 🙂


  3. Marilyn’s avatar

    What a thrill to have 10 friends that share a love of quilting. Thanks for sharing highlights. We also all left with ribs and sides sore from laughing. Shared stories of mishaps and exciting aha finds were also abundant. Leslie set the bar for hosting the retreats, so I had a pattern to follow


  4. Marilyn’s avatar

    Merry, merry snowmen by bunny hill designs is the latest appliqué quilt I’m working on


  5. Becky’s avatar

    Lesley, what did you say you like to use instead of minkee? It seems like it was a moda product.


    1. Lesley’s avatar

      I use Moda Snuggles and I think it works a lot better than Minkee.



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Are you a spammy robot? Answer the math question below so I can tell if you are or aren\'t a spammy robot. * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.