Watoga State Park held their very first quilter’s retreat, 11 through 13 April 2019. Feedback and comments shared by class participants indicated this event was a HUGE success but more about that later! Folks stopping by to observe the classes in progress could not miss the joy, comradery and fun time class members were experiencing.
Debbie Walker conducted two classes on Thursday. Her opening class, “Disappearing Nine Patch”, was a great beginner class that allowed folks to refresh their sewing skills and to learn how to play with colors. Significant skepticism on any sewing success gave way to absolute joy as folks finished up blocks and saw the fruits of their labor!
Debbie’s “Fancy Braid Table Runner” class closed out the first day.
As Debbie shared with her model with the class, you could hear the comments start to fly! “No way am I going to be able to do that!” “That looks really hard!” Needless to say, all class participants had outstanding results to share!
Linda Adams opened Friday’s class. She presented the “Roundabout Stars Quilt” which could be made into a lovely wall hanging.
Results were amazing!
Saturday saw Watoga host an old fashioned quilting bee. Quilting participants attended a presentation by our resident hand quilting specialist, Bonnie McLaughlin. She discussed the types of needles used in hand quilting, threads, how to properly knot and secure your thread and what your stitch length should be. She displayed a baby quilt she had recently finished, so folks to see a finished example of a completed hand quilted quilt. She transitioned everyone to the quilting frame for a brief “hands on” demonstration before turning things over to the class. It was such a wonderful experience for everyone involved!
How does one know when an event is considered to be successful? After listening to conversations during this amazing three day event, I think it would be safe to say it was a success. Folks raved about the recreation hall and how accommodating it was for such an event. The fact that meals, snacks and CANDY were provided at no additional cost to the participants was very noteworthy!!! The professionalism of the presenters and their approachable demor was noted by everyone involved. Friendships were made. Support was provided by anyone and everyone. Raucous laughter could be heard throughout each day. Lots of one and one instruction was provided. People shared bits and pieces of their own lives but most importantly people asked, “when is the next class?” All of this equates to SUCCESS!
We all sincerely hope, this retreat at Watoga State Park will be held again and again with an ever expanding class list. The setting was perfect, the facility was ideal, the weather great and the folks were amazing. A huge thank you goes out to Christopher Bartley and the staff at Watoga State Park for reaching out to Debbie and allowing this event happen. We all sincerely hope this is the first retreat of many to come. If you missed this year’s retreat, we hope you will join us for the next one because we sure are going to do our best to make it happen again!