Most quilt teaching jobs are in the standard Grange or church basement, a basic rectangular box, often in a basement. You reach it by going to an airport (ugh), flying to another airport (ugh), connecting to a third (or heaven forefend a fourth) airport. Frequently with long layovers in loud seating areas with expensive coffee and stale food. The quilters are always fun, but the getting there, not so much. This time was GLORIOUSLY different! I drove 5 hours from my home in Maine to the White Mountains in NH where Terri Sontra, of Purple Moose Designs, held her first (hopefully annual and then semi-annual) retreat. Terri has been looking for the right venue for several years and finally found the Snowy Owl Inn nestled in the heart of the mountains.
I can tell you right now, I want to go back as a participant and just sew and play at a retreat–been far too long since I’ve been on one, Terri wants to do things RIGHT, the lodge owners were incredibly wonderful…well, anyone wanna come play?
Terri selected my Balinese Garden pattern for the Saturday teaching portion of the retreat. We all arrived Friday afternoon in time for dinner. Class, which was optional for the participants, was Saturday, but pretty much everyone ended up doing a bit of something I was teaching–FUN! Saturday evening Alison Bolt came and gave a humorous talk. Sunday was more sewing–Terri invited me to stay the weekend (which happened to be the long holiday weekend AND peak color in New England for the leaf-peepers) but I needed to return home (fooey!), then folks went home Monday. Like I said, I wanna come back as the not-teacher, too! Several of the ladies went for walks in the woods nearby, and one took a free guided hour-long hike Sunday morning (put on by the town/center).
The students did fabulous work with my pattern–I love it when folks cut loose! So I’ll salt in photos of what they did throughout this post.
What’s awesome is how she did it…
Terri had some laudable (and achieved) goals for the retreat: beautiful location, reasonable lodging fees, good and plentiful food on site (the Inn doesn’t normally run a restaurant full time, but they fixed meals for us and we snarfed), a FULL table per person, and the lighting in the room was REALLY good–no one needed to bring the usual array of extra lamps. We had participants from Massachusetts, Maine, NH and Vermont.
Next year, Terri has Ami Simms booked. I may not do the project/class, but I want to go and laugh! If Eli’s cross-country season runs the same, I could leave after the meet on Friday, be in NH by bedtime, and spend the weekend…..hmmmmm……..
Anyway, if you are looking for a great getaway retreat, I can say hands-down Terri’s was great. Now, can I really escape for a play weekend? Since I began teaching a decade ago (a DECADE? Already?!!!!!????) I haven’t gone away to play at quilting, feeling that I am gone enough. But I’m taking next year off of teaching to be home for Eli’s senior year and sports. So…..if I wait until after that week’s meet is over…….Terri, when do you start taking deposits?