The Quilting Bear
To Retreat or Not To Retreat?
by, 11-08-2011 at 04:00 AM (1120 Views)
A little background may help explain my hesitation.
I have not worked in over four years. That's a long story and I don't want to bore you to death. Most people think that I'm lucky that I don't have to punch a clock. The truth is that I felt that way the first year and then reality sat in. That is when quilting became an esential part of my life.
In January I learned that an aquaintence was a quilter and he was a fellow man. I soon began chatting to him through email and eventually we became good friends. I introduced him to this board and he introduced me to a Yahoo Group for men.
My friend talked me in going to the guild that he belonged. And, this being something I wanted to do, but not having the courage to do so, I went. That night, I joined the guild knowing that I would not be alone.
Two months ago, at our September meeting, are speaker was Kay Nichols. She showed us several quilts students of her class Sewing Curves Without Pins had made demonstrating this technique. I was in total awe in the designs and beauty of these quilts, that I had to learn this technique.
I had my check book with me that night, which must have been a sign as I normally don't carry it with me, and I quickly made my payment. This gave me just over a week to prepare for the class. While at the class I had a blast learning and socializing with my fellow quild members, I paid the fee for our annual quilting retreat. Again, I had my checkbook with me.
Leading up to the retreat weekend I did my homework, and because someone else on the Quiltingboard had the same question and posed that question, other members supplied me a list of things to bring along.
The week before we played email tag to finalize the itinerary for the trip. We each drove separately as our plans varied on departure times. Armed with a list of six or seven quilt stores along the way, we programmed the GPS and away we went.
At the three stores we stopped at, it was like three kids let loose in a candy store. No bolt went untouched, no pattern left unturned, and the discount enticed us to max out the credit cards. The race began, who would spend the most and how many new UFOs would be born.
I'm not going to bore you with the details of the three days at the retreat. If you have been to a sit and stitch, then you have the basic idea what goes on, sewing from the time you get up until the time you go to bed, except when it's time to chow. What I will tell you is that you will meet some of the niceiest people willing to share an idea or teach you a new technique. The stories that you hear, the ones you share, and the new friends you make are worth the price of admission alone.
If you are ever asked to go on a retreat or given the opportunity to do so, don't turn it down. You will not regret it.
At this point you're probably questioning my title for this blog entry. As man, I was reluctant about going on the retreat wondering if I would fit in or be accepted. All I'm going to say is that next year, I'm going from Wednesday to Sunday instead of Friday to Sunday.