Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Quilts of Valor Region 8 Retreat

First I have to apologize, and maybe, just maybe...not likely, I'll have to eat my words. I apologize to any other group that hosts a retreat that I will attend in the future...Quilts of Valor's Region 8 has set the bar so high I don't even know if they can reach it again. I say that with all do respect but this was my, well our, first retreat. For me it is kind of like a Filet Mignon. The first one is the best cut of beef you've ever had, melt in your mouth reward for being alive. From then on they are a really good steak dinner.

We can't say it was a week without surprises...well our surprises started on Tuesday at the Guild Meeting.

When I went out to the car to get something I was greeted with a broken window...and where you see the pair of glasses is where Elaine had put her purse...yep, broad daylight. Please believe me when I say it took some serious effort to see the very dark colored purse, lying on the floor behind the driver's seat through the heavily tinted window glass on a very cloudy overcast and yep, rainy day.

All is well. Every thing has been replaced or is on it's way. She only carries one credit card, cancelled within minutes, no cash, and she doesn't have an ATM Card. Fraud alerts put on all credit reporting agencies, new driver's license in the mail as well as SS, medical and other miscellaneous cards. I guess the toughest loss was her phone with the pictures of the grand kids. We thought the phone would be the most expensive item to replace...well we don't get paid to think. Our deductible on the phone was only $99...the window was $156 and the key to the car...well the estimate came in at $300... I haven't replaced that yet. I had my key reprogrammed and I'm thinking one key. But then I'd hate to loose that key. If by chance I do ever run across the low life's that stole her purse I'll be testifying before a jury why I was in fear for my life and the lives of others.

So Tuesday passed, Wednesday was spent getting things back in order and early Thursday morning we headed out for Georgia. We had a good trip, hit some snow between Emporia, VA and Durham, NC but other than that pretty uneventful. We pulled into the Retreat site around 3 PM. The retreat was held at a Baptist Conference Center...huge facility but a really good location for what we would be doing. I will admit to being shocked though...although the rooms were clean and neat they lacked a few essentials. Like a microwave, refrigerator and HELLO...a TV. Who builds a facility and don't put televisions in the room. Apparently Baptist. I guess they haven't heard of that Sunday Sport that goes on this time of year called the NFL Playoffs.
Thank goodness for laptops. I can only guess the facility is to accommodate prayer and meditation. Well that and quilting...because I'm here to tell you there was a lot of that going on...the quilting that is.

I got to get started early Friday Morning

There were quilter's everywhere...dead center is Elaine with one of the Singer Featherweights...Sugar Ray. 

If there was a room...there were quilters

Another longarmer...she was the work horse for the week end.

Yet another room full of quilters, quilters everywhere

and did I mention snacks and food everywhere as well. I think it was a five pound trip...I'm not getting on a scale until February

another room and another group of quilters
I don't know what the official quilt top and completed quilt count was by the end of Sunday, we left around 11 AM and there was still a couple of hours of sewing left. I'm gonna guess they were on the edge of 100 tops. I know I saw at least 15 finished. I brought home nine to quilt, ten counting one Elaine finished. So it was indeed a week end of quilting. 

We had the opportunity to meet quite a few people that we had an email and phone relationship with and each was a compliment to our lives. Each and every one add to what we love to do as we strive to do our part for the Quilts of Valor Foundation. I am overjoyed that Elaine has decided to become a State Coordinator for Virginia and we will now share in those duties. There are three really lucky recipients in her decision, Quilts of Valor, the Commonwealth of Virginia and again me. I've lost count how many times she has brought a fulfillment to my life and this is just another that goes on the long list. 

So Friday, Saturday and the morning of Sunday was filled with quilting, socializing, quilting, eating, socializing, quilting and some more eating. It was a tough week end but someone has to do it. It was so tough that we had to stop in Gastonia, GA to spend the night. Well I guess I could have driven straight home, NOT. 

As it turns out several hours from the retreat site, on our way home is this store called Mary Jo's. I guess if you're into fabric, like quilter's are, this is a must visit. Well I'm here to tell you they got some fabric. As you can see we were there before the doors opened and I must admit, Elaine was quite pleased. 

This is one happy fabric shopping, quilt making, stash master standing at the doorway of a fabric heaven
You can see why we had to spend the night Sunday...Closed...but this was bright and early Monday. Nobody was beating her in. 

and she went right to work

to say they have some fabric is an understatement

not to mention notions, patterns, machines and more fabric

She had a great time...she was a happy camper. And we all know when Elaine is happy, Les is ecstatic. It was a good day. The drive home was a little harder on the Outback than the drive to the retreat, I'm thinking the extra weight was a big factor. But on Monday afternoon around 4 we pulled into the driveway. It took awhile to get everything unloaded and we did that thing like when you move into a new place..."Put that in the living room, that goes in the bedroom, that in the sewing room, and that and that and that." We finally got to a bag she didn't was mine. 
"What is that, where did it come from?" She asks
"It's okay Elaine, I got this one."

Were we happy to get home??? I don't know...ask Elaine...

I know Lilee (on chair) and Nikee (on foot stool) were really glad. Elaine looks pretty happy too.

Quilt till you wilt...we do...


  1. I just found your blog this week and love your entertaining writing style! My husband and I want to thank you and Elaine for all you do for QOV. My DH is a Korean War era veteran. He had a serious illness during training, was hospitalized for over a month and was kept stateside (Pentagon) during his service, but most of the rest of his original unit perished in Korea. I currently volunteer with the Pittsburgh, PA Project Linus chapter, but am also considering QOV in the future. Thanks again for all you and the other QOV folks do! --Frances

  2. Frances...Thank you so much for the kind words. We are very active with QOV but as you, we also quilt for Project Linus and we make several quilts a year for a local Samaritan House. We feel we are the lucky ones being able to provide a little warmth and comfort doing something we really like doing. later...Les & Elaine...