Pine Needle Retreat 2016

Talk about a room with a view!

Hood Canal

This photo of Hood Canal in Washington State — those are the Olympic Mountains in the background — was taken from the deck of the house I stayed in last week. I was in Union, Washington to teach at a four-day quilt retreat organized by the Pine Needle. The deck of the house I shared with Geri, the owner of the Pine Needle, was built right over the water. I fell asleep to and woke to the sound of water gently lapping at the rocks on the shore.

The retreat itself was held at St Andrews House, a retreat and conference center run by the Episcopal Church of Western Washington:

St Andrews House, Hood Canal
Isn’t that a serene setting for a retreat? Here are a couple of closer views of the building:

St Andrews House Hood Canal 1

St Andrews House Hood Canal 2

A covered deck runs the entire length of the house on the water side, affording spectacular views of Hood Canal (technically a glacial fjord) and the Olympics.

The pattern I selected for the retreat was Spinners, from the book On the Run Again by Heather Mulder Peterson (Anka’s Treasures, 2014). Spinners is one of 11 designs in the book, so participants got a bonanza of designs when they signed up.

One of the things I love about teaching is seeing what fabric combinations students bring to the sewing table. Here are the first few blocks:

Spinners first blocks
On our last morning, we had an impromptu show and tell of our projects. Unfortunately, our California girls (Candyce, Jan, and Janice) had to leave very early to catch a flight home, and a couple of other participants had already packed their projects away, so I don’t have photos of those. Still, we have plenty of examples to show you.

Diana came to the retreat planning to make one test block. She liked her first block so well she decided to make an entire quilt! Here are her first six blocks:

Spinners Diana

Linda completed her quilt top! She fussy cut the center hexagons. The narrow containment border and wider floral border set off her blocks beautifully:

Spinners Linda Lake

Sophia was very productive! Not only did she complete a Spinners top . . .

Spinners Sofia
. . . she also made another block from Heather’s book, the block called Happy Dance . . .

Sofia with Happy Dance . . . and this one called Chatter Box:

Sofia with block
Donna made a set of placemats using the table topper design from the book — and had enough fabric leftover to make a table runner:

Spinners Donna

Those placemats will add a lively jolt of color to Donna’s table.

Carol S. also chose the table topper design, using a delightful holiday fabric featuring poinsettias and holly:

Spinners Carol Stark
She made several, to be given as gifts. Lucky recipients!

Carol D. made kaleido-spinner blocks (my name for the Spinners block made with identically-cut triangles that surround the center hexagon) using a lovely stylized floral fabric:

Spinners Carol Dyer
Did you notice Carol’s Spinners blocks are on point? She is making a runner for a narrow table; her runner will be 13½” wide. If she had turned her blocks horizontally, the runner would measure 15½” wide.

Pam S.’s runner features playful prints spinning around solid gold:

Spinners Pam Snyder

I can’t help it; those fabrics make me smile.

Evelyn also made kaleido-spinner blocks. She’s making a quilt and is showing us the fabric she chose for the border. It’s going to look terrific next to the subtly textured aqua batik that surrounds the spinning triangles:

Spinners Evelyn Bonney
I can think of only one word to describe Tamara’s Spinners runner: elegant. Take a look:

Spinners Tamara Brockett
The touches of metallic in the triangles and light background fabric, contrasting with that rich burgundy, contribute to the rich effect. Tamara fussy cut her triangles from a fabric I wouldn’t have thought of for a kaleido-spinner quilt:

Spinners Tamara Brockett with focus fabric

Tamara will incorporate that fabric on the back of her runner.

Sharon fussy cut flowers for the center of her blocks from a beautiful fabric that looks like a watercolor painting. Here’s one of those blocks . . .

Spinners Sharon Justus
. . . and another:

Spinners Sharon Justus block 2
She’s using a different colored batik in each of the triangles.

Debbie H. chose fabrics for her runner that match the décor of her dining room:

Spinners Debbie

That creamy jacquard background fabric sets off her Spinners blocks so well. And her Y-seams are perfect!

Debbie S. pieced a king-size bed runner using lively tropical fabrics. She also made kaleido-spinner blocks:

Spinners Debbie ScroggyDebbie put her own spin on the design by incorporating two fabrics in the top and bottom blocks (that stripe!), omitting the sashing strips, and adding an accent strip around the blocks. Debbie is a professional longarm quilter (AllQuilted LLC). I will be very interested to see how she quilts this vibrant runner.

While the retreat featured the Spinners pattern, the participants were free to work on whatever they wanted.  Helen was finishing the binding on two spectacular small projects . . .

Helen with Convergence

Helen's project
. . . and she was also working on her version of Shadowbox (pattern by Mountainpeek Creations):

Helen's quilt

Colleen worked on her 6″ Farm Girl Vintage blocks, designed by Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet:

Colleen with Farmgirl Vintage
That block on the far right has over 50 pieces in it. I can only imagine how many pieces the finished quilt will contain.

Thank you, Geri, for organizing a fabulous retreat filled with laughter, games, good food, and some very productive and creative sewing. Thank you, participants; you made teaching a pleasure. I hope to see you all again when we convene at the Pine Needle in October to show off our finished creations.




This entry was posted in bed runners, hexagons, kaleido-spinner, table topper, update, wall hanging. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Pine Needle Retreat 2016

  1. Cathy says:

    Oh my! That view is SPECTACULAR!!! WOW!!! What a lovely place to stay and retreat! I loved looking at all the pictures of the ladies’ work! Fantastic!

  2. Kristi says:

    What a beautiful place for a retreat! Thanks for the recap of the retreat and for the quilty eye candy. All the projects are gorgeous!

  3. Carol Stark says:

    Thank you, Dawn, for all your expertise; you are a gifted teacher. Also, for putting up our pictures…It was a wonderful retreat thanks to you and our fearless leader, Geri!!

  4. Colleen C. says:

    I love seeing the pictures recapping everyone’s hard work. So many amazingly different results from the same pattern. Great job teaching Dawn! All of your hard work and long hours are appreciated. I hope you had as much fun as your students :D!

  5. Char says:

    So Green with envy! Love the Spinners pattern!

  6. Candyce says:

    Thank you for the wonderful pictures that conjured up sweet memories from our Hood Canal gig.
    EVERYTHING about our time there was the best!

  7. Diana says:

    So fun to see the pictures! Did we not do a group picture? Oh, dear!

  8. Pam Snyder says:

    Thank you so much for posting these pictures. The retreat was great, I loved meeting so many many new friends and am looking forward to seeing you all again. Thank you, Dawn, for teaching us new skills so patiently and thank you, Geri, for bringing us all together with such thoughtfulness and fun.

  9. It was my first quilt retreat – and will not be my last. What luxury to have nothing to do but sew, and enjoy the glorious view, and chat with wonderful quilters!

    Dawn, your choice of pattern was fabulous – partial seams, Y-seams, cutting from fabric repeats for a wonderful result, are all now a piece of cake – thank you!

  10. Sandy says:

    I loved seeing what the gals made at your retreat! Thanks for sharing. Also, Dawn, I would sure love to have you send me your copies of the retreat site. I neglected to get some and yours are beautiful.

  11. Diane says:

    What a success! The fabric choices by your students were sensational!

  12. Reigh says:

    Looks like a very productive retreat! Beautiful setting, and lovely pieces, combined with a fabulous instructor. Fun to see the wide range of projects!

  13. Charlie says:

    Wow. A really productive retreat. Lovely setting, too.

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