Sunday, August 23, 2015

Quilting in South Lake Tahoe

You undoubtedly recall that I frequently talk about Sunshine. It is an online quilt guild of which I am a member. We work together to make quilts for kids; we currently support two programs: Wrap-a-Smile and Quilts Beyond Borders.

Over the years Sunshine has tried numerous times to have IRL retreats so that we can meet in person and enjoy sewing together. This year, we FINALLY succeeded! Twelve of us gathered at a sewing retreat center in South Lake Tahoe, California. We came from Maine, Minnesota, Oregon, Nevada, and California. We had so much fun!!!

Lake Tahoe is beautiful. I was fortunate to get this opportunity to see the gorgeous Tahoe area.

One night I spent hours organizing my Tahoe photos, but when I got up the next day, they were back to their original, disorganized state. (Computers: grrr!) So I will simply post them and hope you don't mind if they are a bit disorganized.

I was picked up at the Reno airport by Sarah and Claire. We then drove to South Lake Tahoe, which was about an hour away. This view out the truck window is one of the first views I had of Nevada... my first time in that state. The second photo is the retreat center at which we stayed, just over the border in California.

above: the beautiful front doors, one of the bedrooms, the kitchen (with Beth, Claire, Gail H. and Penni)


the beautiful view and the patio

We had tons of raw materials to work with! A few months earlier we had identified a very simple block which we called the Tahoe Block. People made piles of them and sent them to the people who were driving to the retreat. When we got there, we could hardly believe how much fabric, blocks, and block pieces we had to work with! But wait... it goes down really fast!

We immediately got busy sewing. We designed and planned and did random things, and pretty soon we had some beautiful quilt tops put together. Sarah was hoping that blocks on her head would communicate design ideas right into her brain, and I think it worked! she was very creative.

We started churning out tops.

By the time we went to bed on Friday night, we already had 8 quilt tops made.

Lake Tahoe; a trip to a quilt shop in Nevada

On the way back from the quilt shop, something strange was happening in the sky! As far as we know, no major calamities occurred, and no aliens from Mars landed on Earth.

Sarah using the design wall, Terry and Penni conferring, Jeanie sewing diligently

We were serious the whole time and never wasted any time with silliness.

We continued making quilts...

...and more quilts...

..and even more quilts.

The pile of tops grew almost faster than we could count them!

We did take some time for sight-seeing. Here was a trip up to the overlook at Emerald Bay, Carol(yours truly) and Sarah posing.

Back at the ranch, the quilt factory is still churning out tops.

Below: the whole gang of 12 -- Gail H., Val, Beth, Jeanie, Kathleen, Heidi, Claire, Sarah, Penni, Terry, Carol, Gail S.
Don't ask me why Kathleen is helping Claire wipe her nose on one of the quilts... go figure.

By the end, the tables were groaning under the increasing number of quilts.. and remember all those raw materials? They were almost entirely GONE! At the end, we put a few remaining pieces into kits in baggies. We could hardly believe we'd use up almost all the blocks and block parts! Our grand total of quilt tops was .... drum roll .... 78!

Plus, some people who couldn't attend were working with us from home. They made about ten, and I had made three before hand, and we have been finishing up some extra pieces after we returned home. I would guess that our final total is pretty durn close to 100! Amazing!

Wish I could show you all the pictures, but that's a lot of quilt tops... here are a few more, for your enjoyment:

Last day, Monday: some birds visited us in the back yard --

We had fun, made some new friends, and made a zillion beautiful quilts for kids. I call that a very successful retreat!


Brenda said...

Wow! impressive! How will these all get quilted? Where do they get donated?

Anonymous said...

Fun to relive the weekend!

goecker said...

Can tell it was a WOW WOW trip - love the sky pictures too, but wonder what caused it to look like that.
It is amazing how much quilting gets done when we are not at home....have a camp tecumseh coming up Sept 14-18 again - then Italy and N. Ireland, then another quilting retreat 4 days after returning from the trip. Hope I can keep up with that schedule. Great pictures Claire...

Anonymous said...

That sounds like so much fun, and such a worthwhile cause. You really DID churn out the tops! Maybe some year, I'll come with Claire - I'd have to join Sunshine first, I suppose. Claire and Moira, another friend, both do Sunshine quilts, while I do American Heroes, but it would be fun to retreat and sew for another cause.

Carol E. said...

Brenda, getting them quilted is definitely a challenge, but we do have a few people with long-arms who volunteered; we also divided them up among the retreaters and will do the best we can... the quilts will go to Wrap a Smile (through Rotary) and Quilts Beyond Borders.

Carol E. said...

Desertsky: you're welcome to join Sunshine any time you want! You can participate a little or a lot, totally up to you.

Cher said...

thanks so much Carol for all the great photos, my friend Claire was there and I know what a grand time she had! quilt retreats to make quilts for children are the very best!
well done! hugs

Farm Quilter said...

Thanks for the pictures of Tahoe - I was born and raised in Reno, so Tahoe was my playground, summer and winter! Did you love the building on the island in Emerald Bay? That was a card room where the lady who owned Vikingsholm would go with friends for tea and card games. Sunshine sounds like a fabulous group to be in - love what you make quilts for!!

Carol E. said...

Cher, Thanks.
FarmQuilter, what a beautiful place to grow up. Yes, I saw the tea room on the island. Pretty spot!

Quiltdivajulie said...

Fabulous pist and inspiring efforts! I am working on 5 quilts for QBB -but am not yet part of Sunshine.

Pattilou said...

I finally got my computer up and got to see these wonderful projects on a big screen. Amazing work all of you! Carol thanks for posting such great pictures. I wish I could have been there!

Pam @ Quilting Fun said...

Fabulous photos. Love all the quilt tops you put together. So glad you could all finally meet in person!

Unknown said...

Photos are very inspiring, like a quilt and all of South Lake Tahoe