Sunday, January 19, 2014

Downton Abbey Quilt Retreat - the Recap

It's hard to believe it's been a week since the Downton Abbey Quilt Retreat.  What a blast.  I'm going to recap here - it might be a long one.  I'm pretty long-winded with blog posts to begin with, but I want to relive all the fun here - so get a cup of coffee, or maybe wine - I'll wait.  Because there was drama.  Not quilt retreat drama, but hotel drama.

So, I left work last Thursday to stay overnight at my mom and step-dad's house.  They are only 15 minutes from the retreat hotel. I get to my mom's in time for us to go out to dinner and we had a nice visit.  Friday morning dawns and I decide I'll leave about 815am - plenty of time to make the 15 minute drive.  I look outside and my car appears to need scraping.  I talk to the hubby at home (in PA, I'm in NJ) who assures me the roads are just fine at home and he's sure my car doesn't need scraping.  So, I go outside.  The car is encased in ice.  Mmmm, think I need to scrape.  I get going and  get out to the main road (a major highway) and the traffic is going about 10MPH  Oh my.  As I'm going, (very slowly), I'm passing accident after accident.  The black ice was horrendous.  But, I'm about halfway there - no point turning around as that would be even more dangerous.  I was a nervous wreck, but everything was fine until I'm just about to make the left hand turn into the hotel.  My car loses traction and I'm all over the road.  Luckily (and God was with me), no other cars were behind, to the side or in front of my (and I'm going about 10MPH anyway), and I'm able to get to car to the left hand lane and make my turn into the hotel.  Where I park and immediately lose it and call hubby, who calms me down and feels terrible that he told me the roads where okay (they were...where he was in PA!!),  But, I'm there and safe, so I haul all my stuff inside and commence my Downton Abbey weekend.  Where I will not move my car until Sunday!  Drama, No. 1!


The hotel was lovely, my room was very nice and comfortable and our sewing space was spacious and comfortable.  The staff at the hotel couldn't be beat.

While going to my room, I noticed large industrial blowers in the hallway, the trim on the walls by the rug ripped off and rooms with open doors and furniture moved into the middle of the room.  Unfortunately, apparently, the night before a guest had gone into his room, run a bath and promptly feel asleep on the bed and managed to flood 4 rooms!  Yikes!  What a mess.  I felt really bad for the hotel and staff.  That was drama #2.  But, my room was fabulous.   Except I still feel like a dummy for not knowing how to work the Kuerig coffee maker and actually asking for a replacement, which I now realize was user error.  I'm sure they are stilling rolling their eyes at me, but were very kind about replacing the *broken* coffee maker.

So, for the retreat itself...these were the projects - should you choose to make them....

The Ladies of Downton Abbey Quilt and the Manhattan Bag

I was making both... here's my set-up....
We watched Downton Abbey on the big TV starting from season one all weekend - that was so much fun!
On Saturday, we had scones and tea...

I have to share this funny story...on Friday, dinner was included, which was a lovely Italian buffet.  I went up to the bar to get a glass of wine to have with dinner, and the bartender asked if I had ID.  I laughed and said "ha ha ha, very funny" and he said, no really, do you have ID?  I said "really?", he said "do you want a drink?"   LOLOL!  I showed him my DL and still am not sure if he was serious or just being cute.  Not really drama, but funny anyway.

On Saturday night, though, drama #3 played out.  A wedding party was staying at the hotel.  Now, I'm used to this as the hotel where my guild usually holds retreats always has at least one wedding party during our weekends and I'm always on Bride Lookout.  So, of course, I was determined to see the Bride this weekend too!  Except, she wasn't coming out!!  We heard she was to leave at 4:15pm - at 4:45 she was no where to be found.  Even a call to her room elicted no reponse.  Yikes!  What was going on??  Was she getting cold feet?  Was she mad because it was pouring down rain outside?  Finally, at 5:15, a whole hour late, she emerged.  Lovely but nervous.  She did stop and let us looky-loos take photos.  I went up to her and told her how beautiful she looked and mentioned that at my wedding it poured all day and I've been married almost 30 years, so don't worry one bit about the rain.  She thanked me and went off in her limo.  I saw her and the (very handsome) groom the next morning at breakfast.  The wedding did take place - whew!

So, I went back to my sewing and while I got all of the blocks done for my quilt (but didn't get it put together), I did get my Downton Abbey bag done!!  

Here is it is in progress....

Here are all of us "bag ladies" modeling our DA Manhattan Bags....
Me, third from right.

While most of us were making the Ladies of Downton Abbey quilt....

Not mine, but mine will look just like this o:)
One lady was making the Victory Garden quilt in Downton Abbey fabrics (which is basically the British Flag)!  Genius!  Now, I have this pattern, generously given to me by a blogger-friend and I've been waiting for the perfect fabrics for it.  I haunted this poor woman all weekend taking photos of her blocks in progress...

The Retreat itself was fabulous.  I didn't know any of the Retreaters when I came, but left with lots of new friends!  Susan and her staff at the Village Quilter did a fabulous job and I can't wait to do it again!

9 comments:

Lesley said...

What a wonderful retreat! Sounds like you had a fantastic time, even with all that drama! I purchased that quilt kit awhile back...you inspire me to get it started! Love those bags!

charlotte said...

Sounds like fun. I have never been on a quilt retreat, but then, I don't belong to a guild so...maybe some day. Your bag is great and I can't wait to see the finished quilt.

Susan said...

Looks like it was so much fun! Looking forwards to seeing your quilt.

Lynn said...

So glad you had a good time and arrived safely, sheesh!

Luanne said...

Looks like you had a jolly good time!! Beautiful work as usual!! The weather was fine in Nashville, too ... ;-)

Diane said...

Oh my sounds like a fabulous time in spite of the drama. I love the idea of watching the show while the retreat was going on! (This season is killing me with the Anna situation!!!)
after reading your post, I'm ready for our guild retreat at end of Feb. not a Downton theme tho--It's the Wild West this year!

Becky (My Fabric Obsession) said...

Oooh!! i love all the themed stuff! I wish I had a tv in my sewing room so we could have a themed sew day on Saturday! That's a scary story about losing control of the car. can't believe it was so bad there!!

Karen said...

It sure was an eventful weekend. It looks like you eventually had a great time.

http://thevillagequilter-blog.blogspot.com/ said...

Denise- So glad you attended our Retreat & what a great blog posting of the weekend!