Quilt Retreat: Quilt, Eat, Sleep, Repeat!

High on the (very) short list of things to love about living here: spending the weekend quilting (and eating and sleeping) in an 850-year-old monastery. The Kloster Schoental, to be exact. The condensed version: good food, good company, good quilting, happy weekend.

The uncut version: Kloster Schoental is about one hour from my house, the last 20 minutes or so through little towns and scenic curvy roads. The Black Forest Quilt Guild has held it’s spring Quilt Retreat there every year for the last three, I think, and it’s just wonderful. The monastery has been modernized of course, but not to the point of losing it’s essence. We had a giant well lit room for quilting, and single or double rooms for sleeping. They feed us five times a day (yes, FIVE!): breakfast, coffee and tea break with pretzels and savory pastries, lunch, coffee or tea break with sweet cakes, and dinner, and drinks are available anytime. There’s plenty of room for everyone to spread out everywhere, for relaxing, quilting, talking, quilt basting, Irish dancing (really!), whatever.

The scenery inside and out is fabulous, and sometimes you just have to get out and walk and enjoy. This weekend, we shared the monastery with a few other groups, including a choir, an orchestra, some sort of educational seminar, a painting class, and a stone work class (at least), and there was a wedding there Saturday afternoon. I walked around the main building Saturday afternoon to enjoy the weather and the grounds, and I could hear the orchestra playing through the open windows from the outside. Lovely!

I worked on my UFO Irish Chain quilt all weekend, though I did take two other projects with me that went untouched. I found myself finally connecting with the new Bernina 440, and the machine quilting was going so well that I thought I’d just go with the flow. I’ve been trying since I got it to get into the right rhythm with it for machine quilting, without as much success as I’d like. When I machine quilt, I listen to the machine as it makes the stitches so that I can move the quilt at the right time to get even stitches. Before this weekend, I was having a hard time isolating that one particular sound that I needed to listen to so that I could get the right rhythm, but at the retreat, the room was so noisy with all the other machines and everyone talking that I could only hear one small noise that the machine was making at all, so that’s the one I heard and connected with. Now we are in sync, and getting along very well.

Have a look at the pictures from the retreat. There’s an abundance of creative inspiration in the scenery there! Enjoy!

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