Monday, June 25, 2012

Pine Needle Retreat 2012

It has been far too long since I've posted so I'm going to make up for it with lots of pictures. A couple weeks ago, about 25 of us gathered at St. Andrews House on Hood Canal near Union, Washington for the Pine Needle's annual 4-day quilting retreat. After unpacking, we gathered on the deck to exchange a book we love and to share our most favorite notion.

Gathered on the deck

Our view of the Olympics across Hood Canal:

The Olympics

This year, the quilt pattern we selected for the retreat is Julie Herman's Chopsticks. Connie couldn't wait for the retreat to start sewing; she arrived with her triangle blocks already made! It's difficult to see in the photo, but Connie chose a variety of snowflake and leafy prints in ice blue and white, pairing these with a tiny brown and white polka dot:

Connie's Quilt

Linda chose a palette of pink, red, gray and green to coordinate with a medium-scale floral fabric. The bold black print used in the background accents these beautifully:

Linda's Quilt

Sharron's quilt is almost the inverse of Linda's. Sharron chose a variety of black and white prints but used bright pink in the background. The pink and black floral print ties it all together:

Sharron's Quilt

Saturday evening is the much-anticipated white elephant gift exchange outdoors by a fabulous, huge stone fireplace. I'm certain that gales of laughter can be heard clear across Hood Canal. Check out Maggie, the lucky chick to open this knitted hat complete with ear flaps and tassels:

Maggie in the chicken hat ... cluck cluck!

Another incredible "gift" that left us ... well ... hilariously incredulous ... is the giant foot scrubber complete with suction cups on the back for use in the shower. I think Charlotte was hoping the box did not indicate the contents as Marsha, Becky and Cathie crowed "that's going home with you" !!! I have just one question ... what size *is* that shoe?!

Charlotte opened a giant foot scrubber ... ouch!

Next is Charlotte's quilt ... a palette of blues and purples on white. Rather than cutting the side triangles to square up her quilt, Charlotte decided to cut half-triangles of her background white fabric and plans to add a rectangular border on the top and bottom to balance the white along the sides:

Charlotte's Quilt

Donna chose an eclectic mix of ethnic and patterned batiks from her stash that work together beautifully. Her background fabric is a textured cream that really allows those beautiful reds to shine:

Donna's Quilt

Here is St. Andrews House, overlooking Hood Canal:

St. Andrews House

Mary chose a warm, rich palette of red, gray and gold. Her background fabric, from Northcott's amazing Stonehenge line, is a perfect choice of a warm, textured neutral that works beautifully with all her feature prints. I love the way the bold stripe adds a lively energy to her quilt:

Mary's Quilt

Lou Ann loves red so chose a variety of thirties floral prints in red, yellow and blue. A primary color scheme is among the most difficult to pull off successfully and Lou Ann did a fabulous job selecting her fabrics. The yellow honeycomb print for the background is the perfect color, bringing out the yellows in her prints and giving her quilt a wonderful sense of light:

Lou Ann's Quilt

Next door is Harmony Hill, a retreat center whose cancer program provides support for those affected by a cancer diagnosis including caregivers and health professionals. Taking a break one afternoon, I walked through their labyrinth garden. Here are a couple photos of their stunning California poppies.

California Poppies at Harmony Hill

The inspiration for Suzanne's quilt is water. Her palette of aqua and teal with accents of olive and rust has a feeling of calm yet is visually striking:

Suzanne's Quilt

Sherry decided to make a queen sized quilt using Northcott's Stonehenge group of ginko fabrics ... breathtaking! The silver gray "stone" fabric is a beautiful background for the caramel, soft blue and brown prints:

Sherry's Quilt
JoAnn used one of her treasured hand dyed fabrics along with a variety of orange, purple and green batiks. It's a gorgeous color scheme!

JoAnn's Quilt

The Hood Canal area gets lots of rain as evidenced by these stunning, abundant maidenhair ferns:

Maidenhair Ferns

Horsetail was growing nearby, an ancient plant I love that loves a wet climate:

Common Horsetail

And back to the quilts ... Margie chose a gorgeous palette of blues, yellows, cream and a beautiful soft brown. I find the blue especially stunning, complemented by the same yellow honeycomb print Lou Ann used in her quilt. The yellow print looks cooler here because it is surrounded by all those lovely blues.

Margie's Quilt

Cari chose a selection of Kaffe Fassett prints in greens and blues. Her background fabric is stunning ... an aqua gradation print that ranges from almost white to deep aqua. Look at the motion and sense of light that gradation print adds to the quilt:

Cari's Quilt

I chose a selection of Michael Miller's new cotton couture solids:  yellow, green, peach and tangerine with the addition of a few coordinating prints. The overall bright, "citrusy" palette needed a little something else so I chose two black and white prints that I think are a very nice addition. Sometimes black and white adds that extra punch that takes a quilt from pretty good to exciting.

Pam's Quilt

Mallory is working on a quilt made entirely of Japanese quilt blocks and taupe fabrics. She brought some of her blocks to show us. Now we all want to make a quilt of Japanese blocks and fabrics!

Mallory's Quilt Blocks

Jeanne brought a quilt top she recently finished in a stunning palette of black, white and beige ... so beautiful! I think of glistening pearls when I see this quilt.

Jeanne's Gradation Quilt

The Pine Needle Retreat is an amazing experience ... one we all cherish and look forward to each year! Wonder what white elephants will show up next year?