Slow Stitching Retreat, Maine :: 1 :: Hand Applique with Carolyn Friedlander

It's been almost a month since the Slow Stitching Retreat that I attended in Washington, Maine.  A lot has happened since then, but life has been so full of travel, family, and work that I've only just now had time to sit down, sort through over a thousand photos, and reflect on the past month.

in the next week or two I plan to do several posts about our time away and, of course, I am starting with the retreat.  It was held at Medomak Retreat Center in Washington, about 30 minutes from the coast of Maine, and right near beautiful Washington Pond.  Samantha Lindgren of A Gathering of Stitches hosted the retreat and what a fantastic job she did!  Although our numbers were small this first year, feedback was very good and I know she is already making plans for next year.

The grounds were quite lovely, including my little cabin called Spruce which I shared with 4 other campers.   We had meals and some classes in the historic lodge above and below.  The porch was amazing!  I know I would have been quite happy to spend all my time there on the porch.

Campers were divided into two groups for the classes.  I was in the Chickadees- how perfect is that?

Our fantastic teachers: Carolyn Freidlander, Chawne Kimber and Samantha Lindgren
Pinecones: Erin, Kristen, Sharon, Emily, Elizabeth and Elisa
Chickadees: Tracy, Darcy, Ivete, Amanda, Heather and me.

 Carolyn's Park Quilt

Carolyn's Park Quilt

Our first class was with Carolyn Friedlander. I have Carolyn's book, Savor Each Stitch, so I was thrilled to get to meet her and spend time in a retreat situation where you really get to know everyone.  This class was all about hand applique, using Carolyn's pattern called Park.  Now, I have been appliqueing for years, but as I always say, I learn something in every class I take. This one was no exception.  Carolyn teaches a method that results in a very small seam allowance (1/8th inch).  I really like this technique and have used it on several small projects in the past month.  I also love her modern take on Hawaiian style applique.  Park is created just as you would make a paper snowflake, but the clean modern lines are very appealing.

Our small group could fit around these two tables for the first part of class where we were cutting the applique and basting it down.

 Ha!

Ha!

 This is my piece, very simple!

This is my piece, very simple!

 Trail to the lake.

Trail to the lake.

Meals were eaten family style in the dining hall.  All the food was really good and healthy.  Some of the produce came from the kitchen garden and other ingredients were sourced locally.  Delicious!

After lunch I decided to take the trail to the lake.  It was windy that first day, but it reminded me of my days at Squam Lake in New Hampshire- so relaxing!

 Washington Pond

Washington Pond

The afternoon was spent relaxing on the porch with our hand stitching.  Everyone had a fabulous rocking chair and their applique.  Pure bliss!  We were also joined just for this class with Kitty and baby Finn (under that sweet quilt).  So nice to meet her!

Later we moved to the benches as the sun warmed up the porch.

As each person's block was finished we had a little bit of show and tell.  There's nothing better than being surrounded by people who get you and appreciate the things you do!

The day ended with another great meal and chatting around the outdoor fire pit, complete with s'mores.  By the way, lots of these gals have Instagram accounts.  I will share the handles of the ones with public accounts in a later post.  We have some seriously talented ladies here!

Next time, I'll talk about some teeny tiny stitching with Chawne Kimber!