At the beginning of August I took an amazing adventure. As you know, I really love to sew. Making quilts, bags and reusable items brings me joy. It helps me look forward to cozy winter evenings at home knowing I have something creative to work on during the long dark evenings.
Last year my Mum and I took a trip with a couple friends to Hamilton, Missouri. Here is a blog post about that trip.
This year we returned to the Quilt Capitol! While both trips took place in the same adorable little town, both included sewing, learning new things and meeting new people, they were completely different experiences.
This year we got to meet the Doan Girls! For those of you who don’t sew, the Doan family owns the Missouri Star Quilt Company. They have been creating YouTube tutorials for years! It is really a wonderful story and they have really brought a small dying town back to life through this company. Not only do they still create wonderful online tutorials, but they have brought tourism to the community with their shops and employ about 450 members of their community which has a population of about 1,200 people! They are rock stars!!
The three main celebrities are Jenny, Natalie and Misty. The Doan Girls. The retreat that we attended was led by these lovely ladies. There were over 100 of us in attendance but it certainly didn’t feel that way. It was very inclusive. They each lead a workshop that taught skills to create a project. And I must say, from an educator stand point, they genuinely taught. It wasn’t a lecture. It was structured, but not scripted. When they weren’t teaching, they were connecting with each of us. Wow what an experience it was!
Jenny taught this block Happy Trails. It is based off a more difficulty pattern called Snail Trail. She explained the process of how her brain could simplify a pattern that was much complex, but with a simple cut here and flip there of fabric you can have a block that looks similar with 1/3 less steps. It was amazing to see her mind at work. Honestly, she reminded me of so many of my students. I genuinely believe her brain is in constant motion and when given a passionate direction can accomplish amazing things!
Natalie’s workshop was on sewing with curves. I actually learned to free-style curves fairly early on, but had never use a template for them. She addressed both, so it was still new information. Curves are very intimidating, but really are not bad at all. I think she really pushed people out of their comfort zones with this one and it was fun to hear celebratory exclamations throughout the room as projects came together.
The project that Misty led was using 2 1/2 inch squares to make letters to create words. I chose the word SEW with a heart after.
I also got a bonus project done because we arrived the night before the retreat officially started.
There was a scavenger hunt where we were gifted with wonderful rulers and notions, door prizes, all of our project materials were provided and not to mention shopping galore! There was NO WAY all of that was fitting into our luggage to fly home. Luckily they offered free shipping and when it arrived on my doorstep via the FedEx fairy it was like Christmas had come early!
All in all, it was a trip a quilter dreams of. Inspirational and filled with lots of lessons, learning and best of all laughter.