Last week I travelled with my mum and two friends to Quilt Town, USA aka Hamilton, Missouri. That’s right our dream vacation was to the middle of nowhere! Hamilton has been made popular to quilters by the YouTube sensation Jenny Doan and her family, but did you also know that it is the hometown of J.C. Penney too?
We had been planning and waiting for this trip for two years. We were supposed to go last year, but were unable to due to the pandemic. This year it was Hamilton or bust at the crack of dawn!
Before sharing about what we got to do and experience in Hamilton, I would like to give a shout out to the amazing caterer that handled providing my meals during my stay. Duste Dee did a fantastic job creating these flavorful and filling plant based meals:
My favorite dinner was the pasta with a SUPER tasty squash purée sauce. My favorite lunch was chili stuffed squash and she even served one of my all time favorite breakfasts…sweet potato with peanut butter! I was truly impressed with these wonderful meals. As a vegan I was fully prepared to survive a week of endless salads. My expectations we far exceeded!
Now on to the best part…the sewing!
We arrived Monday afternoon after a fairly smooth day of travel despite a delay in Bangor due to a flight attendant not showing up. Once in our rental van we hit the road toward the retreat center with a pit stop in Liberty, Missouri to visit Angela Walters’ shop, Quilting Is My Therapy followed by a late lunch. Generally the shop is not open on Monday but our friend, Evelyn had called ahead and they generously made arrangements for us to be able to stop in! The town square is adorable and a must see.
Once at the retreat center we got settled into our room and then got acquainted with our loaner machines. As you can see Mum, Linda and I are still getting situated and comfortable with our machines and space. Meanwhile, Evelyn aka NASCAR is already pedal to the metal! She gets so much done!!
I won’t lie, I was very nervous about using a different machine but am happy to report that it really wasn’t too bad. The only tough part was that there wasn’t a 1/4” foot. I realized just how spoiled I am to have one and also just how heavily I rely on it! After a bit of practice with the new machines we hit the ground running with projects that we brought with us! I worked on the pattern Pins and Paws. It is going to drape over the back of our couch for Fret and Nooch to snooze on.
As you can see, our work space was wonderful. The lighting was very good, there were design boards all around the room to put up works in progress and plenty of outlets. Not pictured were lovely ironing and cutting stations as well!
The following day the retreat officially started! There was still plenty of time to free sew, but we also went on a scavenger hunt to all of BEAUTIFUL quilt shops that line their Main Street where we snagged some amazing treats including rulers, a pattern and other useful trinkets too! After the scavenger hunt we met the artist, Janet Wecker Frisch, whose paintings have been used on fabric panels for quilting projects. I will save the finished project of that for its own post since this one is already getting lengthy!
Each morning I got up early to sew and get out for a walk before it got too HOT! Notice there aren’t many pictures with me in them? The 100* heat made me instantly red in the face and the humidity gave my hair it’s own zip code!
When we did venture out into the heat it was to pop into one of the amazing shops right at our doorstep so we didn’t have to go very far. The farthest we ventured during the retreat itself was to go to the absolutely amazing Quilt Museum housed in their old elementary school (which by the way smelled exactly like MY old elementary school) and for that we went in the “quilter’s limousine” driven by a lovely, fact filled man named Keith.
We had a wonderful quilting adventure together and are already planning another opportunity to return to Quilt Town, USA to create even more memories!