Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Feelin' Good!

I love the beginning of a vacation.  I always like the feeling when you realize you have some free time stretching out in front of you, maybe going somewhere, maybe having guests, maybe just a blank slate.  That's what I'm feeling this morning!

This special feeling is made possible by the generosity of the owners of Bear Patch Quilting Co., Debbie and Laurel.  It's actually a Christmas gift to the store employees, about 16 of us.  The gift is 5 days of time.  How rare is that!?  The store is closed for 5 days (February 24-28) while we gather ourselves at a retreat house, Bridge Creek Cottage, in Augusta, WI.  How cool is that!

Closing the doors of the store for that many days and hosting the whole group really means a lot.  It is a real investment of time and money.  The lost revenue, the rental of the house, the time spent in planning, all add up to a significant amount.  We have never done an employee event like this before.  It was never possible, because on any given day, there are  5 or more employees scheduled to work, depending on the day it can be even 8.  We have had employee sew days at the store after hours, but that's pretty limited when the event starts at 4 or 5 PM.

We have a really good group of employees, probably one of the most compatible and enjoyable groups that I have known since starting to work at the store 15 years ago.  We are using this opportunity as another way to build the strengths of our team, plus some learning through sharing ideas.  And doing what we love to do, quilting and sewing!  There will also be some knitting, reading, movie watching, walking, eating, talking, laughing and goofing off!

I know there are going to be some customers who won't get the word that we are closed, in spite of trying to get the information out there in any way possible.  And I know they are not going to be happy about that no matter what.  We feel badly that we can't be in 2 places at one time.  We will be doing our best to become an even better quilt shop for all of you!

We all have our own favorite projects to work on during retreat, and here's one that we are bringing along for "show and tell".  We have been loving the Sweetpea Pod pattern by Lazy Girl.  Here's one I made in January--

And here's another one that I made from some faux leather we had in the store--

Sweetpea Pod by Lazy Girl

I have to say, it turned out pretty cool!  For anyone wanting to experiment with this, I used the leatherish fabric for both the outer and lining layers, plus a layer of SF101 lightweight woven fusible interfacing on the wrong side of the outer layer.  I blinged up the zipper just a little with a beaded pull, and I'm bringing along the supplies to show everyone how to make one of those.

Oh, and don't you just love that old tabletop, too!  It's from probably the 50's, but I'm not sure of the history of this table.  It looks like the surface of the moon, or a muskmelon!

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