Shortly after meeting Mary at QuiltCon, she texted me to say we ought to get together for a weekend at the beach, and suggested a date: September.
That seemed so far away, but finally the weekend arrived and Lisa (L), Leisa (R) and I drove over to Carpinteria, where her beach house is located. We were more than happy to spend time with her as we think she is the Cat’s Meow, besides being a great quilter.
First up: exchange little gifts with each other. I always like what Simone de Beauvoir said: something to the effect that if the universe were run by women, they would bestow little gifts upon each other all day long. She certainly knew about quilters! I had a package which contained socks, a candy bar brought from Denmark with funny words on them, and a few other trinkets. We set up our machines and began sewing.
View from the balcony towards Arco Island. While the official name is Rincon Island, the locals call it after the oil company. They also never call the city by its full name of Carpinteria, but rather, call it “Carp.”
After sewing all afternoon, and after dinner, it was time to go and watch the sunset. We adopted the rhythm established by Mary and her family, and were always happy to have a break out in nature before we tackled the evening’s sewing.
Many of the rocks on this area of beach have holes in them and through them. We joked that all our suitcases were pounds heavier with our souvenirs from Carp.
Saturday morning, Mary told us all it was National Sewing Machine Day, so I documented us all at our machines.
Since Mary and I like to cook, I’ll give you an idea of the food we had all weekend, beginning with her shashito peppers from her garden, lightly heated with a bit of oil, then dipped in soy sauce.
We all contributed to this stack.
Mary’s Tomato and Cheese Galette, served with fresh greens.
Melon wrapped in proscuitto, tomatoes layered with fresh mozzarella. I’d forgotten my vinegar, so Mary’s BIL lent some and it was amazing (the “good stuff” he said, and he was right).
For lunch one day we were out at The Spot, where the ladies were photo-bombed:
Another day we went to Summerland Cafe, known for its breakfasts. . . so I had breakfast, while the other quilters had a lunch entree.
After finding two pumpkin-shaped Le Creuset pots in an antique store, Mary taught us all how to make her famous bread. Link to the story and the recipe is *here.* We also visited the famous Roxanne’s Quilt Shop; write-up with photos in the next post. I’m still recovering.
We visited one of the local orchid farms, Westerlay Farms, where there were a gorgeous array of colorful orchids.
Westerly also had a planter of beautiful succulents out front.
So did we do more than eat and have field trips? Yep, yep. I brought my unfinished Traveling Threads Bee quilt, as it had languished too long. After we taped up the design wall (see below), I slapped all my blocks up there and began moving them around. And around. And around.
I went downstairs early the first night to be the first in her jammies, and got quilt-bombed with Lisa’s batch of 50 nine-patches. This was Lisa laughing with me in the morning, as it took me a minute to figure out why my quilt looked so great, but then she made me give them back. Pity. They were sunny and bright in my quilt of fall colors. She did this set of 50, and then another set of 50 three-inch nine-patches for a guilt swap she is participating in.
After noodling on this for a very long day (asking everyone what they thought of it about every time I moved something an inch — they were very patient), I finally got it sewed together. Now to quilt it. I took mine down and Lisa put hers up:
This is the photo at the end of the weekend, after she sewed and sewed and sewed. It’s a Lizzy House pattern.
I completed two backs for quilts: Oh Christmas Tree, and Halloween 1904. Sorry they are so wrinkled.
Mary had the actual First Finish, when she held up this appliquéd chicken, quilted and bound. She used a special technique to appliqué the pieces down.
Leisa worked on several projects, but this is her quilt from a Road to California class using Little House on the Prarie fabrics.
Leisa also finished up her Halloween 1904 quilt (on the right). It was part of the Quilt-A-Long here on the blog this summer.
Mary finishing up her Christmas Tree skirt, using the trick of a glue stick to hold the binding in place for top-stitching.
She also finished up a quilt-a-long with Bonnie Hunter, with stars and strips.
Lastly, Mary made two red Xs for the 70273project by Jeanne Hewell-Chambers, found *here,* with Introductory Post *here.* Mary’s set is on top, mine’s on the bottom. We had one more set by the time the weekend was finished.
Stuff ready to get packed into Lisa’s car.
Good-bye until next year!
17 thoughts on “Beachside Quilting Retreat”
I can’t believe how much y’all got done, especially in the midst of all the food and field trips!
And here’s another thing that impressed me, those beautiful floors! I think maybe we should change the saying from “floors clean enough to eat off of” to “floors clean enough to baste quilts on” or “floors clean enough to use as design walls.” 🙂 I sweep every day but my floors always have sand and pet hair on them.
I’m glad y’all had such a wonderful time and thank you for sharing so many aspects of it!
Gosh….what a fun weekend it was. I am so glad that we were able to make it happened. I can hardly wait until next year. You did a great job documenting the four days. Thanks so much.
I went to college at UCSB and my roommate’s grandparents has a beach house (walk right from the patio to the sand) at Rincon! I loved seeing all your pictures–they brought back fond memories. It looks like an amazing weekend.
That looks and sounds like an absolutely delightful time! 🙂
Surely you were away for more than a weekend Elizabeth? Going by all the photos on IG, all that you got done AND all the sightseeing you did, it must have been a week’s vacation? I love the quilt top you pieced together- I don’t remember seeing that one before….
What a perfect retreat!!!!! Good friends, great food, great scenery, space to move about, exhausting possibly, but so productive and memorable!! Total envy.
That sounds like my dream weekend. And I LOVE Carpinteria! Such a gorgeous beach town, and gentle waves. 🙂
What fun! Thanks for sharing with us in so many ways.
That sounds like the perfect holiday to me! It looks as if you all had a wonderful time and managed to get lots of quilting done too 🙂
Wow Wow Wow!!! You had fun AND got things done. I’m impressed. Especially that you found time to cook too. I do not cook. But I gladly eat . . . too much, too often.
Looks like you had a great time quilting, eating, and enjoying each other’s company. Lucky you!
I go to Carp every April and have myself a little retreat when I rent a friend’s cottage. I totally relate to this post. Love, love, love Roxanne’s.
Wish I was there. Hard to believe that everyone got so much done. I am very interested in the bread story and recipe but the link wouldn’t work. Not sure if you knew that…… Looks like a great time was had by all.
I may not have told you this, but I have never been on a retreat. Too scared. It looks like so much fun! You girls are all so cute
I am glad that you all survived such an intense experience, having as much fun, as much good food, and as many experiences as it is possible to cram into those few days. I am still jealous. Can I come next year, Mary?
Every time Mark and I went to the coast it seemed like Mary said, “I know you like the coast. We should have a retreat.” And I can’t believe I missed the first one. 😦 Looks like the most perfect of weekends from every perspective. And man, I missed out on a lot of good swag. Next year!
What a wonderful weekend. You packed so much into it. Did you get any sleep?