The Family Sewing Retreat

Posted by Barbara H. Cline on Oct 27th 2017

Excerpt from Magic Add-a-Strip Quilts: Transform Simple Shapes into Dynamic Designs by Barbara H. Cline. 

Just a Square

Technique: Slicing squares


Technique: Slicing a Right-Angle Triangle

Polygon Patchwork

Technique: Slicing 60° Diamonds

Each year my mother, six sisters, a sister-in-law, and some of the nieces get together for a weeklong sewing retreat. Living many miles apart does not keep us from getting together each year for this event. Our family’s sewing retreats have played a primary role in getting the next

generation interested in sewing. We find a commonality in sewing and a community grows out of the interaction that occurs over the hum of sewing machines. These sewing retreats over the past eighteen years build family relationships as well. There can be anywhere from eleven to twenty-five people at a sewing retreat, it just depends on who can come and how many days they can attend.

I love the interaction between the four generations. My daughters and daughter-in-law know my sisters in a unique way that would have never happened if this gathering did not exist.

We bounce ideas back and forth as we sew. We have a large variety of talent to pull from: I may not know how to write but there is someone who can give me ideas for writing. The photographer in our group helps in photographing ideas for trimming and posting our pictures. The oil and watercolor painters help us fine-tune our color selections and help us understand why value is as important as color in quilt making. We all learn from each other and value each other. This not only happens in the quilting and sewing arena but it also happens in sharing our personal stories.

Mother and I holding her pieced quilt. Photo by Julia Graber.

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