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Tilikum Retreats
Northwest Quilters' Spring 2012 Retreat Report
March 8 -- 11, 2012

We had a great time at Spring Retreat last weekend! We moved into the Tilikum Retreat Center on a sunny, beautiful Thursday, enjoyed an even lovelier Friday, then had "Spring in Oregon" weather on Saturday and Sunday -- perfect sewing days. I think we had even more hikes around the lake than usual and a couple of us very pale retreaters seemed to pick up a little color before the rain moved in.

Just about every color and every technique you can imagine was in evidence while we were there: Machine and hand piecing, machine and hand appliqué, machine and hand quilting, embroidery, modern fabrics of every kind and reproduction fabrics of every era. Jan Hugo probably had the oldest project there -- quilt-as-you-go blocks dating from the 1970's or so! Joyce Taylor Wood worked on her lilac Hawaiian appliqué all weekend, and close by, Pat Emfinger completed two lap-sized tops for Comforting Quilts from start to finish. Nedra Lihs sewed up a whole box of Build-a-Block blocks, just in time to amass more of them at the Quilt Show and spring events. Biggish blocks were on Lorle Starling's sewing machine, but tiny ones were on Sharon Bishop's and Carol Schaefer's. Donna Stevens was completing a stunning forest of pieced trees, while Janet Franco sewed piano keys to border her star medallion. Betsy Sayre built intricate mazes of tiny logs while Stacey Frerichs re-built a beautiful batik log cabin design. Lisa Helfrich and Heidi Steward demonstrated that quilting and knitting are complementary -- we can hardly wait to see all the Gilligan-style caps that came out of this weekend!

Only eight brave souls made those cute blocks from Karen Snyder's pattern for Saturday night's dice game. Fran Harkins originally planned to bypass the game but decided at 3 pm to whip up the blocks. When she went for a post-dinner massage, two good fairies (Heidi Steward and Barbara Lamb) finished up the piecing. That good karma must have made for good luck, because Fran won both games at her table. Gillian Gardner and Diana Loop split the winnings at the other table. Diana then decided to give her winnings to Gillian, so both Gillian and Fran ended up with 40 blocks each! We should see bright quilts resulting from those blocks before too long!

Fourteen of us enjoyed Julie Beck's amazing massage therapy on Saturday, and several people made more than one field trip to area quilt and yarn shops. Sara Stensen's delicious marbled cake won the Best Snack award.

This is the first time we've been at Tilikum so early in the season, and some people were concerned that the lake was low when we arrived. The directors have assured us that Tilikum's is a "managed lake", with an eco-sensitive group that monitors the lake conditions year-round. The lake was actually intentionally lowered a few days before we came and refilling began as we were leaving, to handle the annual influx of natural water. So fishermen (like Bob Eldred and Kevin Jones) can be reassured that the conditions will be good for the summer fishing/retreating season.

A retreat is definitely a gift you give yourself. The Summer Retreat will be Monday-Thursday, July 23-26th, and Fall Retreat will be Thursday-Sunday, October 25-28th.

-- Maureen Orr Eldred

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Northwest Quilters' Fall Retreat Report
October 27 - October 30, 2011

Fall 2011 Retreat Nine new retreaters and twenty-nine "veterans" gathered at the end of October for the NWQ Fall Retreat, and we all had a great time! We had Halloween projects galore -- perfect, since it was Halloween weekend! -- and even a costume parade at dinner on Saturday night. It turns out this group leaned heavily to witches, both happy ones and scary ones. The costume winners were Marilyn Doty (Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe) and Joyce Taylor Wood (werewolf).

Many holiday gifts were finished there, not only in quilting but also in embroidery and knitting. There were all sizes of charity quilts, Build-a-Block blocks and quilts, and a harder-than-anticipated beauty pageant sash made by Fran Harkins for her granddaughter. Several members made stockings for the Marine Corps Family Foundation, including Pat Emfinger and Kevin Jones, and Joyce Reyman made elaborate stockings for a charity auction. Pat Barrilleaux worked on UFOs and then recreated a floral pincushion, inspired by Helen Hayes' acquisition.

Tomme Fent came injured, but that didn't stop her productivity. After completing several other projects, she tackled the Mystery Quilt. She shared the Agatha Christie award (for finishing it at retreat) with Bob Eldred, and then she took home the coveted Best Snack award, too. Edna Blue joined them in the Mystery, and the three of them, completely independently, chose Christmasx colors -- all different, all quite elegant. Heidi Steward was the big winner at Saturday night's Quilters' Bingo, but she turned the tables on us by re-distributing the heap of prize fat quarters.

The almost perfect weather caused even more field trips than usual. By the end of the weekend, Becky Gibson admitted to contributing the most to the Chehalem Valley economy. Suzette Shoulders, one of our frequent retreaters who finds it harder to come now that she lives in Bend, sent fat quarters from her stash to join us in spirit. That retreaters' spirit made it possible for us to develop new friendships and enjoy the refreshment of a weekend together.

The registration form for Spring Retreat will be in the January Patchword. Put these dates on your calendar now and plan to come on at least one of our 2012 retreats.

Spring: March 8-11 (Thurs-Sun); Summer: July 23-26 (Mon-Thurs); Fall: Oct 25-28 (Thurs-Sun)

-- Maureen Orr Eldred

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NWQ Summer 2011 Retreat Report
Sunday through Wednesday,
July 24-27, 2011

Wow, what a great, relaxing time we had at our 5th Summer Retreat! Nineteen of us were at Tilikum Retreat Center in Newberg July 24-27th, where we enjoyed their carefully prepared meals and sewed nonstop inside while also observing the busy day camp activities going on outside. The weather was great … warm enough, not too hot, but also perfect for bonus activities around the lake. We had four first-time retreaters: Diane Esteb, Marie Godfrey, Jo Ann Janes, and Diana Stack Roberts. Debby Warren-Manning, Bob Eldred, and Maureen Orr Eldred maintain their perfect attendance at our Summer Retreats.

The activities in our workroom varied from marathon doll-quilt construction (Carol Brown made 19, start to finish!) to many, many charity quilts (especially Pat Emfinger and Nedra Lihs) to reconstruction of vintage signature quilts (Bob Eldred) to completion of Trash To Treasure Pineapple quilts (Susan Avery, Marilyn Doty). Joyce Reyman taught a class in making fabric origami stars - thank you, Joyce! Diana Stack Roberts completed the mystery quilt in elegant tans and red, while Diane Esteb made hers in fun black/white/lime green. Carol Hull's wonderful floral wall hanging was a delight to see come together, and Kevin Jones's intricate reverse-appliqué project advanced with precision as the days passed. Janice Jones actually completed Christmas presents, while Jo Ann Janes worked on a workshop art quilt. Marie Godfrey, Sara Stensen, and Sharon Rub converted "vintage" blocks (various vintages!) into completed quilt tops.

-- Maureen Orr Eldred

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Northwest Quilters' Spring 2011 Retreat Report
April 7 - 10, 2011

What a great weekend we had at the Spring Retreat! A few new retreaters (Betsy Sayre, Margaret Ward, Maggie Wells) joined many veterans for a soggy, rainy, sunny, stormy, cool, cold, slightly-warm, definitely-Spring long weekend at Tilikum Retreat Center in Newberg. The retreat center was undergoing some remodeling, so we had the Extreme Makeover mid-show reality experience: mostly done but not quite. Through it all, our Tilikum hosts were gracious and helpful and we were amazingly productive … or not, as we each chose to be!

There were many charity quilts made there, and many different construction techniques demonstrated: paper piecing, curved piecing, strip piecing, hand and machine applique, feathered stars, tiny Seminole piecing, rag quilting, garment construction (remember that?), hand- and machine embellishment, and a 12" challenge piece on "fishnet stockings". Numerous field trips led to the local quilt shops (and antique stores and that yarn shop, too!) and as a result, Bonnie Mitchell "donated" the most to the Chehalem Valley economy. In case we needed them, our snack tables were bountiful, with Kathy White winning the prize for best snack (wonderful chocolate coconut cookies).

Rita Young Kilstrom taught a daring and delightful class in "Striping a Crazy Quilt", resulting in strips, "snakes", 45-degree slashes, and reassembled fabric in every color combination. Thank you, Rita! Saturday night's dice games were won by Fran Harkins, Rita Young Kilstrom, Marilyn Doty, and Carol Hull, and 15 of us enjoyed Saturday afternoon massages.

Special thanks to the Tilikum Trio - Fran Harkins, Betsy Sayre, Lorle Starling -- who provided the musical accompaniment to our Sunday brunch festivities, and to Gillian Gardner and Judy Berg, who helped Janice and Maureen unload, set up the retreat center, and set events in motion. What a great help you were!

If you are ready to truly treat yourself, mark your calendar for one of our future retreats:
Summer: Sunday through Wednesday, July 24-27, 2011
Fall: Thursday through Sunday, October 27-30, 2011
Spring: Thursday through Sunday, April 12-15, 2012

-- Maureen Orr Eldred

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Northwest Quilters' Fall Retreat Report
October 28 - October 31, 2010

Wow! We had a great time at Tilikum during the Halloween weekend! Thirty-five NWQ members enjoyed great weather despite terrible forcasts and we took advantage of it to create so many things! We had three first-time retreaters (Anita Uhl, Roseanne Paulson, and Tana Lucero). Suzette Shoulders braved 20+ inches of snow in the Santiam Pass to be there.

When we learned that the retreat center director, Chris Steele, would be leaving Tilikum, we put together a "manly" plaid quilt -- 20 big star blocks sewn by 18 retreaters and assembled by Gunnel Seitz. Then Allison Rider sewed the "leftover" half-square triangles into asymmetrical borders. Chris's daughter Olivia has been quilting at our retreats for the past two years, since she was only 9 years old, and we made her a quilt, too, out of fabrics featuring sewing and quilting themes. By the presentation of Sunday morning, our group had magically produced a knitted hat and pillowcase for his baby daughter Nora, who literally cooed and crawled into our hearts over the weekend; and the two quilt tops. (We reclaimed those tops on Sunday afternoon, and Janice Jones has longarm quilted them for delivery before Thanksgiving.)

There was a lot of other quilting action, too. We had almost non-stop field trips to the two close quilt shops, and it is rumored that Bonnie Mitchell was this retreat's biggest contributor to the Chehalem Valley economy. Many, many charity quilts were made, including 16 doll quilts for Toy & Joy. Gillian Gardner won the doll quilt challenge drawing, taking home an Olive Garden gift certificate, but Lori Stephen's doll quilt was probably the most challenging: She pieced miniature houses, all colorful and all different. Upstairs and downstairs, UFOs came to completion and we loved watching Paula Chipman's snowpeople blocks come to life on her design wall. Fourteen of us also enjoyed massages from licensed massage therapist Julie Beck on Saturday.

Given the holiday weekend, we had optional costumes for Saturday dinner, and there were some great surprises that evening! The voting was close, but the winner of the coveted Perpetual Trophy was Kathy Peacock followed closely by the Thimblehead Twins, previously known as Joyce Reyman and Janet Reyman but now known as the NRS (Notorious Reyman Sisters).

Our next retreat is the first full weekend in April (April 7-10, Thursday through Sunday) and the registration form will be in the January Patchword. Put it on your calendar now and plan to join us for one of the nicest gifts you can give yourself.

-- Maureen Orr Eldred

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Northwest Quilters' Fall Retreat Report
October 29 - November 1, 2009

We had a full house for our fall retreat at the Tilikum Retreat Center in Newberg for the long Halloween weekend. We had new members (at least one who had not yet been to a meeting!) and "seasoned veterans" and all 38 seemed to enjoy the various events, scheduled and not. It was particularly fun to catch up with old friends who hadn't been to retreat in quite a while, and to get to know new friends who are just joining our group. The weather wasn't quite as bad as predicted, but it made for perfect quilting weather inside the building and didn't deter us from frequent field trips to area quilt shops.

Five brave retreaters set out to solve the Debbie Caffrey mystery quilt (Mary Ann Schwab, Susan McGuire, Cheryl Corrie, Susan Avery and Marilyn Doty). Cheryl's completed quilt top was displayed at the December NWQ meeting and we hope to see the finished quilt hanging in our March show.

It never fails that we are inspired and energized by the various projects in process at retreat. This particular time, we had many, many knitters -- some full time, some interspersed with quilting. We saw miniature blocks, beautiful batiks, many doll quilts completed, and several Christmas gifts in the making. We were also blessed with generous quilters who willingly mentored others in specific techniques. It would have been hard not to learn something new during that weekend.

Dinner on Halloween night was an adventure all its own, due to the inventive costumes donned by several retreaters. (We witnessed a few personality changes apparently caused by those disguises, too.) Joyce Taylor Wood was the winner of the coveted Perpetual Trophy, for her impersonation of a Voodoo Donuts employee. Trailing by a single vote was Marilyn Doty, who really got into the Bear spirit.

Our next retreat will be Thursday, April 29, through Sunday, May 2, just in time to treat yourself to a relaxing, long weekend after the rush of the quilt show. There won't be costumes and we won't deal with a Daylight Savings Time change, but we will have special events, an opportunity for massage, and the chance to watch those beautiful hills transform themselves for spring. The registration form will be in the February Patchword -- we hope you will give yourself this gift of time away in the new year.

-- Maureen Orr Eldred

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NWQ Summer 2009 Retreat Report
Sunday through Wednesday,
July 5-8, 2009

Fifteen adventurers joined forces for the 2009 NWQ Summer Retreat, July 5th-8th in Tilikum Retreat Center. Marjorie Post taught a class in "Pocket Squares", a hand- or machine-sewn project utilizing scraps of fabric and batting, and gave us a bonus lesson in "Prairie Points by the Yard". There was an abundance of red, white, and blue fabrics, as Kathy Peacock completed a patriotic quilt for Quilts of Valor, and Carol Hull, Rita Young Kilstrom and Jill Lilly each made at least one top for the same project. Nancy Lillie created a Cancun-inspired seascape, and Jackie Nance kept us connected to online resources even as she stitched on her machine. Carol Brown turned out several quilts, all different, utilizing scraps, samples, and fat quarters, and also gave the Big Board a badly-needed new cover. Fran Harkins made a significant dent in her UFO stash, quilts and garments alike; Paula Chipman completed a monkey-themed quilt and sewed two more tops, besides hand quilting on the 2010 raffle quilt. Debby Warren-Manning whizzed through baby quilts, fat quarter quilts, friendship quilts, and an embroidery project. Bob Eldred met every goal he had set for himself: A baby quilt top completed, daily naps, and 15 fish caught in Tilikum's lake. Mark Peacock and Joe Nance discovered the beauty of the Newberg hills, the expertise of Tilikum's kitchen staff, and the art of "decompression." I made significant progress on completing the top from my 2007 signature blocks (my goal is to enter it in our 2010 quilt show).

We enjoyed the enthusiasm of the day campers who covered the grounds and had the special treat of entertaining a 9-year old new sewer and her visiting grandmother, a quilter from Texas. We even were blessed with a staff member who took Marjorie's class and joined NWQ before the retreat was over!

If this combination of supreme relaxation and amazing productivity (or not, as you may choose) sounds good to you, think about spending Halloween weekend at Tilikum: October 29th to November 1st.

-- Maureen Orr Eldred

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Northwest Quilters' Fall Retreat Report
October 30 - November 2, 2008

Our 2008 Fall Retreat re-created our first event at the Tilikum Center in Newberg: Halloween weekend, some sun, plenty of rain and lots of activity. We had nine new retreaters this time and a few members who returned to retreat after several years' absence. We had so many different projects, including lots of knitted socks, scarves and sweaters, several garments (Outfits for little girls were popular.), pillowcases, stuffed toys, and of course, many quilts from placemats to king size. In addition, there were various forms of "relaxation" on exhibit: Reading, hiking, field trips to nearby quilt shops, napping, sampling the Martha Stewart-quality snacks, and getting to know new friends. New techniques were taught throughout the workrooms, spontaneously or planned, and advice was freely given whenever a quilting "challenge" arose. Marjorie Post and Myra Turley tied for the much-anticipated Halloween costume "perpetual trophy". Nine retreaters attempted the Debbie Caffrey Mystery Quilt and most of them completed their tops before the weekend was over, with Gillian Gardner the fastest sleuth.

-- Maureen Orr Eldred

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NWQ Summer 2008 Retreat Report
Sunday through Wednesday, July 6-9, 2008

It's amazing how much variety there is on 19 sewing tables at a four-day retreat! We're just home from the Tilikum Retreat Center in the Newberg hills, where we worked at our own pace on new and old projects of every kind, in addition to a few "miscellaneous" activities that made for a memorable experience. The third NWQ Summer Retreat was relaxed even while it was productive.

Kevin Jones (nominated for "Loudest Quilter at the Retreat" -- not!) continued to fuse and appliqué highly detailed Nascar racecar blocks that will be a fantastic credit to his patience; they are close to completion now. Fran Harkins used antique embroidered blocks, signature blocks, and panels to complete several quilt tops, and Allison Rider finished a beautiful diamond quilt during our stay. A record number of sleuths worked on the Debbie Caffrey mystery quilt, with Jill Lilly and Carol Hull having the first finished tops. All nine of the mystery quilts will be very different from each other, a tribute to our varied color palates and fabric textures. Janice Healy, Bob Eldred, and Peggy Becker all had a patriotic cast to their quilts, and Bonnie Burkholder favored garden themes. Only one person (Joyce Reyman) created an entire wardrobe during her stay, but Janice Jones fashioned embellished fabric purses and Debby Warren-Manning dressed Sunbonnet Sue exchange blocks. Both Carol Brown and Marjorie Post utilized batik scraps to create gorgeous quilts of various sizes.

A full-fledged day camp, some exchange groups, plus a few overnight campers shared the grounds but we had the workroom and dining room all to ourselves. The weather was quite warm but still conducive to ambitious hikes around the lake, leisurely strolls through the grounds, and even a few field trips to area quilt shops. Special thanks to Bobbie Bebereia and her daughter Emily who opened The Quilted Hill for us on Tuesday. (We made it worthwhile!) At our Monday evening games session, "the Lillie/Lilly Pond" (Nancy Lillie and Jill Lilly) won the two sets of pieced batik blocks. Our campfire on Tuesday night was distinctive both for the S'mores we toasted and for the variety of songs we sang, some complete with illustrative gestures, thanks to Rita Kilstrom and company. Eileen Jacobs treated us to a song from her childhood that was new to most of us, and Kathy Peacock proved she knows almost every campfire song in everyone's book! The idea of homemade ice cream seemed like a good one... but that's one event we aren't likely to repeat!

Our next retreat will be Thursday, October 30, through Sunday, November 2. Consider joining us -- you'll be glad you did!

-- Maureen Orr Eldred

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Northwest Quilters' Spring 2008 Retreat Report
April 17 - 20, 2008

In several ways, the Spring Retreat (April 17-20) was a weekend of firsts:
  • The first time at a NWQ retreat for eight of us: Stacey Arnold, Jean Eggers, Helen Hayes, Christy Hoffman, Jeanne LaViollette, Jill Lilly, Marjorie Post and Gunnel Seitz.

  • The first time for Kathy Peacock's two-evening "Design Event", learning a new way to make "Mary's Triangles" on friday, and playing with them on Saturday night. The big winner was Jill Lilly, who then had the fun of arranging her new collection of blocks on the design wall, with advisers and kibitzers aplenty!

  • The first time we've had snow at the Spring Retreat (we have had it in Fall before). True, it was just a dusting, and true, it was gone pretty quickly, but there was no denying what it was: Spring in Oregon, with a little bit of everything.

In many ways, however, it was a classic quilt retreat. There was a whole lot of sewing going on, especially since we had the annual Spring Mini Shop Hop. There was a whole lot of informal teaching and learning going on, including hats and bindings and curved piecing. There was a whole lot of talking going on, from life stories to recounting memorable events. There was a whole lot of knitting going on -- a pastime quite compatible with chattingl. Even given the variable weather, there was quite a bit of hiking going on, too.

At the May general meeting, we drew for gift certificates from the shop hop stores: Verna's Sewing Center in McMinnville (won by Kathy Peacock) ; the Quilted Hill in Yamhill (won by Allison Rider); and Boersma's Sewing Center in McMinnville (won by Maureen Orr Eldred). Thanks to all four stores for their generous support, and to all the participants, many visiting these stores for the first time.

Special thanks to those who contributed to make this a special weekend: Suzette Shoulders for fat quarters; Comforting Quilts for batik fabric samples; Fran Harkins and Sharon Rub for assembling the door prizes for Sunday morning; Carol Forst for handmade bead bracelets; Kathy Peacock for being The Entertainment for the weekend; Pat emfinger for her willingness to take care of many details that made my life easier; Janice Jones for her artwork, name tags, and so many other things we would hate to do without.

We have a year full of retreats coming up in 2008-09, so here's your chance to put them on your calendar: Summer 2008 (Sunday through Wednesday, July 6-9, ; Fall 2008 (Thursday through Sunday, October 30 -- November 2); and Spring 2009 (Thursday through Sunday, April 23-26). Give yourself something to look forward to!

-- Maureen Orr Eldred

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Northwest Quilters' Fall Retreat Report
November 1 - 4, 2007

Autumn in the Northwest is full of surprises, and it was true to form at our Fall Retreat at the beginning of November. We had a variety of weather: Sun, wind, rain, sun again, but it was surpassed by the variety of projects. The 31 quilters who came together at the Tilikum Retreat Center in Newberg, some quite new to quilting and some veterans, were amazingly productive. Several retreaters finished three or more projects each -- it was the final fling for numerous UFOs -- and some of us even got a head start on our Christmas gifts. From doll quilts to king size, from beautiful Thanksgiving placemats to intriguing double-needled pillows, from machine-embroidered trains to foundation-pieced stars, there was something exciting to see both up and down stairs almost all the time. Chinese take-out boxes and cuddly, jointed bears (made out of Minkee -- so soft!) were constructed side by side. We had quite a collection of bags, big and small, for so many uses, including some that are now on their way to troops in the Middle East. Many a quilt was layered there, and quite a few were quilted, bound, and even finished ... a magic moment we all treasure.

Jan Hugo was the Blackout winner at Saturday night's Quilt-o game, and she turned the tables on the rest of us by sharing her winnings with all the other players. Thanks, Jan!

It's always rewarding to meet new quilters and hear new stories, and every retreat brings the opportunity to learn new techniques (or at least "other techniques", since many of them are not new at all!). We always intend retreat time to be refreshing, and we invite you to join us at the next one: April 17 - 20, Thursday through Sunday, 2008. The registration form will be in the February Patchword.

-- Maureen Orr Eldred

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Northwest Quilters' Second Annual Summer Retreat
Sunday through Wednesday, August 19-22, 2007

Our second NWQ Summer Retreat is just over, and we are happy to say it was a success. We had 19 quilters, several from out of the area and some attending a retreat for the first time. many of us were strangers when we arrived on Sunday, August 19, but we had established new friendships by the time we left on Wednesday afternoon.

We shared the beautiful Tilikum Retreat Center in Newberg, and we were quite productive in different ways. The speediest among us completed several quilt tops during those four days, whether the mystery quilt ("Q is for Quilter" by Debbie Caffrey), charity quilts, or stash quilts of many variations. Carol Gier completed her mystery top by Monday afternoon and at least three others before she packed up her machine! Others worked on intricate piecing, embroidery, or appliqué at a slower but still satisfying pace. The weather was variable, but it didn't keep most of us from enjoying the grounds (canoeing, fishing, hiking) and field-tripping to the four area quilt shops. About two-thirds of the participants played Quilt Block Lotto on Tuesday night, with Debbie Brawner, Gwen Sangstrom, Fran Harkins, and Susan Harris winning their games. Later the same night, eleven of us enjoyed a campfire on the lake shore with S'mores, songs, and some amazing stories.

Our Fall Retreat will be Thursday, November 1, through Sunday, November 4. The Spring 2008 Retreat will be Thursday, April 17, through Sunday, April 20, 2008. Our next Summer 2008 Retreat will be Sunday, July 6, through Wednesday, July 9, 2008. We hope you will consider joining us at one of our future retreats

-- Maureen Orr Eldred

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Northwest Quilters' Spring 2007 Retreat
April 19 - 22, 2007

Retreat Pictures

Spring 2007 Retreat  Spring 2007 Retreat  Spring 2007 Retreat  Spring 2007 Retreat
Spring 2007 Retreat  Spring 2007 Retreat  Spring 2007 Retreat  Spring 2007 Retreat 

--Photos courtesy of Patti Turner

Lotto quilt   Here's a quilt top made from the blocks won by Sointu Weisberg at the Completely Optional Saturday Night Event, Quilt Block Lotto, at the NWQ Spring 2007 Retreat. They were set together by Patti Turner. (With thanks to Vicky Lawrence, author of Scrap Assassin Saves the Day!, who allowed us to use one of her patterns for this game.)
--Photo courtesy of Maureen Orr Eldred

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Northwest Quilters' First-Ever Summer Retreat
Sunday through Wednesday, July 2-5, 2006

Dozens of day campers added festive cheer to our first Summer Retreat, held July 2-5 at the Tilikum Retreat Center in Newberg. Smaller than our other retreats, this one was nonetheless wonderfully relaxing and amazingly productive. Seventeen retreaters enjoyed the benefits of few responsibilities coupled with balmy weather as we designed and sewed (and sometimes un-sewed) our various projects. We took full advantage of the beautiful grounds for hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing (and yes, even catching!), embarked on a few field trips, and enjoyed an impromptu bonfire on the evening of Fourth of July. (Particular thanks to Curt Guthrie for the perfect fire and attention to all the necessary details. S'mores bring back memories of my camp counselor days!) At least one person arrived a non-quilter but left with a finished quilt top she sewed herself!

We were blessed with retreaters who have lived adventurous lives and were willing to share them, and Sue Hatt, Janice Jones, and Peggy Morgan led a comparison of cultures around the world. Two sleuths (Irene Bachhuber and Bob Eldred) pursued completion of the Mystery Quilt, while Jan Hugo, Sharon Guthrie, and Suzanna Dessauer used dramatic fabrics to their own ends. (We're hoping to see Sharon's wall hanging in the Hoffman Challenge!) Our Completely Optional Monday Night Event, a version of Judy Mathieson's Nine-Patch Lotto, netted sisters Katey Price and Mary Anne Mead enough blocks to make three coordinated quilt tops -- Mary Anne won both games at her table, while Katey and Irene each won one game at the other table. Patti Turner and Debby Warren-Manning did precise machine piecing while Paula Chipman devoted her time to machine quilting. Kevin Jones created machine appliquéd race car blocks while Brian Hatt probably completed the most laps around the lake!--- Maureen Orr Eldred

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Northwest Quilters Spring 2006 Retreat Report
April 20 - 23, 2006

Spring Retreat 2006 Spring Retreat 2006 Spring Retreat 2006 Spring Retreat 2006
Spring Retreat 2006 Spring Retreat 2006 Spring Retreat 2006 Spring Retreat 2006
Spring Retreat 2006 Spring Retreat 2006 Spring Retreat 2006 Spring Retreat 2006
Spring Retreat 2006 Spring Retreat 2006 Spring Retreat 2006 Spring Retreat 2006

--photos courtesy of Patti Turner

The Newberg hills sheltered a congenial group of quilters for the NWQ Spring Retreat April 20-23. Despite illness halting a few attendees, this group of quilters had a mighty good time, hiking, canoeing, shop-hopping, and -- oh, yes -- quilting quite a bit, too! We basked in the care of the Tilikum staff and in the surprisingly sunny weather. We discovered some hidden talents among us: Lori Stephens, Pat Emfinger, and Dolores Black could sub on The Tonight Show; Lucie Peterson learned to make folded stars appear in mere minutes; a whole group of late-night cavaliers auditioned to recreate Bonanza right here in Oregon -- no, not the Cartwright family, but their horses instead. Many retreaters made impressive progress on their WIPs, but Patti Turner finished the first eight quilts of the retreat! Fran Harkins renewed her latent love affair with the color lime green and will have a small quilt to show for it soon.

At Spring retreats, we are fortunate enough to enjoy the cooperation of four local quilt shops for a mini-shop-hop. Winners of the shop-hop prizes were drawn at the May meeting and we congratulate the lucky winners and thank the quilt shops for their donations: Allison Rider received a gift certificate from Boersma’s Sewing Center in McMinnvillle (Jack and Michelle Boersma); Sara Stensen won the gift certificate provided by Late Bloomer’s Quilt Shop and Dry Goods Co. in Carlton (Tammy Keith); Cynthia Howell was the winner of the gift certificate from Quilts NW, a new shop in Sherwood (Linda Higginbotham); and Terri Jentz won a tote bag filled with books, patterns, and notions from The Quilted Hill in Yamhill (Bobbie Bebereia). And all four won their prizes without being present at the May meeting! Special thanks are also in order to others who supported our retreat so generously: StoryQuilts in Beaverton (Betty Swearingen) for fabric, patterns, and door prizes; The Pine Needle in Lake Oswego (Geri Grasvik) for a door prize gift certificate; and NWQ Comforting Quilts for lovely Asian fabrics which became mealtime treats.

Our second edition of the Judy Mathieson-inspired Quilt Block Lottery event, played for wonky squares-in-a-square, meant prizes for four winners: Nancy Lillie, Allison Rider and Lucie Peterson (both second time winners!), and Suzanna Dessauer (in absentia -- thanks to Lori Stephens for serving as surrogate gambler with Suzanna’s blocks). We decided to have two rounds of the game next time we play it!

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Tilikum Retreat - Fall 2005

October 27 - 30, 2005

There is so much fun packed into four days at our NWQ retreats, it will be hard to pack it all into this report! We met at the beautiful Tilikum Retreat Center in Newberg for the blustery last weekend in October, bearing bags and/or boxes of fabrics, projects reflecting something of our own personal styles. Some of our arrivals seemed supremely organized, some a bit disorganized, with most of us somewhere in between. Some of us sewed from the get-go, finished many a project, and astonished the group with our productivity; some of us sewed less frenetically and still were delighted with our accomplishments by the end of the retreat. Quilts of every size, garments, hand bags take-out boxes, table runners, pillowcases, postcards and art cards all were completed during this retreat; some of them were started years ago while others were cut, sewn, and finished all within the weekend. Some of us hiked the gorgeous autumn-colored acreage and a few even ventured into canoes and kayaks on the lake. Twelve retreaters enjoyed a massage on Saturday afternoon; others did reading and napping and visiting and teaching and learning, all parts of our individual retreat experiences. Many, many of us made a field trip or more to the quilt shops, wineries, and antique stores nearby; as usual, we had a positive effect on the area economy.

Twenty-nine retreaters gathered Saturday evening in the dining room to spend our "extra hour" (it was Daylight Savings Fall-Back weekend) playing Nine-Patch Lottery, which Judy Mathieson spoke about when she was here in September. It's amazing how much drama and how many shrieks of laughter are generated by a roll of the dice when nine-patch blocks are at stake! At the end of the games, four lucky winners each had a stack of blocks: Sointu Weisberg, Allison Rider, Lucie Peterson, and Liz Hinze. This is definitely a game we will play again!

Many thanks to Suzanna Dessauer, Jan Heiling, Suzette Shoulders, Betty Swearingen of StoryQuilts in Beaverton, Bobbie Bebereia of The Quilted Hill in Yamhill, and NWQ Comforting Quilts for donations which became fabric treats at mealtimes. Special thanks to Janice Jones for all the artwork and creativity she contributes to our retreats and to Gail Mac Intyre for arranging the masseuse.

We came from far (Bend, Oregon; Grass Valley, California; London, England!) and not so far (from Vancouver to Canby, from Beaverton to Estacada, from just around the corner in Sherwood and Tigard, and from many points in between). Some of us have known each other for years and some of us met at Tilikum for the first time. As always happens, we were a mix of first-timers, second- or third-timers, and old timers, including a few who haven't been able to attend the last several retreats. By Sunday afternoon, we had begun new friendships and deepened "old" ones, not to mention all we learned about quilting itself during these days.

Maureen Orr Eldred, Workshop/Retreat Chair

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Tilikum Retreat - Spring 2005

April 14 - 17, 2005

Despite predominantly rainy weather, we had a sunny spring gathering at Newberg's beautiful Tilikum Retreat Center. Quilters began arriving on Thursday, April 14, and left on Sunday, April 17, richer by fantastic fabrics, new friends, and memorable fun.

Congratulations to Terri Jentz, winner of our first Quilt-o Blackout event, who proved herself to be a slapstick comic as well as a great game player. Marilyn Berg produced a whole family of international dolls while Sointu Weisberg and a few others discovered they didn't need much sleep at all. Fran Harkins found a new color to love when she was presented with the Great Lime Green Challenge. Jan Hugo "imported" a long-time friend and new NWQ member from California, Arlene Robertson. Thanks to Gail MacIntyre (who didn't even get to be there), several of us were reminded that chair massages can ease the strains of long, loving and/or frustrating hours of quilting, while others completed the Debbie Caffrey Mystery Quilt -- for some of us, a first-time-ever event.

Special thanks to the four area quilt shops who participated in our Mini Shop Hop and to the winners of the prizes donated by the shop owners:

Boersma's Sewing Center in McMinnville (Jack and Michelle Boersma), gift certificate wone by Dixie Kroll;

Late Bloomers Quilt Shop and Dry Goods Co. in Carlton (Tammy Keith), gift certificate won by Kathering Orr Hennig;

The Quilt Block in Sherwood (Julie Fugate), fabric package won by Lorle Starling; and

The Quilted Hill in Yamhill (Bobbie Beberia), filled tote bag won by Sara Stensen.
We appreciate the support of these quilt shops and this opportunity to see them all in one weekend. We know the shops appreciate your support of their businesses, during the retreat and throughout the year.

We also would like to acknowledge the long-time generosity of Valerie Johnston of The Quilt Shoppe in West Linn, recently closed. Very supportive of our retreats for several years, Valerie provided door prizes and a special array of sewing bags for this particular retreat. We look forward to her participation as a guest at future events.

Maureen Orr Eldred, Workshop/Retreat Chair

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Northwest Quilters' Retreat
October 28 - 31, 2004

Here are some pictures from the retreat taken by Vicki Abbott.
Click on the photo to see an enlargement.

Dixie & her quilt           Kathy Peacock's quilt
Dixie Kroll displays her finished quilt.           Kathy Peacock cut out and sewed
her whole quilt top at the retreat.

Vicki Abbott's quilt           Barbara Lamb and her quilt
This is Vicki Abbott's
              Barbara Lamb shows her quilt.

Paula Chipman's quilt
Dixie watches as Paula Chipman's quilt is shown.

Fall Retreat Report

Good karma reigned at our NWQ 2004 Fall Retreat, held in the Newberg hills on Halloween weekend. The little bit of "Northwest sunshine" we received couldn’t dampen the bright spirits of the lucky quilters gathered at the Tilikum Retreat Center. We were greeted by Nedra Lihs’ gift of a banner accurately depicting our activities of the four-day weekend: Cutting, stitching, designing, pinning, layering, quilting, binding ... and, oh, yes, also talking, eating, napping, shopping, reading, relaxing -- the very essence of quilt retreats. Some of us tracked at least a mile each day around the lake, and others of us trekked further afield to shops and stores uniquely attuned to our interests. We always managed to return for the wonderful food and the surprises that awaited us in the dining room. (Tilikum staff say we are the one group that is never late for a meal!)

The weekend brought an extra hour as we returned to Pacific Standard Time, and that called for an extra event or two. Saturday’s dinner was graced by a host of Halloween trick-or-treaters, including "Martha Stewart" and her cellmate out on bail. "It’s a good thing" that Barbara Balen and Rosalie Raujol were crafty enough to win the prize, but they had stiff competition from such varied characters as witches, ghosts, an Oregon pioneer woman, and a Swiss army knife! (We’ll see what they do with the legendary perpetual trophy.) We used up one-third of the extra hour with a quiz about monsters (who knew Suzette Shoulders and Dolores Black were such experts?) and special prize drawings. We worked together to piece two red, white, and blue quilt tops for a wounded soldier returning from Iraq and the family of a military casualty; a special thank you to Nedra for piecing those and to Barbara Lamb for completing the borders.

Our retreats are always blessed with the support of gracious benefactors, and this one was no exception. We would like to acknowledge the generous gifts of The Pine Needle in Lake Oswego (Geri Grasvik); The Quilted Hill in Yamhill (Bobbie Beberia); The Quilt Shoppe in West Linn (Valerie Johnston); and StoryQuilts in Beaverton (Betty Swearingen); as well as NWQ’s Comforting Quilts (Mary Beth Broderick, Carol Brown, and Betty Tufenkian) and our own Suzette Shoulders. They provided meal favors and door prizes and a great deal of fun for all the retreaters. My personal thanks to Janice Jones for extraordinary assistance and to Gail Mac Intyre, who arranged a massage therapist for Saturday afternoon -- a great addition to our weekend!

Joyce Reyman unexpectedly contributed "The Sound of Money" to a Sherwood vehicle repair shop, but even that had its positive side: We thank Janet Hutchins for her spontaneous and magnanimous rescue of both Joyce and her passenger, Heidi Steward. She set the tone for a great-hearted and joyful experience for our entire group. New friendships were forged and "old" friendships were deepened in this most hospitable of environments.

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Tilikum Retreat - Spring 2004

April 22 - 25, 2004

Quilting retreats are really magical times! From Thursday, April 22, through Sunday, April 25, 38 quilters came together at the Tilikum Retreat Center in Newberg to refresh and enrich our lives in diverse and enchanted ways. Many were first-timers and a few were "old-timers" who hadn't been to our retreat in a while. Together, we learned new techniques without ever scheduling a class; we explored the highways and byways of the Chehalem Mountain area as well as the beautiful 92-acre Tilikum property; we ate amazing amounts of wonderful food lovingly prepared by the Tilikum staff; we met new friends and learned many a surprising thing about the "old" friends with whom we shared the weekend.

One completely unexpected experience was the "Twelve-Hour Wonder," the marvelous lap quilt we made for Beth Appert, the Tilikum retreat director who, we learned, was graduating from college the following Sunday. Like the very best of grass-roots efforts, this one involved virtually every retreater in some way, from use of fabric to building of blocks, from arranging the setting to sewing the quilt center; from planning and cutting to execution of the simply-perfect borders; from building a quilt-back to pinning the quilt sandwich to power-quilting the quilt itself; from stripping and joining and pressing the binding to sewing it on, front and back; and even to signing that all-important label - we did it all in about 12 and a half hours, a feat we felt was either half the spirit of, or maybe twice the spirit of, Eleanor Burns! It was a pleasure to be a part of it all, and we know Beth will treasure this quilt (and even the "interesting" pillowcase we used as wrapping) as a wonderful memory of our time with her.

Several quilt shops were direct benefactors to us, and we would like to thank them publicly. To the four shops which participated in the Mini-Shop-Hop, we are grateful for your enthusiam, your smiling staff, and the specials and extended hours you provided for us: Boersma's (Michelle and Jack Boersma), Late Bloomers (Tammy Keith), The Quilt Block (Julie Fugate), and The Quilted Hill (Bobbie Beberia). Thanks to those shops also for the Shop-Hop prizes, won by Gail MacIntyre (from Boersma's), Heidi Steward (from Late Bloomers), Nedra Lihs (from The Quilt Block), and Barbara Lamb (from the Quilted Hill). We extend our special appreciation to Valerie Johnston of The Quilt Shoppe in West Linn, who provided all the prizes for our Saturday night drawing; to Mary Beth Broderick, Carol Brown, and Betty Tufenkian of NWQ's Comforting Quilts, who provided us with fabric packets for Saturday's lunch, and to Gail Pope of Patchwork Peddler's who provided fabric for some of the door prizes at Sunday's brunch.

My special thanks to Paula Chipman, calligrapher extraordinaire; to Jan Healy, Heidi Steward, Carol Richardson, and Pat Emfinger, who stepped up to do whatever was needed sometimes even before I knew it was needed, and to Janice Jones, whose great ideas and even greater follow-through make it possible for our retreats to be better all the time!

Maureen Orr Eldred, Workshop/Retreat Chair

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Tilikum Retreat - Fall 2003

October 30 - November 2, 2003

It would be hard to typify the NWQ Fall Retreat this year. We started on a beautiful autumn day and ended in a flurry of winter. We produced several versions of Debbie Caffrey’s mystery quilt "Tangled Threads," including variations that became placemats, baby quilts, a lap quilt (Felicia Locke-Stiner’s was finished, quilted, and bound in time to be in the November meeting’s Show & Tell!), and at least one queen-sized quilt in-progress. We celebrated Halloween, with Marilyn Berg getting into costume for breakfast, and Patty Bell, Dolores Black, Paula Chipman, Janice Healy, Jan Hugo, Gail MacIntyre, Suzette Shoulders, and Heidi Steward "dressing" for dinner. (Please forgive my aging memory for any omissions.) Janet Franco (a "Fat Quarter" like you’ve never seen before) and Lynne Borden ("Elsie," the udderly realistic Borden cow) won prizes for best costumes, with Janet narrowly edging out Lynne for the coveted "perpetual trophy." (My thanks to JoAnn Winters for saving the 1998 prize to be awarded again this year!) We enjoyed the loving care of the Tilikum staff and ate their wonderful meals, but we still had enough appetite to devour Dixie Kroll’s enticing cookies before The Judge even got a taste! We hiked around the lake and tried out the Big Swing. We read, and napped, and stitched, by hand and by machine. We shopped to the delight of the four local quilt stores, and started projects, and finished many, many of them. We enjoyed stories and jokes and amazing facts we might never have heard in any other venue. Sunday morning’s brunch was like being in the middle of a snow globe, with beautiful, fluffy snowflakes falling outside the dining room windows.

We would like to thank the generous benefactors who provided fabric and door prizes for this retreat: NWQ Comforting Quilts (Mary Beth Broderick, Carol Brown, Betty Tufenkian); Fanno Creek Calicos, Tigard (Susan Baxter); Patchwork Peddlers Quilt Shop, Portland (Gail Pope); Pioneer Quilts, Damascus (Danny Dale and Steve Lennert); The Quilted Hill, Yamhill (Bobbie Bebereia); and The Quilt Shoppe, West Linn (Valerie Johnston). Your gifts made going to each meal a surprise and especially made Saturday evening and Sunday morning exciting!

-- Maureen Orr Eldred

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Tilikum Retreat -Spring 2003

April 25 - 27, 2003

Thanks to all 38 of our enthusiastic participants, we had a great retreat the last weekend in April! The Thursday bonus day appears to be a big hit, with 18 retreaters staying all three nights. We read, hiked, cut, sewed (yes, really, we did!), told stories, solved mysteries (planned and unplanned), enriched the economy, and enjoyed the delicious food and caring hospitality of the Tilikum Retreat Center in Newberg. We had several brand-new retreaters and quite a few veterans, and it was delightful to get to know each other better in this gracious setting.

We are grateful to our generous benefactors who supplied fabric and prizes to enhance the fun: Northwest Quilters, Inc.; Comforting Quilts (Mary Beth Broderick, Carol Brown, and Betty Tufenkian); Fanno Creek Calicos, Tigard (Susan Baxter); The Pine Needle, Lake Oswego (Geri Grasvik); The Quilt Shoppe, West Linn (Valerie Johnston); and StoryQuilts, Beaverton (Betty Swearingen). We give special thanks to the four area shops who agreed to participate in our first-time Mini Shop Hop: Boersma's, McMinnville (Michelle and Jack Boersma); Late Bloomers, Carlton (Sara Crumly and Tammy Keith); The Quilt Block, Sherwood (Julie Fugate); and The Quilted Hill, Yamhill (Bobbie Bebereia). Congratulations to the winners of the Shop Hop prizes drawn at our May meeting: Donna Groat, Jeanne Mackie, Nancy Nathan, and Diane Taylor.

I appreciate the many cards and emails I've received and especially your constructive ideas about our future retreats. Our autumn retreat will be Thursday, October 30, through Sunday, November 2, with a special flexible schedule to accommodate Halloween needs. I encourage you to put it on your schedule now and to plan to join us for a relaxing and restorative (I never said restful!) weekend.

-- Maureen Orr Eldred

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Tilikum Retreat - Autumn 2002

November 1 - 3, 2002

Thirty-seven happy campers shared a wonderful three days at the beginning of November at NWQ's annual Autumn Retreat. We ate delicious meals served to us by the Tilikum Center's gracious staff (any description of three days at Tilikum would have to start with that great food!) We explored the gorgeous, autumn-tinted grounds in the beautiful, sunny weather, with just a couple of sprinkles to help remind us of the time of year. We enriched the local economy with a few field trips to nearby quilt stores. We read, rested, kayaked, hiked, and also cut, sewed, knitted, crocheted, layered, pinned, pieced, appliqued, and - yes, really - we quilted, and then we held Show & Tell after Sunday brunch. We came together as some sisters, some friends, some acquaintances, and a few "unknown quantities," but we each left a bit richer for the newfound and deeper friendships forged in those lovely surroundings.

This experience was blessed with several benefactors, and we are grateful to acknowledge them here: Susan Baxter of Fanno Creek Calicos; Bobby Bebereia of The Quilted Hill; Jack Boersma of Boersma's Sewing Center; Sarah Crumly and Tammy Keith of Late Bloomers Quilt Shop; Julie Fugate of The Quilt Block; Geri Grasvik of The Pine Needle; Valerie Johnston the The Quilt Shoppe; Katherine Orr Hennig and Brian Hennig of Subway-Tanasbourne; and Mary Beth Broderick, Carol Brown, and Betty Tufenkian of Comforting Quilts. Thank you from all of us!

We are already planning our next retreat, April 25 - 27, 2003. It will possibly include a Thursday evening arrival. It will definitely include some old traditions and some new surprises. We would be pleased if it included you, so put it on your calendar now!

-- Maureen Orr Eldred

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Tilikum Retreat - Spring 2002

April 26 - 28, 2002

Right now I don't have any information on this Past Retreat, other than that everybody said they had the ususal good time, they accomplished a lot (with their quilting and with their visiting), and enjoyed the good Tilikum food.

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Tilikum Retreat - Fall 2001

Fall 2001 Quilting Retreat at Tilikum Retreat Center
Newberg, Oregon

November, 2001

Thirty-nine quilters enjoyed perfect weather, beautiful surroundings, excellent food, three days of excitement AND relaxation at the NWQ Autumn Retreat in November. Lots of new retreaters, quite a few experienced retreaters, and one "perfect attendance" retreater (Priscilla Schrock) cut, sewed, designed, discussed, arranged, embellished, scrap booked, and quilted at the Tilikum Retreat Center in Newberg. The weekend also included field trips to several local quilt shops, a mini-tour of area wineries, a "house call" from Jack Boersman of Boersman's Qult Shop in McMinnville, informal instruction on special projects, many wonderful door prizes, and a doll quilt challenge.

Thank you to all participants -- your enthusiasm and camaraderie made the retreat outstanding. My special appreciation to those who turned in 14 doll quilts for December's distribution by Toy and Joy Makers. We would like to thank especially the benefactors who supplied much of the fun: Creative Adventures Quilt Tours (Judy Berry); Fanno Creek Calicos (Susan Baxter); The Pine Needle (Geri Grasvik); The Quilt Block (Julie Fugate); The Quilt Shoppe (Valerie Johnston); Storyquilts (Betty Swearingen); Comforting Quilts (Mary Beth Broderick, Carol Brown, and Jan Heiling); and Northwest Quilters itself. Come join our fun!

--- Maureen Orr Eldred (grateful to Lorle Starling, our regular retreat leader, who gave me this opportunity to wear her moccasins)

- - From The Patchword, February 2002

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