Thursday, October 14, 2010

Crazy Quilting Retreat in Colorado

Wow, did we ever have a blast at our 3rd Annual Crazy Quilting International Retreat in Estes Park Colorado from September 30-October 3, 2010.  We affectionately call it our “September Stitch Shenanigans”, and it definitely lived up to its name this year!

This was our cabin.  There were something like six or eight bedrooms and three bathrooms.  Three of the ladies stayed in a separate, smaller cabin nearby.  The cabins are run by the YMCA, and other than a power outage once (only noticed by those of us with C-paps in the middle of the night) and the need to acquire lots more toilet paper (19 women, LOL), things were perfect!  We were even visited by elk every evening!

On Thursday evening after everyone arrived, we ate homemade soup (courtesy of Leslie and Lauri).  Yum!  Then we all sat in the living room, introducing ourselves formally and giving a little bit about our stitching backgrounds.  We had a Show & Tell, and everyone shared beautiful crazy quilting (and other things, too) that they had made.   What a way to get fired up!

Ingrid brought the Piecemakers Bird Quilt (see full quilt on their website here).  Here are just a couple pictures (I photographed every block, including detail shots).

I definitely want to include birds and flowers in my CQ by 2012.   However, if I don’t get started on it soon, I’ll have to call it my CQ by 2022....   But I digress....   Isn’t this lovely??

I brought my vintage (1882-1885) crazy quilt for viewing as well.  For detail shots, see my posts in June of 2008 (there are 5 of them) here.

On Friday morning, we had a visit from the Fabric Fairy to kick off our Stash Dash.  PAY NO ATTENTION TO ANY RESEMBLANCE YOU MAY SEE BETWEEN THE FABRIC FAIRY AND MYSELF!!   The Fabric Fairy had wings and a tiara.  She was draped in luscious fabrics and trims.  Her ample bosom diminished during her short visit as she grabbed and threw out fabric samples to all the good crazy quilters in attendance, even Connie!  (LOL).   However, I  knew she wasn’t real because her wand was only a spatula with gold lame’ !!

There were loads of fabrics (from pieces to yardage!), cottons to silks, satins and velvets.  Trims, laces, buttons, more!  Everyone attacked the piles eagerly, and managed to stop just short of running with their scissors!

Below, Lauri Burgesser, Ingrid Gardiol and Gerry Hookstra cut up a wedding dress.  Lisa Boni is in the background.

During the afternoon on Friday, we had a large dyeing and painting session, where everyone played and experimented with dyes, Adirondak inks, Shiva paintsticks, Easter egg dyes, etc.  We produced a lot of lovely fabrics, laces, ribbons and threads!  

Here, the Owners/Moderators of Crazy Quilting International pose (and I use the term loosely) for a picture.  Left to right are Hideko Ishida (Japan), Leslie Ehrlich (Colorado, USA), Kerry Leslie (Alberta, Canada), and Cathy Kizerian (Utah, USA).

The following two shots are of most (not all) of the group who went to the Dunraven Inn in Estes Park for dinner on Saturday night. 

I have pictures of everyone in following pictures, so I won’t try to caption these group shots. 

The highlight of the Retreat was the Chinese Auction, where everyone selects a number (from 1-19 in this case, since there were 19 of us).  The first person selects and opens a gift.  Person number two can either open her own gift or steal the gift from number one (number one would get to open another present).  It goes on this way until everyone has a present.  However, a particular gift can only be stolen twice.  The second “thief” (the third owner) gets to keep it permanently.

Kerry drew Number One and the gift she opened was a stunning crazy quilted teddy bear made by Lauri Burgesser.   Here she is, loving it (briefly), already heartbroken because she knew she wouldn’t be keeping it!

Hideko was Number Two.  She naturally stole the bear from Kerry and was very happy!  At least for a few moments.

Josie Trevino was Number Three, and there was no doubt about what her intentions were!  She stole the bear from Hideko, giving it a permanent home.   See how happy she is???  

Here is the (as yet unnamed, but Josie is working on it) bear, front view.   Don’t short out your keyboard by drooling on it too much!

And the back was as meticulously stitched as every other square inch of the bear!

And so the Chinese auction went on with lots of stealing and laughing and fun.  Here are Janet Popish and Freda Butler. 

Below:  Diane Matheson looks on as Connie Kalina opens a gift.

And Shari opens a gift while Jacque looks on.  There was alot of that going around, LOL.

Juli Levine shows off a vintage rocking chair pin cushion she won.  It’s been re-covered in crazy quilting.

Here’s Claudina Hruby.  Yeah, she looks demure and innocent, but don’t believe it!!  She was my "partner in crime" in the hot tub last year, so I know better.  (We constructed makeshift swimsuits of fabric scraps).

Leslie shows Ilys the beautiful tea cozy she won.  It was made by Diane Matheson. 

Sweet Colleen Anderson shows off the CQ heart and other goodies she won.  Did I tell you that Colleen’s hubby (they live in Nebraska now) and my hubby went to high school together in Utah?  It’s a long, goose-bumple-y story - one that I won’t tell you now - on how we discovered that, but we think it’s sooooo cool.  We see “reunions” in our future, LOL!

Hideko kindly gifted each of the other moderators with a vintage kimono and obi from her collection.  Here she is helping me put it on.  The obi is lying in the foreground, aqua with lovely bright pink roses and gold butterflies.  Yeah, it looks lovely over my jammies, eh??

If we weren’t already on fabric and gift overload, the Ugly Tie Swap clinched it.  Actually, all ties, ugly or not, were welcome.  Everyone just brought theirs, and we all cut pieces off the ones we liked.  If you’ve ever disassembled a tie, you know how much fabric they contain.

I’d like to thank everyone who took pictures and posted them into the CQI photo albums in our group.  That was where I got these photos (I was one of the planners of the event and was so busy that I never got my camera out).  There were alot of activities and fun that aren’t captured here, but many of the other ladies have posted them on their blogs.  Check my sidebar for links to Connie’s Stitching Like Crazy, Ivory Blush Roses (Lisa), and I’m Going Crazy You Come Too (Janet).  Plus, I know Kerry (Kerrykatiecakes2) will be posting hers soon.

Cathy maroon


  1. From looking at these pictures, the phrase, "and a good time was had by all!" would be an understatement. Looks like such fun and that bear...too cute.

  2. Thanks Cathy for posting photos of the retreat. It seems that you all have had a fantastic week.

  3. I was just reminded of how much I missed Omaha this year. :(
    Mom and I may have to make some new CQ retreat plans!

  4. Oh, thank YOU for posting all of these pics! It was so much fun to put faces behind all of those blogging friends I've known for years!!! I just HAVE to figure out a way to come sometime!

    What a fabulous fabulous group of wonderful women. The CQI group is one of the most well-run groups I've ever been a part of...Even though I don't have time to contribute, I still very much admire the administration and all the members.

    That teddy bear was completely to die for!! And that aqua obi with the pink flowers just made me drool all over my laptop. I have major obi envy!!

    Thanks again. I really really enjoyed it!!!

  5. Gosh, it is so great to see everyone...this is such a special community, the CQ stitchers of the world!
    It is my dream to join you all for your #4 gathering in beautiful Colorado!


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