A Making “Retreat”


Hold onto your hat and grab a cup of tea…this post is long. Not in words so much as in pictures! Lots of photos documenting last week, the week in-between Christmas week and back-to-school week. I decided to declare it a Making Retreat Week. Well, the retreat part was really just imaginary. I wanted to imagine that I was off on a retreat somewhere to work on several unfinished projects. Some of them began many years ago. Some I started in December. My oldest daughter joined in the fun to start an amazing quilt, her first attempt at quilting! We had such a great week together, holed up in Genevieve’s Workshop, making things. We chatted and listened to music as the sewing machine whirred, the needles clicked, and the iron hissed. Wonderful memories were made, along with so many crafty projects:






**New Year Bunting! I had begun this crocheted star bunting back in December to try to have in time for Christmas. Good thing the colors are for anytime, as it did not get finished until this Making Retreat Week. I also added lights all around the room! This is something I have wanted for several years in my sunroom studio!! So cheery and inviting in the wee hours of morning and during the evening darkness. With the added light to the room, Catherine and I could stay up working until late hours, which is unusual for me. But during Retreat Week, we stayed up until midnight a couple of times, working away on our projects!





**Her quilt. Oh my does she have the natural knack for quilting or what?? Crazy beautiful color combinations, attention to corners and details…wow. I loved watching these quilt blocks unfold. She now has 11 of them. She also finished knitting a scarf and making two bow ties (not pictured here)! She’s a making wonder!



**And with the bunting idea, I also made a little star garland for our mantel. I was so sad to have Christmas decorations gone, that I think I was trying to make things look as festive, just without the red and green stuff. 🙂 [BTW…that cute stuffed cat was made by Maddie last year as a gift for me! I love it so!] {And another BTW…these little stars are another Lucy of Attic 24 pattern. I love all her tutorials!}


MyNewBoots**I finished Snowflake Sweater. If you missed the post on that, you can read about it here.  I’ve been loving wearing it as we have had really cold temps around here! And I’ve enjoyed wearing these amazing boots my mom gave me at Christmas, with my knitted socks! Winter is a knitter’s favorite season!


**I put finishing touches on a shawl I had worked on all fall. Though I had finished the knitting earlier, I took time this week to add the little details and weave in the ends. I’ve been calling it Cream Confection. There is no pattern for this (except in my head:). It’s just a rectangle of various knitted stitches and yarns I had accumulated in the white/cream family of colors. I love all the textures!


**My. Twiggy. Tree. I have been dreaming of making a Twig Tree for at least two years now. Finally. I did it! Using a lovely planter a friend gave me, I shaped a block of styrofoam to fit down in it. My husband had trimmed a branch or two off of our plum tree out front, so I cut off a limb, spray painted it white, and stuck it down in the styrofoam. Then I made little ornaments for winter: snowflakes (another Lucy of Attic 24 tutorial that I tweaked a bit), a few birds (my own pattern I’ll share with you someday!), and some other little baubles. This sits in our dining room, adding a festive touch there as well!! My plans are to change out the ornaments for each season/holiday as it comes along this year! Should be fun!





**And finally, my own bit of quilting. This lovely quilt was made by my mom many years ago from fabrics she had used to sew my dresses when I was a little girl. I absolutely LOVE the colors!! She had hand-quilted 3 of the blocks and stopped. So it needed to be bound around the edges and for the remaining blocks to be quilted.  At week’s end, I had bound the edges, quilted the long perpendicular strips of fabric, and one of the remaining squares, but it has a lot to go yet! I’m determined not to stick it back into the bag I’ve stored it in all these years!! I want it for our bed, and so I will try to finish it soon!! Or…maybe just enjoy it as is!! That’s likely what I’ll do! (Note: my friend Ellen told me that this is called the Churn Dash pattern. Very cool!)


On the last day of our Making Retreat Week, I woke early to come downstairs and begin to work. When I got there, Catherine was already working! I wondered if we were going to need some intervention to peel us away from our cozy crafty room. But no…life is intervention enough! What an amazing week it was to devote as much time to making as we could! Even though I still had laundry, dinner making, errand running, etc, it was lovely to set aside times each day for making things. And I think Lucy loved us being in there also, especially when we sat down so she could curl up in our laps with a quilt or some yarn.

Thanks for hanging in there with me for this post! I truly should’ve made several individual posts about each thing! I’m sure it would’ve been easier on your eyes and time!!

0 thoughts on “A Making “Retreat”

  1. Pockettrikeed says:

    An encouraging nudge to be creative with your time and find your heart and your families hearts melded together for “sweet memories”. Thanks, Jennifer!

  2. Megan-Anne says:

    My sister and I holed up to knit over the holidays too! Thank God for time off. Also, I love the crochet garlands. If I had my own creative space, I would go garland crazy.

    • jenpedwards says:

      I have just recently discovered the fun and restiveness of garlands, even though I’ve seen them on others’ blogs for years. Maybe you can add one to your kitchen or living room…just for fun! Thank you for taking the time to comment!

  3. Timaree says:

    You two did a LOT! And nice work too (yes, I peeked to see if Catherine got her corners to line up and she did)! I love the star buntings and think I may have to look at trying them out. I’ve got plenty of yarn for them in many colors. I’ve always thought a twig tree would be great. I haven’t had the right branch at the right time yet but someday… Now you two can look forward to a new retreat time. Maybe it could become an annual tradition.

    As an aside, I was feeling quite resentful towards my husband yesterday as he has a strong need for control over his life which means over mine too and sometimes a 24/7 husband like that can get overwhelming. Well I got to thinking I should stop running the diatribe in my head and instead create something pretty when I feel like that as it might be difficult to get started but so much better than listening to my own whining. Then I picked up your book and read the letter titled “Resentment” and couldn’t believe hoe apt and timely it was for me! So wonderful. I just thought you might like to hear how your book is hitting the spot!

    • jenpedwards says:

      That is really cool Timaree!! So glad to know it is timely and helpful! I so understand that feeling of being at the mercy of everyone else’s agenda for your life! Grrr… I’ll be thinking of you as you purpose “to make something pretty”, as you said!

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