Last weekend I attended the Central Jersey Modern Quilt Guild retreat at the Hyatt House in Bridgewater, New Jersey. There were about 15 women in attendance working on a variety of projects. I was the only person there without a sewing machine.

I decided to work on my Batik Flower Garden Quilt projects.  I basted my quilting sample piece before the retreat, and I managed to do some quilting on it. Initially I had tried using both green and burgundy threads for the quilting using the pattern below. After doing a little of it I decided that you really couldn’t tell that two colors were being used. I think something like this would be better done with machine quilting which would emphasize the quilting stitches more.

So I tried doing some concentric circles around the crimson centers of the flowers. I decided that I liked the effect, and did quite a bit of quilting on this piece while at the retreat.

I spent most of my my time, however, creating burgundy flowers and adding them around the edge of the large batik flower garden quilt.

By the time I was done adding flowers I had added fifteen burgundy flowers around the border and the hunter green hexagons between them. They are at the porch level in the picture below.

Here is a better view of the new burgundy flowers.

And here is a nice close up of those burgundy flowers.

This retreat was my second opportunity to get to talk to some of the women in my quilt guild. The first opportunity was when we had a booth at the Pennington Farmer’s Market in October. I enjoyed chatting with the women as we all worked. I even showed Tatiana how to do English Paper Piecing. She was finishing up a very modern quilt based on a workshop she had attended. She thought that a few flowers scattered across the surface would enhance the overall appearance of the work. I am looking forward to seeing the finished quilt during the show and tell segment of a future guild meeting.

My primary motivation in attending the retreat was to get to know people in the guild. I found it really pleasant to be working along side a group of women. In order to make this social event pay off I decided that it was important to learn people’s names, but I know that I have a terrible time remembering names. I decided to admit my limitation openly, and ask people if I could take a picture and write down their names. That way I would have a chance of being able to remember them later because I could look at the photos and names to study a little bit.

By the time I left the retreat I was able to look at each person and say her name. I made only one mistake when I did that, which I thought was pretty good. I did warn them though that when I saw them next I might not remember the names because they wouldn’t be sitting in the same places. I am such a spacial person. If you gave me a floor plan of the room I could still write the names on the tables, but I’m not sure I could match the names up with the faces at this point.