It is almost exactly two years since the first (and only) Slow Stitching Movement Retreat in Lambertville with Mark Lipinski. Some of the women who had attended that wonderful retreat decided that they wanted to get together again. We’d stayed in touch in the virtual realm because shortly after returning from the 2015 retreat one of the ladies decided to start a private Facebook Group. it was titled Lambertville Ladies. And so, without realizing it, we had been a virtual guild for two years.

Another of the ladies organized our get together for this April in Lancaster. She did an incredible amount of work planning with the hotel, making wonderful additions to our goodie bags, recruiting vendors to add more goodies to our bags and to contribute door prizes. Timing wasn’t quite right for everyone this year, and we were working with a tight schedule by workshop standards, so it is understandable that many could not attend. More people wanted to come than could manage it, but we assembled a total of ten ladies to come out to Lancaster for a fantastic time.

I had planned as early as November of last year to attend Mid Atlantic Mod in Lancaster about a week the Lambertville Ladies retreat. I was reluctant to sign up for that reason, but I just could not allow this to happen without me. As a result, I ended up making someone on the Mid Atlantic Mod waiting list very happy.

I prepared for this event by creating some new layer stacks for my Embracing Horses Glorious Hexagons project, and cutting and basting quite a few packages of hexagons to take with me to sew. Above you see my Martelli Workstation loaded with papers and fabric during my prep stage. I needed to travel light because I was going by train to Lancaster, so I would have no sewing machine this time. I also did not want to drag papers and layer stacks along. I just wanted to travel with bags of basted pieces to sew together. Not having a machine would be fine because I knew I had plenty of work to keep my busy with my EPP packets. I had over prepared.

By most standards I was traveling light. Yet I needed to bring my breakfast with me because I was going to try to stay as compliant as possible to my Whole Foods Plant Based No Oil way of eating as prescribed by the Engine Two Rescue book. I also brought 8 ounce shelf stable boxes of almond milk because I wanted to hedge my bets even though I expected to be able to obtain soy milk at the retreat. I was also bringing with me every single Large Hexagon I had ever made so I could share them at Show and Tell. I ended up with quite a large suitcase because I had to be able to lay the large hexagons flat. It was partially empty, but that helped with the return trip because I acquired a few things in Lancaster.

After a couple weeks of preparation for the event I ended up with seven packets to construct large hexagons. I had also put together over 20 packets to construct small hexagons. Before leaving I assembled the following five small hexagons:

I will admit to being way behind on posting small hexagons here. It is my plan to remedy that soon. At that time these hexagons will be named and numbered. For now just enjoy their radially symmetrical beauty.

While I was in Lancaster I finished one large hexagon per day. Here they are. These will also be numbered at some time in the near future after I catch up with the fifteen or so I have not yet displayed. I am so behind.

After completing the third large hexagon I knew I would not have time to complete another, so I started putting together small hexagons and managed to complete two of them.

It was my plan to complete more small hexagons while waiting for the train back home. It was scheduled to leave at about 4:00 PM from Lancaster. That gave me over six hours to stitch, but since everyone else was already on their way home, or hopping from shop to shop, the prospect of sitting and stitching started to feel more depressing than fun. Instead of catching that late train I decided to head out to the train station and see if I could catch an earlier one. I managed to get one with a connection in Philadelphia so I got home four hours earlier than expected.

I really over prepared the creation of kits to take with me to Lancaster, but I’ll know better for the future. Now that I am home I have a collection of EPP kits that will keep me busy for a long time. I estimate about 50 hours of stitching pleasure for these packets:

Above are four Large Hexagon packets.
Each contains seven hexagons and twelve triangles.

Above are 17 small hexagon packets.
Each contains pieces to make a three inch hexagon.

They are ready for the road.

Above are a good number of my Large Hexagons arranged without joining triangles on the rug in our meeting room at the Amish View Inn. There will be one quilt made using this layout.

Photo Credit: Jodi Liebman Wolff

Here I am above during our Show and Tell eventing. I am explaining how I will be doing a queen sized quilt that will join the Large Hexagons with Chocolate triangles that will create Chocolate stars that will play against the central stars of the Large Hexagons. I am pointing to the point of a space that will contain one of those nine inch triangles. Each triangle will be composed of a three inch hexagon with three triangles attached. Someone asked why I didn’t just use a nine inch triangle. I explained that such a shape would be too large to comfortably paper piece, and that I was also looking to replicate the layout of the central stars. Having the hexagon will help to do that. Aside from that I also have a load of three inch hexagons I have not used because I did not create any three inch hexagons for my quilt.

I don’t think I can do justice to describing how much fun we had in Lancaster, but I will mention a few things. First the food. We had dinner at Plain and Fancy one night, and Millers another night. Both experiences were good. I chose to go slightly off my eating program for those dinners, but I was really proud of myself for sticking fairly well with my program for breakfast and lunch each day. We had an evening meal at an Asian place across from the train station in Lancaster. I had the best vegetable Pad Thai there, which was not compliant with my eating program, but was a reasonable compromise. Lunches at the Amish View Inn allowed me to remain compliant with the addition of a can of chickpeas that I spread out over both planned lunches. The breakfast buffet was the nicest I had ever seen, but I didn’t dare touch it. Actually, I did “touch” the cinnamon buns. Who am I kidding? I did more than touch, and they were terrific!

One of our participants prepared packets for us and taught us how to paper piecing by machine. I observed, and will give this a try at home.

Every member of the group had something great to share with the others during our Show and Tell night. I was thrilled that one of our ladies is working on Kim’s Glorious Garden. It was so wonderful to see it up close. I am so excited to get to work on that project soon.

One day a few of us took a trip to The Old Country Store. I was overcome with shelves and shelves of Kaffe fabric there. I took photos, but will save those for a later post. This post is already getting quite long. At the store I bought an add-a-quarter ruler for the paper piecing. I also bought a Laurel Burch coloring book, and two pairs of colorful socks.

Even before the retreat was over we started talking about making this a yearly event. Now that we have been home for a few days we already have tentative dates selected for the next two years.

We do love The Amish View Inn.