Monday, March 2, 2015

ASG NoVA Winter Retreat Reviews

My First Winter Retreat

By Adrianne Bennett

The ASG sewing retreat was held last weekend. It was a first time adventure for me. We stayed at the George Washington Hotel in downtown Winchester, VA. The posh setting of this hotel was more luxury than I expected. The rooms were lovely and clean and I had a good rest both nights. I loved the fact that the hotel room wasn't too hot during
the night. The hotel staff was most courteous and helpful. We enjoyed two buffet dinners and breakfasts and they were simply delicious.

What sewing did I get done? Well, I finished several small projects that had been left undone at home. One of them was a mending job and another was to make two pillows out of preprinted fabric squares that were from my mother's stash. I also used lace from her stash as well. I finished my quilted table topper. I got some great advice from Barb who is an experienced quilter. My other project was to sew embellished stitch combinations onto 17 5 inch squares. I did complete them, but it got a little tedious after a while.

The most fun I had at the weekend was the conversation and the sharing of each
other's projects. There were people of all ages and many ladies traveled in from all parts of Virginia to attend. I met so many new sewing enthusiasts and was quite impressed with all of the knowledge in that room.

I will attend again. The opportunity to have so much fun doing what I love in such a wonderful setting, it's a no brainer.

Winter Retreat

by Kathy Wright
I went to the Winter Retreat, January 23 - 25th in Winchester, Virginia for the first time at this location. I packed my car with my sewing machine, serger and everything else I could think of that I might need to enjoy my sewing weekend. There was no room left in my car for anything else I forgot. hahahah. I took a leisurely drive from Manassas to Winchester and saw lots of wineries on the side of the road. I arrived Friday afternoon, said hello, and went to investigate everyone's sewing station to see what each was
sewing. Since I was the last person to get there, I set up and started to sew before dinner. Dinner was a festive affair with great food and entertaining dinner companions. The room was humming along all night long or until midnight, since it was Friday night and
everyone was tired from the long week.
We had a long table at the back of the room for material, books, and patterns that people brought to clear out their sewing rooms. I made a few picks of fabric and patterns. I cut them out and sewed them the next day. The rest of my stash was already cut out and all I had to do was sew the blue jean coat, 3 tops, burgundy fleece coat, and white fleece beret. I got that pattern from the last Sharing Threads meeting. As you can see I enjoyed and rewarded myself with all my new clothing.

The Winchester Sewing Retreat

By Liz Dotur
The third time is a charm! This was my third year to attend the Winchester ASG sewing retreat and I found myself more productive than ever. By observing other attendees in previous years, I have learned how to get my projects and supplies in order. Everyone at the gathering seemed to have some special thing they did to make their sewing projects proceed in an efficient way. All you have to do is ask. The best new technique for me was to partially sew my projects at home. Another was to do as much cutting as possible at home. When my edges were serged and I already knew my garment fit, I seemed to sail through my projects.
This year, I completed a skirt with which I had been struggling for too many weeks. It
has ten black wool panels with a three quarter inch red wool strip between each panel. The panels and strips are cut on the straight grain but fit on the bias because the top of each strip is cut at an angle. The bottom of each strip has a flare which creates a flounce. There! Is that perfectly clear? I’m guessing not. I’ll bring it to the Spring Fling so you can see it.

I arrived in Winchester with a half way constructed skirt. My friend Lorine Mason came to the retreat with several projects. One of which was to candidly tell her friend Liz if the black skirt with the red stripes was a disaster, in which case I would have ditched it. Or, if it was a tad edgy but just fine and to keep going on it. There is absolutely nothing like a trusted friend who will offer a truthful judgment when you ask for it.  As I took the skirt out of its bag, Lorine said, “Oh Liz, I don’t think so. I don’t think it’s you.” I was ready to toss the skirt. She quickly said, “Wait a minute. Try it on with the top you’ll be wearing with it.” The deed was done. Lorine decided she liked it and now it’s finished. My doubts are also gone, and I like it, too. Our sewing retreat is the  perfect place to give and receive sewing advice.
Do you know about the George Washington Hotel and its fabulous food? The G.W. Hotel is very old and beautifully restored with lovely architectural details like wide moldings and thick walls. There’s even a glass and brass mail drop that goes from the top floor to the bottom. The cost of the retreat is a real bargain. Why? The hotel staff strives for perfection. Nothing seemed to be too much trouble. They really enjoy having ASG members in residence. Also, there’s good company, plenty of room
to sew, a beautiful room and good food. I, indeed, got my money’s worth!

Breakfast and lunch were absolutely delicious and included in our daily cost. We were served in our own private dining room, right next to our sewing area. In the morning it was fresh fruit, eggs, exquisite pastries, bacon, sausage, etc. One evening for dinner we had scallops wrapped in tilapia. For dinner, we always had at least two entrees from which to choose, or you could have both, plus beautifully cooked fresh vegetables. And, oh my, the desserts. One night there was chocolate mousse with real whipped cream. When you share the cost of your room with a roommate, the price of the retreat drops substantially. All things considered, the retreat is a good value.

Liz Dotur
Sterling Sew n’ Sews

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