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A few weekends ago, I packed up paintbrushes, rotary cutter, ruler, fabric, sponges, sewing machine, scissors and lots of home baking and headed into the countryside west of Auckland to Bella Rakha Retreat Centre for 2 days of quilting, socializing and fun. I have never done anything like this before and it was good to leave the city behind.  Friday, everyone arrived at different times so it was wine and BYOdinners from about 4:00 pm onwards.  Early to bed, each in our own room, we fell asleep to the sound of rain hitting the window panes as the tail of a cyclone passed through Auckland.

Next morning we were up early and enjoyed a communal breakfast in the dining area. By 9:00 a.m., we were ready to participate in the first of two workshops on thread painting.  To begin, we traced a picture of a gerbera on white calico. Next we painted our tracings and while they dried, we had a delicious morning tea of sweet and savoury baked goods, fruits and cheese. Back in the work room, it was time to set up our sewing machines and enhance our “paintings” with free motion machine embroidery.  I couldn’t get my sewing machine’s tension sorted out, so wasn’t able to complete my project, but others who had newer machines stitched masterpieces.  Lunch, afternoon tea and a lovely catered dinner later, we played “truth or lie”, laughed and chatted ’til late.

Sunday, most were up early for the second workshop, but I slept in. Fortunately, I did manage to catch up with the next activity, which was painting calico with sponges.  The result? A very convincing looking sky, which could be used as the background for a quilted landscape of your choice.  Since I hope, at some point to try to do an appliqued street scene,  learning how to create skies was of particular interest to me.

The whole weekend a bargain at $125!

Until next time,

Your Boomer Life Partners

Disclosure:  Bella Rakha Retreat Centre did not solicit or pay for mention in this Boomer Life Today blog post.

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