Sunday, January 19, 2014

Loon Lake

 Loon Lake 2013.   The credit for this photo goes to Dianne - it is from Instagram

In November I was able to go to my annual quilting retreat at Loon Lake.  This is one of my favourite quilting get aways!  Although I have another little get away with my quilting peeps in the early spring where a very small group of us go to Mayne Island - MIR. But that is another post.

The Loon Lake retreat is run and organized by Krista - of Poppyprints fame. She has been organizing this retreat as well as the day long QBTB retreats for a number of years. And I have been lucky enough to have been going to her retreats almost as long as she has been doing them - but not quite!   Krista's retreat organizing skills are amazing! 

Interestingly enough I was first introduced to Krista's retreats by my husband!  Of course!   Jim was driving back from the village store one Saturday afternoon and he saw a sign at the village hall that said Quilting Retreat.  He - of course - parked the car - walked into the hall and said "My wife is a quilter". Haha. So the ladies at the retreat said - tell her to come up and say hello!  So Jim rushed home and told me I had to go up to the hall and see the quilters!  So off I went and I discovered there were a number of women from my quilt guild there as well as many people I had seen at the local quilt shop.  I chatted a bit and then went home. And then, a few months later Krista had an empty spot that she needed to fill and she thought of me - I was thrilled and I've met the most wonderful group of women over the past 7-8 years. Krista will have a QBTB once every other month or so and I have attended almost all QBTB since that first invite.   Even in a cast and a wheelchair last January I popped up for a visit.

One of my first photos of QBTB - June 2006

Bowen Island Retreat - 2007  

Bowen Island Retreat - 2009 - Show and Tell - Krista and Dianne

Then Krista decide to try her hand at expanding to a weekend retreat. The first few years  the November long weekend retreats were held on Bowen Island at the CNIB Lodge there. It was a nice spot. The little village area around Snug Cove was easy walking distance and had lots of little shops for a Saturday afternoon wander.  There was a hot tub - and deer wandering the grounds around the hall. We went to Bowen Island for three years and then CNIB was making changes and a new venue needed to be found. And since then we have been going to Loon Lake.

Loon Lake - 2010

Loon Lake retreat - Sharon is the only one sewing - Marsha heading out for a walk

I have been very fortunate that life events such as broken ankles  and surgeries and grandbabies being born have all managed to present themselves in such a way that I have never had to miss a year of retreat!  Although there has been things that have tried to get in the way. Jim and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary at a little restaurant on Bowen Island as I was at Retreat and he felt we should do something!  Fortunately it was easy for him to walk on the ferry to Bowen Island and we had a lovely meal and I just took a few hours off from my retreating!  That was 5 years ago. This November we will be married for 20 years!

Loon lake is a really beautiful venue. Although there aren't any little shops within walking distance there are many things about Loon Lake that make it a special quilting retreat. The lodge is tucked away at the very end of a long road up into a B.C. forest - sitting right on the lake. There is a hiking trail around the lake - I hear it's a great hike but I've been dealing with some kind of ankle issue almost since we started going there. The lodge is bright and clean and kind of "wilderness lodge" like with a second floor with a big stone fireplace. The rooms are big and comfortable - all bedding and towels are provided. The staff are wonderful - the food is some of the best I've had at any retreat. The kitchen staff go out of their way to work around the many diets that are out there today - - not for me - I'll eat anything!  Especially if someone else is cooking it. 

 The second floor fireplace and sitting area
Loon Lake 2011 - lots of sewing going on!

It seems that each year a new quilter or two will come to the retreat. There are a few "regulars" that attend all the time and then for various reasons some quilters are not able to attend so new quilters come in their place It's always great to meet new quilters. The past couple of years there have been a few quilters that have come hundreds and hundreds of miles - quilters that Krista has met through her blog and Instagram.  I am fairly shy and I don't follow many of the new blogs. If you have Instagram and search #loonlakequilters you will find a bunch of photos from the last retreat.  They are a good look into what can happen at Loon Lake. 

But I enjoy the diversity of the women in the group and the amazing creativity of the new quilters - well all the quilters - that come to the retreat. The past two years there has been a quilter who is a machine quilter extrodanaire and I have been - wandering over and asking for advice - begging for help - coveting her amazing quilting. Her name is Janet and she has a blog called "What Comes Next". This year we talked about my desire for a quilting table. And I got some great ideas. That will be another post. 

I look back at all the years I have been quilting as a hobby and the quilt guild I belong to and the retreats and classes and workshops I have attended - I have met many wonderful women - and men. But I think that the women that I have formed the closest friendships with -  all of those women, I met through Krista's retreats. Maybe it was because we had those moments where we were all together in one big room - still in pyjamas in the middle of the day - sharing life events with each other - laughing and helping with band aids when a rotary cutter got to close! Or a pair of snips got accidentally impaled in an upper thigh! I'm not really a mushy person and sometimes I think I get overwhelmed a bit with it all and forget to say Thank you - but I don't know if Thank you if even enough at times. The friendships that I formed with my quilting friends goes way beyond quilting and way beyond anything. All they have done for me in the past three years. It's really been amazing!   It's really meant a lot to me. More than I could ever express.

My quilting peeps - The Friday Stitch group

Here we are at APNQ - me in a Wheel Chair with Dianne as my designated pusher!


  1. Pam, this is such a lovely tribute to your quilter friends. I enjoyed reading about your retreats and seeing photos of the wonderful accommodations provided each time. Jim was truly on his game the day he spotted that sign and explored for his favorite quilter, of nearly 20 years!

  2. Oh this is such a great post Pam! I was so much the Day Jim came in to QBTB! It didn't take long to realize that he was your hubby. We had connected at guild retreat at the North Shore Outdoor school a couple of times but I believe that was the day that our close friendship began and I feel very blessed to be a part of our lovely circle of friends!