No matter how long you have done something, you can always try something new. For me, that meant attending my very first retreat this past weekend at the Rock House Retreat Texas. This retreat is located outside of Weatherford TX in Santo. Because I was going solo and knew no one that would be there, I was just a little nervous. Luckily, that feeling didn’t last very long!
Thank you Jo Lynn and Bridgette for making my stay so enjoyable!
First Impressions of my First Retreat
I had heard about this retreat during a presentation held at our Johnson County Quilt Guild. Jo Lynn presented “How to be a Thrifty Quilter”. She also provided information about her new retreat center. When I heard her say “you do not have to cook” I just knew I had to try it out.
When I drove up – early as usual – there was already someone at the retreat. This is where I met Bridgette for the 2nd time. Bridgette was to be our cook and friend for the length of our stay and BOY can she cook! But I will get to that later.
I will admit that due to the single story layout and new construction, the building itself does a very good job of hiding all the treasures within. On the other hand, it was so nice to be able to drive my truck right up and under the covered area to unload. There was even a handy wheeled cart to help.
I opened the door and fell in love with the open layout with a huge kitchen, dining area and work room all laid out for optimal comfort. I just couldn’t wait to get started.
While this retreat is not built adjacent to any quilt shops, the owner did have a small area where you could buy essentials and precuts.
If you walk out this door, you could relax on the patio in one of the comfy rocking chairs and watch the birds.
Bridgette showed me to the room I would be staying in – it was beautiful. All the quilts on the beds were made by Jo Lynn ONeil and they were stunning in their simplicity. There were 3 beds per room and all the lamps were so cute with their bases filled with bobbins and thread.
The bathroom was beautiful as well. The sink was made from a treadle machine and the walk in shower was so spacious.
Later, I was to find out that the beds were pillow soft and so comfortable.
Time to Sew
Originally, I had mentioned to Jo Lynn (the owner of the retreat) that I was a standing quilter, so she had set up one of her cutting tables for me. Unfortunately, she had no idea just how tall my regular table is. This option turned out to be too short to stand and too tall to sit.
Never fear, I tried the seated option on one of her regular, heavy-duty tables and spent the next 3 days sewing non-stop! The custom Bernina chairs that this retreat provides were beyond comfy and my back did not get sore, even after hours and hours of quilting.
Pretty soon, folks started to show up. I met so many new friends and even (2) Nancy’s! There was Nancy and Bill (a married couple that quilts), and Nancy and Connie and finally LuAnn. Everyone was so friendly, I felt that I fit right in from the start.
Here are the projects I worked on during the retreat.
What’s for Dinner?
And breakfast, and lunch and dessert?
If you looked closely at the pictures of the rooms, you will see a large rolling cooler. I brought munchies and the like just in case I got hungry – I DIDN’T!
Our meals were delicious and plentiful and Bridgette was also an open book – she shared her recipes with everyone. Not one of us ever complained that we were hungry and I brought home most of my extra food. I will pack much lighter next time!
There are quite a few things that makes this retreat a real.. treat!
Did you know that each and every outlet is on it’s own circuit? You bet! This means that we had our irons on while we sewed so we did not have to keep getting up and down when we were working on our piecing and blocks.
For larger ironing jobs, there were two separate ironing boards with plenty of irons to use.
Let there be Light!
One thing I was told to be mindful of was lighting. There is no shortage of lights here. Jo Lynn even added extra lighting after the fact to ensure that everyone could work with ease.
The facility was equipped with cameras in all the public rooms and the entire place was locked up at night. This included the front gate as well.
All the bedrooms had a lock on their doors as well. If I hadn’t already felt 100% comfortable with everyone there, this sealed the deal.
There were several zones for temperature control as well as electronic thermostats. The room I stayed in was very comfortable and also included a ceiling fan.
As I said before, comfort seems to be a high priority at the Rock House Retreat TX. From the chairs in the main room to the beds from morning to night, I felt very comfy.
Making New Friends
Because I knew no one else that attended, I got to make many new friends!
I really can’t say enough good things about my time at Rock House Retreat, TX and while this was an open retreat with no education scheduled, Jo Lynn even took the time on Saturday to show us all a new applique technique.
If you are looking for a fun and relaxing retreat with all the bells and whistles – you need to come here! I am already thinking of my next getaway 🙂