Thursday, September 1, 2011


YaY !  Today is September 1st, and that means we have 385 DAYS TO GO til the 2012 Circle of Friends Retreat in Branson !!!  We can hardly wait (but we're THANKFUL for the time to do all the tasks we want to do).

Today we announced our LODGING accommodations for the retreat... We have arranged for Condominiums this year, and it will allow "family / friend time" together.    It will allow either quiet private time for yourself, or a gathering place for friends to sit and chat... after the retreat is closed for the night, of course :)  The prices INCLUDES tax on the rooms!

Our accommodations offer free high-speed wireless internet, patio/deck, comfortable living area, cable TV, DVD players, washer & dryer and beautiful views.  All prices INCLUDE tax !  They have offered our special rates 3 days before and 3 days after retreat (and they encourage longer stays, so you can check on special pricing past the 3 days).  Talk to the reservation department about extending special pricing beyond those dates!

** We have wheelchair accessibility and elevators for those not on ground floor **

I can tell ya ... these accommodations are nice .... really nice !

 We will be staying at the fabulous~


245 South Wildwood Drive

Branson MO 65616

You can access information at their website ...

We will be located just off the Hwy 76 Country Music Blvd, where most of the shows and restaurants and attractions are :)

So go check out the LODGING TAB here on the blog for complete info on our sleeping arrangements ... WHO SLEEPS AT RETREAT?  

We're looking forward to seeing all y'all in Branson for the 2012 Circle of Friends Quilters Retreat ... in 57 short weeks! :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Quilters Commandments

Here's some fun ... Quilters ALWAYS love stash!  It's part of their DNA I think.  AND they love to sew, share experiences, laugh ... and eat!  So here's some fun ... Let's hear it for QUILTERS !!!
      1.      Thou shalt Not Covet your best friend's Stash!
      2.      Thou shalt not point out missing points.
3.      Thou shalt not rotary cut whilst tired.
4.      Thou shalt read directions BEFORE cutting!
5.      Thou shalt obey the copyright laws.
6.      Thou shalt not make suggestions about how you would have done it differently when a friend shows you her newly completed quilt.
7.      Thou shalt measure twice, cut once.
8.      Thou shalt honor thy quilts by giving them only in love and not out of a sense of obligation.
9.      Thou shalt share your quilting tips with others!
10.  Thou shalt ALWAYS close the cover on the rotary blade between cuts.
11.  Thou shalt always feel honored to help a beginner.
12.  Thou shalt not be anally-retentive about being perfect. The corollary: thou shalt observe the "Galloping Horse at 10 Miles Away" rule for judging perfection.
13.  Thou shalt always have UFO's to brighten your life.
14.  Thou shalt always budget so that fabric is a priority.
15.  Thou shalt always measure for borders through the center of the quilt to the opposite raw edges.
16.  Thou shalt always have at least three quilting projects going.
17.  Thou shalt NOT turn up thy nose at another's restoration project, no matter how dirty or smelly. Remember, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". A family quilt WILL BE a beautiful heirloom to them once again, when completed.
18.  Thou shalt do charity quilts with pleasure of giving.
19.  Thou shalt change the needle in the machine when it's so dull it won't penetrate the fabric.
20.  Thou shalt always practice safe rotary cutting; cutting with the rotary blade going away from your body.
21.  Thou shalt make it such that every stitch is made with love.
22.  Thou shalt follow thine inspirations, no matter what anyone says.
23.  Thou shalt support thine Local Fabric Store.
24.  Thou shalt use thine scraps to make quilts for charity, so that those less fortunate may know the joy of sleeping beneath a quilt.
25.  Thou shalt spread The Word to youth and elders alike, converting all you can to The Way of Quilting.
26.  Thou shalt oil thy sewing machine.
27.  Thou shalt use paper scissors for paper and fabric scissors for fabric.
28.  Thou shalt share all knowledge with other quilters.
29.  Thou shalt understand that there is an exception to every quilting rule.
30.  Thou shalt give thyself permission to be unique, creative, and innovative.
31.  Thou shalt understand that there is no such thing as an ugly quilt.
32.  Thou shalt not skimp on buying many quality quilting fabrics, as they are the pallet of thine art.
33.  Thou shalt not deny a cat a nap on any quilt or pile of fabric.
34.  Thou shalt not sit on a quilt, as thou might poppeth thy stitching.
35.  Thou shalt always label thy quilts.
36.  Thou shalt challenge thyself to trying something different.
37.  Thou shalt enjoy the process.
38.  Thou shalt not neglect thy friends and family by being over-ambitious in quilting. Too much, anyway.
39.  Thou shalt not fault thy husband for not knowing a selvage from a bias, especially if he is supplying the stash cash.
40.  Thou shalt change the machine needle often.
41.  Thou shalt not count anything under a yard as "fabric on hand" when asked why the stash is building.
42.  Thou shalt not impersonate the Quilt Police.
43.  As ye sew, so shalt ye rip. (OK, not a law but certainly worth remembering.)
44.  Thou shalt honor your deepest creative impulse and express your true vision.
45.  Thou shalt challenge yourself and others to try new colors, styles, skills that we may learn from each other.
46.  Thou shalt not presew a seam without thread in the bobbin.
47.  Thou shalt not show jealousy towards others' quilts or quilting abilities.
48.  Thou shalt "press", not "iron".
49.  Thou shalt be creative in hiding the size of your stash.
50.  Thou shalt plan your quilt well so thou can relax and enjoy the making of the quilt.
51.  Thou shalt practice/warm up your hand and/or machine quilting before making a pitiful mess.
52.  Thou shalt put down your work and go to sleep shortly after your eyes have crossed.
53.  Thou shalt not make obscene gestures at the quilt police. Learn the rules, then adapt them to suit yourself.
54.  Thou shalt cherish the love and satisfaction in every stitch.
55.  Thou shalt not horde UFOS, as they become NFOS (never finished objects), but thou shalt give them away to someone who will finish them for charity quilts.
56.  Thou shalt feed thy family at least one(1) home cooked meal a week while trying to get that quilt done for the show.
57.  Thou shalt stop quilting at least once a month and wave thy duster around (it only needs 5 minutes).
58.  Thou shalt keep a quilt journal to remember where thy quilts have gone.
59.  Thou shalt learn new and creative ways to say "Oh no, honey. That fabric isn't new. I've had it a long time...."
60.  Thou shalt not answer a compliment with "Oh it's easy". Especially one from thy son-in-laws who cannot imagine putting all those pieces together.
61.  Thou shalt be creative in hiding the size of your stash.
62.  Thou shalt ensure that all thine creations go to a loving home.
63.  Thou shalt not pass judgment on those who use thine quilts in ways other than what you intended.
64.  Thou shalt remember, "Done is better than Perfect".
65.  Thou shalt honor thy stash by having SEX often.(note for the uninitiated: SEX = "Stash Enhancing eXpeditions")
66.  Thou shalt refuse to allow the Quilt Police into your sewing room.
67.  Thou shalt not agonize so much over planning thine quilt that thou canst not enjoy the quilt-making process.
68.  Thou shalt remember that stars in the sky are merely circles with no points, and as such, stars in quilts do not require points.
(hey, if ya don't believe me, look at Van Gogh's Starry Night, not a single blooming point in that painting!)
69.  Thou shalt not criticize the quilter, lest she become wrathful and poke you with a seam ripper!
70.  Thou shalt pick up all pins that have been dropped so that thy dearest family members don't step on them. 
71.  Thou shalt not use the selvages in any quilt.
72.  Thou shalt jointh all the swaps thee little heart desires.
73.  Thou shalt giveth freely any good quilting tips.
74.  Thou shalt not be too critical of oneself. Perfection can only be aspired to, never attained.
75.  Thou shalt practice moderation in all areas of thine life--except quilting!
76.  Thou shalt always have at least 4 ideas on your "my next quilt will be" list....
77.  Thou shalt build an ark, and thou shalt fill it with two bolts each of every colourway of every pattern of every fabric line of every man
78.  ufacturer.
79.  Thou shalt keep your collection of quilting books smaller than that of the local library.
80.  Thou shalt finish all swaps and be in the mail by the deadline. 
81.  Thou shalt swap only 'good' fabric.
82.  Thou shalt use at least one 'ugly' in a quilt top, thee will be surprised at the look.
83.  Thou shalt not make a quilt without making a note of where the pattern came from.

Friday, July 29, 2011


I had some GREAT fun this week visiting Branson !  It IS one of my favorite places to go... even with the heat and even with the traffic ... did someone say traffic?  Yes, Branson has TRAFFIC during the tourist season, but there are maps in every store or restaurant, with side roads that all us locals take to avoid getting stuck in the downtown or on the strip traffic.  But even with that, Branson has the MOST courteous drivers... it just promotes that kinda atmosphere.  It's not uncommon to have people stop and just let you in... and yes, we still wave when we pass people on the backroads !

My first stop was to the bus company and put down our deposit to reserve our bus for the Springfield Ozark Piecemakers Guild Quilt Show on the Saturday of the retreat.  That was one of the good "pulls" to have it that weekend in Branson!  Quilt shows are always fun, and there's some REALLY good talent and beautiful work to see.  Lots of vendors and eye candy everywhere!

I went to our condos to work out a couple details in my mind, and visited my friend who helps me.  It was SO beautiful there !  The crepe myrtles were blooming, and the golf course was really lush and green.  They will be working on a special price for our retreaters and/or guests who like to golf!  I'll publish that as soon as I know what it is :)

We went over the room set up and some details about our sewing room and classes, where we'll have the boutique, where we will eat, which patio we'll be using, that sort of thing. 

As time gets closer, we will be adjusting and readjusting details and agenda items ... and y'all will be getting info.   This place is really working nicely with us to make this the best time y'all would expect!  And they are ALL ABOUT showing visitors a good time in Branson ... more on that later :)

I hope y'all are getting as excited as we are!  
We can't wait to meet all everyone in September 2012!  C'mon to Branson ... you'll feel like you're family !

Friday, July 22, 2011

A day trip to Springfield, MO

There are lots to do around the Branson area, and Springfield is just 40 minutes up the interstate.  It's a town of about 150,000 people, and everything you could possibly want in a smaller city type atmosphere... we'll be exploring the area around Branson as we countdown to September 2012 !

Lets start with shopping I'm looking for chocolate - husband is looking for toys. It looks like we can find both ....

Now this sounds like my type of place. I may have to check out the cyber-special before I go. The website lists sooooo much to choose from. Fudge, gift baskets, sugar free chocolates, even ??cow chips & gator bits??

or maybe Askinosie Chocolates - a tour of the operations then some small batch goodies for the road. Desisions, decisions....

514 E Commercial Street
Springfield, MO
call for store & tour hours 417/ 862-9900

For the guys - my husbands favorite place to shop Grizzly Outlets.
This is as much fun for him as I have in a huge fabric store. There are tools and gadgets galore!

Then there's Bass Pro headquarters in Springfield. There is a huge Tracker Boats show room as well as the catalog store. And if they are lookin for a "man size" breakfast Saved Sinners favorate place is Hemingway's Blue Water cafe on the 4th floor.

"... they serve THE BEST breakfast in the Ozarks! They have a buffet for ABOUT $6 that has ham, bacon, sausage, eggs, catfish, biscuits & gravy, taters, oatmeal, they will make your omelette for you, french toast, waffles, fresh juice as well as fruit & yogurt bar. O yeah, and THE BEST apple dumplings you ever tasted in your life! It's a FAB breakfast, set in an atmosphere overlooking the wonders of Bass Pro below..."

The breakfast is a MUST for anyone visiting Springfield!  

Monday, July 18, 2011

WoW! What a SIGN-UP !!!

Woo Hoo ~~~ Friday the registration opened for the 6th Annual HGTV Quilting Message Board "Circle of Friends" Retreat ... This next one will be held in Branson Missouri !!!  My kinda town!

The anticipation was intense :)  All sorts of people were asking "what time are you gonna post the registration"?  Well I just kept telling them the same thing ... have you looked at the blog ... and sure enough, the little tired chick really couldn't go to sleep before getting it opened and going.  Apparently ALOT of quilters know when that chicken gets up ... or how the "early bird" catches the worm !

It was somewhat of a challenge, because I had to go to Kansas for my hubby's 36th annual family reunion ... THE BIG "M" !  This has been happening for generations, and is always well attended... even when it was 112 degrees!  Nothing says HOT like Kansas in July !  But we also had a chance to visit with his parents, which was much needed ...

Y'all have such an AWESOME committee working behind the scenes to make sure this all goes well ... I just wanna say THANKS TO Crazy'boutQuilts and DJBrown for helping in making sure all the posts were up on time while I was looking for a place with wi-fi ... and McDonald's didn't open until morning!  It was nice to have a plan in place and know that everything would be cared for if I was computer lacking...  THANK YOU GALS for covering my tail feathers and having a GREAT kick-off to the fun upcoming in Branson!

We had spaces open for 60 retreaters, and that was besides the committee.  The 60 was filled up before noon on Friday, and there is a waiting list for those wanting to come.  SO let's see what happens ... it has been experienced in past retreats that about 20% change their minds, or life happens...

The DEADLINE for retreat registration forms and deposit to be turned in is September 30th.  Those that don't get them turned in on time will be moved to the waiting list ... PLEASE mark your calendars with the deadlines we've made, cause I'm not one for babysitting, and y'all will miss out ... and WE WANT YOU ALL THERE !  The remaining retreat fee is due by January 31st, 2012 !!!  Check the registration forms on where to mail them :) 

SO IF YOU ARE ON THE WAITING LIST ... please be patient cause I'm sure things will change, and it might just be YOUR turn to get "movin on up"!

If you want to see who's on the list, or maybe you're interested in attending and being put on the waiting list, please go over to the REGISTRATION NOW OPEN at the top left of this page, and click on the "Message Board List" link... it'll take you right to where you need to go !

And for travel or registration info on HOW to get registered, just look at the TABS at the top of this post ... everything you will need to know about the retreat will be here on the blog, BUT WILL ALWAYS BE ON THE MESSAGE BOARD FIRST!  
This blog is just an organized way to share the info ... but please always remember to look on the message board for the latest and greatest info on the 2012 Circle of Friends Retreat in Branson.

Come join us in Branson ... you too could have a sunrise like this ... what FUN we will have !

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


The RETREAT is something that our Circle of Friends look forward to each year.  It's a gathering of friends who are like minded in that they have a LOVE of quilting... sewing home decor items... sewing for kids and grandkids ... they love putting the pedal to the metal (the foot pedal that is), and allowing their creativity to take over.  And they LOVE their fabric!  A quilter's fabric stash is as valuable to her as any jewels she wears.  

The retreats offer a time of friendship building, of fellowship, of having fun sewing, some learning, definitely some good food, and LOTS of fun!  One year the HGTV Circle of Friends worked the retreat around the Houston Quilt Festival, and an excursion was planned for the festival ... one year it was in Portland, and planned around the Sisters Quilt Show, and they took a bus down to Sisters and spent the day drooling over quilts, talking with friends, and buying some gorgeous fabric!

This is our sweet friend, Bluesnail ... the bags were almost as big as she was!
Last year was the 5th anniversary for the Circle of Friends and the retreat was held in Charlotte, NC.  We took a double-decker bus to Mary Jo's Cloth Store in Gastonia... O MY GOODNESS !  What a PALACE of fabrics!!!  It was fun getting to know everyone during the retreat, and we ALL had a blast hauling our booty back with us.  I LOVED the batiks collection they had, and did most of my shopping in that section ... altho I did get sidetracked just a tad, and my friend Lori helped me pick out a real beauty!   THANKS LORI !  I'm thinking this would make a GREAT fat-quarter challenge fabric! ;) ~~ but we'll show THAT later !

Monday, July 11, 2011

Buried Treasure ….

My husband has been spending a lot of time with his family recently. They are going thru his grandmother’s farm house. No one has ordered a dumpster so, last night he came home with a pickup truck full of trash to be set out for our local collector!

But he had a few small boxes to bring into the house???

Look what he found mixed in with old newspapers and to do lists.

Can you see that group. This is the group of ladies that stated the Piecemakers Quilt Guild out of Springfield MO. There is a nice story about how the guild was started.

And there also a pattern for this.

story contributed by Deb Brown

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Quilters and Stash !!!

Quilters go to great lengths to acquire and build their stash ... some have small stashes, because they like it that way, or because of storage restrictions.  And some have complete rooms full that would rival most fabric stores.  And they go to extreme measures in obtaining their stash and keeping it "their little secret".  Some husbands just don't understand our NEED for stash... it's like their tool collection, or miniature toys or whatever else they collect ... for my DHubby, it's fishin poles and equipment.  And I, being the understanding wife, totally cooperate with his needing to build his collection ... I'm a giver like that !  And over the years, he has learned to accept my need for stash, and sometimes I see this bewildered look in his eyes like "how did she get so much... and HOW does she fit it all in here?"

Well, we quilters get very creative in how we don't flaunt our purchases in front of our hubby's... some (I won't mention my name), has been known to put it in grocery bags and bring it in with the food.  And I just kinda take a little side trip to the sewing room to drop it off before hitting the kitchen!  He knows when I go for some "retail therapy", and that's all well and good.  He never says a thing... but I just don't want him to know how MUCH therapy I really need :)

When my daughter & Precious moved out of our home, at first I was bummed... then I saw a sewing room!  then somehow my stash took over the room, and I was forced to then move my stash into my guest room so I would have enough room to sew.  Then we remodeled our home for my mom to move in, and our bedroom got moved into the finished basement, and mom took over the master bedroom.

When she left to move back to Calif, I was kinda bummed ... but then I saw a BIGGER sewing room!  AND it (for now) handles my stash !  So my guest room is again a guest room, my old room became my office, and the master bedroom of the house with the huge walk in closet now houses my stash and equipment.  I decided I was wasting the bathtub, so I put a piece of plywood across it, and house tubs of my kona fabrics and storage supplies.

I am indeed a blessed woman... Steve keeps wondering why I didn't just take over the whole bottom of the house ... because I like windows and I like looking out at the birdies and the flowers ... but honey, your man cave would fit a long arm just perfect!

How do YOU house your stash?  How do you obtain it?  How do you get it in the house?  LET'S TALK STASH!  And then there's the friends who try to raid it ! 

Friday, July 1, 2011


WELCOME to the launch of our blog for the upcoming Circle of Friends Quilters Retreat in Branson... we are excited you are here !  Here's a little bit about these quilty friends ...    

I have a Circle of Friends ... we are quilters united by the internet and our love of quilting, thru the message boards.  You'll find us at our favorite board... the Quilting and Needlework Message Board. There are a group of gals (and a few guys) who join together in cyberspace and share skills, experiences, tips, love, prayers, concern, and bond a true friendship. Thru this love and friendship, there are many projects done as a combined effort. Sometimes a friend going thru chemo needs a quilt of love, or one of our friends has lost a cherished family member, or a member of our military service needs some hugs from home... I call them our "heroes". A quilt is something that wraps that special someone not only in comfort, but in the love and care it took to make that quilt. 

These Circle of Friends also do many charity benefits, making quilts for raffle to raise money for donations to such charities as the Ronald McDonald House charities, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. There are quilts made for Relay for Life, or for devastating circumstances, such as Katrina, or the recent tornado destruction in Joplin. I truly believe QUILTERS ARE THE MOST GENEROUS OF SOULS!

Back in 2006, some gals on the message board wanted to get together and meet in person and do some shopping... so the first Circle of Friends was formed, and a small group spent a weekend together in Minnesota. Since then there has been a Circle of Friends in different parts of the country... from Texas, to New Hampshire, to Oregon, to North Carolina. And it has grown from that very first small group to an annual tradition of meeting new friends and catching up with old friends.

Come check out our CIRCLE OF FRIENDS ... they're a GREAT bunch of folks who love quilting, love helping each other, and who love to travel around the country making friends doing good deeds!  And the retreat adventures continue .....

I'm a member of the Ozark Piecemakers Quilt Guild

I'm a member of the Ozark Piecemakers Quilt Guild

Branson Scenery

Branson Scenery
Table Rock Lake has over 800 miles of shoreline!