Thursday, June 22, 2017

Quilt Retreat Series: Part 2.2 Food

This particular list is going to be a bit personal.  I have been making my way towards a healthier lifestyle and am focusing on maintaining a balance in my life.  I am aware that there are lots of people that LOVE the junk food.  I do too on occasion, but I try to make sure that is not all I eat. So, this post is going to reflect that.

 Packing for a long quilt retreat can be quite intimidating.  You are breaking out of your comfortable routine.  Possibly feeding only one when you are used to feeding a family.  There are plenty of retreats out there that supply all meals in one form or another, but other than goodies for the community snack table, we aren't going to focus on that today.  We are going to talk about the situation when you need to handle all of your own food and possibly those of the entire group.

So, in my case, I will be packing for two people for seven days with a plan of eating out only one day.  We have access to a full kitchen with supplies, but no food.  I think that meal prepping will be the key here because who wants to go to a quilt retreat and spend any time in the kitchen?
I have tons of online recipes I have tried and love, but I am not going to link to everyone because I prefer to get permission for that and it could get out of control.  I will give you a link to my Recipes of the Healthier Kind Pinterest page which you are more than welcome to follow or ask what I think about any of the recipes there.

I am a new Beachbody Coach *shameless plug here* and I tend to have my Shakeology for breakfast just about every day.  I will just decide what I want to blend and bring those things.

  • Unsweetened Almond/Coconut Milk
  • Frozen banana slices
  • Vanilla (don't forget these kinds of things for your meals -- salt/pepper/sugar -- you may be used to having them in your kitchen and your venue might not.
  • Other fruits
I am going to prepare a few things ahead of time that will be great for breakfast or snacking on.
  • Oatmeal cups
  • Cut fruit
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Breakfast burritos
  • Yogurt
It is also a good idea to check with your venue to see if they have a coffee pot or tea kettle if you like those beverages in the morning.

I have found that I don't often want a traditional lunch.  Breakfast is eaten late and you certainly don't want to interrupt your sewing time, but make sure you have something that you can eat at anytime of day.  You will need to keep your energy up for all that quilting and visiting.  

  • Sandwiches - Easy and simple.  Keep it basic.  Small ones on rolls are an option too.
  • Salads 
  • Chips or Pretzels
  • Cheese and Crackers
  • Vegetables sliced and ready to munch on.  Hummus or dip would be a nice addition.
  • Sweet treat - Brownies, M&Ms, licorice, cookies
  • Popcorn
For me, this is the time to take a good relaxing break from my machine.  I need to have something substantial for my evening meal.  Most traditional dinners take time and "cooking" to make.  My recommendation is do everything that you can ahead of time.  Chopping veggies, cooking meat, measuring spices, etc.  You would also need to verify what appliances and other cooking implements your venue has.
  • Tacos - make the meat ahead of time and reheat.  Chop tomatoes & lettuce.  Shred cheese.
  • Salad - always a good option
  • Grilled cheese and tomato soup -- nice for a winter retreat
  • Any kind of crockpot complete dish - stew, chili, chicken fajitas.  Just prepare it all ahead and dump in the crockpot in the morning.  
  • Any kind of casserole that you can refrigerate and then just toss in the oven.
Don't forget your drinks!  Not all venues will have a great tap water system.  At the very least, bring a good, lidded water bottle.  Stay Hydrated!!
  • Coffee or tea - don't forget your creamer
  • Bottled water or even better your own filter pitcher
  • Adult beverages - make sure your venue allows this, because not all of them do.  And remember the rule "No red wine at the sewing table!"  :)

Another thing you want to be aware of is the other quilters at the retreat.  Are there any severe allergies?  Make sure you don't cook anything too pungent that will make its way into all of the rooms - think fish or buffalo wings (who would eat wings with all that fabric around I don't know).

Don't show up to your retreat thinking you will just eat whatever.  Especially if your venue is out in the country somewhere.  You may not even have access to a regular grocery store or restaurant.  If your retreat is supplying meals, you will still need to bring anything that may not be supplied.  "What do you mean you don't have that Butter Pecan coffee creamer I need to use?"  Also, I cannot think of a retreat that lasts more than 2 hours that doesn't have a community snack table.  It doesn't need to be anything fancy (unless of course you make amazing lemon bars), but you should contribute something.  

I hope this helps you plan a little better for your next quilt retreat.  And like I said, feel free to visit my Pinterest page or email me with any questions or if you need more suggestions.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Winner! Star Blossom

Just a super quick post to congratulate Rose from Something Rose Made for winning the giveaway for the amazing new quilt pattern Star Blossom by Dave The Quilt Engineer and Tish's Adventures in Wonderland .

You can find the post about my version of this beautiful pattern here:  Star Blossom

If you want to try out this pattern yourself, you can find it in Tish's Craftsy shop.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Where does the time go?

Seriously, this blog break has gone on for far too long.
Time has completely gotten away from me.  I think 4 out of 5 of my last posts have been apologizing for my absence.  Between my job, working out more, learning Irish (Gaelic), and getting my quilt ready for my VERY FIRST pattern being published in International Quilt Festival: Quilt Scene magazine this October I have been swamped.  Oh, and I ran in the Starlight Run 5k with my son and friends AND I had 2 sets of company come visit me in the last couple of weeks.  All good things!  :)

Here is a little bit of what I have been up to quilting-wise:

I have been trying very hard to keep up with my Bee Inspired bee blocks.  Not quite on time, but not too late either.  I am hoping the rest of the year I will be more punctual.  These little grey pieces were so tiny!  I completely forgot to take a photo of the finished block.

I finally purchased my first spool of Aurifil thread!  That is pretty exciting.  I haven't used it yet, but soon...soon.  I also have a couple of quick flannel baby quilts I need to have done before next week.  I am doing simple strips and they are going to be so cozy!

Gotta love the chain piecing!

Oh yuck, I need to add a new ironing board cover to my to-do list.  
I made my first hanging sleeve last week.  If I am doing a wall hanging I usually just do the corners. I don't know why I was so intimidated by this.  It turned out nice I think.  I sure hope it is up to the standards of the magazine. This whole being published thing is very nerve racking. What if my work isn't good enough?  Oh, I would be so devastated.  It is exhilarating though.  I don't know how I will wait until it is on the shelves in October.

The binding all ready to go for my quilt.  I think Kona Oasis is my new favorite color.  It is gorgeous, don't you think?

I have a couple of other things coming up this summer.  Some new patterns, tutorials, etc.  I will do my very best to stay on top of the blog and not disappear again.
I'll be linking up with my usual blogs on the sidebar.

Happy Quilting!