Retreat To Temecula…
A Fun Time Had By All!
The dust has settled, the visitors have gone home, and I have a few quiet moments to relax and reflect on the past week. Our First Annual Zieber Quilts – Quilt History and Quilting Retreat has been rated a huge success by the attendees and I am over the moon! I am grateful to have had the opportunity to present information on textile and quilt history, completely thrilled to have shared my collection and others, and honored to spend time with such a diverse, fun, and friendly group of women from all around the globe.
I would like to offer special thanks to all the women who attended the retreat; without your attendance this wonderful event would never have happened. To those who brought parts of their private collections to share – a very special Thank You! Each of you displayed a generosity that went above expectation and resulted in us seeing an incredible assembly of quilts and textiles. I would also like to offer a special thanks to Pat L. Nickols for providing part of her Early Fabrics and her Quilt Fragments collections for our viewing delight. We were provided a rare opportunity to see many stunning examples of English, American and French printed early fabric – it was a treat and a rare opportunity. Thank you, Pat.
The festivities began with gifts and goodies to get retreaters motivated, including a kit for the retreat project and a ‘swag bag’ with their very own antique quilt block c1850s. I hope it encourages some of our new quilt history enthusiasts to learn and grow – and maybe even start their own collections.
Meals at the retreat facility were wonderful – they provided options galore to those of us who don’t eat gluten or have restricted diets. The desserts struck a cord for many of us sweet lovers – especially the mango sorbet, the chocolate mouse and the crème brûlée – that crème brûlée was so good some of us had two! Dinner the first night included four wine raffle baskets from our local wineries graciously provided by a dear friend, fellow quilter and wine connoisseur, Savannah Pfautz.
Following Tuesday dinner we gathered in the conference room for the True Blue – Color in History and Textiles presentation. The Power Point consisted of some background history on the color blue and its use in textile dyeing and printing as well as some illustrations of the different substances used to dye textiles blue; e.g., woad, indigo and the minerals used in Prussian blue. After the slide presentation we had a long session of show and tell around a large table where forty pieces of chintz from the Pat L. Nickols collection were shared. The pieces were either predominantly blue or had blue in them. Every style of chintz and printed cotton fabrics imaginable were shared – from Prussian blue to indigo and chrome, pillar prints with blue, lapis prints, resists, discharge prints and even a most delicate dress prints with a fine blue vine overprinting was shared. English, French and American prints were shown and discusses as to their differences. Attendees were able to get up close with magnifying glasses to really examine the printing and dye processes. It was wonderful to be so close and really study the pieces shown. Following the chintz, quilt fragments from the Pat L. Nickols collection were shared – one of which was an early hexagon fragment that dates from the last quarter of the 18th century to c1830s. Many, many pieces of small printed cotton goods were included in this two-piece fragment and it was so amazing to see such a wide variety of prints. I heard comments along the line of, “this piece of fabric looks so contemporary,” and it really did. It was eye opening to see nearly two hundred year old prints that looked as though you could walk into a store and buy them today.
Sharing continued late into the night with attendees bringing out their own items, of which were many wonderful examples of blue textiles in every style. We were treated to a diverse and expansive collection of quilts, tops and fabrics that allowed everyone to grow and learn in their knowledge of antique quilts.
The canned lighting in the conference room left a lot to be desired – so with this knowledge in hand, we decided that tomorrows quilt viewing would be in our well-lit and rather large sewing room. Had I but known, I would have skipped using the conference room. Hindsight is certainly 20/20.
Breakfast began our morning with good food and some door prizes kindly donated by The Temecula Quilt Company and Primitive Gatherings as well as some provided by the hostess (me). Kits, fabric and books rounded out the gifts and at each meal throughout the retreat, more door prizes were given. The pièce de résistance was a copy of Eye on Elegance from the recent DAR exhibit (Claire – you lucky gal) as well as one of the newly printed Palampore Tree of Life panels from the new Mary Koval collection – Linda was the Lucky One to win the panel! Such goodies!
Following breakfast, attendees had some free time to sew and work on the projects they brought along or on their kit provided by the retreat. Here is a picture of the project – “Retreat to Temecula” designed by Zieber Quilts and based off the antique quilt pictured above. A full quilt pattern of an enlarged version of the antique crib quilt will soon be available for purchase.
“Those Fabulous Fifties” Power Point presentation was shown just before lunch to provided background information on the history of the 1850s as well as the styles of quilts and prints you should expect to see in c1850s quilts. I felt that knowing the historical happenings would help one understand what was impacting the textile industry and what influenced the quilt makers. After lunch, we gathered around the large tables in the sewing room to share our 1850s textiles and quilts. I must say that it was another incredible session of sharing.
For the over saturated guests, it was nice to be able to return to sewing projects at their nearby tables and for those of us who can NEVER get enough, we continued right up until dinner. Red and green quilts galore, block set, strip set, you name it we saw it. Everything including c1850s clothing was shared. I giggled when the sewers jumped up and ran over to the sharing table when they heard the gasps because an especially wonderful quilt was unfolded. I really liked the convenience of having sharing in the sewing room and next year we will skip the conference room all together.
The remainder of the quilt retreat was spent sewing and getting to know the many new friends who came into our lives. Oh, and having another look at some of the treasures we either didn’t see well enough the first night or that was left in the car because it may not have fit with the study – ladies, you know we want to see EVERYTHING!
Our furthest travellers, Linda Collins and Bev Bannard, came all the way from Melbourne, Australia and it was such a pleasure to have some time with the world-renowned hostess of “Quilts In The Barn.” You can learn more about Linda and her endeavors by clicking on the picture! Another long-distance traveler, Taryn Faulkner, came from Maryland and it was such a treat to meet the person behind the Reproduction and Antique Quilt Lover Blog – a blog which I personally love and which you can access here: http://reproquiltlover.blogspot.com. Claire McKarns also joined our retreat; many of you may know her from her Southern California lectures on antique textiles or from the beautiful sewing tools her husband makes and sells. Many of the items in Claire’s collection are for sale, so if you saw something you liked, visit here here: http://clairescollections.com/index.html .
Jackie MacKinnon, Judy Dimmick, Betty Khzouz, Nancy Allen, Sylvia Galbriath, Linda Vaughn, Patt Seitas, Patty Andrews, Gale Slagle, Sandy Sutton, Shelly Hoffman, Lorna Cordrey, Pat Howell-Schmidt, Hallie Odle, Dawn Sliskovich and Peggie Wormington rounded out the group of retreaters and I must say it was such a treat to spend time with you all. Thank you again for your enthusiasm, kindness, and generosity in sharing your treasures. And speaking of generosity, Dawn gifted a beautiful 1924 crazy quilt to Jackie – a gift I know she will treasure as it is her very first antique quilt and she has long wanted a crazy quilt! You Rock Dawn!
I look forward to next year – now officially planned for May 9th – 12th 2016 (yes we have added another day – it just wasn’t long enough this year). We will again be at the Vine De Lestonnac Retreat Center in Temecula, California. Very soon I will announce the topics and guest speakers so have your deposits ready.
Leah Zieber – remember to Speak Life!
P.S. I’m sure you are all wondering as to why there are not too many pictures from the retreat. Please understand that we have so many of the items shared from private collections, we felt it imperative that attendees be allowed to take all the images they like for their own personal education, however, NO pictures may be reproduced, published or put out on the web without express permission of the textile owner. I’m sure you can understand and respect the choice to keep private collection images off the internet. Join us next year and you can see them all for yourself!