January 2020 Retreat

Dianne Tobias (right) and Christine Manges at the Welcome sign for the January Retreat.

We had a lovely time together at the January Retreat at the Friary in Easton PA.  It was a gathering without any classes… well, a bit of focus on teaching Beginners, which everyone pitched in with but particularly Dottie Pepe and me.  Other than that, everyone brought their projects and worked on them independently.  It was a relaxing time just to braid and chat.

The focus of the retreat in its planning was simply to experience the Friary as a braid in site and see what we thought about it.  We are splitting the seams at our current site, where we have 57 registered for April at the St. Francis Retreat in Bethlehem.  The Friary offers us more bed space if we want to allow the VF Spring Braid in to get larger.

When we have our  next meeting, we’ll go over the plusses and minuses of the Friary in detail and see what we want to do.  It is a different place… bedrooms are smaller, braiding space is bigger but the lights are a little dimmer, there are plenty of electrical outlets, and there was an issue with cold showers that made me feel like we were back in Bethlehem with plumbing issues… we’ll talk about it at our February meeting.

Overall, attendees enjoyed themselves enough that I heard multiple requests to do this again next year, so Debbie Wykosky has a deposit in for a weekend in January 2021.  Something to look forward to in the dark of winter!  And a way to relax after all the holiday madness.

One of the activities was helping Nancy Young get the new hit or miss rug made for the historic 1758 Sun Inn, in  Bethlehem (George Washington, Ben Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton slept there).  Several people braided sets of rows for the project, which began with a center made by Lois Stauffer.  I don’t have a photo of the finished rug — someone please send me one! — but it was lovely in the way that all hit or miss rugs are pretty, with unexpected color combinations.

Rug of circles and triangles made for the historic Sun Inn

The new hit or miss will fill a spot that was occupied by a rug that the guild made 8 or 9 years ago of circles.  Isn’t this rug gorgeous?  Designed by Nancy Young, it has a hooked center made for us by Kris McDermet, and multiple braided circles contributed by braiders from near and far.  The circles are joined by braided triangles… some of which are starting to come apart and will need repair or replacement.  Nancy is going to give the rug a bath and see what repairs are necessary, before the rug is returned — hopefully to a spot with a little less foot traffic.

Another activity during the retreat was led by Eileen Colligan:  making name tags for the VF Spring Braid in.  Eileen and Colleen Blaisdell made most of the name tags, although a few were made by others (thank you ALL).  They have a clear plastic front that will allow insertion of names on card stock, and then a zipper pocket for tickets/money/door code, etc.  Aren’t they adorable?  So many pretty prints! 

Pretty name tags for the VF Spring Braid in

Here are some photos of rugs and people from the braid retreat.  Please scroll down to get the dates of the upcoming guild meetings.

Above:  Deb Weinhold is making a very long hall runner.

Carolyn and Maureen look at Carolyn’s Greek Key rug

Judy brought some incredible penny rugs to work on.  Mary is braiding with her.

Kristen worked on a hit or miss, while Sharon worked on 9-loop centers
Eileen with faithful Barron, Judy and Dottie work on projects
Dottie Pepe’s Star   (wow!!)
Colleen and Dianne
Deb, Marjorie, Carolyn, and Karen
Only one more row to go for my friend’s wedding present.

My phone must have been on low charge because several shots of people and rugs that I know I took are missing!  Apologies to Jane, Joanna, Linda, Debbie, Abby, Beth, the other Beth, Sherry, Nancy and Maureen whose photos I just don’t have, and I know I took them, darn it.

Our next guild meeting at Landis Homes in Lititz PA is February 29.  Meetings after that are:  March 28, May 30, June 27 (at pavillion), Sept 12, Oct 10, Nov 14, and Dec 5, 2020.



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