Saturday, August 2, 2014

Summer at Woodland Ridge Retreat

The gardens at Woodland Ridge Retreat are in full bloom.

It is such a joy to see the new blooms each time another flower makes a debut

Many plants I have never grown in my garden before.

I'm lucky to have a couple master gardeners living near by to offer advice

and share their talents.

It is a joy and a privilege to be running our retreat in such a lovely spot.

I hope you all are enjoying a wonderful summer!  

Greetings from Woodland Ridge Retreat


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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Art Nouveau Challenge Quilt "A Tribute to Macintosh"

A Tribute to Mackintosh by Chris Daly 2014
It has been a long time since I have made an art quilt.  Most of my 2013 was devoted to writing and rewriting my business plan for the retreat.  Once the funding came through the rest of the year was like a whirlwind. Last month I set aside some time to get started on this quilt for the Art Quilts Around the World "Art Nouveau" Challenge.  It was the first time in a long time my brain was able to focus long enough to create and design.  I was painting on the white cotton fabric and I could feel a broad smile come across my face.  Oh the joy to be creating again!!!

I am a huge fan of the art, architecture and furniture design of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife Margaret MacDonald.  You will find prints of his textile designs hanging on the dining room wall of the retreat.  This quilt is based on one of these designs.
I used Daler Rowney Acrylic inks to create the design.  The piece was quilted using wool batting to add loft.  The quilt will be framed and hung on one of the walls at the retreat. 

Wishing you all creative days!  

Monday, February 10, 2014

First January Guests

What a crazy, creative and productive weekend these ladies had.  I wish I had photographs of all the quilt tops that were completed this weekend.  Much coffee was consumed and late hours of sewing.

I first met Diane and Barb on my first quilt retreat.  They were the hosts of a Quilts by Barb Retreat in the Wisconsin Dells.  Diane was teaching fabric dyeing classes and filled me with inspiration.  I was hooked! 

This group has been sewing together for a long time.  It was fun to see the interaction between such good friends.  

Lori completed a t-shirt quilt top for her son, a cart racer. 

Barb made this lovely quilt and finished machine quilting a couple weeks later.

 Sharon's "NO HO" quilt, so pretty in calming blues and greens.  
This quilt would look perfect in one of the guest rooms.

Peggy' Log Cabin Quilt.  Peggy started out her weekend with exciting news.  
Friday afternoon her daughter called to let Peggy know she was in labor. 
 By Friday night Peggy welcomed another grandchild into the family!!!


Here is Diane's Scrappy Log Cabin. She used a mix of her hand dyed fabrics and traditional fabrics We were all oohing and ah-ing over the quilt top. Barb Raisbeck's beautiful quilting adds an extra shine that compliments the design.

This was the first weekend we served meals at the retreat. I spent much of my time in the kitchen getting used to the space and loving the new appliances.  The food met with rave reviews.  We tried out a couple of menus from Dean Parent of Alchemy Food Works.  Dean is catering some of our evening meals on weekends when we have larger groups.  Dean is a well know chef from Eau Claire.  He and his partner have a farm and grow much of their own produce in the summer months.  Dean believes in using local grown, locally sourced food when ever possible.  He and I are working to provide meals that are soy free and gluten free upon request.

I hope you are enjoying creative days!


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Kitchen Renovations - Phase One Complete

Our Woodland Ridge Retreat kitchen renovations were completed  on January 3rd.  It is amazing what a handful of trades people can accomplish in a few short days.  As I mentioned our flooring had to be re-installed.  Installation date was December 23rd.  Our equipment arrived a few days later on Friday the 27th less the oven which was still in transit.  The tradesmen were top notch.  Each of the plumbers and HVAC techs had worked in this building when it was first built.  It was great to learn more about this building first hand.

When the oven did finally arrive it was delivered into the building on a lift that somewhat resembled an engine hoist.  In this photo the oven is missing the cooling racks that should be below the oven.  Those are still somewhere in route at the time I tell this tale.  We opted to use table top induction ranges instead of purchasing a stove and I am so happy with the choice.  There are 20 settings on these units.  They work better and more precisely than a gas stove.

It has been more than 20 years since we have had a dishwasher in our home.  The unit we purchased for the retreat can wash a load of dishes in 2 minutes.  I tell you, it was worth the wait.  There are still a few finishing touches. We just purchased 2 upper cabinets to store dry goods and we will be adding a few more shelves once I get a feel for where things will work best in the kitchen.

A few before shots.  This was the laundry room.  The sinks are now in this location.

Is anyone else having a problem with blogger and photos?  I changed and saved the orientation before uploading, but this keeps happening..
Looking from the washer and dryer to where the convection oven now stands.

It has been years since I cooked in a commercial kitchen but it is all coming back to me quickly.  Recently I have been working on renewing my food service sanitation certificate.  Not much has changed in the last 26 years except that I now need to inspect the delivery trucks to make sure terrorists have not tampered with the food.  Don't worry retreat goers, I am being forever vigilant.

Phase 2 of the renovations will include new kitchen cabinets and countertops in the guest service area. Hopefully this will take place in the summer months.

Wishing you all a very creative New Year!


Monday, December 16, 2013

The Island of Lost Appliances

Our appliances line the retreat hallway to make room for the new flooring.

The laundry room is about to be converted into our new kitchen.  This tired floor has to go...

 Plumbing rough in for new sinks and dishwasher is complete.  Now we wait for the electrician to arrive. After that we can close up the wall.

The new flooring is installed.  Unfortunately it needs to be reinstalled.  There are ripples through out the floor.  

I'm looking forward to completed renovations.  It has only been a week and I already miss my clean, organized retreat.

Last Guests of 2013

Our last guests of the 2013.  What a fun weekend and so much talent.

Ann's baby quilt with machine embroidered steampunk carousel figures.  Click on the photo to see the detail.

Cheryl, Deb and Mary shared their crazy quilt projects.  These are block exchange projects.  Wouldn't you like to be a member of this group!  
Laura finished her quilt top made with Tula Pink's latest fabric line.  Cute, cute, cute!
Childhood friends Pickles and Stubs reunite with dinner at TJ's.

Thank you ladies for making a great end to our first few months of business! 

We are closed until after the new year while we renovate the retreat kitchen. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

WQI Board Reunion - Common Threads - Nora goes to Mood

Some people come into your life and change it forever.  The ladies of Wisconsin Quilters Inc had such an impact on my life as a quilter.  I have never felt so warmly welcomed into a group. The programs they provided during the six years I was a member were fantastic.  I was able to broaden my knowledge and skills through the presentations and day long classes with national recognized teachers.

The friendships we made in this group will last a lifetime.

One of WQI's own, Nancy, is originally from the Menomonie area. When I told her I was considering opening a retreat in the addition to the old Creamery building she became my biggest supporter.  We invited Nancy's Common Threads Quilt Group to join us for the evening.  Nancy was a founding member of the group which formed in the early 80's when a friend lost a home to a fire.  They banded together to make a comfort quilt for the family.

Now the ladies of Common Threads meet monthly for a sewing day.  Whoever is hosting that day chooses a pattern or theme and guests work on a quilt top for the hostess.  Many of their quilts hold blocks made by the members of the group.  The Common Threads group brought quilts to display on the walls of the retreat for our open house on December 1st.  I enjoyed listening to them reminisce and remember working on each quilt.

During the visit Nora Rader gave a trunk show of the many garments she has created after a trip to New York's fashion district with her niece.  Nora described her trip to Mood, which took the greater part of a day to visit, as a jaw dropping experience. She now has "a guy" at Mood that she can call on for assistance.

Nora Rader is a certified Linda Lee garment instructor.  Nora will be teaching garment construction classes at the retreat starting in 2014.

Kathy finished the baseball quilt she has been working on for seven year old Hank Aaron.  He was thrilled to receive the gift the following week.

Nancy finished quilting this wall hanging for new baby Willow.  Many family friends participated in making this quilt top, sharing hopes, dreams and blessings on the newborn.

Cindy made samples for upcoming classes she is teaching (at Ardyth's Sew-n-Shopppe in Baraboo) and funny faces for the cameras.

Cathy's quilted wall hanging made with feedsack fabrics.

Kathy hides from the camera


and we laughed!

Thank you ladies for being such a special part of my life!