Quilting retreat draws people from all over

Lisa Goudy
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Linda Whyte works on a posh poppy at the Creative Diva's retreat, put on by Quilter's Haven, at Wood Acres on March 8, 2014. Whyte came to the retreat from Calgary with her sister, who lives in Moose Jaw.

Diana Best is coming out of retirement of sewing.

“When I first retired, I didn’t want anything to do with quilting. I just needed that break, but now it’s been a few years and I’m finding I just love to design and I love to create,” she said. “It’s part of who I am. So it’s not something you can retire from because it’s just a part of your personality.”

Best was one of the instructors at the third annual Creative Diva’s retreat, put on by Quilter’s Haven this weekend at Wood Acres. It began on Friday and concludes on Sunday.  The event had several different classes, including quilting, twilling, rug hooking, posh poppies, a bag class and felting. Approximately 40 people attended.

On Saturday, Best taught a floor décor class. The mats can be made of any size, she said, and they are reversible and washable.

“You can make them as long or as wide as you want,” she said. “I just put the pattern out in the fall and this is my first class, the first one I’ve taught on this technique.”

Arlyce Thompson, Heather Carruthers and Adrienne Forsyth organized the event.

“We try to do a very broad spectrum of classes that are about fibre art one way or another,” said Forsyth. “We have a really fun time. We try to keep it light and happy and creative.”

She added all of the organizers really enjoy going to retreats.

“They just really offer people an opportunity to get away from their regular, every day thing and do things that they love to do or learn some techniques in an environment that’s conducive to creativity,” said Forsyth. “(There is) also the freedom just to hang out and do whatever with people who are like-minded.”

Forsyth said the intention was to “have an awfully lot of fun.”

She said people came from all over to the retreat, including people from Moose Jaw, Calgary, Mortlach, Sturgess, Morse and Winnipeg.

Before coming to the retreat, Linda Whyte had never done any quilt work. She came from Calgary.

“I’ve wanted to do it for years, but never been able to,” she said. “My sister lives here in Moose Jaw. So I came to visit her and we came to the retreat together.”

On Saturday, she made posh poppies.

“(I like) just the learning aspect of it and the friendship amongst different people that are doing the same thing,” said Whyte.

She also liked how the classes were small at the retreat.

“You get more one-on-one instead of having one to 15 or 20. I found here they teach one-on-one if there’s one student,” said Whyte. “In Calgary, they’ll cancel the class until they get, say, a minimum of four students before they teach the class.”

Arlen Natomagan came to the retreat from Napatak, located a few kilometers out of La Ronge.

“There’s great satisfaction in a finished product,” she said. “(I like) just to get out for company and fun and learning new things.”

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.


Geographic location: Calgary, Wood Acres, Moose Jaw Mortlach Winnipeg La Ronge

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