My word for 2020 is Connect. The goal at the beginning of the year was to make as many new connections as I could and to strengthen my existing connections with friends and family. I also set a goal to connect as it relates to quilting. I was determined to complete as many projects as I could by “connecting” pieces of fabric. When I picked the word this year I had no idea the difficulty we would all be facing with COVID.
It turns out that I find it much easier to connect pieces of fabric than it is to connect with other people. I’ve made a lot of progress on my quilting projects, completing many UFOs and starting many new projects. I’ve figured out that I have a lot more fabric than I thought I did. For the first few months of the pandemic, I spent a lot of time in my sewing room. I avoided leaving the house, was able to get groceries delivered via Instacart and did a lot of cooking. Quilting became an escape for me, and I am so grateful to have had that escape.
Connecting with people this year is another story, though. I had not foreseen how challenging that would actually be this year. I’ve had to get creative when it comes to connecting with friends and family. Through Zoom meetings, group texts, FaceTime, and email I have been able to stay connected with friends, family, and fellow quilters. My weekly Zoom meeting with one of my quilt guilds has been a lifeline for me. It’s been a wonderful way to stay connected and to see what the other ladies have been up to. I love being able to see them and talk to them and seeing all of their projects continues to inspire me.
Another way I planned to stay connected this year was through the many quilt retreats at Koosa Mountain Lodge that were scheduled. Unfortunately, all but a few of these have been canceled and rescheduled for 2021. I was able to host two retreats this summer, and it was a wonderful way to connect with fellow quilters. Carol Stanek, of www.colorwiththread.com hosted a retreat where attendees worked on Judy Neimieyer projects. The quilts at that retreat were amazing! I even improved my paper piecing technique.
Koosa Mountain Lodge was also able to host a birthday retreat for a special quilter. Sandy and her friends enjoyed a weekend of quilting, relaxing and celebrating. The guests took field trips (wearing masks of course) to the Common Thread, Quilt’n Kaboodle, the North Georgia Zoo, and Tantrum Brewing. One of my favorite parts of the retreat was sitting by the fire at Koosa Mountain Lodge and roasting marshmallows and eating s’mores, laughing with my fellow quilters.
I also wanted everyone to know if they are looking for ways to connect and want to book a retreat at Koosa Mountain Lodge, we are providing 100% refunds if you need to cancel or move a reservation because of COVID. Not all retreat venues are doing that but I want you all to know that we understand the risks associated with COVID and will work with you to find a time to visit when you feel it is safe to do so for your group.
The importance of having meaningful connections has been reinforced many times this year. Limited in person social interaction has made me realize just how valuable my connections with friends and family are. As the need for limited social interaction continues, it is my wish for all of you that you remain connected to those that are important to you, to the ones who lift you up and inspire you. Please stay safe, healthy, and connected—with your quilting and your family and friends!