“The community spirit glowed at our retreat… The projects were beautiful and diverse,” said quilter Susan DeGroat of the East of the Cascades Quilters’ Guild, as she described their recent retreat at Lake Creek Lodge.

Cece Montgomery, who had attended seven such retreats while living in California, enlisted the help of DeGraot and Barbara Bowman to organize the May 14-16 retreat in Camp Sherman.

“The best part of the retreat for me was spending time with so many talented ladies, sewing, creating, and eating. It was truly wonderful to be able to get to know them in such a small and fun environment,” said Bowman, who moved to Sisters a year ago with her husband.

Bowman said she went to one meeting of the EOC quilters and “was hooked.” The ladies were extremely welcoming, and she felt, “I had found my place.”  

DeGroat, who has been an EOC member for about a year, enjoyed many facets of the retreat. When asked what she enjoyed most, she responded, “Developing friendships. Learning and being inspired by all the talented women. Three days of laughter, and long walks in nature! Sorry, but I can’t just pick one. It was delightful from the moment we arrived!”

Everyone worked on their own projects, from a wall hanging as a gift for a relative, to a quilt for the quilter’s own home, to a number of Challenge Quilts for the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in July.

“It was great to have feedback from all of my new friends,” said Bowman.

Montgomery was very pleased with the response to her retreat idea. “On the second day when I was asked when the next one would be, I knew that I had succeeded.”

“Sisters is such a quilting community with lots of classes and a wonderful shop, The Stitchin’ Post,” said Montgomery. “Having two retreats a year is just icing on the cake for us.”

Bowman added, “I’m looking forward to more quilting without all of our daily interruptions and, of course, just enjoying these wonderful amazing women!”

The attendees all had such fun that they brainstormed 31 suggestions for future retreats. The next one is scheduled for November 5-7 next fall at Lake Creek Lodge, and plans are for two retreats a year.