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Missouri Star Featherweight Maintenance Retreat Recap

Posted by April Henry on

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat
at the Missouri Star Quilt Company
June 20 - 22, 2016

We arrived in St. Joseph, Missouri on Sunday night and spent the evening with Dave and Sharon McCallum.  (Dave is the producer and author of the Featherweight Maintenance DVD and Book.)  We put retreat food preparations in the refrigerators at the hotel (Candlewood Suites was awesome for this!), ate pizza and discussed the schedule for the next couple of days.  It was fun to catch up, too!

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at Missouri Star Quilt Company

Hamilton, Missouri
Missouri Star Quilt Company

Monday morning we drove in to Hamilton and began setup for our first Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at Missouri Star Quilt Company. 

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at Missouri Star Quilt Company
Ruthie and April at the Check-In Desk

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at Missouri Star Quilt Company
Retreat Goody Bags and Name Tags!

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at Missouri Star Quilt Company

Special Gifts for the Retreat ~ Featherweight Mug, Pen, Fat Quarter and Mat

The Retreat Center staff was so welcoming and helpful.  There was quite a bit of sidewalk construction out front, but they were very accommodating in spite of the loud noise... uhm - can you say "jack hammers"?   So we used the back doors this year for entry.  (Good news on that front sidewalk construction, though - they are making the Retreat Center and other shops along that side of the street handicap accessible!) 

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at Missouri Star Quilt Company
Looking back across the street over at the Retreat Center.  Construction at the front door sidewalk!

Around lunch time the guests began arriving and getting checked in with a few setting up right away to sew for the afternoon.  Missouri Star's Retreat Center is pretty unique.  When they remodeled the building for guests, they kept the historic appeal.  It is truly a beautiful center!  While the rooms are "shared" and guests roomed with other guests, the facilities were very comfortable and hotel-like.  Many of us made friends for life; it's amazing that these Featherweights can even build lasting friendships!  We loved meeting and spending a little time with each person that came to the Retreat - truly, we felt honored and blessed to have such a fabulous group of ladies!

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at Missouri Star Quilt Company
Kathryn and Deb were set up to sew in minutes!

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at Missouri Star Quilt Company
Connie, Barbara and Laura, enjoying a little sew-time after fabric shopping.

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company
Retreat Center Staff with Kathryn, Deb and Mary Ellen

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company
Ronda and Rita receiving their goodies... Rita brought us some, too, from Schmetz!

Monday evening we had a catered meal followed by a trunk show with Jenny Doan.  However, before Jenny took center stage and while she was setting up, Carmon wanted to share a very special moment with the retreat guests -- an unveiling of our daughter's pink Featherweight.  Carmon retold the story to the group and Ruthie was completely surprised as he uncovered the pink Singer Featherweight 222K.  

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at Missouri Star Quilt Company

Carmon retelling the story of the promised pink Featherweight for Ruthie.
When asked later, she said she was awfully confused as to why Dad was telling that story and was very, very surprised.

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at Missouri Star Quilt Company
Ruthie was pretty overcome with wonder and emotion.

There were tears of joy all around!  She quickly named her machine "Elsie" (after the Elsie Dinsmore book series she has been reading for the last couple of years) and set her up to begin sewing the Farmer's Wife blocks that she had brought along to sew for the summer trip. 

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at Missouri Star Quilt Company

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at Missouri Star Quilt Company
A pearly-pink Featherweight!

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at Missouri Star Quilt Company
Ruthie sewing the first stitches on her pink Featherweight.
She had brought her 1930's Farmer's Wife blocks.

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company

A ferocious rain storm blew into town that first night!

Monday Night Trunk Show

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company
Jenny Doan beginning her hilarious tales and history for how MSQCo got started.

To say that Jenny's Trunk Show was fabulous, would be an understatement.  Her husband, Ron, came with her.  As Jenny taught us hints and tricks to cutting, designing and the ease of using precuts for her quilts, Ron would hold up the beautiful quilts she had made.  Many of us were snapping photos at light speed to keep up with all that she taught.  Truly amazing!  Afterwards, Jenny stayed until each and every person had their picture taken, mementos autographed and words of inspiration given.  It was definitely a highlight for our Featherweight Retreat.

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company
Jenny would layout a block piece by piece, explain how it was strategically cut then assembled with various ideas for design.  Her husband, Ron, would then reveal the finished quilt.  It was wonderful!

 Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company
This heirloom Dresden quilt was April's personal favorite.

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company

Carrie and Connie meeting Jenny Doan
(photo credit, Rita Farro)

Pat and Joy getting their Block Magazine autographed
(photo credit, Rita Farro)

Kathryn and Jenny
(photo credit, Rita Farro)

Tammy getting Jenny's autograph
(photo credit, Rita Farro)

Sisters, Ronda and Rita with Jenny Doan
(photo credit, Rita Farro - thanks, Rita, for these great photos!)

 

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company
Sharon and Dave McCallum with Jenny

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company
and the Henry Family with Jenny!

Tuesday ~ Workshop Day

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company
Ruthie getting the Workshop bins set up and Christian doing some last minute breakfast clean-up before we start the day.

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company
Workshop just about ready to begin...

Guests rolled up their sleeves, grabbed a snack and got to learning and working on their Featherweight machines.  Having a full day available where we could stop and explain some particular point of service or repair in great detail was very beneficial.

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company
Donna and Leslie cleaning gears and getting ready to oil and lubricate their Featherweights.

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company
The Tennessee Sisters, Lynn and Sue, learning about proper cleaning and lubrication.

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company
Carmon teaching Tammy and Diana about the gears under the machine.

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company
Barbara and Laura servicing their own Featherweights.

Christian taught the history, Carmon taught Featherweight Maintenance and Dave added his wonderful tips with a side of his dry wit - it was so great! 

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company
Christian teaching some historical aspects of the Featherweight and outlining some key changes over the years.... and having some fact-guessing-fun with the group!


(photo credit, Rita Farro)

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company
Dave assisting Lynn with her White Featherweight

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company
Carmon teaching about the tension assembly and how to adjust it properly.

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company
Janice and Brenda learning about bobbin tension and how it relates to the upper tension.

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company
Leah, Colleen, and Bobbie ~ they became such fast friends,
we thought they were related and came to the Retreat together!

Several situations were remedied, including a major one on a 222K.  Deborah's machine had a broken feed dog rocker arm and providentially Carmon had brought a demo 222K and was able to repair her machine extensively.  Definitely not something any of us expected or planned for, but was such a blessing that he had the right spare parts at just the right time at just the right location.  We are all still amazed at the timing for how that all came to be, and Deborah's machine was stitching beautifully by night's end.

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company
Dave and Deborah looking into her 222K to see what could be causing problems.
While the exact cause for the broken feed dog rocker arm is unknown, it is not something that spontaneously happens.  Some brute force of some kind was used in the machine's history to cause such severe damage.

April went over attachment identification and explained how some of the Singer Attachments worked and could be applied practically, even for today.  Don't forget about that Edge Stitcher or what April likes to call the "Rick Rack Attachment"... you can sew baby rick rack braid perfectly straight by inserting it into the little slot at the front of the foot.

Ruthie cleaning up one chosen case ... this is "before"...

... and after!  It turned out beautifully for Susan!
(photo credits, Rita Farro)

At the end of the day, participants were presented with our Certificate of Completion, featuring a Featherweight design and seal and signed by all three Featherweight Technicians ~ Carmon, Christian and Dave (Featherweight Technician Emeritus).  Each guest is now prepared to maintain and service their own machine... officially!

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company
Diana with her Featherweight Maintenance teachers, Christian, Carmon and Dave

Several ladies set up their machines for a late night of piecing and fellowship with Featherweight Friends.  It was so wonderful to be a part of the camaraderie and see what everyone was making and putting together... especially with the lovely fabrics they had purchased at Missouri Star the day before! 

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company
Before bed one of the nights, Joy and Pat wore their matching pyjamas and were posing for a few other guests to take this picture.  The print on their PJs was adorable!

Wednesday morning was relaxing and enjoyable in spite of having to pack everything up to go home.  At breakfast we all reminisced the time spent around our Featherweights, the things learned, took more pictures together and shared many, many hugs with fond exchanges.  We will never forget our first Singer Featherweight Maintenance Retreat at Missouri Star.  It could not have been any better!

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company
Lori, Sharon and Jill

 Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company
A fun display of Featherweights to look at and admire.

 Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at the Missouri Star Quilt Company
The Henry Family ~ Ruthie, April, Carmon and Christian

The dates for the 2017 Retreat will not be released until next year.  Be sure to sign up for our Newsletter and add our email address to your contact list so you can be one of the first to be notified of the dates.  Or stay tuned to our website and blog for the official release and details.  Early sign-ups or waiting lists will not be available until after the announcement in 2017.  

Singer Featherweight Maintenance Workshop Retreat at Missouri Star Quilt Company

* Some photos graciously provided by Sharon McCallum.

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