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The Featherweight Shop's Company Retreat
by Ashley Fritsche
Ashley, our Marketing Director, shares The Featherweight Shop Retreat Recap that took place at Pinelow Park near Loon Lake, Washington. We were all lucky enough to spend four beautiful days sewing and fellowshipping. Please join us in reminiscing about our time together.
Ashley and her kids, Nathan and Sayley
The Featherweight Shop's company retreat was one for the books. Time was spent with family, old friends, and new friends. All of this was made possible by the incredibly gracious Henry Family. For four beautiful days, our shop was able to rest, sew, and fellowship together, all while making memories that will last long past the time spent at Pinelow Camp at Loon Lake, Washington.
View of Loon Lake, WA
As all the families slowly began arriving on Thursday afternoon, the festivities started! The bags were placed in the rooms, and the Featherweights were all arranged in the sewing room. Looking over the glistening lake, we gathered for pizza and fellowship! The kids all ran around with glee, happy to be out of the car after a long drive, getting the pent-up energy out. The adults caught up on what projects we were all going to work on over the next few days. There was a special surprise for Burl and Rebekah's fourth wedding anniversary and Wendy Jo's first work anniversary! We celebrated with delicious cheesecake and chocolate cake. What a wonderful day to celebrate!
We are all quite happy Burl was able to make this trip, since he is recovering from a recent accident and able to celebrate his anniversary.
Rebekah, Wendy Jo, and Lou relaxing after arriving at Pinelow Park
Roses to celebrate Burl & Rebekah's 4th Anniversary
In the sewing room, April and Wendy have done a magnificent job of preparing goodie bags for all the ladies in the room. So much thought and effort went into picking out the items; these two ladies are quite remarkable. Before we all retired for the evening, a hilarious game of Pictionary ensued. Being broken up into two teams, the excitement over trying to guess the image being drawn gets the blood pumping! The bobbin case was the sure winner on guessing the item based on the picture depicted. Great job, Wes, who is Tammy's husband.
Carmon & April, busy as can be!
Wes, Tammy, & Wendy
The "Sewing Room"
Wes learning from Lou & Brooke
The winning team at Pictionary!
We were so close...
Would you have guessed a bobbin case?
The next morning, a group of us went to the neighboring town and visited the amusement park called Silverwood! What a hoot that trip was. I do have to say, pulling up to the parking lot, and seeing only a handful of cars, sure was a sight. Not knowing what to expect visiting a theme park during COVID times, we were pleasantly surprised with little to no wait times, fantastic service, and probably the best park experience to date! The first ride of the day was Timber Tremors, Nathan and Sayley's first "big" roller coaster. They were so excited to be riding with the big kids! After getting off of that ride, they were both white as sheets! It will be another few years before they are ready for the big coasters. As we all strolled through Silverwood, riding the rides, enjoying the day, and having lunch, it was a time to reflect and take in just how lucky we are to be surrounded by amazing, kind-hearted, and wholesome people. After our lunch break, we all decided to hop on the log ride (it was a water ride) as the day started getting a bit overcast. The line was short, so we all jumped into our own log. The first round we got partially wet, but had huge smiles coming off! What a blast. There was one other water ride that we "needed" to ride. As our group assembled, we took off on the tube water ride. This one, we were drenched from head to toe! Because we were already wet, we went for another round. It was so much fun!
Ready for the first ride of the day!
These ladies are too cute for words!
And they are off!
On the way back to Pinelow Park, Nathan, Sayley, and I took a little side trip to go "adventuring." We saw a sign pointing to Spirit Lake and decided to discover what this mysterious lake was all about. We were blown away by the beauty of this little hidden gem. The kids know whenever we go on road trips, there will always be adventures and discovering new places. This has been a long-standing tradition of ours and holds some of our most precious memories. This side trip has been no exception! As we continued our drive, we stopped for cheeseburgers, curly fries, and milkshakes! What a perfect way to complete a legendary day.
Nathan and Sayley at Spirit Lake
We all woke up the next morning, refreshed after getting a night of restful sleep! Saturday was the day to sew our little hearts out! We were pretty excited to get behind our Featherweights. Some of the ladies had stayed behind yesterday to work on their projects, and made so much progress! Lou has already completed one of her Jelly Roll Race quilts, and it looks amazing like always. She is one of the "go-to" ladies for all things quilting and Featherweight related. Her knowledge base is admirable, as well as her joyful attitude that always has everyone around her laughing. I was lucky enough to be partnered up with Wendy Jo at our table. We had such a special time talking about family, kids (you can read about her family -twin boys!- in her Shop Talk blog here) and sweet tooth. I was blown away by her talent, and her block she was working on. As the day continued, it was a blessing to walk around, see the fun projects that everyone was working on, and the beautiful Featherweights! The best part, by far, was looking at everyone's work stations. This was, quite literally, looking into each person's unique personality, laid out on the table. I couldn't be happier going around, peaking at each person's favorite notions and accessories, how they have everything organized, what they decided to bring, and what they "had" to have on this trip! Some chose to bring it all, and some brought only a handful of items. One thing was consistent across the board; we all had our Featherweights! Although they were in different colors.
Wendy Jo's beautiful block
Rebekah's purple Featherweight - what a fun color...
...and her fun quilt block!
April's Featherweight, and Sew Handy Stickers!
These were essentials for all of us...
Beautiful squares and darling colors
Washi tape, another must-have
I wonder what this will become when it is finished?!
You can't go to a retreat without sewing machine oil and Sew-Retro Grease!
Fun fabric and fun patterns
Wendy Jo brought her sweets along with her Pin Cushion. This was my favorite one by far!
As we took our breaks throughout the day, Tammy and I had our chit-chat, as Sayley and Scarlet played with all the fabric. As we sat with our cups of coffee looking out over the lake, the clouds rolled in and fog nestled into the mountains. We took time to get to know each other, outside of work, what we like, what we love, and tidbits of advice. Tammy imparted some, possibly unbeknownst to her, that may have been the best advice I have ever received. She was talking about her relationship with her husband, Wes, and how much she treasures him. How the joy she can have in what she is doing by herself, in whatever she finds happiness in, should be doubled when joining with Wes. The same goes for the joy that Wes brings to her life. This is such a pure and straightforward way but makes so much sense. I have since shared this tidbit, and appreciate it so much.
The clouds are rolling in...
Sayley and Scarlet
Little miss Scarlet is having so much fun with fabric.
Sayley decided to organize our collection on the table
This little team did quite the good job!
As we all continued to sew up in our beautiful sewing room, with the lake's views, the kids had a blast kayaking, biking, playing in the mud, and having the time of their lives. At one point, Ruthie jumped off the dock into the freezing cold water! Nathan and Sayley were running in and out, riding bikes and had mud splatters in all the right places. Games were played in the game room, and ice cream was eaten on the deck, whipped cream was sprayed on unsuspecting folk. Overall, this was a joyous time.
Time for those sweet memories to be made
Tammy hard at work, cutting her project
Rebekah and Joy visiting while Rebekah spins her yarn
Now this is how we came up with Shop Talk, our chatter around the sewing table!
Kids doing what kids do best....
All the families and friends gathered in the dining hall for dinner and chatter. As we relaxed and commemorated on our time spent so far, our bittersweet ending was soon to come, but not yet! More games were to be played. We gathered in the cabin for a round of Ultimate Spoons, that would be played to the bitter end. For those of you who are new to Ultimate Spoons, as I was, it is a very fast-paced game, where cards are placed in front of the players, and the spoons are hidden away – and raced to be found for each round! As each round eliminated a player, the excitement grew, as did the antics! Jamie put up a good fight for Ultimate Spoons Master but sadly did not win. She did eliminate quite a few of the kiddos.
The rest of the evening was spent recovering from Ultimate Spoons, sewing, and preparing for our departure in the morning. We slowly kept sewing, cutting, ironing and fellowshipping. This was a relaxed time, the quiet time when the kids are in bed, and all calm and peaceful. We give thanks and gratitude for the opportunity granted to us after a successful year so far and be able to work for such a kind, thoughtful and caring family. It is safe to say that the team at The Featherweight Shop is very grateful to be part of this company where they get to build these personal relationships that will last for many years to come and maybe even a lifetime.
Wes, Chris, and Carmon, relaxing after a full day of fun
Tammy and Scarlet
The perfect end to the perfect retreat
The next morning, our wistful goodbyes came over coffee and warm coffee cake. We reminisce over our time here and memories made—such a sweet time with beautiful people. We will be forever grateful for this retreat. Thank you, Henry Family, from the bottom of our hearts.