It was about three years ago that I discovered the facebook group, RV Quilters. It’s an awesome group, and it’s quickly grown to over 20,000 members. Can you believe that – 20,000 women that share the love of RVing and quilting – often at the same time!
We share information about how we set up our sewing space in the camper, where we store our “fabric stash”, and where the great Quilt Shops are as we travel the country!
Debbie, Kim and Juanita are admins of the facebook group, and they are also the organizational geniuses that put together the rally that I attended.
What a fun group of crazy women! Mike, the owner of the campground, said he wasn’t quite sure what he was getting himself into, with 40 women gathering for a rally!
This was the 3rd SEW2GETHER for RV Quilters, but the first one that I’ve attended. About 2/3 of this group had attended one of the previous events.
This SEW2GETHER was held at the Great Outdoors RV Resort in Franklin, NC. This is a beautiful location in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in northwest North Carolina, just a few miles north of Georgia and about an hour west of Ashville. We’ve stayed in this resort before, and we really like it – the facilities are beautiful and the owners are super friendly and responsive.
The rally kicked off on Sunday with check-in, where we received our “Goodie Totes” full of gifts – patterns, fabrics, kits, gadgets, and coupons for the local quilt shops. In the evening, we gathered again for the Welcome Party with a Hawaiian theme --
and enjoyed dessert provided by the campground.
We met several more couples during the welcome party, and many of the guys started planning their own activities for the week while their wives would be busy quilting.
The doors to the rally room opened at 8:30 am on Monday morning, and Tom came in from walking Casey to tell me that there was already a line of women waiting outside the door at 8:15! Yikes – these women are serious! I was still gathering my stuff! I told Tom to take my sewing machine over at 8:30 and grab spot at a table around the perimeter of the room. I tend to be focused on my work, and I didn’t want to be in the middle of the room.
By the time I showed up, the room was full!
Prior to the rally, several of us had shown an interest in making jelly roll rugs (a very popular item right now), so Monday was set aside as the day for anybody interested in making one to work together and offer encouragement and advice.
I was one of the ones on the Jelly Roll Rug bandwagon, so I got right to work on mine . . . after I spent 30 minutes figuring out how to install my new walking foot on my sewing machine!
Got all my supplies
My new gadget – the jelly roll jig – made quick work of creating the “tube” from my fabric and batting strips,
and I made great progress on my ball of fabric tube.
The next step slowed me down, though, and proved to be much more challenging than I thought it would be. There’s a multitude of advice on the internet for making these rugs, and the biggest challenge talked about is keeping them flat.
That proved to be an issue for me, and my final product did not turn out as I had hoped!
I took this picture after I had run the rug through my washing machine and stretched it out to flatten it as much as possible, and this was the best I could do.
I loved the color of the rug, and had invested too much into it to just throw it away, so I came up with an idea to salvage it.
I ended up cutting it in half and cutting out the part that would not lay down flat, and then I bound the raw edge and was able to use it as 2 rugs in my kitchen.
Not a bad plan B!
Meanwhile, down in the laundry room, the guys were having a “bucket light workshop”, and having a whole lot of fun on their own!
Most of the guys were making “RV Quilter” lights for their wives, but Tom said we didn’t have room to carry a bucket light, so I had him make one for Nicolas.
After that first day, I moved on to more successful projects – completing a couple quilt tops that I’ve had on my agenda for a while!
Starting with my wool applique barns that I’ve been working on for the last year,
and getting them into an accent quilt for the bed in the RV.
With that complete, I moved on to another quilt top – this one I didn’t quite finish because I decided to make it bigger and I didn’t have enough fabric!
Oh no, I guess I’ll have to go shopping!
I wasn’t the only busy quilter . . . there were lots of projects being completed that week!
One of the free kits in our goodie totes was for a gadget cushion – it holds your phone, and has tabs to hold pens, or scissors, and a cushion for needles and pins, too! Lots of the participants made them!
The rally room was set aside for sewing all week, from 9am to 9pm everyday, and many people took advantage of all that dedicated sewing time. Others went exploring, or shopping,
during the day, and in the evenings we could sew or hang out. One evening we got together for some games, and another night Polly & Mike hosted a campfire for the whole group, complete with fixins’ for s’mores!
Most of the attendees gathered for the fire, and we had a great time!
Informal groups would plan dinners together most of the days, and we went one afternoon for dinner at the Dillard House,
in the beautiful north Georgia mountains.
It’s a family-style restaurant, offering good country food (fried chicken and all the sides), similar to what you get at Frankenmuth and in Shipshewana. It was good, and we had a really nice time!
While I was busy sewing all week, Tom had some fun of his own. He hooked up with two other guys who were interested in outdoorsy stuff, and they did a little biking,
and a whole bunch of hiking!
They visited several waterfalls,
and even climbed a few mountains!
They found some truly amazing views!
They drove up to the observation tower at Wayah Bald,
and did a little hiking on the Appalachian Trail.
It was beautiful up there!
Tom has definitely been paying attention when we hike together, and he got some really good pictures – he even took some pictures of old buildings, which is usually just my thing!
He even found a barn with barn quilt squares on it, and took a picture!
I’m so impressed!
He had a good time biking and hiking with Dick and Dennis, and was glad they found so many cool places to go!
Throughout the week, Kim – the official RV Quilters photographer – had each of the couples pose for a photo in front of their RV with a quilt. I didn’t download all of them, but I did grab a few.
Sally & Dennis – our neighbors, and one of Tom’s hiking buddies
Kim & Dan – they’re from Ontario, and they have almost the same camper as Nicolas
Carol & Fred – they’re from Michigan and live just a few miles up the road from where we used to live! Even funnier, he’s retired from Ford, and worked in the same building as Tom and I!
Gayle, my tablemate – she and her husband were fulltimers, but now they have a home in a community in Tennessee where every house has an RV garage. Isn’t that an amazing quilt!?!
Donna and Paul – fellow mid-westerners from Wisconsin
Kim and Roy from Oklahoma – one of the organizers of the rally and the bucket light workshop leader – and their very well-behaved dogs
One of the highlights of our rally was supposed to be the “Airing of the Quilts” in downtown Franklin on Saturday, but the forecast was for heavy rain on Saturday, and by Wednesday we heard that the Chamber of Commerce had cancelled the event. We were all pretty bummed, especially since the forecast had been calling for rain all week and we hadn’t gotten any! (Just to be completely forthright – they ended up being right about Saturday; it poured all morning and most of the afternoon!)
Anyway, we decided to have our own “Airing of the Quilts” in the RV Resort on Thursday morning . . . and it was pretty darn impressive!!
I had to include a close-up of this one – she had such a cute display!
We walked all through the resort, and everybody had such beautiful displays of their quilts!
One little doggie wanted to get in on the show!
There are too many to show here individually, so I made a collage of the rest of them.
Mike and Polly even got into the act, with a quilt draped on the back of their cart as they drove around looking at all of the displays!
This was a really cool part of the rally, and I think they are going to incorporate it into all of them from now on! Kim & Roy drove around the park and made a video of all the sites, too – it’s on the RV Quilters facebook page and the Great Outdoors facebook page.
I do have to share the photos of my quilt display – I actually won a prize for having the most quilts on display (the benefit of being a fulltimer – I have all of mine with me all the time!).
I had 4 queen-size quilts on display, and numerous lap quilts and wall hangings, and I didn’t even bring everything out!
It was a lot of fun, and such a great way to showcase everyone’s talents and creativity!