Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A great time at the Craft Retreat! – Part 1

I cannot even begin to tell you what a great time I had at the Craft Retreat, or Quilters’ Gathering as some may call it, in Penang from the 20th to the 22nd of November, because it simply cannot be described in words the fun that we had, but tell you I must, for I want to share with you the excitement I had the last 3 days!

There were also some crisis and more excitement of a different nature that took place while we were in Penang, but read on to know more….

I took a flight on Thursday night as I don’t want to be late for the retreat in case the morning flight might get delayed, as the retreat starts at 9.00am.

My hubby and son sent me off at Subang airport where, after checking in, we had a quick dinner, before I was on my way to Penang by Fireflyz. It was delayed by 20 minutes and because of that, even before the passengers could sit down and put on their seat belts, the plane started to move into position to fly off.

I think it was kind of dangerous as some passengers were swaying back and forth due the weight of the luggage which they had not yet managed to keep in the overhead compartment or below their seats.

Anyway, the one hour flight was a smooth one except for the bumpy landing.

Initially Zarina was supposed to pick me up at the airport, but she called while I was doing my prayers at the airport to say that her son, Iman, suddenly had very high fever and was taking him to the hospital. They had only just flown home this morning from a trip to China where the flu H1N1 is considered to be quite serious and thus did not want to take any chances.

I was concerned too about Iman and told her to go ahead and do what any mother would do and that she need not have to worry about me. I will make my way to the hotel by taxi.

I got into the hotel room at close to 10.00 pm, and after refreshing myself, I made a call to my hubby and son before retiring for the night, anticipating the excitement for the next day.

I was up early, and after breakfast, made my way down to the first floor of the hotel to register for my first day at the retreat.

When I got there at 8.30 am, the foyer of the 1st floor hotel was already buzzing with activities.

I met up with Niza who was busy getting things in order. I also met up with Corine who welcomed me warmly and immediately made me feel at home and at ease around unfamiliar people. I am kind of a shy person, you know! LOL! *wink*

Upon registering, I was given a name tag and a small kit for a purse. Niza then brought me to the quilting class so that I can choose a seat which has been set up with a BERNINA sewing machine as my hubby was only bringing my JANOME when he drove down that morning.

I did not bring anything much with me that morning except for a pair of scissors, ruler, pencils, pens, a small notebook, a box of pins and a roller cutter. I even forgot to pack up the threads with me! LOL!

Most of my sewing things were brought by my hubby when he arrived sometime in the afternoon.

As class was only to start at 9.00am, I took the opportunity to take some photographs of the buzzing foyer,.

I also looked at the bags being displayed to make my choice for the bag making class later today or tomorrow.

The first order of the day was the Basic Machine Quilting class. The class was taught by Roselind who was specially flown in all the way from Kuching.

She not only taught us the basic quilting motifs, but also taught us about the different types of battings, needles and threads used in quilting.

Even though I had already taken the basic quilting class with Kelvin some 6 months ago, but, due to lack of practice, my curves look more like squares and my squares were going all over the place. My swirls? They look like as if they are swirling to the sky! LOL!

The morning class went well as I was still feeling very fresh and excited. I sat next to this lady, Haslina Haroon from USM, who happens to be a reader of my blog.

It is nice to meet up with readers of my blog as it gives a face to the anonymous readers, and they no longer become strangers.

Just as we broke off for lunch at 1.30pm, my hubby called to say that he has arrived in Penang and was looking for the hotel. Perfect timing!

I went over to a mamak restaurant behind the hotel with Niza, Leena, Azie and Roz to pack up lunch as we did not have that much time to sit down at the restaurant to eat as class was to begin again at 2.15pm.

I rushed back to the hotel to get my hubby and son settled into the hotel room before going back to class.

I did not have time to have lunch, and I think working on a hungry tummy showed in my work when my quilting just went haywire and I simply could not get any of the motifs to look anything like what it should be despite already knowing the basics.

I was glad when we broke for tea and I could get a bite to eat. My quilting did not improve much though after tea, as I think I was already tired after a whole morning of quilting.

My shoulders were starting to ache, and they did say that when doing quilting, you need to be relaxed and take lots of breaks to make your quilting look good. I think I have exceeded my quilting limit for the day! LOL!

When I got back into the hotel room at 5.30pm, my hubby was on the phone with our neighbour, Mr Lau. It seems that there was a big thunderstorm in Subang Jaya, and power was out in our house. Mr Lau had tried in vain for almost an hour already to try to get the power up again, but it kept tripping back.

He then called his trusted electrician to see if it can get fixed. But, despite all efforts, he finally had to give up when it was starting to get too dark to see anything.

My hubby and I sat down to discuss our options. One, was to try to get my father-in-law to come with his electrician to try to fix it as our neighour’s electrician already has another job the next morning outstation. Two, is to have to trouble our neighbour again to wait at the house while we get my hubby’s cousin’s regular electrician to come over (the cousin stays nearby) to try to fix it.

The 3rd option, and probably the most painful (I have to miss my much anticipated retreat, not to mention the amount of money already spent for the retreat and flight ticket, and Aiman and hubby do not get to go on a holiday planned weeks ahead), but the least inconvenient to other people as we need not have to depend on people to help us out, was for all of us to pack up and go home first thing tomorrow morning.

As much as I wanted to stay, as I have been looking forward to this retreat for the past one month, but I was also very worried about the house. I figured I wouldn’t be able to enjoy myself anyway if we had stayed on in Penang while the house is in darkness, not to mention that the food in the fridge would go bad and the fishes in the aquarium might die.

My biggest worry, however, is that it might invite temptations from `uninvited guest’, seeing that the house is dark and quite.

So, finally what did we decided on? Read Part 2 in the next posting…….

In the mean time, as we are no longer in the mood to go out and eat due to the crisis, my hubby went out to get dinner for him and Aiman while I had the Nasi Kandar I had bought earlier for lunch, and then we went to bed.

End of Day One


Barbara J said...

How interesting ... a retreat!!!

Your free motion quilting looks so much better than I could ever muster!

I am in suspense waiting for the sequel to RETREAT II :)

erin said...

Nik, I saw that they were selling some designer fabrics in your much they sell it per meter? Did you buy any fabrics?

Za said...

Hi BJ!

You think my FMQ is not bad? Gheez! Thanks! *blush*

Erin, most of the fabrics are sold between RM28.00 to RM38.00 per meter. Not bad, actually.

I bought 2 pieces of a meter each. Wanted to buy more but had to refrain myself. Spent a lot on the bag kits already. *grin*

Haslina said...

Hello there!

Yes, I am back here reading your blog. I love your updates. I didn't know about the electricity incident because you looked so, so cool. Have you been practising your quilting? Anyway, so good to have met you in Penang. Take care, ya!

tiger said...