Friday, November 9, 2018

Immersion Retreat

Whew! It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks. With my mom riding shotgun, I headed to Texas for some spoiling of grandkids, shopping, antiquing, visiting family, International Quilt Market and finally, the Immersion Retreat.

Bonnie Christine, Skye McNeill and me at the Immersion Retreat. Photo by Callie Lynch.
What is the Immersion Retreat? Well, it was one of the most amazing experiences I've been honored to participate in. The Immersion Retreat evolved from the Surface Pattern Design Immersion class that I took this spring from instructor Bonnie Christine Forkner. Bonnie is a textile designer for Art Gallery Fabrics, Skillshare instructor extraordinaire, and such an inspiring and genuine person. I learned so much in the Immersion course about using Adobe Illustrator, the textile market, and the business of surface pattern design. It was such a great learning experience that no one wanted it to end. And then Bonnie came up with the awesome idea of holding a retreat so that her students of the class could meet, share, bond, and learn from each other. 

We gathered outside the Quilt Market hall for our first lunch together.
My retreat experience started on the first day of Quilt Market in Houston, where several of us met up with Bonnie for lunch, followed by a walk of the market floor. Somehow, though, we all kind of went our separate ways after lunch and never walked the market floor together. I think we all had appointments and other things that we had planned while at market. I was so busy I forgot to take any photos, except for this photo as we began to gather before lunch. I'll be sharing more of what I did at market in later posts.

As we arrived at the Immersion Retreat, we were greeted by warmly lit, rustic buildings and a cozy campfire.
The Pearl Barn at The Prairie At Round Top. Photo by Callie Lynch.

Table setting inside the Pearl Barn. Photo by Callie Lynch.
Another shot of the Pearl Barn. Photo by Callie Lynch.
On the second day of market, I traveled to The Prairie At Round Top where our Immersion Retreat was held. The Prairie is a beautifully rustic bed & breakfast. The historic homestead was originally renovated by the creator of shabby chic, Rachel Ashwell. The Pearl Barn, where we ate our meals, was decorated by the Junk Gypsies and featured on their TV show. The setting and d├ęcor was such a laid back relaxing atmosphere, and was a perfect reflection of our instructor Bonnie's style.

Bonnie held a 2 hour Q&A, sharing her knowledge with us.
Bonnie also shared her talents with us, painting linen goodie bags for each of us. Photo by Callie Lynch.
A moleskin notebook covered in one of Bonnie's fabrics was inside each goodie bag. Photo by Callie Lynch.
Bonnie is such a caring and giving soul, and she is willing to share so much of her knowledge and talents with everyone. I have learned so much from her.

Photo by Callie Lynch.
Although the location was amazing, it was the 36 creative women who gathered together for two days of sharing, supporting, creating and encouraging each other that made for such a tremendous experience. I truly feel like I made some life-long friends who will be there to support me as I pursue my creative dreams.

Flower sketch.
But alas, after an evening of drawing, it came to an end all too quickly and mom and I had to head back home to Kansas. I left with a renewed motivation and a ton of ideas that I want to tackle all at once (which means I'll probably be spinning my wheels for a few days until I settle in and start working down my checklist).