crushed walnuts and a retreat

Is it just me or is a trip to the mall a horrific experience for anyone else out there?  I. HATE. THE. MALL.  When my children were young and trips to the mall were mandatory, I reluctantly allowed myself to be dragged into that hellhole of commercialism.  Now that they are grown and my parental obligations have changed, I avoid the mall like the plague.  (It seems that every single time I venture out, I return with a stomach bug, a headache and/or a cold sore).  And while I vow never to get sucked back into that place, where else is one going to find a PetSmart for their crushed walnut shells?

I talked about the small pincushions that I was making for my guild members.  I finished the tops of all 22 and set out in search of the celebrated ground walnut shells which, when used as a filler, can actually sharpen pins and needles.  I’d spent a lot of time piecing the tops and making the backings out of good quality medium weight linen, so I wasn’t prepared to use some cheesy polyester fill for the finish.

I did find the walnuts.  There was one bag on the shelf.  One bag that weighed about 70 pounds, (I kid you not), one bag that cost more than a good king crab dinner.  We won’t discuss the long lines waiting to check out or the massive traffic jam on the highway.  I calmed myself by reflecting upon the upcoming retreat, reminding myself that all would be worth it in the end.

At home I had to ask the Go-To Guy to drag that damn bag indoors.  Not wanting to take a chance that Miss Tula would somehow upend it or spread it out for the cats, I had him leave it on the sunporch.  It took about an hour to figure out how to fashion a small inner bag of crashed walnut to fill the cushions without spilling any of the fine sand on the machine plate.  In the end, I came up with a nice result – pleasing to the eye and functional.

The question is – where will I find the time to finish the other 21 pincushions before Friday!

PART 2 – retreat

I was unable to complete the pincushions – no surprise there.  But I did make it to my retreat and boy howdy, was that ever fun!


Quilters were met by this tea and coffee station parked just outside of the sewing area.  The Interlaken Inn (Lakeville, Ct) knows how to throw a quilter’s weekend!




I’ve always known my guild sisters to be prolific, but I’d never had the opportunity to see them in action!  Honestly, I cannot begin to describe the productivity that occurred over our three day weekend.  I was continually astonished!  It seemed as if each quilter turned out several quilt tops!  (not to mention the assorted smaller projects – ornaments, placemats, pillow cases, etc)



Gigantic kudos to Kristin, who worked so long and hard to make ours the most memorable retreat.  Katy had a lovely way of expressing her gratitude …DSCN9095 DSCN9080DSCN9081

This was the prettiest bag of the ball!

About jody

mother of two amazing individuals, daughter, sister, artist, partner - devoted to knitting, quilting, gardening,writing,painting, reading, sewing, longing to live by the sea
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4 Responses to crushed walnuts and a retreat

  1. You are definitely NOT alone. Mall shopping (or even entering the mall to get to the movie theater or something) makes me break out in hives. Or want to cry. Or both.



  2. Colleen says:

    I agree with you regarding “the mall” ! if I have to go, I get there right when they are opening and leave as quick as I can. Too bad about the timeline on your pincushions – I haven’t lined mine at all and they are fine. The walnut shell bags are huge 😉 Glad to hear you retreat was a good experience.


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