I look forward to this time of year. Not just because it’s the end of winter, but because it’s time for our guild’s annual quilter’s retreat.

For nine years, members, and some nonmembers, have been driving to a place called The Compass Centre in Mount Calm, which is 13 miles northeast of Waco. Usually the same ladies attend, with a sprinkling of members’ relatives and friends thrown in for a wonderful mix of personalities and talents.

So what is a retreat? It’s sort of a mini-vacation for quilters. We go on a retreat to either learn a new technique by a quilt expert, or to just work on our own projects without being interrupted by children, husbands or everyday demands encountered at home.

The retreat facility provides adequate space to work on projects, a place for “retreaters” to sleep, and in the case of the Compass Centre, provides scrumptious meals. The cost for attending a retreat is well worth the experience.

Our retreat will take place May 1-4. I’m going through my sewing room right now trying to decide which projects I’ll take.

One thing about the place we go to is that all the walls are lined with flannel covered foam board. When you have your blocks finished you can pin them up on the wall to make sure the quilt laid out the correct way.

Sewing the blocks together will ensure the top will turn out as anticipated. This amenity is loved by all who attend the retreat.

The Compass Centre also has the most wonderful quilt shop, filled with just about any fabric, pattern, book, notion or anything else you might need. In case I run out of projects to work on, I can always find an idea and the fabric to make it right there at the retreat.

The bedrooms at the Compass Centre consist of four twin beds per room, with space for 34 people.

Each room has a theme and the quilts on the beds follow it.

All the bedrooms are on one side of the hall, and all the bathrooms are opposite. So someone taking a shower at one in the morning will not disturb sleepers across the hall.

The routine at our retreat is quite flexible. Breakfast is whenever you want to make it. There’s a breakfast area stocked with anything you could want.

Some quilters are early morning people, some are day people, and some are night people. It’s not strange to wake up in the middle of the night to find three or four ladies working on their projects.

Lunch is served at noon, and supper from 5 to 6 p.m. Each meal is very delicious and is always followed up with dessert that makes you groan just to look at it. I always tell myself I’ll go back on my diet after the retreat.

One other thing I like about our retreat is that when I go to bed at night, the walls are covered with quilt tops, either completed or being assembled.

When I wake up in the morning there’s different tops on the walls. It’s always a surprise what goes on during the night when I’m sleeping.

If you’d like to know more about The Compass Centre, go to www.compasscentre.com. Now back to my project, packing!

Nancy C. Judd of Harker Heights is a member of the Crossroads to Texas Quilt Guild and a Herald correspondent.

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