Camp Burton Quilting Retreat on Vashon Island

The sign that greeted our arrival at CAMP BURTON
I had such a superlative retreat weekend that it's difficult to know where to begin the tale. It will take some sifting and sorting; organizing of thought and photos. I thought I would just share some photos at this point and go into more details in future posts.

This outing was organized by two forces to be reckoned with. Two delightful Barbaras. Barbara Gonce of Lopez Island and Barbara Snider of Friday Harbor and Seattle. There were 15 of us culled from the islands and the mainland - and two lovely women from out-of-state who arrived as guests of other participants. The location, Camp Burton on Vashon Island, has been around for a long time - I may be mistaken but I think it started in 1909- or was it 1921? Well, one way or the other it has been there for a long time! The newest area is the retreat center where we stayed. It's right on the water - sweeping views wherever you look. The sewing area was only steps away from the sleeping area  and the "food center" was a short walk away - also right on the water and new, new,new! Heavenly!
Partial group photo without me. We never seemed able to get the entire group to stand still at once! I think some of our members were out shopping at one of the world's largest quilt shops when this was taken. More on the shop in a later post.

Partial group photo with me
I'd never been to Vashon Island. We took he ferry from our island to the mainland and then went through Seattle to get on to the Fountleroy ferry  which, after a balmy 15 minute jaunt deposited us onto Vashon Island. It took us an astounding easy 1:40  to travel ferry dock (mainland) to ferry dock (Seatte). The quick 15 minute trip to Vashon compares to our 1+ hour trip to the mainland. My friend, tour guide and most excellent driver was Janet Wright. She's the one who keeps me in line, tells me what events I need to attend with her and, generally, organizes me into some semblance of 'normal'. How can you thank a friend that does all of that and still cares for you?! Thank you dear friend - for tackling the challenge that is me!

The photos from  -here on were, unfortunately not loaded in proper order - so captions may explain what you're looking at. As I mentioned, there will be future, more cohesive, posts about all of the good things we found on Vashon coming up. Vashon Island is really an arts friendly community - even the people who work in the stores dress artfully - I think our island has become rather homogenized in contrast. We've lost our funk and entered a rather bland phase here. although the exquisite, natural beauty that we enjoy is, perhaps, enough in some ways. It's a pity too. however, since our town used to have so much more 'flavor'. Vashon was somehow exhilarating  for me- all of the arts, crafts and generally "in tune" people we met were/was a delight.
This photo was taken form the car on our way back north yesterday. The Seattle skyline entering downtown was sparkling and I couldn't resist taking a photo of the con trail behind that building!
Another photo taken on the way home yesterday. The daffodil fields were just starting to paint the landscape brilliant yellow. Snow still lingers in the surrounding mountains and the swans were dancing in flight over the fields. It was breathtaking and exhilarating!

Janet at the wheel on the way South - the farm truck may have been filled with potatoes.

Sentinel trees and majestic mountains on a clear day.

The beach right at the Fountleroy ferry terminal. Not bad huh?
Here we go - ferry to Vashon Island. All aboard.
The smiling face on the left is Camp Director Kathleen. She has been with the organization since she was 10 (as a Camper) and has worked her way up to the Director position. She's capable, friendly, funny and makes your stay the best it can be. The lovely lady on the right is one of the best cooks (all healthy too) that I have ever run across. She wowed us all with the most amazing delightsThree times a day there was healthy, delicious food placed in front of us. Well I had to skip some meals because I just can't pack that much good food in every day !  We did manage to snag some of her recipes.... and we may share them. One for a uber great pilaf with rice and red quinoa, another for the best pancakes I have ever had - made from oatmeal and a sesame tahini dressing to die for! We all loved her fez!
The landscaping on this amazing acreage was so beautiful and we were lucky that everything was just blossoming. We saw Western Blue Jays (we don't have those on our island) and a variety of spring song birds. I had to sit on the deck in the sun a few times just to listen to them all sing!
I couldn't figure out what this round(upper left) thing on the top of a cupola was/is!

I fell in love with this elegant tree that greeted us on the walk to feast!

Enjoying the sun while I sat / stood on the deck.

Every little drop of water entranced me

and every little twig

and rocks shaped like hearts (hint- upper left)

The view from the deck - and from the windows of the sewing area. I think Kathleen said that waterway is called Quartermaster Harbor

This is the view from the windows in the feasting hall

Ah! The daffodil fields once more. This is one of the most entrancing little jaunts I have been able to enjoy in a long while. It was perfect from start to finish

My back has taken a hit from the trip and I am, at the moment, walking like a  feeble 90 year old. I hope that rest and heat will repair the damage of driving, walking more than I have been, sleeping on a mattress that was not too good and lugging more than superfluous amounts of supplies. A friend suggested getting an air mattress and I think I will do that for the future. I almost could not crawl out of bed yesterday - and it freaked me out a bit too! I am SO pleased to have been able to partake of this wonderful retreat with an eclectic group of gracious, talented women who inspired me and with whom I hope to enjoy this retreat next year too!        
More tales to follow. You might not want to miss the one about this most amazing quilting shop- Island Quilter. It had more than 7000 bolts of material and the ENTIRE line of Kaffe Fassett fabrics. The only thing that they don;t carry is reproduction fabrics and they are still a bit short on notions and threads. Otherwise, if you can;t find what you want here - it may not exist! They are working on a better website - so my link is their FB page. I have lots of photos of the place to share soon though.



  1. It sounds like a wonderful retreat but sorry about your back.

  2. So sorry about the back, Marie. I love Vashon and Island Quilter is fantastic! I was wondering today if the tulip/daffodil fields were blooming yet. I hope to get over to LaConner to see them. I look forward to the rest of your trip report. Have a great week and heal!

  3. Other than I am jealous all to heck of your wonderful retreat, what do you use for your photos? They look great with the treatment you are using.

  4. Other than I am jealous all to heck of your wonderful retreat, what do you use for your photos? They look great with the treatment you are using.


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