I signed up today for my first quilting retreat. I am not sure what to expect but a weekend away sounds good to me. I could use some me time. Any suggestions, tips, etc. from the experienced retreaters??
Good time to ask. Several of us just got back from retreats. I know I will prepare differently next year. I was in a hurry to pack and just literally threw things in boxes, everything I thought I might want/need. Wayyyyyyyyyyyyy too much stuff. If they don't have something specific for you to work on, plan your projects and get as much cutting done as possible before you go. Be organized!!!. Most will also tell you not to take something too complicated, as you will be talking and laughing with the others, and might lose track of what you are supposed to do. Also if you bring too much stuff, it just gets in the way as space is limited. Next year at our retreat (5 nights), I plan to leave space to start a new project, as I was very inspired by others and wanted to try something different.
Patti: Next year at our retreat (5 nights), I plan to leave space to start a new project, as I was very inspired by others and wanted to try something different.
Patti, I couldn't agree more. I was so committedd to complete a huge quilt (the leaf blocks) that I didn't get a chance to do some other projects I would have loved to try. I will bring small projects, plan better and leave more time for something new and fun.
In the beautiful Pacific Northwest!
I totally agree with Patti and Judy. I did cut everything for 2 projects in advance and made sure that they were relatively simple projects that didn't take lots of concentration. I would definitely pack lighter and maybe only preplan a small project. There were so many new techniques that people brought that would have been fun to try.
Keep your expectations under control. You will NOT get 5 quilts made on a 3 day retreat...Really, you won't. Enjoy yourself and remember that the quilting is just an excuse to get away from your real life and take a breath. Balance your time with talking, eating, take a walk, etc. I agree that the more you can cut ahead of time, the more productive you will be/feel. I've only been on the retreats I have planned myself so I don't really know what other retreats do but I'm sure you will have a great time. That part is pretty much guaranteed.
it took me almost the whole retreat to get my blocks squared and half sewn together. We went sightseeing did lunch, slept in, took a road trip etc. talked, and talked, and talked it was huge fun.
Did you get a list from the retreat organizer on what to bring? If not, ask about bed linens, towels, and food. I think most retreats recommend bringing a multi-outlet extension cord, and I think a small bright lamp is a good idea as lighting in large rooms is not always the best. A seat cushion might make you more comfortable if provided seating is only a folding chair. In WA, we ended up using a roll of blue painters tape for many things. Ironing boards, irons, and cutting mats are usually provided. If you're not flying, I would recommend bringing your own rotary cutter because with so many people sharing one, the blade gets dull quickly. I like to bring a small fan for the sleeping quarters since I like it cool (and it blocks out noise).
The tips from the other gals on what projects to bring is right on!
Have fun! Let us know how it goes.
On the banks of the Mississippi River in north central Minnesota (Brainerd lakes area)
Do y'all mind if I eavesdrop?? I signed up for my first retreat too and I always appreciate words of wisdom from others. Seems like there were a LOT of quilts generated at the NW retreat. Do you bring fabric along just to try things that others are doing or is that what a field trip to a quilt shop is for?
Southwest of San Antonio
Most of the completed tops came with us. We had precut what we were going to work on. There were some things that came from LQS purchases.
and debbie, it isn't eavesdropping. this is an open forum for everyone to trade ideas, so jump right in whenever and where ever you want
gini in north idaho
A friend sugested I precut everything before the retreat and that worked out great, I could get right to sewing. I packed 1 project per day and 1 extra, Even if I didn't get them all finished it gave me a choice on which project to work on. I put each project in a baggie with thread, pattern etc.