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Starting a quilt retreat

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julie.dodds@ht.msu.edu posted on Wed, Feb 27 2013 7:41 AM

Hi! 

I am remodeling an old church and parsonage into a quilt retreat in Northern Iowa. I am looking for advice. Any absolute "Do's" or "Don'ts"?  I want to make this as quilter friendly as possible!

Thanks in advance!

Julie

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Do try to have many twin beds rather than larger beds that people might have to "share."  Although sharing is a good option for many, sometimes people would rather have their own beds.

Do try to have LOTS of plugs and more than one electric circuit.  Check with your electrician or contractor about that one for suggestions.

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Julie, what a fabulous idea. I am so sadden when I see old churches torn now, because no one is interested in them any longer. Or, they have outlived their use. You go, girl.

One thing I can thing of. Put lots of electrical sockets IN THE FLOOR. Make your plan for the sewing area, measure for table locations, and put those outlets in the floor. So much safer then trying to move through a bunch of wires. And, be sure to have enough wattage in the entire place!!

Don't forget a big kitchen. Lots of bathrooms, too.

Sukochi

 

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gini replied on Wed, Feb 27 2013 9:03 AM

we go to a retreat in washington that has one room that will hold 6 quilters for sleeping.   it makes the stay very reasonable. 

enough room on the walls for design walls, enough room for quilters to get in and out of the sewing machine stations. mini frig and microwave, comfy chairs, 

gini in north idaho

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Thanks for the feed back. We have 14 twin beds planned. I will make sure the electrician does his a job! A quilt retreat without power will probably be a problem unless everyone wants to hand sew by candlelight!!!

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Agnes replied on Wed, Feb 27 2013 9:05 AM

#1 on my list would be stupendous lighting. I have tried to teach in a lovely area where no thought was given to lighting. All the positives are wiped out. Again a topic that the electrician should be able to help you with.

Agnes in NW Ontario

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Sherry replied on Wed, Feb 27 2013 9:44 AM

i go to a retreat in fulton,il at a quilt store. everyone chips in on meals (there is a kitchen in the store) so we double up meals (2 or 3 per meal) which makes less work for all involved. kitchen duties are shared (washing dishes,setting table, etc). i think 15 or 16 people are the max (used to do over 20 and it was loud and crowded). makes for a great pajama party for us "girls". good luck and keep us posted on when you are ready for business!

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Barbara replied on Wed, Feb 27 2013 10:29 AM

another thing that most people will not mention ,Is have enough toliets ,One is not very friendly .have two or three showers stalls .at least , and a table where folks can sit and eat, is nice .

Liberty,Missouri

EAT!! SLEEP !! QUILT!!

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Thea replied on Wed, Feb 27 2013 7:44 PM

Julie, I would love to have a room where you could sit while not sewing and just put your feet up and have a resting place.  that is the one thing I miss at our retreat that we do in DesMoines - there are just straight back chairs and I have to live on my pain killers that whole time I am there - 

2nd I would put love to see beds with quilts on them and would be glad to volunteer to help you with some donation quilts for your beds.  It just gives it that little bit of extra hominess.  I have been to several different quilt retreat places over the years and the ones that cater to quilters always have quilts on the beds - very nice and home...

A nice size kitchen where all can sit and eat the meal together and not have to do it in shifts.

A couple of cutting tables with mats - a station for ironing with several ironing boards - i would say one for every 5 people.  

A nice way to set up the sewing tables so that everyone is together but not overly crowded.  

I don't drink coffee at all but have a Keurig and brought it the last time we had the DesMoines retreat - it was nice to have that for hot water for my cocoa which is what i use it for but to have a place where everyone else could get coffee was nice too - those who drank coffee brought some different ones that they like - loved that...

A nice size refrigerator - or maybe 2 of these - we filled the one in Branson and actually needed more room so had coolers there for sodas - 

If you can find an ice machine that would be awesome too

 

 

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Thea replied on Wed, Feb 27 2013 7:45 PM

Ah thought of one other thing - a design wall - if you are remodeling you could do a couple walls as design walls - that would be so so sweet

 

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Wow! Everyone has been so helpful! Thanks for all the great advice. We are very fortunate that the church has a full kitchen and we will offer to cook for you if you desire. We have been finding some yummy recipes! We have a nice sitting room planned next to the sanctuary so you can just sit in a nice chair, relax and do hand work.

Any suggestions on types of mattresses? It is hard to find a bed that is comfy for everyone. Also, am wondering about the sewing chairs - has anyone tried the Berninas- or any other recommendations?

 

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Hello,

I think your church retreat is awesome.  I, however, feel I need to give my two cents because I haven't seen this idea brought up.  I stay away from retreats with dorm type sleeping arrangements.  I don't like to sleep with strangers even in a double bed room situation.  I have no problem with paying extra to have a room to myself and have done that or stayed at a close by motel.  I suppose I'm strange that way and some may think I'm selfish but I'm not.  Just a thought.  

Happy Quilting!

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Thea replied on Sun, Mar 10 2013 4:44 PM

Prairie Dog, I think I tend to agree with you on this because I get the least amount of sleep when we go to the Iowa retreat and have actually been thinking about getting a hotel for the next one if I am able to go - it is still up in the air right now - my health did not do well for the Branson retreat - I am very much paying for it -- and I roomed with hubby there... but I think for me I need someplace where I can sit in a lazy boy more then anything for part of the day.... a rest room - yep need one of those...teehee

 

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Joni replied on Sun, Mar 10 2013 5:47 PM

I'm in agreement against DORM style rooms.  I'm too used to sleeping alone in a nice big bed.  I like to read late and even watch TV before going to sleep.

I do howeve recommend that your hang overhead cord/sockets that quilters can plug into with the breaker outlets...that way no cords on floor and no outlets on floor to be spilled upon and shorted out.  JMHO.  They did the class room in our LQS and it is so nice, all the cords are up and out of the way.

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We have 7 bedrooms and 14 beds. Max is 3 in a room and the choir loft is a 3/4 bed - if you don't mind climbing the stairs!

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