Monday, May 22, 2017

Quilt Retreat Series Part 1: What kind of retreat is best for me?

Over the next several weeks, I will be exploring many aspects of attending a Quilt Retreat (or any crafty retreat really).
You can start at the beginning of the series here at the Intro.

This week I wanted to cover the different kinds of retreats I have heard about or come across in my research to find the perfect retreat for me.

1. The Friend's house
        Probably the least amount of prep and possibly one of the most fun retreats.  Is a couple of local friends crowding into one of their studios, living rooms, or basements to sew for the day.  I think this is considered a retreat even if it is just for the day, because it gives you an excuse to ignore all your other responsibilities.  The dishes, the kids, the latest episode of Game of Thrones. You get to visit and have fun together and accomplish some sewing too.  My experience with these retreats always involved specialty coffees and some fast food lunch.  Such a good time!

2. The Guild Retreat
          I have never been on a guild retreat before.  I was only a member of a guild for a short time before I moved and haven't joined another.  This seems to be the most common type of retreat.  And I can completely understand why.  It gives the group a chance to pool their resources and spend a few days together in a different location.  Maybe a beach house, or a lodge in the country, or even just a hotel meeting room a few towns away.  Chances are, you know quite a few people in the guild and don't mind rooming with them or chatting the night away.

3. The Shop Retreat
          There are quite a few quilt shops that sponsor their own retreats, either in a venue at their shop or somewhere nearby.  The majority of retreats I have attended would be of this variety.  They can range anywhere from a few people to 75 or so.  My personal favorite is about 30 people.  Plenty of new friends, yet not overwhelming.  I have not been to one of these alone though, I usually have one or two people travelling with me.  These are fun because you will often get a decent discount at the shop.  *woot!*

4.  Small but adventurous
          I don't know if this should be a category of its own, but it didn't fit anywhere else.  I am not sure how common they are, but it was the first kind of retreat I went to.  The particular retreat I went to was a cabin in the woods near Glacier National Park.  It was a cluster of cabins that was usually used for tourists, but would occasionally rent to groups of 4-8 people.  There were 4 of us and 2 others, plus the owner and daughter joined us.  It was interesting.  It was a small setting, but only having a couple of people that were not with our group made for a little bit of awkwardness.  A good positive though was being able to take a stroll through the beautiful woods surrounding the cabin.

Another way to separate the different styles of retreats when making your choice is by location.  How far do you want to travel is a question to ask yourself here.

 1.  Hotel
          A lot of retreats are held at hotels in one city or another.  Some people travel to these because of the hosts or classes.  Others attend because they are local.  At these, there is usually the option of having your own room.  However, many hotels have "quiet hours" and quilting late at night or early in the morning would not be possible.

2.  Cabin/Beach House/Lodge
          These venues are chosen because of the atmosphere.  They are frequently surrounded by beautiful views and a bit of privacy.  Some have single rooms, others are dorm style or shared rooms.  Most often it is the entire building that is rented and most that I have seen advertise that you can quilt the entire night through if you so desire.

3. Cruise ship
          I have not been on a quilting cruise, but I know they are a thing.  The ones I have seen have classes/teachers as well as docking ports to shop and take a break.  I honestly don't know much more about them.  It sounds interesting though.

Finally, you need to ask yourself about amenities of the retreat.  Each one will be completely different from the next and this is a good time to explore different things, you may find you enjoy something new.

1. Kits and Classes
          Some retreats will be very structured and have specific projects to work on or a full line-up of classes to take.  If you are looking to increase your skill set or learn from the pros, this would be a good choice.

2. Meals and Snacks
          I have not yet been to a retreat where I was responsible for my own meals.  Of the two I have been to, one was home-made simple meals and the other was a catered buffet style.  The upcoming retreat we will be responsible for feeding ourselves, but the lodge has 2 kitchens for us to use.  Not all places will have that and you may need to plan on eating out.  Things to think about are:  coffee, snacks, is alcohol allowed, nearby grocery stores.  Many times, quilters will share the meal responsibilities and each handle a meal during their stay.  This include clean-up too.  If you don't want to have to think about any of that, make sure the meals are included with your stay.

3.  Privacy
          This one is completely personal preference, but a very important thing to consider when booking a retreat.  How much privacy do you feel comfortable with?  Do you need your own sleeping quarters?  Do you mind sharing with one or two others?  How about 20 in dorm style rooms?  Then you have to consider bathrooms as well.  You cannot assume that everyone will have their own bathroom unless you are staying in a hotel.

Well, there are a few things to think about when booking your quilt retreat.  Sorry for the long post with no photos.  :)
Do you have anything to add?

Monday, May 15, 2017

Going to a Quilt Retreat Series

I'm going to a Quilt Retreat!  Yeahoo!  *Happy Dance*

I have booked a retreat this summer at Over The Rainbow in Seattle, Washington with my aunt.  She will be flying in and we are going to shop hop on the drive all the way up there, taking our time and enjoying the drive.

I cannot tell you how excited I am to finally find a retreat that is 1. Not during the school year and 2. Not for guilds only AND 3. Not too far away.

As I prepare for this new retreat adventure, I find myself researching experiences that others have had.  I want to know what to bring and see if another quilter has suggestions that I haven't thought of. Then it came to me, I am a blogger now.  :)  haha  I can write about this adventure for others to read and possibly learn something or at least get a little entertainment out of it.

So, I present to you the Going to a Quilt Retreat series.

The posts may change a bit, but here are the ones I have planned:

  1. What quilt retreat is right for me? 
  2. What to pack for a quilt retreat.
  3. Snacks to bring to a quilt retreat (because we all know that snacks are ever so important to quilting! )
  4. Choosing projects for a quilt retreat
  5. Shop hopping
  6. Over the Rainbow retreat - my own adventure
  7. Best retreat tips poll
If you have any suggestions about things I should cover in this series, please let me know.  

Send me your tips!
I am looking for your best quilt retreat tip.  I will compile them at the end and do a post with everyone's best advice for retreating.
Email me your tips at adreamandastitch(at)gmail(dot)com

Monday, May 1, 2017

Conquering that list of Goals

I woke up this morning with renewed energy to complete my list of quilting goals.  Now if only that motivation will last through my workday and still be there when I get home...

How many of you quilters deal with this?  When do you find time to quilt if you are just beat at the end of the day?

That being said.  I am so very close to being caught up with my projects that I have deadlines for.
Here is my checklist to finish in the next week (and a half):

  • Binding for Wedding Quilt (that should have been done months ago) - the wedding is at the end of May, so I think this meets the deadline as long as I get it in the mail by next week.  The quilt is quilted and the binding is ready to go.  I think I will be machine binding this one just because I haven't done it in awhile and I am in a bit of a time crunch.
Wedding Signature Quilt pre-quilting.  The little heart at the bottom in one that my grandma made before she passed.  This quilt is for a cousin.  

  • Catch up on my Freefall quilt.  I have been trying so hard to balance my quilting between the things I need to do and the things I want to do.  But ultimately the Need wins and I didn't have as much time to work on this last week as I had planned.  I did get started though and have all my little HSTs ready for trimming.

  • I have my Bee block for May to make and get in the mail.  That shouldn't take up too  much time, it looks like an easy, quick block.
  • I have a bridal shower to attend next weekend and have finally decided that I am going to make a simple table runner for the couple. 
Then after that:
  • I have not one, but TWO hops with block design and tutorial coming up that are Christmas themed.  
Lots of sewing to do, but it will be fun if I have the energy.  Did I mention I also was talked into signing up for a 5k at the beginning of June?  I would say that I am not a "runner".  So although a 5k is easy peasy for most, I have to train for it.  So, running is on the schedule too. 

To sign off, I will share some photos of a day trip that my sister and I took last weekend to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm Festival.  It was a fabulous day and we were so lucky that the rain held off while we were there.  It was a muddy mess, but we had a great time.  

Linking up with:
Needle and Thread Thursday with My Quilt Infatuation