Quilt Retreat Series Part 3: Planning Projects

Eeek!  I can't believe I get to take a week off and quilt until my heart's content in only a few days!  I am so excited.  This post in the series gets a little more specific and personal to my current retreat.  As always, each retreat and each quilter has their own opinions and needs.  If you want to start at the beginning of my series, you can find the Intro HERE.

I have know for a few weeks what projects I needed to get done at the retreat, but that isn't always the case.  Deciding what projects to bring to a retreat can be very stressful.  How much room do you have?  What if you forget something?

I always try to pack about 5 projects and then a spare fabric or two just in case.  The past retreats I attended I basically just put ideas into a tote and off I went.  I worked on whatever struck my fancy at the time.  I didn't have deadlines or commitments then.  This time around, I have at least FIVE commitments that need to be finished by the end of July.  Most of them are fairly simple and will be easy to complete once I get my ducks in a row.  My primary one is getting my late (SOOOOO sorry Karen) June Bee Block done.  And then getting the July one done as well.  Ooops, make that SIX projects because I think I am September and have to get my blog post ready for that.

Then I have two blog hops that I am participating in that I have written small patterns for.  They are both Christmas themed.  I'll try to remember to come back and link to those posts after they are done.

Then I have a new quilt pattern to test and post about.  Sorry, this one is secret.  :)

After picking out some fabrics for those and adding a few things to my shop hop list, (because of course we will hit many new quilt shops along the way) I added the old UFO, my Midnight Lemonade quilt and a stack of batiks that I was working on when my old machine went kaput.  Then I threw in a little box pattern with some fabrics and the materials (like zippers) needed to make a few of those.  I highly recommend having at least one quick finish project.  It will be satisfying to finish it in one go and it gives you the memory of the trip.  Plus, a lot of retreats have something like a show and tell at the end and even if you don't complete a full top, you will have something.

Now, I know a few quilters that don't like doing their cutting when they are at a retreat or even with others.  They feel that they need more focus when cutting.  I am not like that.  I don't mind cutting while chatting, so I don't do that ahead of time.  If you are one of those people that prefers to do all of your cutting ahead of time, don't forget to bring just a little extra fabric just in case.  Things can get lost when you are not in your own space and mistakes always happen when you have no way of correcting them.  

If you have room, pack more than you need.  And quite frequently I would say to expect to get caught up in that quilting whirlwind we are all familiar with and leave some room for new purchases.

I would also recommend bringing a notebook and pencil.  There is so much inspiration at a retreat that you might need to take pictures and make notes.  It is also handy to jot down new friends contact information.

I will be documenting my shop hop and retreat visit.  Mostly on Instagram.  But, I'll certainly do a roundup post after the retreat.

I would love to hear about your favorite things to encounter on a quilt retreat.  Let me know in the comments what gets you excited.

Happy Quilting!


  1. SO FUN! The closest I've come to a sewing retreat is just an all day class. So that is still on my bucket list! This may sound weird, but I probably come off a little anti-social at things like this because I can't sew and talk at the same time! Do you ever have that problem? If I talk too much, I make mistakes!

  2. I've only gone on one retreat and I way over packed projects. We ended up doing more quilt shop visiting than actual studio time. Plus we all worked on a small group project while we were there. I look forward to following your trip on Instagram!


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