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Thread: Organizing a Quilt Retreat...Need Ideas

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Ask the people attending to bring a small gift for each of the participants. Last time I went to a retreat, I made little bags from fat quarters for the attendees. I basted them so they could easily be taken apart and used later. It was something to put small 'stuff' in to carry around.

    We were from an internet group so we didn't really know each other. Of course we had a prize for the best name tag.
    It was one of my favorite weekends ever!

  2. #12
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
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    An ugly FQ collection - everyone brings ugly FQ's to put into a bag. For each FQ they bring, they get a ticket. If their ticket is drawn, they get the whole bag.

    A block exchange - specify size and color, pre-washed or not. Everyone brings a block and gets a ticket. This year would be a good one for a block exchange in Civil War repros (for the sesquicentennial) or red & white fabrics (in honor of the big red & white show in New York) and any time is a good time for Texas themed fabrics and blocks. ;)

  3. #13
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    Mar 2011
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    That's a great idea. You can never go wrong with notions. We all need them :)

  4. #14
    Senior Member qbquilts's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    We've played fabric bingo. You can either have the squares pre-made and ready to go, have them kitted up so participants can sew them, or send directions out for participants to make and bring the boards. The boards could then be used as blocks in charity quilts.

    I've also played left-right-center. You need special pair of dice (they say L, R, C on them instead of the #'s 1 - 6). Everyone starts out with 3 fat quarters. Roll the dice and do what they tell you: L = give one to the person on your left. R = give one to the person on the right. C = put one in the pot in the middle. Last person with any FQ wins the pot. This would be more a small group game (I think we had 9 - 12 ladies in the group).

    We also do a FQ swap. We've done it different ways
    - have one sitting at each plate setting at a meal (and then the leader made us rotate seats :-))
    - call names a few at a time to pick from the FQ's
    - give them away in packs to a few lucky people.

    We've done block raffles as well. Assign a block or theme for everyone to make. (like green pinwheels or any 1930's 12" block) You get 1 chance for each block you make. If there's more than enough for 1 quilt, divide the blocks into 2 or more sets. Raffle off each set.

    Free table - if you've got patterns, scraps, magazines, etc. you no longer need, deposit them there. Others are free to take as much or as little as they want from it.

    Don't forget the snack table. Ask everyone to bring their favorite snack (if homemade, bring some copies of the recipe!) You might want to have a large sealable container (like Rubbermaid storage boxes) to put the goodies in overnight - we have to at the camp I go to, b/c otherwise we might get mice :-(.

    Always have some sort of show 'n' tell.

    Make sure each participant has a name tag (or ask them to bring one).

    Rather than let each person have their own iron, set up ironing stations throughout the sewing area. Irons use a LOT of power and too many can zap the system.

    Make sure that if any electrical cords have to be where people walk (like an extension cord on the floor) that they are taped down to prevent tripping.

  5. #15
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    Jun 2011
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    Alberta, Canada
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    Looking for List of Fun Items for Retreat Bags

    Hi everyone, hope I am posting this correctly!

    I am trying to find a list of fun items to put into a goodie bag for our quilt retreat for the attendees.

    What I am looking for is a list that has a list of items and what they are for.

    For example, an Eraser - to help erase your mistakes, a stick of gum - to remind you to stick with it, etc.

    I saw a list at one time, but cannot find anything now when I need it!!

    Joanne

  6. #16
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
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    New England, USA
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    So far all good ideas!! Let me add a few

    One retreat I went to we all did a churn dash in Civil War reproductions - Had a drawing and one person went home with it.

    Another one we all brought something antique related to sewing. Some brought old quilts, old tools, all sorts of things were shown.

    Another one the ladies took a canning jar - made a pin cushion on top. We were required to "bring" our favorite hand needles, thread and a small notion. They took these and filled the jars with them adding some English paper piecing materials (papers and fabric)

    One other time we brought FQs and they were a raffle item. Once I got a coffee mug. Lots of fun things to do!! Just remember to have fun.

    Let us know what you do!!
    Betty

    A quilt will warm your body and comfort your soul.

    http://notesfrommoosehaven.blogspot.com

  7. #17
    Senior Member
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    Feb 2011
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    central indiana
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    I got to a great one each year.
    1. Quilt bingo. We use one card each and buttons to mark them. We all sit around a huge cutting table and pile the wrapped prized in the middle. We do the steal 3X and then the prize is kept. Everything qualifies as a prize including some pretty strange thrift store items and books like the Great American Sex Diet. We have a wonderful time. Creative packaging can make a roll of toilet paper look terrific.

    2. Secret Crafter. Bring 5 wrapped presents (whatever you can buy or make for $5 each) . One per day is put in a pile and numbered. You are assigned a number at the beginning of the retreat and at each eveing meal a present is handed out and opened one at a time. Always a secret giver. We tried assigning one person to another and it was not working. Again it is so much fun. I already have my presents ready and wrapped for next year.

    3. A few door prizes.

    4. Discount coupons for local stores.

    5. A simple crafty project that everyone can do or not do as they wish. This year our store owner helped us each make a simple penny candle mat. I brought kits for everyone to make a thread catcher. Total cost for me $2 plus scrap fabric and batting.

    6. Next year I have planned on brunch present for the table. One is a Fons and Porter pin container for each plate that I got for $1.25 each at the discount store. Another one will be a Valentine cookie cutter that was 90% off at The Christmas Tree Shop after Valentine Day. I need two more and I think I have them but cannot remember what they are. There is no requirement to do this but it is just something I thought up.

  8. #18
    Senior Member
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    Feb 2011
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    central indiana
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    Oh, after reading other replies:

    Bring a lunch bag and good tape to ensure everyone has a thread and scrap bag at their side. Saves a lot of stuff on the floor.

    Make sure there are big trash containers. For our 20 ladies we filled one with just trash. Tell everyone ahead of time that fabric scraps and selvages go in a different container. Someone will want them.

  9. #19
    Junior Member
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    Dec 2011
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    South East, PA
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    we usually include a few dollars in the retreat fee to cover the room rental (we stay 2 nights at the hotel) and "door prizes" as well as prizes for games. Our door prizes are usually the items already mentioned, needles, thread, etc. The game prizes could be a FQ, small sewing items, or even "white elephant" type items... candles bought but never used, shower stuff to pamper yourself. Most of our gals, come primarily to get projects finished, not for the games or prizes. We also do a "wine and cheese" party on Saturday night. It is our evening meal (filling appetizer type noshes) and then we play a game of LCR and watch a movie. Those who want to keep sewing, keep right on sewing.

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