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Thread: 1st retreat, exciting and so confused

  1. #26
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    If you are going together, is it possible to share some items? Maybe one take the iron and the other the pad?

  2. #27
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    I bought a double decker sewing machine carrier. It is the normal machine carrier with rollers on the bottom. Then there is a detachable matching bag that slides down over the carriers handle and sits on top of the rolling carrier bag. I use that bag to put all my sewing paraphernalia and project fabrics in. I also have the folding board of cutting one side and ironing on the other which has a carrying strap that happens to slide right over the double deckers handle so all can roll together when I'm transporting it. I purchased several years ago at Joann's during one of their online sales.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by pattypurple View Post
    I made this from a TV tray bought at a thrift shop. It works as an ironing station and also extra table space.
    http://www.american-quilting.com/blog/?p=1908 and it folds flat.
    This is the coolest thing ever! I am off to WM to get some tv trays! I'm sure Goodwill won't have any, and they're only 8 or 9 dollars @ wm. Thanks for a great idea!

  4. #29
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    Here is one more site with information and a list of "suggested" items to take to a retreat.

    http://sewcalgal.blogspot.com/2009/0...o-retreat.html

  5. #30
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    I bought a bag suitcase with wheels. It is about the size of a carry-on suitcase and I can get pretty much everything (except machine) I need and it is all together and easy to carry.

  6. #31
    Senior Member rush88888's Avatar
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    i would say that don't buy anything special for the retreat that you wouldn't use at home. it is just a waste of money. go to this retreat, then you can find out what you can't live without for either the next retreat or at home.

    i went on a retreat, and some people make "kits" for themselves ahead of time, thus the major cutting would be done. i wish i would have done this, because i spent alot of my time cutting rather than showing and telling about my FINISHED quilt tops. another thing...so many people laughed at all the stuffs we brought with us. i brought practically my entire collection of black and whites when i probably should have cut ahead of time. it would certainly have saved time at the retreat.

    also, 30 minutes away is a quilt store? 30 MINUTES??? what were they thinking? anyway, 30 minutes is close enough for a small excursion. i am sure someone would want to go. i always visit quilt stores if i am that close!

    above all, have a great time.

  7. #32
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    I covered a small board, a bit bigger than a fat quarter with insulated batting. I have the Rowenta travel iron, works great. When I pack the car, I lay my mat and ironing surface on the floor of the trunk and have not had a problem. Remember extra bobbins, needles and your cords and foot pedal. Cut what you can and bring a variety of projects. Sometimes its hard to know what you will be in the mood to do. I'd look in a thrift store for a large tote or suitcase. Oh and I always bring my own pillow Have fun!!!
    Blessed Be
    Darlene

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by zipit View Post
    Have fun on your retreat!

    I would be surprised if you'd need to take everything that you'll use with you. Most retreats offer (sometimes limited) cutting areas with boards and occasionally cutters, ironing surfaces and irons. If the facility doesn't offer them, do you know any of the attendees that are local that you could share with? I know that we all share as much as we can when
    we have people that travel a distance to attend.
    This is what I was going to say. Every retreat I have been to they provided an ironing station and sometimes a cutting station. We have also shared equipment like has already been suggested. One thing I do recommend you bring is an extra extension cord. You can never have too many of these.

  9. #34
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    Thanks for the input everyone. I have talked to some of the ladies. They did suggest that I bring most of what I thought I should. A travel iron and mat. Cutting mat and of course to make sure I dont forget the cords to my machine. Have just decided to make my own ironing mat. One of the ladies that is the group has the cutest pattern for an iron carrier than unfolds into a mat. So hoping DH takes my advice and gets the pattern for Xmas. Also need to purchase a travel iron. Also told DH about that one. So I think I am set. Going to do a trial packing of all the stuff needed after Xmas to see if all fits in the space I need it to.

  10. #35
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    I go to two retreats each year and have for about 12 years now. I tend to be the lightest packer of the group--A shopping bag or duffel for my clothes and toiletries, my handwork, and a quilt for show and tell. In another bag, I bring my project, two rulers (1x6 and 6x24), my pins, thread holder thingy, and whatever may be needed for the project. In my sewing machine case are pins, seam ripper, sewing machine necessaries (extra needles, screwdriver, cleaning the machine things). I think there was only one or two years where I needed something I hadn't brought.

  11. #36
    Senior Member MoMoSews's Avatar
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    Without reading all the previous posts, I'll mention what I take to my twice yearly retreats.

    I purchased an inexpensive wire shopping cart (the ones with 2 wheels). I can fit most all I need into it.
    Then I don't have to carry it all!

    I cut a plywood board the size of a wooden TV tray, cover it with batting and some old fabric, staple.
    Viola, ironing surface. Your retreat organizers should have full size ironing boards. Ours also provides full size cutting mats too.

    I always take my back support that slides over the back of a chair.
    I try to cut all the fabric I can for my projects ahead of time.

    Have a great time!
    Laughter is my medicine.

    Melanie in Moline

  12. #37
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    As someone who goes to maybe 6 or 8 quilting classes every year, and always has a bunch of stuff to lug and a supply list, different for each teacher, here is what I do:

    I take my "Gotta Have It Bag" with it's one big bag on wheels and smaller bag that fits over the extendable handle (which I got some time ago at Allbrands.com) and put in it:

    Big bag
    ----------
    Sewing machine - which one depends on what teacher specifies
    power cord for machine and extension cord
    Foot pedal
    Fold-down Ott light
    pack the biggest area of the biggest bag with batting and fabric

    Small iron, either Clover craft iron or Rowenta craft iron - include cord!

    Bag with essential sewing stuff including rotary cutter, extra blades, needles, pins, thimble, stiletto, measuring tape, metal measuring "square" for small measurements on seam allowances, bobbins, extra machine feet, a couple neutral spools of thread, scissors, snips, tweezers, etc.

    A June Tailor 23X16(?) inch cut and press board. This is excellent, does not warp, and I highly recommend it. I've worn out about 3 of them over the years. You cut on one side and press on the other.

    Rulers: 6"x24", 12.5" square, and any ruler teacher specifies. I usually put these behind the June Tailor cut and press, away from the machine, and have never had a problem.

    ____
    In a pocket on the front goes all the threads I may need in addition to the neutral thread.
    In other pockets on the big bag go other supplies the teacher may call for.

    In the smaller bag, pieces of cut fabric, whole yardage, and other supplies for the class projects.

    I also keep a well-equipped sewing kit in my vehicle and can get whatever I need. It also contains sewing machine oil, even though I oil machines before I pack them.

    If necessary, I take an extension table for the machine bed and that goes in the big bag or tied to the smaller bag, which is over the extendable handle.

    You might want a pad for under your machine, which also has pockets on the front for your supplies while you sew.

    I can wheel in everything I need in one trip. I pack the things I want to get at first on the top except for an extension cord, which goes on the top of the machine just in case.

    Enjoy your retreat! Take a pillow to sit on.
    Last edited by cricket_iscute; 12-16-2012 at 08:28 PM. Reason: spelling

  13. #38
    Senior Member Maire's Avatar
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    Even tho I have been going to retreats for years, and have even organized some, at my last retreat I forgot the most important thing-the power cord to my machine-and I wasn't the only one, luckily I had brought a machine for someone else coming the next day so I was able to use that & a friend coming the next day picked up the machine cord for me.
    Most important-all cords, foot pedal for machine; surge protector power cord & extension cord. Usually we share irons because with too many irons we have blown the fuses of the room more than once.
    And have fun, I love the retreats!!

  14. #39
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    When our guild has a retreat several people have the large mats. These are set up so all can use. you can have a small mat at your sewing area. Irons are also furnished. We have 3 ironing boards and irons set up in an area at the end of the room.
    In the case with my machine, I have small mat, cutter, rulers (for my project) pins, extra cutter blade, extra machine needles, bobbin or two. I can usually get the fabric and threads packed in around the machine. Oh yes, do not forget your machines power cord and foot control . Seems like every retreat someone forgets these.
    Have a rolling suitcase for clothes and put anything that doesn't fit in with the machine in the suitcase. We are very casual at our retreats, so its jeans and a tee or sweat shirt. Jammies usually appearing early in the morning in the sewing area. Most do not want to wake their room mates if they are still asleep. Hope that helps a bit and have fun at your retreat.

  15. #40
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    mdall, I loved reading the suggestions from all the QBers. They are all good! It is a matter of knowing what will be provided at the retreat (such as a cutting station, ironing station) and going from there. I have gone on two retreats, both wonderful. What helped was that I made "kits" ahead of time to keep the cutting to a minimum. They were of different sizes so that when found myself sleepy doing a big one, I would switch to another one and come back later to the first project. I concentrated on making quilt tops only. I worked on 5 "kits" the last time and I finished two of them while the other ones were ready to have blocks sewn together at home later. This is what worked for me, and you will find what works for you. You may want to bring a seat cushion along. I also brought my back pillow support that I could slide over the back of the chair...one of the best things I could have brought to the retreat!! Have a wonderful time, and be sure to get back to us and let us know how it went for you. We would love to hear from you!

  16. #41
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    I worried, and packed everything possible for my first retreat, got it all in my car and just had that "I'm forgetting something" feeling. Sat in the car in my driveway, tried to clear my mind and think of what i WAS FORGETTING! I went through every quilty thing, then it came to me! I had packed NO clothes for a four day retreat! Quess I was pretty excited!

  17. #42
    Senior Member Maire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karen G View Post
    I worried, and packed everything possible for my first retreat, got it all in my car and just had that "I'm forgetting something" feeling. Sat in the car in my driveway, tried to clear my mind and think of what i WAS FORGETTING! I went through every quilty thing, then it came to me! I had packed NO clothes for a four day retreat! Quess I was pretty excited!
    So funny, that is how excited I get!

  18. #43
    Super Member Debra Mc's Avatar
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    Check with the retreat people. The one I go to every year has cutting tables with mates. You bring your own cutter. They have ironing tables with irons too. We just have to keep filling with water for steam.
    Live everyday so that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says oh crap she's up.

  19. #44
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    1st. Make a list of all the tools you need to have to make what you are working on.
    2nd. See if you and friend could share iron/cutting mat/ironing board/etc.?
    3rd. Cut out at home the parts and label them/putting in baggies
    So you can concentrate and not make mistakes; take extra fabric just incase is needed.
    4th. Make sure your pattern is with the fabric/thread needed
    5th. Snacks/drinks/bedding/etc. if not furnished
    6th. Take some small projects along just in case you have time for something else.
    7th. Know what is availabe at the retreat so you don't have to carry duplicates!!
    8th. Go and enjoy the fellowship; I love going to retreats and have found I love them
    more if I have already cut what is needed, so I can just sew, sew, sew!!!
    9th. Don't forget the ripper!!! lol

  20. #45
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    I put my mat in the case with my machine. It stands up in the back of the case. The case is also big enough to hold my extension table if I take the legs off. I just pad it with some of the fabric I'm taking. Never had a problem with the mat warping. The rest of my stuff goes in a large tote bag, including my travel iron and folding ironing mat. Lots of times they have ironing stations and some places don't allow you to have your own iron so you might want to check on that. If you forget something, chances are you can borrow from another quilter or take a quick trip to the quilt store. Most of all, just enjoy the experience. Retreats are so much fun.

  21. #46
    Super Member Quilter7x's Avatar
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    I read every post, lots of great advice here. Having been on many retreats myself, I created a document in Word software of things to bring. If you're not as comfy creating a list on the computer, start a list in a notebook (you can use the notebook at retreat for people's names/addresses, recipe sharing, quilt pattern idea sharing, etc.)

    I bring my own chair to retreats. I'm used to sewing on a chair that has wheels, so I got a cheap small chair to take to retreats with me. Makes a big difference.

    Bring snacks/goodies to share with everyone. We usually have breakfast and dinner, and then "graze" at the goodie table for lunch.

    Bring your Ott light. Once the sun goes down, you can't be sure there will be enough light for you to sew with.

    Cutting your projects ahead of time is more helpful than you think. I tend to bring all my fabrics with me and cut there. The problem with that is that I am bringing so much extra fabric and it all has to be lugged back and forth.

    Get a large suitcase to put your sewing projects/tools in. This works great because you can put only what you need on your table at retreat and store the suitcase underneath. If you need something else you brought, just get it out of the suitcase. The biggest help with the suitcase is that it's on wheels.

    Check out the weather ahead of time so you can bring the right clothes. If you're going to sit near a window, you might want a sweater for after the sun goes down. Don't forget any medicines you take.

    Depending on where we go for retreat, if the sleeping rooms are going to be visible to everyone, we bring a quilt to put on the bed. Makes for great conversation and makes the bed look nicer as well.

    More than anything else, have a great time!

  22. #47
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    Loved the update about almost forgetting your clothes!!! Have great time and travel safe!

  23. #48
    Senior Member Gabrielle's Mimi's Avatar
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    A couple things I have learned the hard way: LABEL everything, especially cords and pedals. Bring an Ott light as lighting isn't always the best. Use a small notion called a wood iron (think glorified Popsicle stick) for pressing seams. Often there are real irons available to share. Bring a coffee mug for whatever you like to drink....those styrofoam cups are yucky! If you are bringing your own projects and not making a mystery quilt, precut all your fabrics. I always do this and then I can just sew and not waste time waiting to use a cutting area. Also, I find it prevents measuring and cutting mistakes that can easily be made when you are distracted talking with friends. Bring some non-messy snacks to share, and some baby wipes for quick clean ups. Lastly, don't forget to bring some oil and cotton swabs to take care of your machine when you are doing hours of sewing. Have fun!
    Create with joy in your heart!

  24. #49
    Senior Member raspberryparade09's Avatar
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    I use a laundry basket to carry my sewing stuff to retreats. I can stack many rulers in the back, and carry all sorts of notions that I might need, then layer my projects on top. This is easy to slip under my table, but easy to pull out to get whatever I need. I always try to cut my fabric before the retreat. I find it is difficult to concentrate in a room full of friends, so to avoid mistakes, I do all the major cutting before I leave.
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

  25. #50
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    One mistake I made going to one retreat was not bringing enough to keep me busy all weekend. Offered my services - no takers. Here is a real good idea I read somewhere. Give each lady an index card and have them write their name, emergency contact person and phone number, meds they are on, medical conditions, car info if everyone is driving there, anything else you feel important and have them put it upside down under their machine. No one will see it unless absolutely necessary but this info may be vital for first responders should there be an emergency. Except for your sewing buddy you are going with, you will probably be in a room full of virtual strangers. I live on an island in Alaska and we go to our retreat once per year on a guild member's husband's fishing boat around to the other side of the island to a fishing lodge. No opportunity to run to the local quilt store. And yes there have been forgotten feet, cords, etc. Last year she had DH send the machine foot out on the mail plane. I have a small traveling machine for retreat and classes. I don't take my computerized big girl machine on the fishing boat. I did find out that my traveling machine does not like the cone thread and holder. Messy tension problems on the back side. Tried all the suggestions from others: rethread, change needle, rewind bobbin, yadda, yadda. Finally switched back to spool on the pin and problem solved. We play games: put a charm square in the bucket if you say the forbidden word, quilter's bingo, etc. Drawing for the charm squares once per hour. Fun. I also suggested taking a shot of tequila every time you use your seam ripper. No takers on that one either. Cowards! You have a lot of good advice here. I felt the same way you did before my first retreat. You will have a great time. I'm sure of it. Let us know how it went. N

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