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Thread: Organizing a Quilt Retreat...Need Ideas

  1. #1
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    I am organizing a retreat for my quilt guild. I would love some suggestions or ideas of what to do. Like prizes, games, gift bags, ect.

    What do people like to get a retreats that don't cost a lot of money?

    Thank you in advance for your suggesions and ideas.

    :)

  2. #2
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    Welcome to the board from Southern California!

    I'm sure that you will gets lots of suggestions from people on here

  3. #3
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    Thank you. I hope so.

    It's the first retreat I have every organized. I want it to be lots of fun for everyone. :)

  4. #4
    Super Member Deb watkins's Avatar
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    Those notions that we all need, the little ones, like needles, seam rippers, pins, I know they can add up quickly, but these are sure welcome! (JoAnn's discount coupons will help) Also, purchase the boxes of assorted teas, take a couple of each and tie them together with a mug rug. A 'Sams club' box of 24 (or so) of snack bars makes a quick snack when hunger strikes and we just don't want to stop for lunch....

  5. #5
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    I live in North Texas. Where are you going for your retreat?
    We made pin cushions with small canning jars. A ball of stuffing and a circle of fabric, glue fabric to bottom of disk and you have a pin cushion plus a
    Container. Play a game using fat quarters instead of coins, such as bunco or
    CLR. Eat, laugh, sew, eat, laugh, sew. Can't have a bad retreat with those
    Ingredients.

  6. #6
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    Maybe you could get a gift card from some of your local quilt shops - maybe they would even donate them as free advertising.

  7. #7
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    Maybe have a table where each person brings notions, fabric, fat quarters, etc that no longer fits their needs. Other people may be looking just for that item. If you put 1 FQ on table you are allowed to take 1 FQ etc. Have fun.

  8. #8
    Junior Member scrappycats's Avatar
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    How about those disposable cameras that people use at weddings? that would be awesome for everyone to take photos and then have a cd made of all of them. Possibly even add a little more $$ to the fee to pay for them.

    The big thing for me would to be sure each participant had plenty of space to work and that the food was separate from this work area. It makes me nervous to have people eating where I am working.

    Maybe a masseuse would be willing to come in and do mini massages in the neck and shoulder area. She could charge a nominal fee but would probably have plenty of takers. (Each participant would pay for their massage as an extra, not included in the retreat fee.)

  9. #9
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    We are a small group 7 or 8. We plan meals so no one person has to do all the cooking. Everyone brings snacks that they prefer and beverage that they like. It just makes it easier. Usually 2 work together for a dinner and one does all the quick lunches since we have a large breakfast and good dinner, we can't skip lunch because of our diabetic "sisters." Sometimes we plan to do a project as a group, sometimes just do our own thing. Fat quarters are a quick gift idea. Also small plastic containers or boxes that can be bought pretty cheap at discount stores. Hope this helps. HAVE FUN!

  10. #10
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    I am working on a project to list ideas for Quilting Retreats

    would be great to have a make it take it project for everyone to make

    1. pincushion idea for you

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNu40...1&feature=fvwp

  11. #11

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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!

  12. #12
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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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. ;)

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

  14. #14
    Senior Member qbquilts's Avatar
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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.

  15. #15
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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

  16. #16
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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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

  17. #17
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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.

  18. #18
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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.

  19. #19
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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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