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Thread: What is the primary purpose of a sewing retreat?

  1. #26
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    Shucks...I have not had the opportunity to attend a retreat yet but they sound like a lot of fun. I enjoy meeting new people and I often learn something new from other quilters...and I love what Peckish said about "recharging your batteries." I can't wait to see if there's one in my area.
    attitude is everything...the rest will fall into place.

  2. #27
    Senior Member lfletcher's Avatar
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    The main purpose is to have fun! Also, I get a lot more sewing done as there are no interruptions from family, no meals to fix, no laundry needing done, no TV, etc. Just sewing. Any problems or design indecisions are usually quickly solved by the group. I pack a lot less than I did at the beginning and now am able to just bring what I actually will use for the projects. I usually take 2 or 3 projects, but don't get them all done. Most people I know love retreats, but I do have a few friends who prefer to only sew at home, so you will need to make that decision yourself.

  3. #28
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    I go to meet new friends and get away from home for a few days since my DH hates to leave home. We almost never go away - even for one night. I have double supplies in a case that I take to guild or classes. I pre-cut all the projects, so all I have to do is sew. I sew when I want, I nap when I want, I go for a walk when I want, etc. I can be home in an hour if need be.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriciaPf View Post
    Other than socializing, why would you pack up half your sewing room, spend extra money, and go somewhere else?
    To me this is like asking why go on vacation! Why would you pack up half your clothes and all your toiletries and then spend extra money to go sleep in some other town?


    For the fun of it, for the adventure, so you can see and do new things and meet new people!


    I've never actually gone on a retreat, but I'd like to. I seem to find out about them too late, or it's one that's too far away or not suitable to me for some reason or another. (I AM rather picky, too.) But I tend to turn my vacations into sewing retreats anyway - if it's a road trip I can pretty much guarantee a sewing machine is included in my luggage!

  5. #30
    Super Member EmiliasNana's Avatar
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    There are two quilt shops within two hours that both have retreat centers at $45/night. Accommodations are 3-4/room with linens supplied, large sewing areas with irons, cutting tables and plenty of design boards. You can shop anytime during regular store hours too. They are open 365 days/year so you can go when you want, with whomever you want and work on whatever you want (scrapbooking, knitting, embroidery, as well as quilting etc.). There are many restaurants who will deliver food, or you can bring your own as they have crockpots, panini presses, toaster over, electric skillets, microwave etc. just not a stove, but a grill outside. We usually bring about half our meals and call out for the rest, but minimal cooking. The one I go to monthly (only 35 min. away) has an annual pass, so for $450/yr. I can go as many days throughout the year as I want (You just can't live there, so no more than 6 days in a row! LOL) I usually go 4-5 nights a month and meet friends who live 2 hrs. away, but I have gone by myself. No, they don't place strangers together, even if you go by yourself! My DH is supportive and even buys me the pass for Christmas each year, as I come back refreshed.

  6. #31
    Super Member caspharm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanoePam View Post
    I like being around other people who like the same things I do. My DH enjoys the results of my quilting, but he can't relate to the challenges or the fun of the creation. I also find the focused time is very beneficial. I know there is nothing else I need to do but sew, take breaks when I want to, eat someone else's good cooking, and sleep when I want. It is quite liberating. I am not a person who can have just one project though. If I concentrate too long and hard on one thing, I end up making mistakes! I bring one big project and two or three little ones. The small ones are frequently small gifts or charity projects. I also bring my Kindle and read some to take breaks.

    The only real problem I have is ergonomic. I have discovered I need to bring my Gidgit table and my own chair. The folding tables and chairs supplied by my American Sewing Guild organizers just kill my back after a bit.

    Pam
    I agree. It is fun and you can learn some new things or just do your own thing. I also bring my own chair for my back, since I had sciatica. I am also considering buying one of those portable sewing tables. I agree some tables do bounce.
    Last edited by caspharm; 01-11-2017 at 11:37 AM.

  7. #32
    mac
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    I think Peckish said it best. I would like to put a big underline under Laughing and No Dishes. Our retreats have about 20-35 ladies at them and we all are quite familiar with each other. You learn all kinds of things (sewing and non-sewing) and the days go by way too fast and the days between the next quilting retreat are just too long.

  8. #33
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    It is more than just that meeting new people, sharing, and learning new tips to make your sewing world better. My mother and I go two times a year and this is our time together and I enjoy seeing the ladies/men and each time a go I learn something new, and plus all those people in one place they will have patterns to share. I learn about other adventures, give it a try and don't take so much stuff why not take about 3-4 ufo's to work on. Why would you not what to spend money on yourself are you not important to you. Hope this helps in making a decision.
    Vontina Collick

    "If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward" -Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.

  9. #34
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    I sew better with my friends. I get input, instant help, and I help others. I don't have to quit to start dinner, wash clothes or answer the phone. I can wear sweats all day, laugh, and cry and I'm in good company. Love my retreats.

  10. #35
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    Why does anyone go anywhere? A retreat is a vacation. I don't sit on a beach, but for others it's the thing to 'vacate' their minds from their jobs, household responsibilities, etc.

  11. #36
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    My DIL and I go twice a year and have for 5 or 6 years on a quilt retreat on beautiful Lake Superior. I have met some life time friends and have gained much knowledge from these wonderful quilters not to mention the fun and laughs we have along the way. I get a private room and consider it money well spent. Won't stop until I can am no longer able. There are a couple ladies in their 80s who still come and have great senses of humor. We all love them. There are about 40 of us and we have become friends who look forward to seeing each other twice a year.
    In my dream world, fabric is free and sewing makes you thin.

    Sharon

  12. #37
    Senior Member Maire's Avatar
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    I love the retreats, so much friendship & laughter, I don't think that be measured. Plus new ideas, inspiration, at the ones I attend we each do our own projects but seeing what others are doing, equipment they use is great, always learn something new, what sewing products are good & which are bad, projects I would like to try & which ones not. Someone is always happy to teach a technique if interest is shown in her project.
    I have gained so much with the friendships & the knowledge.

  13. #38
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    I go every year with me quilt group. I go to spend quality time with our ladies. You get to know each other better and become a family. Also it's a get away from the daily grind and refreshes my soul. I love going to Traverse City for the restaurants, quilt shops and beautiful sites on Lake Michigan.

  14. #39
    Senior Member carrot's Avatar
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    Laughter-laughter and more laughter !!! And wine.............
    A good friend is like a warm quilt wrapped
    around the heart

    Karen

  15. #40
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    Everyone should try it once, don't go again if you don't enjoy it, but I expect you will find it a great experience.

  16. #41
    Senior Member kat13's Avatar
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    I've never been to one because they are to far away, my sewing room is my retreat, this board is my chocolate!

  17. #42
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    I've only gone to two retreats and doubt I will go again. I'm quiet and need time away from folks. My husband says I could be great hermit. I loved the opportunity to get new ideas and but was disappointed at how little I got done. I also don't sleep well and that was an issue esp sharing a room with several gals. So for me the plus is being pumped up to try new projects. The rest was disappointing.

  18. #43
    Super Member Snooze2978's Avatar
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    I went to the my 1st retreat last September and I found myself getting more done than I could I home though I live alone. But as someone else stated, something is always calling you away from your sewing machine. Plus when I know I'm going to one I start pulling out those UFO's and projects that have been waiting for such a long time to start and decide to take one or two of them along. If I do get to it, I'm happy, if I don't, oh well. I still have a grand time chatting with other quilters. I'll always take a hand project such as binding to do so at night I'll walk around the various rooms of sewers, sit down and chat while I sew on my binding. Very relaxing to me. Plus I don't have to cook or do dishes while I'm there.
    Suz in Iowa
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  19. #44
    Senior Member kat13's Avatar
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    Paper princess THAT WAS PRICELESS!!!

  20. #45
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    I've thought about retreats but I have a customer facing job and I sew to get away from people I can see the appeal though.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess View Post
    Usually someone cooks for you. There's no laundry calling you. There's no one asking you where you put his chain saw oil. Like you actually have used it, then hid it.

    OMG! Thought that I would split my jeans laughing!!! Are you sure that you don't live at MY house???

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriciaPf View Post
    Other than socializing, why would you pack up half your sewing room, spend extra money, and go somewhere else?
    I'm in your camp on this one. Perhaps because I already sew once or twice a week with a group. And since it's just my DH and myself, I have all the time in my sewing room that I want. I have no desire to go on a retreat, even though everyone I talk to enjoys them, and encourage me to go.

  23. #48
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    I certainly can't convince you if you feel that negative about going to a retreat. For me, I get quilts completed, start new ones, get ideas from all the quilts being made, learn how other people do things in a better way (technique, tools), start new hard things without interruption. Two groups I go with found lower costs. One, we rent a closed convent ($50 each for the weekend) and each person is assigned part of a meal to bring/make. The other group, we go to a converted boarding school and they provide meals/lodging/a huge space we leave set up for a reasonable cost- three nights $200, two nights $165.
    I plan my projects so they are like a kits in plastic zipper bags, so I don't haul lots of big stuff. I use a collapsible crate from Office Max with wheels and a handle for all the projects and sewing accessories, a machine, a small folding side table, a suitcase, a portfolio case for rulers. I don't think that is unreasonable or bulky. I always come back with many things finished and a healthy amount started. And being around wonderful people who I learn so much from.
    But if your mind is made up against the hassle and cost of retreats, so be it. I need them.

  24. #49
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    If retreats didn't meet the needs of a lot of people, there wouldn't be retreats. Obviously. many find them fun and rewarding. They can be a social outlet, an escape, a place to learn, a place to accomplish for those who enjoy that type of venue. I enjoy meeting with a group on a local basis, but don't enjoy packing up and sleeping in a strange bed. Isn't it wonderful there are retreats for those who enjoy them and the rest of us can make other choices? And it is okay either way. This principle applies in a lot of areas of life. We are all different. Everybody doesn't like strawberry ice cream.

  25. #50
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    I'M WITH YOU! I have attended ONE quilting retreat; probably never again. As a disclaimer, I live alone, and have an absolutely LOVELY Quilting Salon. Everything is at arm's length. If there was food, water, and a toilet in there, I'd never come out! But . . . I thought I'd give a quilting retreat a try. . . .

    Well, you're right. I have an SUV, and the trunk looked like I was moving to Alaska! You don't realize all the different tools you use until you have to pack them up! The social aspect was okay, but I'm a focused quilter, and too much chatter about "home issues" can take you off point and slow you down tremendously. Also, you have to get up to go to ironing stations. At home, I simply swivel my chair, and I'm there! Another thing I experienced is so many asking for help. I helped, and my own work got pushed back.

    I'm not bad-mouthing retreats. I think it's wholeheartedly for some; not for others.

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