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

  1. #1
    Member PatriciaPf's Avatar
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    What is the primary purpose of a sewing retreat?

    Other than socializing, why would you pack up half your sewing room, spend extra money, and go somewhere else?
    Nothing succeeds like success.

  2. #2
    Super Member jclinganrey's Avatar
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    As you mentioned, there's the socializing aspect. For me, it's 'getting away' for awhile, even if it's just for a weekend. I don't have any other distractions and can focus on my projects. There will often be quilt shops that are new to me and that's always fun too. Those are the first things that come to my mind.

    I really enjoy quilt retreats. They're rejuvenating, relaxing just plain fun!
    Jane

  3. #3
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    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.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  4. #4
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    What Paper Princess said!

    I love quilt retreats. I've been going on retreats with the same group of quilters for several years now, we've become a family in our own right. No cooking. No cleaning. No dishes. No laundry. No grocery shopping. No chauffeuring. No answering phones and doorbells, no questions about location of a backpack, coat, shoes, phone, brain, keys, or food. No making sure someone has brushed their teeth, eaten breakfast, has coffee, gets a haircut, remembers his doctor appointment, takes the garbage out, unloads the dishwasher, puts gas in his truck.....
    I love my family, but it's amazing how much of my life is dedicated to meeting the demands of having one. Retreats are about getting to spend time with people who are JUST LIKE ME - mom, quilter, woman, wife - doing only what I want to do for a couple of days.

    Retreats recharge my batteries, big time.
    Last edited by Peckish; 01-10-2017 at 10:16 AM.

  5. #5
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    well said, Peckish, this past year has been really tough and I wasn't able to go to a retreat that usually saved my sanity. This year promises to be much better so I am looking forward to finding a retreat to attend.

  6. #6
    Super Member busy fingers's Avatar
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    You can spend all day and night sewing, sewing and sewing without the interruption of having to do any domestic duties.

  7. #7
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    Time for me. No responsibilities. Eat when called to mealtime and walk away from the mess. Sew, laugh, nap and sew some more. Take a variety of project and work a little on each or finish just one No demands to get it done now

  8. #8
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    Its the closest thing that I get to a vacation. Of course the 2 retreats that I've been on supply most everything. Machines, fabric the works. This year I did have to supply my fabric but that was because I was making two tops. Even though the retreat is less than 20 miles away I stay at the hotel the weekend and have fun and catch up with others.
    Judy

  9. #9
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    to each his own. I don't think I would like a retreat because I don't think I could keep up the interest for hours or days on end. I go to the quilt in at our local quilt shop on Fridays. Love the other quilters, very welcoming, but, I'm usually the first to leave.
    Alyce

  10. #10
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    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

  11. #11
    Senior Member sewingitalltogether's Avatar
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    For me, a retreat is somewhere I go where I have a big chunk of uninterrupted time to quilt. When do you ever get up and quilt ALL day and even quilt after dinner until your too tired to sew anymore. No cooking. No cleaning. Plus lots of quilting girls to talk to, and others projects to see.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Chester the bunny's Avatar
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    For all of the above and every time I go, he suddenly realizes how much he misses my cooking, and my cleaning, and my company......
    Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.
    Edmund Burke

  13. #13
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    I used to so love my annual retreat in the spring when I was working for the reasons already posted. It was always a bright spot to look forward to. Now that I'm retired, I sew with two groups and knit with another group each week so don't have the same need to 'retreat'. I do have a retreat I'll go to in the fall but a good friend puts it on and Karen Kay Buckley will be the guest teacher. Seeing my friend and taking a class with KKB will be extra special.

  14. #14
    Super Member MaryKatherine's Avatar
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    Laughter, of course!
    On yea....and some sewing.
    marykayhopkins123.blogspot.com

  15. #15
    Super Member Onebyone's Avatar
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    I like going on retreats. I like the three day two night retreats the best. I go with quilting friends and we have so much fun being together. I have gone to retreats where I knew no one and had a great time. I use to think retreats weren't for me until I went to one.
    I love my life!

  16. #16
    Senior Member Fabric Galore's Avatar
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    I have never been attracted to a retreat because every time I take a class at my LQS I forget something. I can only imagine how many things I would forget if I was packing for a retreat. I also have arthritis in my hips and 1 hour is the maximum time I can quilt without getting up and moving around. Perhaps I would have enjoyed them when I was younger but I raised 3 children, worked and then raised 4 grandchildren. There was never the time or the money to go on a retreat.

  17. #17
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    I love going to retreats...for all the things that have already been mentioned.. The place that we go to is a beautiful place with walking trails, a lake and at the foot of a mountain. Just being out in nature where you can rise and just praise God for all the beauty is worth the trip. I live 20 minutes away but I always pay to stay there with my friends.

    The retreat organizer has games and a class is offered for those that want to take it otherwise we take our own stuff. I usually take a couple of UFO's stuff for a new pattern or I end up taking the class. We have a local store bring their "store"and they have anything you might need or forgot to bring.

    If you forgot something that the store does not have most quilters will lend you one thing or another.

  18. #18
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    A retreat as such is meant to provide a calm and relaxing environment where one can go to let go of daily stress. For me it means somewhere nice with like-minded people with nothing else to do but sew, visit, snack, relax and laugh. (Well, there may be a glass of wine or two in the mix too.) One of the retreats I attend happens on the beach which is so beautiful. The gals who share a house are quite compatible and we have become quilty friends over time.
    Another aspect of the retreat is to learn new techniques. It really is a win-win.
    Martina
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric!

  19. #19
    Senior Member Pagzz's Avatar
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    I also enjoyed getting to know women from my guild better. At guild meetings things are busy and rushed so when I was able to attend a retreat I got to speak with members longer.

    The first retreat I went to, none of my small sewing group were going but I had a lot of fun. At my second retreat my sister came down from Michigan. She doesn't quilt but she worked on flannel story boards for her library and I sewed and we had a really good time.

    I know my current guild's retreat sold out the first week it was announced and there are 100 people attending. I hope to attend one year soon but right now I am a single parent to a teenager.

    The other thing about a retreat is that I finish projects. I bring several and work on what I want, but when people are walking by and checking on your progress it is hard to just give up on something that is almost a complete top - for me it's a positive reinforcement...if my enthusiasm was flagging at home, I'd toss the project to the side and go watch tv.
    Peggy

    "Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are."
    -Chinese proverb
    http://peggybsquilting.blogspot.com/

  20. #20
    Super Member thrums's Avatar
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    One can learn so much from the other participants...and not just quilting and sewing tips. :0)

    The key is to not take everything you own on a retreat. Pack your equipment in terms of projects. I usually take two pre-cut projects (in case I have an issue with one). My sister-in-law includes a hand-sewing project with her two quilt project. I have my two projects kitted up in project boxes. I take a notions box, small cutting mat with cutter, a light, an extension cord, my machine, a comfy chair, a wooden TV folding tray (remember those?) and pencil and note paper. My kits, notions, mat, light, cord, pencil and paper fit in a Thirty-one utility tote. I use a rolling tote for my machine. It's super easy to load and unload.

  21. #21
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    My friend and I make our own retreat. My DH and DD go to a basketball tournament in Las Vegas, my friend and I go to sew/quilt. We have 4 full days of sewing. We arrive on Tuesday afternoon and leave on Sunday morning. Since we have 2 one bedroom condos, one is for my friend and our sewing. We get up and start sewing about 9 am and sew until we want to break for lunch. Then we go somewhere for lunch, find a local quilt shop and return and sew until we decide it is dinner time. We have snacks available, we do what we want and stop when we are too tired to sew anymore. We leave our sewing out and come back to it at will.

    No one criticizes our mess - so far we have used it to finish projects. But one trip we cut out a DWR quilt using my GO and she brought her embroidery machine to make some quilt blocks.

    I haven't gone to any formal overnight retreats mainly because they want you to share hotel rooms, and I really don't want to do that.

  22. #22
    Super Member WMUTeach's Avatar
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    My purpose of attending a retreat is of course getting to know others and just enjoy their company. But almost as importantly, I go with one project to be finished, start to finish. It feels just wonderful to come with a stack of cut pieces and a pattern and leave with a finished quilt. I never take more than two projects to work on. My quild's three day retreat format is perfect to finish one quilt start to finish, so for me to bring 5 project just leaves me with 4 UFO's. My choice, my way, and others do differently and love retreats just as much.

  23. #23
    Super Member sinceresissy's Avatar
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    So are there any retreats for hand quilters? I think it might be fun to get with some other women and quilt and blab and get away. I love Paper Princess remark about the chain saw oil.

  24. #24
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    I love meeting new people, and getting reacquainted with those I've met at previous retreats. The retreat/camp I attend also has a guest quilt shop for the weekend, so I also get a taste of other shops that I wouldn't otherwise have found. Last fall, I went to a 4 day camp and made 4 quilt tops, start to finish. I love the uninterrupted sewing time with no meals to plan and prepare.

  25. #25
    Super Member Onebyone's Avatar
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    I haven't gone to any formal overnight retreats mainly because they want you to share hotel rooms, and I really don't want to do that.
    I want a private room unless a good friend is my roomate. It cost more but that is the cost I know in advance. I won't go to a retreat if no private room if I don't know anyone.
    I love my life!

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