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Is it normal to go to quilt retreats alone?

Is it normal to go to quilt retreats alone?

Old 12-04-2013, 07:58 AM
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A retreat sounds like so much fun.....and an opportunity to acquire friends who have the same interests as you. This situation reminds me of the Elm Creek quilters. Go and have fun.
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:04 AM
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I agree with the others, but will add, I have never been to a quilt retreat. I have, however, been to many herb retreats and I think the same would apply.
I would also suggest introducing yourself to the host/hostess of the retreat and mentioning that you are new and alone. They might take care to see that you are included in some of the group activities if you are too shy to insert yourself. Hugs and smiles and hope you have a wonderful time!!!
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:10 AM
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I agree with Jan in VA. I often seem to agree with her - it's either great minds thinking alike or, more likely, she's just a very wise woman Anyway, 30 years ago, I went to a retreat for the first time. There I met a much younger woman who was sharing a room with someone I barely knew. They both became very close friends. Just smile and try not to worry about any of your qualms. If, for some reason, it doesn't work out, don't give up. I'd also suggest checking out the possibility of joining a compatible local guild. Most will allow you to come as a visitor before joining. You'll be able to tell if it's for you by the way the members react to visitors. Check online for a guild or contact a local JoAnns or local quilt shop. It's up to you whether or not you mention your computer programming skills. So many of us have a love/hate relationship with our computers that you risk being inundated with computer questions. Then again, you'll soon be so engaged, you won't have time to be shy and by the time the retreat is over, you will have new friends. Expand your horizons; you'll be happy you do. Joyce in DE
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:25 AM
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Wow! You guys are great, thank you all for all the encouragement!!

I should just assume that QB'ers are a good example of the people I'd meet there...not a bad assumption, I think, and makes me feel more "at home".

Both of the retreats I'm looking at are very local (<20 minutes from home) so worst comes to worst and I just hated it I suppose I could just leave. Neither have teachers scheduled and are more of a "get away with other quilters and sew someplace beautiful" type thing. Which sounds great to me; I'm actually not as interested in classes as I am in just getting out and meeting people. (well, one retreat has one side class but it's one I'm not interested in)

See, I knew if I posted here you guys would tell me I was being silly and to go for it!

I do tend to make friends pretty easily but I can also feel like a loner really easily too so I guess that's all I'm worrying about. But nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? I'll just have to look around and see if I can spy another loner to buddy up to!
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:53 AM
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I never met a quilter I didn't like - even the opinionated ones have some redeeming qualities.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:17 AM
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I think you will be surprised how much you will enjoy it, that's the wonderful thing about quilters, we know age or gender. I had the best at a class I recently took, I sat across the table from a young man (I'm 69). It was great, he was so smart and willing to help. I say go for it, I don't think you will be sorry and if you are then it will be a good experience and you don't have to go again.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:26 AM
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Bring fabric, chocolate, a magazine to read and a cheerful attitude. You will make new friends and complete some projects. Did I say bring chocolate ????Aks for help on an item is a good way to break the ice. Have fun, tell jokes, laugh, cry, and eat much. Hugs and I wish I could go with you.
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:09 AM
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I've gone to several seminars by myself and had a great time. It's a great place to meet people and learn new things.
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Jan in VA View Post
Boy are you going to be surprised and have fun!!
Most quilters have never met a friend that they didn't know -- I mean they are mostly so friendly you feel like longtime friends real quick.

IF you happen to be near one who is 'superior' or judgmental or too quiet and unfriendly, please make a point to move!! Be more protective of your own feelings than theirs (worrying that moving will be rude to them) and just do it. You paid for the event, make the most of it!

Wish I were going to be there, too, I just love first timers!

Jan in VA
I agree with Jan, just think of all the new mamas and grandmas you will have at the end. One of the greatest friends I have ever had as a young woman (18) with no kids, was a lady with half grown kids (seven of them!). She became the mother I never had. Her family and my family are closer than my own brothers and sisters. I met her at a potluck at the new church I was invited to attend. Going by myself was kinda scary, but only until I got there. You should go.
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Old 12-04-2013, 12:11 PM
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I've never been to a retreat (too expensive for me - at least the ones offered in my area), but used to go to many different Boy Scout National/District meetings where I didn't know anyone. What worked for me, I sought out someone else who was sitting alone or seemed very shy, and sat with them. We both had something in common (being alone) and this helped in what could have been an uncomfortable situation - neither of us was alone anymore.

Quilters are wonderful folks and most are usually very welcoming. Have a great time! Wish I could join you, then neither of us would be alone!

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