Planning the Perfect Retreat


Have you ever wondered what the perfect retreat would be? We asked and you let us know. Here’s what over 1000 quilters had to say…

How long do you prefer a quilt retreat to be?

  • 50% of quilters who responded felt 3 days was perfect for a quilting getaway
  • 36% prefer 4 days or more
  • Only 9% felt 2 days was enough time

At a quilt retreat, do you prefer to focus on a project or learn new techniques?

  • BOTH!!! 63% of respondents want both
  • 28% like to focus on a project
  • Leaving only 9% preferring to learn a new technique

What type of project would you most enjoy making at a retreat?

  • Quilters love to make quilts! 64% of the quilters responding selected making quilts as their favorite project for retreat time
  • 25% like to get artsy and make art quilts at retreats
  • 12% prefer the idea of making a tote or bag

What size of group do you feel most comfortable in at a quilt retreat?

  • 33% of quilters prefer to get away with 6-10 quilting buddies
  • Nearly 33% adhere to the-more-the-merrier philosophy of quilt retreats preferring 16-20 attendees
  • 29% find 11-15 friends are a good number for a retreat
  • Only 5% find 3-5 participants to be perfect

What would you do at your idea quilt retreat?

If you are looking to plan the perfect retreat, over 850 quilters shared their idea getaway with us. Here are some of the responses we received.

Similar answers have been consolidated.

The bulk of the answers fit into this submission: Piece. Laugh. Eat. Quilt. Sleep. Repeat.

I would like a quilt challenge maybe. Also there has to be quilt shops nearby.
Learning how to use different rulers to make specific blocks
Stippling (hand quilting)
Cathedral windows
1 day workshop class, 1 day free sew, 1 day workshop class, 1 day free sew. Leave next day. Not a tote bag or small project.
Learn about new products and how to use them
Short fun games like bingo
24 hour access, sleep or take breaks when desired. Cell phones in another area than quilting. Other names for patterns. Lots of beverages and sharing.
3D quilts and curves
A complicated quilt that needs undivided attention, possibly with an instructor for guidance.
A couple small projects with new techniques
A double wedding ring quilt. And get better at quarter inch seams
A landscape or portrait art quilt
A lone star quilt
A lot of talking goes on, so don’t want anything that takes a lot of concentration, or a lot of “unsewing” happens.
A mystery project that would be done before leaving.
A new art technique
A new ruler
A new scrappy technique
A new skill or pattern that can be applied by making a small usable project.
A new technique applied in a project that can be completely finished during the retreat. A mystery quilt would be fun!
A new technique. Currently string quilts are on my bucket list.
A new type purse
A new way of construction or block placement.
A one block wonder quilt or a collage quilt
A paper-pieced quilt with many designs.
A patriotic quilt for me. I’ve made several to give away as Quilts of Valor, but haven’t kept one for myself. OR a nice big Jenny Beyer
A pieced table runner, quilted on my domestic machine, or a wall hanging
A project that used traditional elements as well as something more avant-garde
A purse with pockets that I can make adjustments to to serve my own needs and uses.
A block exchange
A quilt with curves
A quilt worx or be colourful quilt project so I could focus on the difficulty of the project.
A quilted jacket as a project/learning item. An ongoing quilt project for a regular work item. Depending on the length of the retreat, multiple projects are good to have variety if I get tired of the same thing.
A replica of my Great grandmother’s quilt, which was loved and used to death, many years ago.
A scrap quilt, applique techniques, paper piecing
A short technique in sewing? A difficult pattern
A studio set up to work on my UFOs but with companions also working on their own projects
A technique that can used regularly
A technique to improve my skills
A tumbling blocks quilt or jacket
A wearable garment or accessory
A week with Bonnie Hunter!
Accurate cutting and piecing
Adding appliqués, quilting on my machine, piano borders, etc
Advanced piecing
Advanced techniques
All forms of appliqué, as well as refining my technique for off-the-block applique.
All great tips from the instructor
An Art quilt with free motion quilting.
An intermediate project on the first day so I could make some progress on it before I leave
Another Judy Niemeyer quilt
Antique traditional quilt
Any new and improved techniques
Any of your projects would be good. The best part of a retreat is enjoying quality time, good food, and tips and tricks from fabulous quilting friends.
Any technique that saves time or makes my quilts look nicer I am eager to learn.
Any type of hand work (embroidery, applique, hand quilting)
Applied, landscape, copy artwork to quilting
applique or small quilts.
Appliqué techniques
Applique wall hanging
Applique, sewing curved edges
Art quilt techniques
Art quilt with free motion quilting to enhance the art
Art quilting and how to pick color
Art quilts, making quilts from photos.
Art quilts, the collage technique, modern quilt
Baby quilt for my new granddaughter
Baltimore Quilt Techniques
Bargello technique
Bat kins jelly rolls and binding and finishing techniques
Batik making
Be able to work on my own projects along with a couple of retreat projects to spice things up.
Be let loose to do my own thing with easy access to my machine, a design wall, and an ironing board. Having an 8′ table to myself is HEAVEN!
Bead embroidery
Being able to put blocks or units together into a whole thing-sew one day and assemble parts that 2 or 3 day.
Better borders and binding types. I know the basics but sometimes the fabric I choose will not sew as well as others I have chosen in the border or binding.
Better techniques for old patterns.
Better techniques for paper piecing. Or maybe how to use the EQ8.
Biggest issue is having meals that offer variety for those who have food allergies or are vegetarian. The offerings are typically poor/monotonous. Food needs to be hot when served.
Borders and Binding
Breaking free – getting out of my learning box.
Bring my own projects to work on
Chill out and socialize with friends
Classic design upgraded to new ways
Collage quilt and thread painting
Collage quilting and ruler work.
Collage, art, and modern quilts
Color value or color theory. I already have the mechanics of sewing down.
Complete a UFO, start a new project, learn from someone else a new technique
Complete all my UFOs
Complete an upcoming gift or knock off a few UFOs that I have been avoiding.
Complete gifts for friends and relatives. Just do my own thing.
Connect with other quilters
Crazy quilt techniques
Curved bindings
Curved rulers or angle quilts, tri, quad, hex etc. not into straight quilts🤣😂
Definitely have someone else do the cooking so we can concentrate on being creative.
Design and application of design (how to go from idea to finished product)
Design ideas
Design techniques
Designing and creating an art quilt.
Different machine quilting methods (like rulers, etc) and designs
Dimensional quilts or stitch painting
Do a Laura Heine pattern
Do a mystery quilt.
Domestic Machine quilting
Double wedding ring quilt
Drunkards Path
Dye and paint fabric Shibouri techniques
Dye and print fabric and then use it to make a quilt during the same retreat…no extra fabric or shopping needed
Dye fabrics, learn about fiber art.
Easier quick sewing tricks
Easy tricks of the trade, thread painting, machine quilting designs on home machine, painting on fabric
Eco dying fabric
Either have a knowledgeable teacher present something new OR have everyone do her own thing.
Either make something new or finish up project I keep putting off. Away from home, temptations would be out of the way and I would have to work on what I brought with me.
Embroider with one machine, sew with the other and surge away some clothing sewing – Just do it all!
English paper piecing
Enjoy both hand and machine projects, wish more people did hand work ideas
Farm girl quilt
fast piecing methods
Finish a few projects and start something brand new and big.
Finish a project
Finish a quilt that has a deadline or start something new. Quilters share techniques and tips, so retreats are always learning situations.
Finish a quilt top
Finish some hard to understand projects with help from experts attending the retreat.
Finish some loved projects with helpful advice from others in the group. Meet others with similar interests.
Finishing one of my project is always my quilt goal for a retreat
FMQ or thread painting
Focus on a traditional block and get some of a quilt assembled.
Foundation paper piecing!
Foundation piecing art quilting
Free motion quilting & ruler work
Free motion quilting … choosing motifs, placement & where best to start; then squaring up and binding the finished piece. This could be a small project able to be finished in allotted time.
Free motion quilting and quilting with rulers with domestic machine
Free motion quilting made easy for those of us who have tried but just can’t master.
Free time, sharing ideas and current projects and learning multiple new tips or projects
From start to finish a lap quilt adding machine quilting technique.
Gain knowledge, exchange ideas, and make new friends.
Get at least 2 quilt tops done
Giggle a lot, drink a little, work on several ufo’s, eat good food and share good times with friends. Just came back from a retreat like that :c)
Hand Applique and Ruler Quilting on a domestic machine
Hand appliqued quilt
Hand embroidery including silk ribbon embroidery.
Hand piecing
Hand quilting techniques. How to identify vintage fabrics.
Hard question. I love going to a retreat where everyone is working on their own projects. I also like going where there is a teacher and everyone is working on same project. Basically I guess I just enjoy going and socializing and having a large chunk of sewing time. It’s all good.
Have a challenge with all working on the same pattern, different choices of fabrics
Have a few short technique classes/demonstrations & also have lots of time to work on my own projects.
Have a really great time with really great friends and lots of giggles
Have a trunk show by a well-known quilter plus one by an unknown preferable local quilter.
Have a variety of a few small projects that teach new techniques to create a pieced block, make a small bag, and do some handwork like hand Appliqué or hand embroidery, or sashiko.
Have a variety of scraps and threads to experiment with in a supportive environment and with nominal direction/goals
Have all of us make one quilt with our own fabrics. Something more difficult than usual like a Drunkards Path quilt.
Have classes with a well known teacher
Have demonstrations 2x daily to learn techniques. Try those techniques on small projects
Have enough space to work on FMQ with some of my quilting friends around me who can provide tips and help me get better at FMQ.
Have everyone try some improv cutting and piecing.
Have facilities and work areas available that can be used for fabric dyeing and painting
Have individual help at becoming more precise on my own equipment, with my own cutting and pressing tools.
Have space to put together a large quilt
Have those who are comfortable doing a demo, do a quick demo to show something others may not have tried before
Have time to sew with instructors handy for questions and help.
Hawaiian quilting
Hmmm something out of the ordinary. (painting the quilt block) Or survey group & come to a consensus & make it optional!
Home machine quilting with a 1/4″ template.
How to design fabric/ to make landscape quilts. how to paint and embellish and designs for unique quilting. Also to get a better handle on color – darks, mediums, and lights and how to categorize fabric better.
How to join quilt as you go blocks without washing.
How to make a feathered star easy and quick.
How to make a rug from 2 1/2inch strips
How to master the Le Moyne Star
How to needle turn applique
How to prepare a project for quilting on my home machine
How to square up a finished quilt top.
How to square up quilt and prepare the backing when more than 2 yards needed
How to use a rulers I’ve purchased in past but never used. How to hand stitch working with wool or wooly felt.
How to use rulers I’ve never used, foundation piecing, one block wonders…
How to use Westalee quilting templates.
I would like to learn more about quilting on a home machine
I am a beginner. I’d like a beginner friendly project that perhaps could be embellished for more experienced Quilter’s. I’d like to learn and practice basic and new techniques. I’d love some degree of choice in the type of project. I’d like time to socialize with other Quilter’s and admire their work
I am a fairly experienced quilter, so it would be tough to show me something new, but I can always learn something unexpected with a group of quilters at a retreat.
I am retired so quilting retreats are a social event for me. I hold 4 a year and go to 1 someone else holds.
I am willing to try anything. Any new ideas or just work on my own projects. I enjoy the time with other quilters, getting new ideas and just having time away to do what I love.
I could make just about anything. The best part of it is the company of other enthusiastic quilters.
I do on quilt retreats….just got home from one 3 days ago. A group of us go together, all working on something different….it’s great to see something someone else is working on that is new to me and I have not done before.
I don’t think it is the project you are working on is the most important aspect of a retreat. It is that you are with other people who “get you” and love being together with like minded people. It is great to come up with a problem and 10 people will give you 15 different directions to go to solve that problem.
I enjoy doing my own projects and that way I can do some socializing
I enjoy learning all of the tips that my fellow retreaters are always so willing to share.
I enjoy the fellowship of quilters. I prefer to work on my own project.
I enjoy working on my own projects, getting advice from others as needed, and visiting with fellow retreaters
I go to a local quilt retreat Ctr The Ponderosa in Waynesville NC & often focus on different projects each time.
I go to a mystery retreat in Palm Springs hosted by Monicas quilt and beads
I go to a retreat to be with my tribe. We live many miles apart and I enjoy catching up with them and sharing new techniques they’ve learned.
I have so many UFO’s that I would like to devote the time to one or more of those.
I just like the time to sew with friends and finish a quilt top
I like a choice of quilts to pick from to make, then focusing on that project during the retreat. Need to know pattern before so fabric can be purchased!
I like a variety of projects so I usually bring a quilt project and a wool applique project.
I like classes that teach something that otherwise would cost to much to “try”. Like dying/shibori. Also new techniques in piecing or quilting
I like getting to know the attendees better. There’s more time to interact at a retreat than there is at a guild meeting.
I like multiple small demos during a retreat, but the focus on making whatever you want to work on.
I like our quilt group retreats because we all bring whatever we want to work on. To me, that’s the attraction of a retreat….the opportunity to finish something or begin a new project with several days of uninterrupted sewing time. Unless you go to Shipshewana, Indiana….in which case you must take breaks to eat and shop!
I like people talking about what they have learned and done since we last met.
I like playing games with the group as a break from the work being done. I love it being unstructured so I can do what I like with my time there.
I like to do FMQ classes – getting different ideas from different teachers. And one I’ve missed along the way was Shadow Trapunto, which looks spectacular.
I like to take a variety of things to work on- and always too many- living in fear of running out of things to do.
I like working on a project that I started at home, so it is well organized when I pack for the retreat.
I love art quilts and would love to learn or add to my knowledge of mixed media.
I love to work on an unusual quilt, preferably one I design. Handwork is always a good thing too.
I most enjoy catching up with the friends that go and I have not seen in a while. See what they are doing and get new ideas from them,
I need help with color selection
I purchased EQ 6 & 7 and I never really learned how to use it. I would like to have a retreat that might help me with that.
I think I would enjoy bringing several of my UFOs to finish. I am great at making toppers. Then the challenge of making the quilt sandwich and planning the quilting becomes my insurmountable challenge…
I think it’s called a One Block Wonder quilt (you use only one fabric for the entire quilt, but the way you place the pieces creates something truly wonderful!)
I use retreats to work on new techniques at a time where others can help if problems are encountered.
I would be able to make a complete quilt and then since there would be a long arm on site, I’d be able to get my quilt quilted and then the binding and label on it.
I would be interested in attending a retreat that focused on Toby Lischko’s Kaleidostars technique at which she lectured on fabric selection, then you went to a quilting store to buy the fabric and then spent the next two days sewing the quilt.
I would come away inspired.
I would have a different destination for annual retreats (Cape Cod, France, England, etc.) with workshops combining our group with the local quilt or craft guilds to exchange cultures and their quilt traditions.
I would just work on projects of my own. I don’t have that kind of time or opportunity at home.
I would learn a new idea or pattern and would love to finally make my Mondo bags.
I would like to explore art quilts done by hand appliqué, embroidery, embellishment and hand quilting. Making flowers etc. on a large artsy scale.
I would like to have time to focus on a project, learn more about designing a quilt, have discussion time with other quilters, learn about new techniques and tools, and more about free-motion longarm techniques. This looks like at least a week-long retreat!
I would like to improve my applique.
I would like to learn a specific technique like a Judy Niemeier pattern, thread painting, portrait quilt, etc. Something where everyone is working on the same pattern with a different outcome.
I would like to learn how to make a doll or felting
I would like to learn more about color theory and fabric selection.
I would like to learn one specific technique or skill that could be applied to many projects
I would like to learn to use new (to me) products – angelina fiber; dying with natural dyes; embellishing
I would like to learn trapunto and applique. Maybe fabric painting. However, I am not interested in a class that I can’t finish my item. Bringing it home to finish doesn’t work well for me.
I would like to make a perfect quilt block. The right size and all points intact. I want to learn techniques to make that happen always.
I would love to do some kind of Round Robin with several other quilters!
I would love to go to a retreat with the focus on machine appliqué.
I would love to learn free motion quilting
I would love to learn how to design paper piecing designs.
I would love to learn more about paper piecing for part of the retreat and then work on any project the rest of the time.
I would love to learn several different types of construction of some of the more complicated blocks
I would love to master different edges and accents for traditional quilts !!
I would make a lap quilt from my stash.
I would make a quilt for holiday gift.
I would make something complicated.
I would make something that required organization but NOT thinking (too many distractions for “figuring it out”) and I would like to complete the project
I would very much learn to make art quilts and would enjoy a retreat where there was a sampling of different methods of making art quilts.
I’d like to learn a new dance or stretching exercise in addition to some new techniques or tricks from my fellow quilters.
I’d enjoy a retreat where we make a quilt and have other small projects to break up the monotony of working on the quilt; such as, a pincushion, and a small zippered storage bag.
I’d like to come home with a quilt top well underway and maybe a small project with new fabric.
I’d like to make a useful bag.
I’d truly like to learn the log cabin and the many ways it can be used and with that theme up in New England in the winter to add to the feel of the log cabin
I’d like someone to guide me through a portrait quilt making.
I’d like to learn a new technique, at a slow enough pace to keep the stress low AND enough time at least have the Project nearly finished.
Ideal would be congenial quilters with a knowledgeable leader/instructor, and some good food
If I wanted to just work on existing projects, I can stay at home. Would like a start to finish retreat.
Improve creativity in machine free motion quilting
Improve my skills
In addition to traditional quilt project, I like to learn something new, make small item like tote, purse, wallet. This week some made pin cushions from Carrie Nelson’s book, Pin Pals and some made key fobs.
Interested in learning landscape or collage.
It does not matter. The opportunity to spend time with friends and sew, visit, eat, and relax is the important part.
It is always great to see what others are working on, reviewing techniques, discussing colour choices, etc. You never know what you will learn from others. You always come away with some new information.
It’s nice to have a variety of demos and sew-alongs of small projects to break up my personal sewing time.
On a 3 day retreat, we typically have 3 projects like a simple bag, a technique, or whatever.
Another popular thing is to have a retreat quilt. Everyone pitches in a little cash, like $10 for supplies for retreat activities. About $100 goes to a retreat quilt. The previous winner chooses a simple pattern and prepares block kits. Everyone who wants to makes one or more blocks, each of which get a ticket. One ticket is drawn and the winner gets the blocks and the privilege of designing the next retreat quilt.
I’ve never tried English paper piecing AND sewing curved edges – not so good at those.
Jelly roll project
Have mini workshops…meaning teach me something but have each class last less than 2 hours.”
Just one retreat on English Paper Piecing — just one — just to see if I like it enough to keep going. I love making a new bag and it is fun if we are all doing the same thing.
Landscaping quilts
large paper pieced project
Learn a new skill from design to piecing to final “quilt as desired” so I would be able to leave with a fully complete advanced project.
learn a new surface design technique
Learn a new technique and then all the retreaters would make a block or part of a large quilt and assemble it together and donate it.
Learn a new technique working on a small project from a kit provide, like a lap quilt. Then spend the rest of the time working on my own projects.
Learn a new technique, or be given the option of learning a new technique. What is new to some may not be to others. I want it to be fun and engaging, but relaxing at the same time.
Learn a new technique, such as an easy method for double wedding ring, etc.
Learn another new ruler or technique but mostly sew on one of many quilts in progress
Learn curved piecing and partial seam techniques.
Learn curved piecing by making a throw sized quilt. This would include pre-cut pieces, completion of piecing and quilting on a long arm machine. Walk away with a finished project.
Learn Fabric collage to create a landscape design
Learn free motion quilting on a longarm and become more proficient at it.
Learn from Caryl Bryer Fallert Gentry
Learn from someone who knows a variety of art quilts and get one done.
Learn handy tips and techniques and have time to finish SEVERAL small UFOS.
Learn how to cut & piece kaleidoscope quilt
Learn how to do art quilts and embellish quilt with beads and other ways
Learn how to machine quilt more than “stitch in the ditch” & outline or shadow quilting on my domestic sewing machine
Learn how to machine quilt without a longarm.
Learn how to make a small backpack and a pocketbook with wallet.
Learn how to use negative space better.
Learn Judy Niemeyer’s paper piecing method
Learn Kaleidoscope quilt or tumbling blocks.
Learn landscape quilts
Learn more about color selection and pattern fabric for quilting.
Learn more about quilting designs
Learn paper piecing and learn how to apply double fold binding to a quilt.
Learn something quick, that can be completed at retreat.
Learn the techniques for making a complex quilt (Di-Ford’s quilts, technically challenging paper piecing, etc.) so I could make the full quilt after the retreat
Learn thread painting, painting on fabrics and using non-traditional fabrics in quilts or wall hangings.
Learn to applique
learn to embellish small quilts
Learn to free motion quilt on my regular machine.
Learn to free motion quilt, Lots of practice time. Or cathedral windows, the one that’s really complicated looking but looks the best when done
Learn to inset seams and perfect my hand quilting.
Learn to make a landscape quilt
Learn to make zipper bags
Learn to paper piece
Learn to quilt negative space
Learn to use my Brother Dream Machine 2 to custom quilt my quilt. I want it to look like I sent it to a professional long arm
Learning from others at a retreat is the most fun. When each person is working on a different project the group engages differently than when all doing the same!
Learning how to decide what patterns to quilt on a finished top
Let everyone take a few minutes each day to show how they are progressing and talk about anything they learned as they worked on their projects.
Log cabin cross
Long arm quilting would be fun to try. Quilts done for donation to a common cause would be fulfilling. Time to work on personal projects would be good also.
Machine appliqué, techniques to compliment
Machine embroidery
Machine quilting techniques. Also, I would like to have the sewing machines provided. It’s very difficult for me to drag my machine from place to place.
Machine quilting tips using a domestic machine.
Made a traditional quilt…start to end
Make a bag and also do a Quilts of Valour project as a group
Make a bag from scratch or complete the quilting on a finished top.
Make a challenging quilt.
Make a gift for special person.
Make a poppins bag
Make a quilt that we would donate to a charity.
Make a sample block or small quilt using a new ruler.
Make a scrappy quilt
Make a t shirt quilt
Make a tuffet.
Make an art quilt from start to finish.
Make an artistic wall hanging which I learn about decorative top stitching
Make and takes.
Make friends. The retreats I have been to had more than fifty (50) attendees. I did not get to meet anyone nor learn much since there were too many bodies for anyone to really see what was being demonstrated.
Make lap quilts for patients at VA hospital
Making the quilt top. Quilting that quilt top. Depending on the kind of quilt top I would machine bind it, too. A totally completed quilt would be so ideal.
Mariner’s Compass or mandala
Maybe collage quilt or something else. Though I am as happy just bringing my own stuff and working on it
Meet new people or get to know old friends better.
Mine was the Jane Stickle quilt which was a 10 year journey for me, only worked on at retreat with 50 others. I work on long term projects at retreat. Nothing new!!
Miniature quilts and quilt blocks, Fabric greeting cards
Modern quilt, improve my improv
More using studio 180 rulers
Mosaic and appliqué are things I have been wanting to try
My friends & I do Row by Row and I like to pick up unusual or unique projects at the quilt shops we visit. Retreats give me the chance to put those projects together.
My goal is to learn to make the mariner’s compass.
Mystery quilt
Needle turn appliqué at the moment
New friends
New piecing techniques, zipper top closure in a tote.
New techniques such as portraits in fabric, landscape quilts, etc.
New ways to finish a quilt, borders and bindings.
New York Beauty
One Block Wonder using panels
One block wonders
One of those one-block wonder quilts. I think they are also called millifiore quilts. They are beautiful!
One or two classes, time to sew, place to relax- both inside and out.
Open for any type of short training class
Origami quilt
Painted and stamped canvas
Painting on fabric
Paper piece, learn how to convert quilts to different sizes
Paper piece, mariners compass
Paper piecing or appliqué.
Paper piecing, demos of new products and techniques and trunk show
Photographic quality art quilts
Picture quilt Flowers
Pictorial quilt
Pieced quilt with a twist. The twist being either a new way to do a traditional technique or just something unique like a modern twist to a traditional quilt. If involved technique, make a wall hanging that can be later used as a “sample” for a larger quilt.
Quick and easy projects. Prizes and Gift Bags
Quick easy simple blocks that in turn make a beautiful quilt quickly
Quick tricks to various things, time saving tricks
Quicker quilting techniques for domestic machine sewing for top stitching quilting designs. Not everyone can afford the long arm machines or to pay someone to do top quilting. If I make a quilt I want all of it to be my design or my quilting from start to finish.
Quilt as you go techniques
Quilt retreat is more about bonding with others who love your hobby as much as you do. The learning and making is secondary.
Quilting with templates
Reverse appliqué and handquilting
Right now, I am interested in Modern Quilting and Landscape Quilting
Love a challenge, and would have loved to work on the Row by Row Quilt for 2019, but, patterns not available yet… Anyhow, my Friend told me I’m no longer Addicted… I’m obsessed..”
Ruler work and free motion quilting
ruler work on a domestic machine
Sewing and appliqué for circles and curves
Sharing ideas and different techniques. Sometimes written patterns are hard to understand and having someone who has done them helps teach you.
SIMPLE landscape quilt – or lap size art quilt
Small project start to finish including techniques for quilting it.
Small, useful items that make good gifts. Zippered pouches, purse organizers, microwave bowls, for example.
Some dying or other fabric manipulation that is a mess I will not do at home. Painting on fabric or stenciling is also great.
Some easy and hard stuff. Seeing others and saying to myself I can do that; Only plan for 2 meals a day, 3 takes too much time away from sewing.
Some project I have chosen with unlimited time to sew.
Someone else cooks and I don’t have to fight for space. Working with one or two children would be nice.
Something difficult enough that I wouldn’t try it on my own.
Something like a Neimeyer quilt pattern. Difficult but teachable, if that makes any sense.
Something that challenges me but that can be completed at the retreat. If need be, have cutting doe before coming to the retreat.
Stained glass quilt, applique, or paper piecing
Star of Bethlehem
Start a new project or finish many projects. Have my own room and bathroom. Food provided. Design walls for projects. Adjustable height tables and chairs. Learn a new way to use rulers/tools. Have products available for purchase.
Start the Project that you just did not seem to have the time to do.
Stitch all the blocks for a project, put them up on a design wall, create the rows and finish a quilt top.
Strategies for completing UFOs & other projects started with new technique workshops
Succeeding with the challenge of a new skill is so rewarding, and I always learn a lot from my group at a retreat.
Surface design and approaches to using color creatively
Surface design plus a project incorporating the fabrics that I created
T-shirt quilt
Table runner or wall hanging
Techniques such as applique or paper piecing or free motion quilting on domestic machines, or ruler work for quilting would really help to concentrate the learning and give lots of time to practice and hopefully master the techniques.
Techniques that don’t require extra tools.
Techniques to make quilting easier and faster. Short cuts. How to make the “perfect” quilt. I’m still learning.😜
The best retreat was where we made our own breakfast so you could sleep in or relax in the morning and there was no rush to show up in the workroom. All other meals were provided for. We made our own projects and showed them as they were finished. The main theme was no pressure, no expectations, no silly games, just enjoyment and socializing.
The freedom to do what projects I want to do or just sit and visit with others.
The friendships are what we learn.
Thread painting on a quilt.
Time to start and finish a project I’ve been wanting to do without the interruptions of daily life,
Tips and techniques that improve my quilting in the congenial atmosphere of strong quilters.
Tips and tricks to make intersections less bulky and binding tips.
Twin size quilt.
Two fabric bargello
Use a huge design wall the lay out many alternative settings, take photos to help decide, then begin sewing the project together.
Use the “location” or scenery to tie into the quilt design, such as architecture and a house or block quilt using similar patterns
Visit local quilt shop(s) with people I don’t normally shop with to see how they choose fabrics
Wallhanging, table runner. Techniques for making mini quilts.
Whatever I am making, I learn from my fellow quilters and get their opinion on what I am doing. They never hesitate to say what they think. That is very helpful and encouraging for me.
Whatever I want to do. Not what someone else wants me to do. The best would be to have all the equipment set up and ready so all I had to bring was the project and my clothes. Hauling everything in and out gets harder every year.
Wholecloth quilt
Wool appliqué
Work on projects that have been pre-cut/ prepped so that lots of fun sewing can take place as well as talking and laughing with friends.
Working on a quilt from design to execution with a master quilter such as Margaret Solomon Gunn.
Working with curves
Would like to make a table runner, comfort quilt or a quilt of valor
Would like to revisit dyeing; but also a combination of a Katie Pasquini Masopust, Paula Nadelstern and Jane Sassaman class.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

3 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
3 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Lauren Eberhard

Wow what great ideas.. Just let me know when and where and I’ll be there!!!!
Thanks for putting this together as a great resource.


Are there any retreats near me that I can attend? I would love to take part in one where I can learn some of the exciting stuff mentioned above? I live in Port St Lucie Florida.

Karen Hansen

There were a lot of great ideas published here. However as I read through the comments I detected a lot of “make it easier, faster, better, simpler, etc. etc.” If quilting were these things it might not be as interesting to accomplish. The words I missed was “practice, practice, practice, IMPROVE.” This is a skill set that is learned over time and needs to be applied in our everyday projects before the “light bulb” goes on and we begin to piece the perfect corner or point. We need to learn to quilt for ourselves and be happy with a finished… Read more »