Whether you mentioned a retreat you’ve been to, are going to, or information about a location where quilt retreats are welcome (take note, grab some friends, and go!) thank you for sharing!
Elizabeth summed up the quilt retreat experience on Facebook when she typed: “It’s a dream event! Sisterhood of quilting!”
Janinne says: “I go to a quilt retreat hosted by The Quilt House in Indian River, MI. It’s held at The Crooked River Lodge in Alanson which is less than 10 miles away from the shop. There are massages available, a swimming pool and hot tub–open 24 hours, demos of new techniques and products, classes available, maybe a mystery quilt. The catered food is wonderful and abundant. At the end we have Show and Tell, with lots of laughter and applause for all the hard work done both by quilters and workers. Some ladies start sewing early in the morning and turn in early; others like me start later in the day and quilt till after midnight. It’s a very comfortable and friendly atmosphere. Currently, The Quilt House hosts 2 sessions, twice a year – March and October.”
Quilt Mouse is heading to a quilting retreat in less than 2 weeks at a church conference center in Southwest Virginia. She’s looking forward to the quilting time, friends and food at Camelia’s Quilting Retreat.
From Teresa: “There are about 25 of us who go on retreats TWICE(!) a year at a lovely lodge situated on a river and next to cross-country/biking trails (U.P. Michigan). Three or four people take care of one meal and cleanup, and then we’re done for the duration of four days. Many of us bring desserts, and we fill a whole counter with them! We are up by 8 a.m., and many of the women sew til 2 a.m. (me included!). We get lots done, laugh lots, and eat lots. What happens at quilting stays at quilting.”
Michelle has been going on a quilt retreat twice a year for the last several years. She says: “A core group attends all the time, and there are others who come with a friend. We laugh a lot, eat well, drink a bit and get lots of sewing done. It’s so decadent to have someone ring a dinner bell—just going in and eating and then going back to resume sewing! I hope everyone attends at least one retreat for the experience.”
Here’s what Alice has to say: “My quilt group, Quilters Quorum, has had yearly retreats since 1997 (I think). We found a really nice place that we’ve been going to for the past five years or so. It’s called Falls Creek Retreat and Conference Center in Raymond, WA. It’s beautiful. The staff is wonderful. The building we sew in went from being a gym building to being an insulated, well-lit, bathrooms added, a little area for coffee, treats, etc. We even have wi-fi! The lodges have comfortable beds, it’s clean, pleasant….I hope I can go this year. Haven’t missed one yet.”
Cathy says, “My friends and I go to a quilt retreat every November in Shipshewana, IN. We shop hop our way there, so a 2½-hour drive easily turns into a 6-hour adventure. We stay in a large hotel and we have the conference room available to us all weekend. The last one to go to bed locks up, this is usually around 4 a.m. The food is catered in and there’s lots of fabric shopping in Shipshewana, which is an Amish town. There are demos, door prizes, Show and Tell, and a great group of women. Other than my yearly trek to Paducah, KY, it’s the trip I most look forward to.”
Betsy’s guild has a yearly retreat at a local Christian retreat camp that 50 members attend. “They accommodate us in cabins, provide wonderful meals, and we quilt for four days in their gym. The retreat chairs do an amazing job of pulling together small projects and activities that are scattered thru the entire weekend. Local merchants donate prizes that are awarded all weekend! It’s so inspirational to see the beautiful creations and the wonderful fellowship!”
Donna went to a retreat put on by her quilt club in Branson Missouri. She had a great time, and is going to another one the first of May, also in Branson. Donna loves retreats. She learns much and explores great quilt shops in the area.
Sheila, a fan of Lone Star Quiltworks in College Station, Texas, goes to GreenBriar Retreat in Eustace, Texas twice a year. “Terry, the owner of Lone Star Quiltworks and Judy Groom, owner of GreenBriar, attend to everyone’s needs and whims! This is a top-notch retreat full of friends and fun!…It’s not a slice of heaven, it’s the whole shebang!!”
From Susan: “We have our retreat at a place called Magnolia Retreat & Conference in Springville/Odenville AL. The owner and her daughter cook for us three meals a day–fabulous meals, and we generally have the run of the place. We can sit on the huge back porch and sip coffee and talk or do handwork. Or we can sew, press, cut, corroborate with each other–you name it. We RELAX and I think that is what retreats are all about. There is always coffee, tea (sweet and unsweet), soft drinks, snacks, fruit–whatever you want, and we sew until we get ready to go to bed. Sometimes that’s 10:00 p.m., and sometimes it’s TWO a.m. When we’re “on a roll,” we don’t want to quit! Our guild has a “day” group and a “night” group, and we only get to see each other on rare occasions so we really look forward to retreats. The knowledge that these ladies have and so FREELY GIVE is the way I want to be. But, those ladies have forgotten more than I’ll EVER know. What you are doing has got to be a “challenge” BUT…it will bring so much joy and happiness to so many…And, it will certainly further the “art of quilting”. What will happen to quilting if we don’t have retreats and guilds and do everything in our power to keep quilting alive!? When I first started to quilt, maybe ten years ago, Bettye, the president of our guild, told me that it was up to us to keep quilting alive. I’ve never forgotten that. Bettye was a National Endowment of the Arts winner for the state of Alabama. Bettye was raised in a harsh environment in “Podunkville, Alabama” but she was always ready to help somebody learn more about quilting. Some patient soul had to teach me so I feel an obligation to pass on what little I know to help someone else have a passion for quilting within themselves that I have.”
Nancy likes to go to Quiltworx in Northwest Montana! The retreats are taught by Judy Niemeyer or one of her certified instructors. “Awesome quilts and awesome scenery! I stayed up until 3:00 am to finish my quilt!”
The United States is not the only place having quilt retreats! According to Deb, you might want check this out. “My friends and I have just been away at a sewing retreat in Buderim Queensland Australia. It was lots of fun and very productive. Can’t wait for the next one!!!”
We heard from several fine folks who run quilt retreats, as well. Their locations sound wonderful! If you’d like to gather your favorite quilters together for a fun retreat, one of these might be just the spot!
A message from Memory Lane: If you are looking for a great girls’ getaway, check out Memory Lane Crafting Retreat in northwestern Illinois!
From Angela: “Thanks so much for this article! We are in the end stages of house building (since June’s ground-breaking last year). When friends ask why we are building such a big place at our age, I share my vision of hosting quilt guilds for weekend getaways. We live in northeast Missouri – the heart of Mennonite and Amish country with an easy dozen quilt shops within a 30 minute drive. My Bernina shop owner in our local county seat is very excited about the concept and has offered to host classes for our guests. I have searched for websites of similar B&B’s for some ideas, but there doesn’t seem to be much out there. I know feeding and hosting people in your own home isn’t for everyone, but it has long been a dream of mine – fortunately, my husband is an agreeable sort! We are on a 700 acre cattle ranch with horses, dogs & cats, a large garden, several fishing and swimming lakes, lots of woods for walking. I think it’s a perfect fit, and I can’t wait to be up and running in 2015! Thank you for being such an encouragement…I have thought it would be a good fit for “city” guilds that appreciate getting out to the country. I’m halfway between Des Moines and St. Louis, so I plan on doing some direct mail pieces and honing my hospitality skills. I hope it is truly a blessing for other women – I know it will be a fun adventure for me!”
Chris says, “Hello everyone – funny I’ve not been on an official quilt retreat but I do hold quilt retreats at my bed and breakfast, Victorian Guest House in Nappanee, Indiana. I love it! I get inspired from all the quilters who come! Check out my website for information and pictures from previous retreats! I always say I NEED to go on a retreat -everyone has so much fun! My retreat guests have become my friends!!!”
As an answer to a quilter who wanted a “Summer Camp” atmosphere, Melody said, “When I saw this post, I was thrilled to my toes! A friend and I have just started a business holding quilt retreats, named the “Great Escape Quilt Camp”. We are in western Colorado and so far have held a couple retreats, with more scheduled for September and October. The summer months are open, for right now, and there will be more scheduled soon. Our events are smaller, ranging in size from 8 to 15 quilters, so far. We don’t yet have a website, which is coming within the next month or so, but we do have a Facebook page under our business name. Our attendees are called “Campers” and our staff are known as “Camp Counselors.” Our venues change from large rustic cabins to spacious and luxurious vacation homes, delivering to our campers an opportunity to enjoy the majestic beauty of the Rocky Mountains while being pampered to their hearts content. All the cooking is taken care and meals are included in the cost of the camp. Our camp counselors are available throughout the camping retreat for individual help on techniques or instruction, and we also provide periodic mini-classes and demonstrations to help get creative inspiration flowing. We have games, fun activities, and we even have a “Quilt Fairy” that visits regularly. Our goal is to have our campers depart feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, inspired, and pampered. Take a peek at our Facebook page, and Like us to keep up with what we’ve got going on. We’d love to have as many as possible join us on a Great Escape Quilt Camp adventure! Thanks so much for this post and it’s thread!”
I received a lovely e-mail from Jodi at Whistlestop Quilt Retreat: “The Whistlestop Quilt Retreat is located in Sweetwater, TN which is halfway between Knoxville and Chattanooga. We are so lucky to be in a historic 150 year old farmhouse. The house sleeps up to 18 guests in twin beds covered in locally handmade quilts. The farmhouse has 5 beautiful large bedrooms with 3-4 beds each and 4.5 baths. We have a bright sewing room with 13 sewing stations, as well as a large sunroom and parlor. We get a lot of rug hooking and stitchery retreats so not everyone needs a sewing station. Our Open Retreats are special because it allows individuals or small groups to come to retreat without being part of a large organized group. I stay at the farmhouse and provide all the meals during Open Retreats. Everyone works on their own projects and we occasionally have special small projects. We even get “friends” of quilters who come just to be with their friends even though they don’t sew! They read, shop and chat! Our “Fall Fling Open Retreat” this fall will include making a 20 gallon kettle of apple butter over an open fire…everyone will help “stir and can” the apple butter and take jars home with them! We also have classes and workshops, where you can “day retreat” at the Whistlestop with a farmhouse lunch! It’s a great day away for those who don’t get the opportunity to go away for a night. We will be celebrating our 1 year anniversary next month and are so blessed with special friends and guests that support us in our vision to provide a special escape where you can focus on your passion and share your talents and skills with friends, old and new. Thank you for the opportunity to share our retreat with you!”
Melody also mentioned on Facebook that Whistlestop offers private retreats for groups of 6-18 where they have the whole farmhouse and take care of their own meals or we have “Open Retreats” where you can come alone or with a few friends and all your meals are provided. “Our guests can stay in their pj’s all day and sew or head into our historic downtown for some antique shopping. We also have classes and workshops! 2014 “Open Retreats” are on our website.”
To some quilters, a getaway like any of these sounds like the perfect vacation. To others, travel is not easy, affordable, or a possibility due to situations beyond their control. One quilter mentioned church, and that’s a resource worth mentioning! To those of you who can’t get away, or who want the “quilt retreat” experience close to home, you might check out local churches in your area. Many churches hold regular quilting times during the week, and the friendships, learning, and accomplishments there are like having a mini-retreat every week!
In summary: Do we like retreats?
Gabriele: “I am ready for it…let’s go!”
Roxie: “Wow, let’s go!”
Beth: “What is not to like?”
Louise: “Ahhhhh… sounds like a slice of heaven.”
Corinna: “My fav thing to do!”
Karen: “I’ve never been on one, but would love to go.”
And another Karen sums it up: “Looks like a fun time to be had by all! Let’s go…(I’m) packing!…LOL!”