Never been on a retreat? It can be as simple as a few friends rotating homes and spending a whole day quilting. Some quilt shops sponsor "sleep in your own bed retreats" and host in-shop retreats for their customers. Many guilds offer an annual retreat for their members at a retreat facility or nearby hotel. The idea is to get away with like minded friends and immerse yourself in your passion for all things quilting!
My first retreat experience was with a handful of friends from my small guild. Housed in an apartment above a small quilt shop it had everything we needed....a large sunny room with tables, chairs and good lighting along with cutting and ironing stations. Three bedrooms with beds sporting beautiful quilts and nice kitchen and bathroom facilities provided a comfy place to quilt. After that weekend retreat I was hooked.....and my sides hurt from all the laughing we did!
Large guild retreats are sometimes held at hotels, utilizing a large conference room for sewing and activities and members sharing sleeping accommodations. I was invited to teach at a large guild retreat held at a religious retreat center rented for the weekend. All meals were catered and served in a lovely dining room. Talk about being pampered! Church or family camps are another option for retreating. My small guild graduated to a family "cabin" type facility. Built to hold large family gatherings our cabin had a full kitchen, plenty of work space, and enough beds. The ultimate in retreating is to find a retreat center designed for quilters. Some are entire homes turned into cozy getaways. Check on Quilting Hub for Retreat Facility listings all across the country.
So what do you actually do at a retreat? Planned retreats may offer guests teachers and you can take a class. Your group may decide to work on charity quilts together, or everyone may just bring a stack of projects and get to work on them. When it was my turn to plan our guild retreat I decided on a "Pajama Party" theme. There was a Funny Slipper Contest and a PJ Fashion Show complete with commentary! Then we all watched that old classic movie "Pajama Party". Every hour a timer would buzz and someone's name would be drawn for a door prize. Hilarious fun was had by all!
Family and/or friends retreats are fun too. My niece and her husband own a three story restored farmhouse so we now have an annual weekend sretreat there with my sister and I, our three daughters and a dear family friend. We all bring food, take a road trip to the local quilt shop and sew, sew, sew! Included is making pillowcases for kids who visit the emergency room where my niece and her husband are both trauma nurses. Retreats create great memories.