Top 5 Things That Happen At Quilt Retreats


Quilting Contessa shares some of the interesting, fun, and annoying things that happen when you go to a quilt retreat. You probably have yours too!

Rating: Not enough ratings.
Your rating: Sign in to rate

Top 5 Things That Happen At Quilt Retreats

If you have never attended a quilt retreat, you are probably wondering why ladies need to go away to a retreat house to sew together. There are many answers to this question. You will find a few below.

Top 5 Things That Happen At Quilt Retreats


1. Get Answers

First, there is always someone there who can help you. Questions such as "what does 'x' mean?" get answered right away. Instructions for patterns are not always easy to read, but you are more than likely to find someone on the retreat who has done the technique before. After all, it does take three people: one to sew, one to read the directions, and one to oversee the process.

Get Answers


2. Borrow Something

Along those lines, you will hear, "Does anyone have a 'y' with them?" This can be anything from sewing machine oil to painters' tape, but you can be sure that someone will have it. Packing for a retreat is a challenge. Will I need my own iron? Light? Ruler? Etc. Just because you couldn't live without the tool last year doesn't mean that you will even use it this year. And what projects do you take? UFO's (unfinished objects) are popular because you hope that other retreaters will coax you into finishing it. But who can resist the latest pattern that you bought at the quilt shop on the way to the retreat house?

Borrow Something


3. Space

Retreat houses must have lots of design walls. Each quilter needs space to post her squares on the wall for all to see. This is needed because each of the other quilters has an eye for how the quilt should be assembled. No doubt you have heard many versions of how many "whatever" it takes to change a lightbulb. The quilter's version goes," How many quilters does it take to decided if the brown square should go next to the grey one or the beige one?"



4. Find Your Spot

"Broccoli!" Nope, this is not a secret quilter's code. It just one part of one conversation overheard in the work room. Many quilters can sew at the speed that they talk, but there always seems to be a "quiet" end of the room, and a "loud" end of the room. Noise is an issue at retreat. Calls from husbands are common and all sound the same. "Where did you put the XYZ?" There are always machine noises, too. Some make little beeps, some announce when the bobbin thread is low. Others race along at the speed that the quilter is talking.

on the phone


5. Productivity

All that said, the productivity at a quilt retreat house is astonishing. Sewing from before breakfast until late at night does tend to inspire even the most distracted quilter. Sleep is optional, coffee is plentiful, and the encouragement of your colleagues never ends!



Check This Out!

Check out the most popular tool on QuiltingHub. Use the search 'Map Of Resources' or the 'Resources Trip Planner' to the right (or below).



A spool or reel that holds thread or yarn for spinning, weaving, knitting, sewing, or making lace.
Debi Warner
Author and humorist, Debi Warner, retired after many years as a clinical librarian and information specialist. She has her Master’s in Library and Information Science and achieved a Distinguished level in the Medical Library Association’s Association of Health Information Professionals. She has worked on teaching physicians to use computers and electronic resources. She also worked on several grants teaching the public how to use the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus public database and is co-author of several articles on health literacy. She took up quilting after retirement in 2012 and chaired the Rio Grande Valley Quilt Show in 2019. She currently teaches several quilting classes over Zoom and writes for QuiltingHub.
Search Articles
Map Of Resources Near
Resources Trip Planner