Quilt Retreat - How to Choose Your Projects

Guess what? I’m going on a quilt retreat! I’m so excited, as this is my first retreat ever that’s at an actual retreat center with other quilters. This week, I’m busy prepping my fabrics and making a packing list of things not to forget. I thought there might be others interested in quilt retreats or how to prepare for a retreat. I’m here to share my journey with you!


quilt retreat


Is a quilt retreat right for you?


There are variations of quilt retreats. You could do a solo retreat on your own that involves getting some private quiet time to sew alone. I’ve done this once and the reason was to help me focus without any distractions. If I would have stayed home, the laundry or dishes would have been calling my name, or some other household chore guilt would be felt. By leaving the house completely, my only choice was to quilt and be productive. I packed up a ton of sewing materials into a car, drove to my parents’ farmhouse, and spent the day sewing away.  You may choose to pack everything up and head to a local hotel for a night and quilt the night away from distractions. Order room-service for dinner and keep on sewing!


Maybe a quilt retreat with other quilters is interesting to you. I first heard of the Sonder Retreat when Lisa from Wild Plum Lane and Carrie from Lifting Limits Quilting announced their retreat plans on Instagram. I had taken an online course with both of these ladies and had pattern tested for Carrie. Even though I had never met them, I felt like I “knew” of them and was getting to know them more through our online chats.



quilt label


How do you decide what projects to work on at the retreat?


When choosing retreat projects, I had a couple of ideas. First, I have a new pattern that I’ll be releasing in July (eek!) and I needed to push myself to make a second version of the quilt. By taking this project along, I am making myself complete a necessary item.


Second, I have another pattern I’ve designed but haven’t tested myself yet. Testing my own patterns for me is a mental hurdle. Making sure the quilt math is correct and figuring out how best to assemble blocks is tricky, so I sometimes procrastinate testing out my designs. Again, by taking this project, I am forcing myself and overcome this mental block.


My third project is a fun one! I’ve been drooling over the Patchwork Duffle Bag for a year now. I bought the pattern and joined the quilt along this year. I decided this would be the perfect fun project to tackle while at the retreat.


Lastly, I have single quilt blocks I’m making that will eventually be mounted on canvas and displayed in a local quilt shop. This is a project that’s due early fall, and I want to get started on it now. These blocks are smaller projects that would be perfect to squeeze into spare moments in the quilting room at the retreat. Only a half an hour until dinner? Perfect, I can work on a single block without feeling like I’m getting engrossed in a big project just to have to stop within a few minutes.


Another project you might want to consider bringing is some hand quilting (such as binding). When others are socializing, hand quilting is a great way to be productive but still talking with friends.


fabric cut


So maybe you have a list of projects piling in your head now. Maybe you need to sign up for a retreat as well!


I will be making a packing list this week and sharing my quilt retreat adventures with you in the coming weeks!




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