Tag: Quilt Retreats

Quilt Retreat Checklists

Winter has come and gone (well, sort of) and what does that mean? It’s quilt retreat season!

Image of Tool Holder

Over the years I’ve compiled lists of items to take on retreats – see the master list below for today’s quilter.

Also, check out these previous blog posts in case you are wondering about some of these items: Quilt Retreat Take-Alongs 2019 AND Quilt Retreat Checklist 2018 AND Quilt Retreat Take-Alongs 2017

The basics: Sewing machine and supplies, including instruction manual, needles, thread, scissors,seam ripper, extra light bulb, Q-tips for cleaning (I actually prefer the make-up applicator style) Double check that you have your foot pedal and electrical cord with your machine!

Extras: More lighting, electrical strips and cords, phone, laptop, tablet, fitness tracker and charging cords for each.

Design wall or make-do with a fleece blanket or flannel-backed table cloth. Painters tape or push pins to hang the fleece or tablecloth. Throw in your 1/4 inch seam guide and 3M removable tape, rotary mat and blades, portable iron and ironing surface, cutting and specialty rulers, fabric spray, various scissors (depending on your projects), hand-work projects with needles, thread, thimble, chain cutter, guild directory.

Personal items: Comfortable clothing, pajamas, walking shoes, pain reliever, back “massager”, overnight products, food, and plenty of water. I also throw in DVDs, a book, book light, a personal heater, all my work stuff to fill orders while at retreat, and my yoga workout, so I don’t leave retreat in pain!

So tell me, what am I missing? Follow on Facebook at Creative Bee Studios and tell me what you bring to retreats!

Stay tuned for pics of retreat quilt projects – I’ll make the rounds to all the cabins – the variety is astounding!

Quilt Retreat Take-Alongs

Start your packing – it’s time to take your quilting on the road!

Below is my 2019 Quilt Retreat List. I have found that you can’t make a good list if you aren’t clear on your retreat objectives…sounds official, doesn’t it?

Is your retreat purely for productivity? Is it social? Do you spend time shopping? Going out to eat? Do you eat quick bites on location or carefully planned meals? Is your goal to relax? Did you answer, “All of the above?”

Image of Tool Holder

I think that’s why i take so many items on retreat – I want to pack (no pun intended) EVERYthing I can into a few days – high productivity, great fabric shopping, relaxation, yummy food, rest, movies, music, walks, and fun with friends…is that too much to ask?

I hope this “official” list helps you on your next quilt retreat – or even just a bit of quilting on the road…

*Sewing machine, electrical cord, pedal, extra light bulb, feet, manual, bobbins, Q-tips for cleaning.

*Sewing table, extra lighting.

*Fabric, patterns, projects, kits, felt-backed table cloth or other design wall with tacks, painters tape, or 3M strips for hanging.

*Seam ripper, scissors, rotary cutters, blades, rulers, mat, risers to raise cutting table.

*Iron, pressing spray, pressing surface.

*Extensions cords, electrical strips.

*Personal items which might include drinks, snacks, rice bag to heat for sore shoulders, comfortable clothing and walking shoes, pain relief, charger cords, overnight bag and products, chocolate, and popcorn.

NOW for the REST of the story: a reveal of everything that is actually in my spinning work station (I use it in my studio, plus it’s ready to hit the road on a moment’s notice. Note: I’ve never really cleaned it out before!)

Top left to bottom right: Fusible web (hmmm, not my favorite kind, so it must be for emergencies only), pressing spray, mini iron, chain-piecing cutter, very cute rice bag (for sore muscle, compliments of friend Donna), various rotary blades, The Purple Thang, a gripper tool, bandages, rotary cutter, two styles of Karen K. Buckley scissors (definitely a fave), Pre-cuts guide for fabric purchase emergencies, thumb tacks, pins, cord wrap, thread, Q-tips, battery, thread and button (?), needles, a plethora of markers and pencils, snipping scissors, Fabric Fuse (never used it), the back of something which apparently held batteries, calculator (fabric purchase emergency?) guild directory (what’s her name?), obsolete business cards, note pads, another gripper tool, clips (hmmm, for hanging table cloth design wall?), True Grips (truly a favorite), and last, but not least, Martelli cutters (I am an ambidextrous cutter, so I use both left and right-handed ones). Whew!

What have I missed? Tell me in the comment section below!

See more about retreats here at: One Sweet Retreat and Friendship, Laughter & Quilts, Oh My!  and Seven Projects from Quilt Retreat

#usebothsides of one focus fabric with these patterns – shop HERE!

Image of New Quilt Design
Belle Quilt Patternhttp://www.etsy.com/shop/CreativeBeeStudios

Friendship, Laughter & Quilts–Oh My!

Once a year we head out of town to a cabin in the woods. It’s a deer camp for the hunters in the family. For one week, we “chick” up the place!

Image of Cabin

After cleaning, but before the invasion!

Bring in the tables, machines, fabric, thread, needles and pins, design walls, quilt blocks, music, movies, lights, food, food, more food and, best of all, friends!

Image of Sewing Machine

Featherweight is set up and stitching on night one.

We spend a bit of  time when we arrive to vacuum, mop, disinfect surfaces, wash bedding, and do mouse and spider prevention– because it really is a cabin in the woods!

Read on to share in our adventures which included a low-flying plane, a Polaris ride through the property (with a fortunate ending), limited cell service, a ringed-moon, hooting owl, quilt reveals, sunrises, demos, sunsets, more quilts, a little (wink) Momma Mia, and a lot of laughter.

Image of Quilters Watching Linda.

Linda gives a demo for making clothesline bowls.

Image of Quilters at the Design Wall.

Design work.




We stood in the field at the top of the hill and made an impromtu target for a money/food/water drop with this water bottle as the target. It felt like a scene from Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. (Can you believe not one thing hit our target?)Image of Feet in a CircleA flyover!Image of Plane

One evening, my hubby gave us a ride through the property – through thorns and briars and overgrown brush – this pic shows the dam which is usually kept cleared.Image of Brush We were truly blazing trails!  This was our view from the dam.Image of Pond

Image of Hanging Quilts

Completed tops hang from the banister.

It was all fun and games until  we broke down – the “fortunate ending” was that the abrupt stop didn’t happen in the middle of nowhere OR in the middle of the briar patch.  A brief, downhill walk back to the truck was welcome!

One morning, about 4:30, Linda and I met in the kitchen and since we were both wide awake, we decided it was time to take the coffee to the porch. The moon had a beautiful red ring around it. We rocked, talked, drank coffee, watched the stars turn into a sunrise, and heard an owl in the tree.

How does Momma Mia fit in? Well, one annoying quilter (there’s always one) couldn’t get “Waterloo” out of her head. Knowing only that word of the song, that’s all she would sing…over and over until they finally turned on the movie and then NO one could get that or any of the other songs out of their heads.  Let’s see…”Dancing Queen”,  “Waterloo”, “Super Trouper” “Honey, Honey”, “Momma Mia”, “Money, Money, Money”, “Our Last Summer”…yes, you are all quite welcome for the reminder! (blowing kiss).

We had a wonderful week. I regret we didn’t take more pictures, because, believe it or not, some quilters, quilts, and activities didn’t get photographed!


Image of Bear Quilt

Peggy’s Bear Quilt

Image of Beth's Quilt on Design Wall

Beth’s quilt on the design wall.

Image of Sunset

Sunset at the old barn site.

Image of Shelter

The new shelter at the site of the old red barn.

Image of Quilters by Window

Merle and Nancy trying to get cell bars while Mary is hard at work.

Image of Ladies on Porch

Coffee on the porch.

Image of Quilters

Anne, Nancy, and Donna at work.

Sometimes while packing, loading, and unloading soooo many things for a quilt retreat, you start to wonder if it’s worth the effort. Couldn’t I get more done in my own space?

Image of Quilters Working

This is what happens when you play hooky from quilt class!

Yes, probably. But there is something wonderful about being around old friends, making new friends, having limited responsibilities, doing whatever you feel like doing, laughing, sharing–that you can’t do at home stitching alone.
I wish I could share ALL of this with people who ask what I do–quilting is about so much more than what I think they picture. How do you convey the friendship and camaraderie? The creativity and discovery? The laughter and weight gain? (Did I mention that part?) Quilt retreats generally involve a lot of eating.
Speaking of that, I need to end this post so I can swim some laps to try to get back into my pre-retreat clothes! “Back to life…back to reality” (another song for you…by Soul II Soul, 1989) You’re welcome, friends!

Thanks for all the fun and memories!

Read “One Sweet Retreat” HERE

Next week is the final block reveal for River Heritage BOM Mystery Quilt!



Quilt Retreat Checklist

Image of Quilters

Read HERE about this Jonas Bluffs Retreat!


Quilt retreats are filled with friends, fabric, laughter, and food.

Here’s a quilt retreat checklist – Lady of the Lake style!

Quilt Retreat Packing List
2018 Lady of the Lake Style!

Since each quilt retreat is different (due to location, format, schedules, work stations, and even the people you go with), I’ve decided to share how we do quilt retreat at Kentucky Dam Village, Lady of the Lake style!

We have eight lovely ladies in one cabin. We each set up our work station, stitch a lot, eat a lot, share a lot, and laugh a lot. We schedule our meals and each person provides in some way, either meals or supplies.

This year will be a working retreat for me, but I’m looking forward to working in the company of some of my dearest friends! Hope you get some use from this list and a little insight to dynamics of the Lady of the Lake gals.

Sewing Machine (I take my featherweight) and supplies:

Electrical cord, foot pedal, extra light bulb, manual, bobbins, Q-tips (for cleaning machine, not ears)

General Quilting Supplies:

Seam ripper, scissors, rotary cutter and blades, rulers, cutting mat, iron, pressing surface, tables, electrical cords, extension cords, extra lighting, fabric spray, pins, hand-work supplies, guild directory, ¼” guide and 3M removable double-stick for guide on machine.

Personal Items:
Pajamas, preferred drinks, snacks and food for meals not planned, rice bag for sore muscles, “Oh, Ross!” massager for neck and shoulders (reference Poldark), comfortable clothing, walking shoes, jeans for shopping trips, jacket/sweatshirt, overnight bag/products, Advil, pain relief lotion

My Work Station (while at retreat this year, I’ll be filling orders, designing more patterns, working on our guild’s mystery quilt pattern designing, and attaching labels to #usebothsides quilts):

Personal fireplace heater, saddle chair, templates, blank paper, pencils, computer, keyboard, mouse, and cords, printer and cords, printer paper, batteries, paper cutter, tape, mailing bags, patterns, background fabrics, focus fabrics, fusible, basting glue, applique scissors, Kathy’s quilt, Phoebee, Belle, Lily, Sally, Fiona quilts, phone charger, Fitbit charger, dvd player and exercise mat.

Ingredients for my assigned meal: Cheesy, Broccoli Potato Soup with salad and bread.
Snacks (chocolate, trail mix, licorice)
Tea and waters
This doesn’t look like much food, but when each quilter brings extra to share, we end up with lots of snacks and never has anyone lost weight on a retreat – except one gal – she was determined!

Quilt retreats are fun, productive, yummy, and tiresome all rolled into one week!

Supply List Printer Format

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Quilt Retreat Take-Alongs

Image of Creek and Sand Bar

On the road to quilt retreat.

Here are a few items you might want to add to your retreat list:

There are lots of lists out there suggesting what to pack for quilt retreats. Here are a couple of things I add to the basic lists – to update them or accommodate for my projects. Hope this will help you, too, be totally prepared for your next retreat.

Okay, so first, take all the normal sewing/quilting supplies (machine, fabric, thread, needles, scissors, seam ripper, etc.).

Then consider:

Chargers for phone, Ipad and Fitbit

Cords for all machines and laptop

Leather thimble or little stick-on dots for hand-work

Chain-cutter (mine is Barney purple)

Guild directory (for when you can’t remember that one lady’s name)

Pre-cuts guide (for shopping trip)

Pressing board

Silicone Pressing Sheet

Extra light bulb for machine

Basting glue

Pressing Spray

1/4 inch guide

Extra lighting


You might want to throw in some clothes and soap and you’re good to go! Now check out this One Sweet Retreat to read about last year’s trip to Jonas Bluffs.

Please share your ideas for retreat lists and comment below.

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Seven Projects from Quilt Retreat

Projects from quilt retreat are as varied as the Ladies of the Lake.

Twice a year our Lady of the Lake quilting group takes in a little nearby retreat – in fact, it’s so nearby that there is a constant stream of coming and going to town for meetings, family duties, or to pick up forgotten supplies. That may not sound like much of a retreat, since the idea of quilt retreats are to get away from the everyday distractions so you can focus solely on quilting….

but these retreats are like little bonus days. Some quilters can spend the night. Others are day-timers. Some have doctor’s appointments, grand-babies to sit, ballgames to watch, or more.

As many reasons as we each have to come and go, we have that much variation in the projects we come together to complete.

Here are a few:

Image of Blocks Being Stitched Together

Quilts of Valor Kits being made.

Donna was making up large stars from donated fabrics our guild members provided. She had help from another friend, Mary T., who visited our retreat. See One Stitch at a Time to see my dad’s Quilt of Valor or go to the Quilt of Valor Foundation here.

Image of Star Blocks

Sandy worked on her 30’s block for class.

Sandy worked on “30s” blocks for a Merle’s Girls class she is taking.

Lynnore was working on her new Moda Cake Mix Recipe blocks.

Image of Quilt Blocks

Lynnore stitched up her new Moda Cake Mix Recipe blocks.

Image of Scan N Cut

Nancy and Rosie mastered Scan N Cut techniques.

Nancy and Rosie conquered Scan and Cut projects, including a new technique using freezer paper.

Mary designed a quilt using an unusual panel while Pat stitched up some batik blocks.

Barb faithfully worked on her hand-stitched Christmas stockings (not pictured).

Image of Panel Quilt Top

Mary Designed a Panel Quilt

Image of Block using batiks.

Pat loves working with batiks.

I spent most of my time designing a companion quilt for Phoebee – using the reverse side of fabric for reflective color value. We pondered the name for this new design and everyone offered their ideas. Here’s a sneak peak at her:

Image of New Quilt Design

See Designing Quilts by Chance to get an idea of what this girl might be!

One thing I can say about this group of Chickies is that we are best of pals. We love and value each other dearly, even if we don’t see eye to eye all the time or all have completely different lives outside of our quilting. Quilting is the common “thread” that keeps the Ladies of the Lake coming back together, again and again.

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Comment below and tell me what kind of retreats you like or want to attend. What are your favorite projects to take on retreats?

One Sweet Retreat

Take a look at our sweet quilt retreat in the woods.

Summer breezes, floating skies, lazy days…butterflies.

One Sweet Retreat

One hunting cabin, twelve ladies, three featherwieghts, one Brother, two Janomes, one New Home, three ScanNCuts, handwork, fabric everywhere, thread, pins, needles, fusible, vinyl and food–what more could a quilter want? A few deer out the window?


Deer on the Bluffs

What seemed to a few like a road to nowhere turned into a swell time for us all!

While some gals worked on machines and some day-trippers brought handwork, many of us worked on final details for the local quilt show which our guild hosts in less than a month: bindings, labels, tops, and some just beginning!

Rosie’s stocking.








The End of the Road

Nearly everyone got some kind of monogram as we were testing our wits against the ScanNCut machines and realizing the possibilities.

A is for Anne with an E

We were busy from dawn to late night.

Nancy’s Tea Quilt

There was laughter and sharing, ideas and planning, world problems solved and lots of food involved! SOMEone, of course, brought some bear scat to scare–but instead it was bear scat to share! It was YUM!

Fresh Bear Scat




Bear Droppings:


2 cups milk chocolate chips

1 Tbsp shortening

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup slivered almonds

(You can substitute almonds if you like)

Directions: in a double boiler over simmering water, melt the chocolate chips and shortening until smooth. Remove from heat; stir in raisins and almonds. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper. Chill until ready to serve.

My answer to the bear trickery was a bear paw quilt made with Kaffe and Moda Grunge. See “It’s a Bear Out There” for the full bear tale.

My Bear Likes Kaffe


This little getaway was a fun and beautiful way to transition from the heat of the summer to the cooler temps ahead.

Sweet Friends

It was a sweet retreat.



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Tell me about your last retreat!

The Infamous Low Water Bridge