Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Do You Retreat?

First, go read Audrey's post about The Habits of Creativity, here. In fact, read her whole series. You'll find the tab at the top of her page. She's nailed so many things, I refer back to it all the time.

Now I'd like to add my own tip for re-igniting your creativity: Go to Quilt Retreats!

Bernie, ready to roll
 First of all, and very important, is you get to "get away" which is huge for many women who juggle jobs, households, kids, etc etc. and find it challenging to find the time to relax and/or sew. Your time is your own here, with nobody breathing down your neck to do anything. But.. getting things done, you will! Because...

2. You acheive Focus and Momentum. Before you know it you've  gotten it done. I always like to bring a variety of things to work on, including some things I've been putting off because I simply don't feel like working on them. In the stimulus of the retreat setting, these projects seem to move forward by themselves. For instance, last weekend I machine quilted two quilts, including the dreaded Chicken Quilt I'd been putting off forever!

chicken quilt

Vet Quilt

3. You get to see what others are doing, including other styles of work,  and are able to study their process. 

4. You get inspiration. The best retreat settings in my opinion have a variety of styles going on, including but not exclusive to my own. I have been inspired to break out of my "box" and try new things. I have also gained new insight into why I love the things I love...

...and see the possibilities in everything else.

5. You get to bounce your ideas around everyone else, and get their feedback, which is indispensable when you're laboring over a border, or what setting might work. 

Not to mention the camaraderie, getting to know new people, and spending quality time with the ones you already know.

So I ask again, do you retreat? What do you like the best about going to retreats? What do you get out of it? Did I mention you don't have to cook? I'd love to hear your experiences, good bad or otherwise!

Now a sneak preview to a project I worked on, but won't show in its completion until after it gets to its new home.



  1. LOVE this! Do you know I've never been to an actual quilt retreat. An all day sew-along many times, but retreat no! I'm always envious of the fun quilters seem to have though.:)

  2. I enjoyed Audrey's article but have never been to a retreat. I can't even stitch at my quilting bee group without making numerous mistakes. Then I go home and have to unpick everything I did. Seems like I really need quiet time for me to stitch. I'd love the fun of going to a retreat and getting feedback but not if I don't accomplish anything.

  3. I do three retreat each year and my favorite thing is the inspiration I get from seeing what everyone else is working on. There are always lots of laughs and tons of fun, but it does take a few days to decompress when I get home! I'm trying to train myself to not stay up so late while at retreat, but I hate to miss out on anything--haha!
    I love that Vet quilt!!

  4. I have been a quilter for many years and just started going to retreats. I love the fellowship and laughter. Just being in a room full of ladies who all love to quilt is very special.

  5. I've never been to a retreat either. Something to consider for the bucket list I guess. I can see where it would be fun to see other quilters projects!
    Thank you for sharing.