What If You Can’t Go to Houston?…..Then…

Background stippling the central theme

This is kind of a repeat subject, but I thought it might be fun for you to consider if you can’t go to Houston.  Develop and take your own personal quilting retreat with a certain amount of commitment while other quilting friends are off carousing in Houston.

Shortly after I bought Fritz (my Bernina Q20 sitdown longarm), I took a week and had my own private quilting retreat that inspired me, gave me time to practice quilting on my new machine, and to take some really fun online classes.  I don’t know about you, but I sometimes feel I should be doing something else when I’m spending time on these activities.  So setting aside a period of time and designating it as “a retreat” to myself and family gave me a lot of fun without that nagging thought that maybe I should be working on something else or cleaning or some such.  It actually felt like I was at a retreat and it helped me learn a lot and just have some fun.  The cost was limited to the purchase of the online classes and the supplies for them, and I bought them on sale and pulled most of the supplies from my own stash.  The cost of going Houston is quite a significant amount more unless you live there, and you can review the classes whenever you want to.

I approached this just as I would have preparing for any retreat:  I put together a stack of small quilt sandwiches, some of which I marked with grids and lines, and some had no marking for my practice.  I bought several online classes and made sure I had all the supplies for them, and I did do a little cleaning prep of my studio beforehand.  These are some classes I recommend from iquilt.

  • Divide, Design, and Fill for Beautiful Quilting:  Lisa H. Calle
  • Machine Quilting on the Grid:  Gina Perkes
  • English Paper Piecing by Machine:  Karen K. Stone
  • Step by Step Quilted Landscapes:  Kathy McNeil
  • Three Embellished Fabric Bags:  Rami Kim

I also recommend these classes from Craftsy.

  • The Perfect Finish:  How to Bind a Quilt:  Susan Cleveland
  • The Machine Embroidery Inspired Quilt:  Susan Stewart
  • Scrap Quilting:  Pepper Cory

In addition, if you are a member of The Quilt Show, (and if you aren’t, why not?)  it’s a nice time to review or see some of the shows and the little Bernina videos (most techniques applicable to other than Bernina machines).

  • Select TQS shows, which I played while I was quilting (I have a small TV in Studio Fritz).  I think this moved my quilting forward.

The first thing I did was just play the classes through while I was practicing my quilting on Fritz.  Then I watched a couple of them with care and did some form of the projects.   I think it would be fun to have a friend join me for a similar private retreat sometime here in my studio.  Any volunteers?

Sew happy everyone!  I highly recommend you carry out your own personal quilting or sewing retreat and let me know how it goes for you and what classes you took.


12 thoughts on “What If You Can’t Go to Houston?…..Then…

  1. TRACI says:

    That is a great idea. I just finished a big project and this is exactly what I need to do to refuel my creativity. Your gallery of work is beautiful and very inspiring.

  2. Nancy says:

    I hope you enjoy your private retreat! I’m one of the lucky ones going to Houston. (Not lucky for my checkbook, but worth it for my one trip a year.) I look forward to seeing what you accomplish while I’m gone!

  3. Luann says:

    I like the idea. I will ponder a personal retreat, and let you know how things turn out. Let’s see, I have that silk fusion kit I bought, six new skeins of yarn from vacation time, and I’ve wanted to do an improvisational “nest” , completely on my longarm machine. I just need to decide on the days, and let my DH know what I want for meals. He loves to cook, and prefers me to be out from under foot when he does. I’m blessed.

  4. Heather V says:

    I’m fortunate to live in Houston, so am going 🙂 but this is a great idea for those who can’t make it. Or, maybe you’ve been before and still have half-finished class projects, DVDs, notes…..time to finish up, follow through, etc. Excellent idea!

  5. Mrs. Plum says:

    What a great idea! I’m in a small quilt guild that does weekend retreats occasionally. The energy and comments, suggestions, etc, from other quilters are great. I’ve never tried to do a personal retreat, however, and I think it would be fun.

  6. Terry says:

    You have fun no matter what Betty Jo and that is one of the reasons I enjoy your blog. You are always so positive. I’ve had a personal retreat and it was fun. I should do it again!!!

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