Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Planning for TMQG Retreat 2014

This weekend is the Triangle Modern Quilt Guild's annual retreat.  It is an opportunity to get away, socialize with like minded quilters, and make some progress on those WIPs and holiday gifts! We have a very open format without a program for the weekend which leaves for a LOT of time to just sew. 

This is actually my first sewing retreat and I have to admit that I am a little overwhelmed with the idea of picking and packing my projects.  My children will be going with me and we are all staying with my parents a short distance from the retreat site.  I am so lucky that my parents are willing to watch over the littles while I focus on moving forward on some of my projects, but I also feel an obligation to be available for bedtime and to spend some time for my parents as well.  All of this leaves me wondering how much time I will actually be quilting and how many projects will I need to take with me to fill this time?

So here is my current plan:

Emerge Quilt - I finally got the star appliqued onto the background and I have a general quilting plan. I got the first stitches down and I am looking forward to making some real progress on this one.  This project will be my priority for the weekend. I need to choose a binding for this project.  I am not sure I will get to that stage this weekend, but perhaps I should pack a few options just in case.
Basted and appliqued! Now onto the quilting.
Vice Versa BOM Quilt - I have pieced the blocks for January, February, and March and my 4 year old son has now claimed ownership of this project, so I better get moving on the rest of the blocks. (On a side note, even though I am only through the March block for this pattern, I am really debating jumping on board with Gen X's 2015 BOM Moccasin as well!) I need to choose a backing and binding for this project as well.
Image courtesy of
I also have a few smaller projects to work on for the holidays including two pillows for my mother-in-law and a paper piecing project for my dad. And as always, I keep my first english paper piecing process in my purse for those moments when I can fit in a little hand work.

How much do you pack when you aren't sure how much work you can accomplish? What limitations do you put on your packing? 
Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.


  1. I usually bring a project or two more than I want to get to, just in case something goes wrong with a main project - like not enough (or the right) fabric if I cut wrong or change my mind or I didn't bring the right or enough tools (and nobody else did either). Also, sometimes you just need a mental break - a simple piecing project to balance out the applique or quilting or difficult pieced block. Lastly, don't forget to pack a quilting book or magazine you haven't had time to get to yet. Sometimes you just need to sit and read for a bit to clear your mind, and it's fun to share and discuss with the other quilters. Have a great time, and please share your experience when you get back and have a few moments.

  2. I brought 4 maybe 5 projects to my last retreat, and ended up working on 3 of them. My method for packing was just to choose a bag, and keep filling it with projects until it was full. I didn't want to end up in the regret camp spending the last day thinking "if I had only packed another project". While it worked out okay, all of my projects were piecing, so there wasn't ever a mental break. So I would say pack a variety of projects - one to piece, one to cut, one to quilt -- at least. Its hard to predict what you'll be in the mood for, or how much space there will be. Oh, one more thing, don't be "that quilter" who hogs one of the few design walls for the entire weekend. We had a few of those and we're still complaining about it 9 months later. :D But, most of all, enjoy the time together. Don't worry so much about accomplishing certain projects that you don't join in on the laughter and camaraderie.

  3. I sure hope that you enjoy your sewing time at the retreat! For a 2.5 day retreat, I found that 2-3 projects was nice for me. Enough variety that I could switch things up, but not so much that I felt too distracted and got good progress made. The idea about having extra projects in case something wonky happens from above makes good sense, too! Enjoy!

  4. Loving the colours you have used in that star.

  5. What a lovely star! I love your color selections, they really pop.

    How hard was appliqueing the star on for you? I'm also working on the Emerge quilt and I made the mistake of both picking a thick batting (mine is a Christmas quilt) and making a complete star, so trying to get my walking foot to move that sucker was a nightmare. I eventually ended up FMQing the lines needed to get the star appliqued, but that led to some.. pretty not-straight lines. Yours, hoever, looks completely gorgeous and well executed, so I can't wait to see the whole thing finished.

    I also second whoever said, have different projects in different phases for your sewing retreat. That way you can change projects when you're tired of whatever you're doing at the moment, and for me, both quilt magazines and hand work are a great break. Magazines are also great conversation pieces when other people want a break from their projects.

    (Here via WIP Wednesday - I posted the other Emerge project)

  6. I always pack far more than I could possibly get accomplished in a month of solid sewing. I worry that I'll run out of things to do, then spend the entire guild meeting gossiping and eating cake so I'm not sure what I worry about!