The Abiding Appeal of the Quilt Retreat
Quilter's World|Autumn 2020
Here are some tips for planning a quilt retreat. Taking time to research your options ensures that you and the other participants will enjoy the retreat you have planned.
KIM HANSON

Retreats come in all shapes and sizes. There are spa retreats and work retreats and wellness retreats—all designed for attendees to take a break from the daily grind of life. Retreats represent an opportunity to recharge, reinvigorate and, perhaps, even get back on track. Quilt retreats offer attendees a break from daily life, but they also represent something deeper and richer—an enduring sisterhood.

The word retreat can be defined as the act of escaping from some negative thing or situation, but it can also mean a place of refuge. Yes, a quilt retreat can be a place of safety and comfort, but more importantly, it offers attendees an opportunity to with draw, for a short time, from the daily grind and the difficulties of everyday life. For just a few precious days, routine chores like housework, preparing meals and generally taking care of others are left behind. A quilt retreat represents the alluring opportunity to trade everyday responsibilities for a chance to stitch, stitch and stitch some more!

Nature’s inspirational backdrop can provide another layer to a successful quilt retreat. Quilt-shop owners will, at times, plan their annual retreats away from their shops, hosting the retreat in a vacation destination instead.

Alvina Saliken of Sweet Pea Quilting in Parksville, British Columbia (www.sweetpeaquilting.ca) is one such quilt shop owner. After having to cancel the retreat she had planned in 2020 due to the coronavirus lockdown, Alvina is making plans for the future and hopes to host a quilt retreat in Tofino, on Vancouver Island, one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places in the world.

Having planned these events before, Alvina gives her quilters a choice between structure or freelancing at her retreats. “I always ask the ladies if they would like to do a day class, work together on a similar project, or just work on their own.” Most of the quilters choose to freelance. She goes on to say, “The attendees often bring way more projects to complete than they have time to work on. But, hey, you never know! Quilters are always so optimistic.”

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