Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Retreat 2015: Everything You Need to Know...

It's hard to believe but retreat 2015 is almost here!!!  For those of you who are going here is everything you need to know...

Where are we going?  The Franciscan Guest House is located at 26 Beach Ave, Kennebunk, ME.  207-967-4865

When can I get there?  People can arrive Thursday the 19th at 1 PM and anytime Friday.  Room check in begins at 3 PM.  Please check in at the front desk for your key.  The gym where we sew is located all the way down on the left with parking in front.

Can I carpool?  Absolutely!  Check out this document to coordinate rides.

What is provided?
  • tables, chairs, electrical outlets, lighting
  • ironing boards and irons
  • design walls
  • tables for cutting stations
  • water, coffee and tea throughout the day
  • refrigerator
  • breakfast each morning
  • lunch on Saturday (wraps and salads)

Any suggestions for what to bring?
  • sewing machine (do not forget the power cord or foot pedal!) and presser feet
  • notions (sewing machine needles, pins, scissors, starch/Best Press, seam ripper, marking pens...)
  • projects and fabrics
  • thread
  • rotary cutter and mat (not everyone has to bring theirs.  We set them up at the stations and share)
  • iron (irons are provided but each group of tables can have 1 personal iron.)
  • rulers
  • anything you use during the course of normal sewing/quilting

Is there anything else I should bring?
  • shampoo/toiletries/hair dryer (the hotel does not provide anything)
  • snacks/beverages
  • cash for dinners
  • iPod and headphones (the gym can get quite loud at times)
  • boots or sneakers for the short walk to town/restaurants
  • flashlight (it can be dark walking back from dinner and between buildings)
  • seat cushion (some of our more petite members found the chair height to be a bit low - alternatively you can use a bed pillow from your room)

Are there any quilt shops on the way?
  • Portsmouth Fabric Company, Portsmouth NH - great selection of modern fabrics
  • Knight's Quilt Shop, Cape Neddick, ME - more traditional, lots of Moda
  • Marden's, Sanford, ME - actually a surplus store, but a fantastic selection of fabric at $4-5 a yard.  Very hit or miss though in terms of what is currently on offer.  If you mention you're with the guild at the cutting table, you'll receive a 10% discount.
  • Saltwater Fabrics, South Berwick ME - a brand new quilt shop that just opened in December.  Lots of modern choices including Cotton + Steel and Kona.  

Is there any programming?

No, the entire weekend is open sewing time.  While we do lock the sewing room at night we will happily make arrangements for early birds/night owls to have a key so you can sew whenever you want.

There will be an optional zippered bag challenge at retreat. Everyone will be provided with a 14" navy zipper which can be shortened if desired. The bag will be made at retreat (zipper given there) but you can have everything prepped and ready to go. One prize will go to the one voted as favorite and the other to a random non-winner participant. There are lots of great free patterns available online.

If you are looking for something easy to do as a break, there will be background fabric available to make sparkle punch blocks. If you have a 3.5" x 17.5" scrap, you'll have enough for one star (5-3.5" squares, so a single fat quarter could make 6 sets). You just have to have to make the stars pieces, after retreat this will be pieced together as a charity quilt.  Ideal fabrics for this are bright small to medium prints. For every set of blocks made your name will be entered in a raffle for one of three fabric prizes.

Other stuff:

For dinner, we usually pair up in groups of 4 or so and do our own things.  Ordering takeout food is also an option that people usually do on Saturday night in order to maximize their sewing time.  Kennebunkport has many restaurants choices and all are within easy walking distance.

Plan to dress in layers as the temperature in the gym can fluctuate.

Be aware that the nearest quilt shop is a good distance away, so err on the side of over-packing as you won't want to leave to purchase something you need.  Although with 40 other women someone will probably have an extra of whatever you are missing!

Please mark your items like scissors, rotary cutters, etc to identify them as yours.

Please respect the fact that the design boards are shared, and do not leave projects up for an extended period when others might need them.

Still have questions?  Contact Gretchen at

Full payment is now due!  If you have not already paid please do so immediately by clicking here or risk losing your spot.

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