I want to go to quilt camp.

I hope that just brought all of our quilters in:).

My maid of honor got me into quilting, and I love it now. She’s made mention of the fact that she would love to attend a quilting retreat or quilt camp, and so, for a gift for all the work she’s done in my wedding, I’m going to take us both on a quilt retreat. She’s in Michigan (Kalamazoo) and I’m in Ohio (Canton). Preferably, I’d like somewhere we can both drive to, but if I have to fly one or both of us, I can do that, too.

Does ANYONE know where I might find a reasonably-priced retreat? Even if it’s just one or two classes, and quiet, private quilting the rest of the weekend, that would be fine. We both really want to expand our skills and learn new things, but the important thing is to spend the weekend quilting.

Anyone? I know this is a fairly random question, but I’m hoping someone around here will know.


I don’t know, but if you make a lanyard, it’s gonna be a bitch to fit your keys in your purse…

Pick up a copy of Quilter’s Newsletter Magaine. It had numerous ads and listings for quilting retreats and classes all over the country and the world.

Good luck, have fun, and congrats on the wedding!

The Quilting Faerie

Oh, you rock - I think I saw that magazine at Joann’s. Thank you! I’ll make you a quilt for the help!:slight_smile: (Course, between the wedding and quilt camp, I’m gonna be broke, so it’ll have to be a very small quilt - do you have any pet mice?)

And Ethilrist, for making me snort iced tea out of my nose, you get a pretty quilted jacket made from my old socks;).


Wow. Did I actually spell that ‘Magaine’? :wally :smack:

Hmm, a quilt that small could be used as the postcard from your trip. :stuck_out_tongue:


The Quilting Faerie

Thanks for the suggestion to pick up a copy of Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine for a list of classes. I’ve also been meaning to look into classes or a weekend quilting retreat.

One time, in quilt camp, I …

(someone beat me to that line in another camp thread so i had to say it here!)

whose mom quilted

I’m not a quilter, but I play one on…


Seriously, my mom is a quilter. I am most emphatically NOT, but I know more about quilting than anyone has ever wanted to, thanks to a lifetime of being dragged to fabric stores and quilt shows. I know about 'em all. Thanks, mom. Anyway, my mom does these retreats from time to time and LOVES them. Sometimes they’re planned by a guild, and sometimes it’s just her and some friends renting a cottage by the ocean for a weekend. Do you have a featherweight sewing machine? These are best for retreats cause you can carry them around easily. There might be other portable machines, but my mom and her guild favor these - they were made by Singer in the 50s, I think - they’re black, with gold trim. They’re easily acquired at flea markets and such.

That reminds me, for resources, look to your local guild. I’m sure you have one nearby.

Quilt camp :dubious: Are you talking about a place where you PAY someone else and then YOU do the work? Hmmm…maybe not a bad idea at that. Mom’s got a set of quilting frames setup in her spare bedroom. If I could schedule some classes and get her to run the thing. She’s got several trunks full of tops that need quilting. She does several every year. Usually by herself.
Used to all the ladies around here would meet at the community center and have quilting “parties”. They’d all get together at noon to eat and then afterwards would go in the side room of the center where there were three or four frames setup with chairs and a few machines etc.

They’d have a big hen party everyday after dinner (that’s lunch for you cityfolk) for a couple of hours making quilts. IIRC they’d usually make two or three quilts to raffle in the fair come fall. Proceeds going to the Community Center of course. They’d make a few for gifts (ie: weddings, funerals. births etc.).
They’d make a “friendship” quilt that one of THEM would win in a drawing among themselves when “quilting season” was done. Then each woman would bring their OWN quilt top and they’d all get down to the business of quilting each woman’s prize quilt top. They take pride in their work. Every stitch is perfect.

Now men be careful when you go into a room full of women that are all excited and talking about who knows what. Nothing quiet and modest in this bunch. Mostly widow women in their late 50’ and 60’s. They’re busy little beavers I’ll tell ya that. The talent and experience in a group of older women is hard to beat and don’t forget enthusiasm. You’d think they hadn’t done it in years.
Quality and pride in their craft, and I’m talking about some fine and tight little stitches too.

Now these were some fine quilts. Tops that each woman had worked on for weeks or months putting them together. Some were tops that they’d been working on for years…or even passed down from an aunt or mother.
In the fall, most of these “private” quilts would be in the fair entered in various contests. Some would later be auctioned off. I’ve seen some winning quilts that brought thousands of dollars at auctions.
Mom usually only asks and gets a couple or a few hundred for hers whenever she sells one. But mostly she gives then away as presents.

Quilting camp did ya say? It’s a thought. Let me know where the party’s gonna be. Maybe a few pointers I could get from y’all… on how to run a quilting camp of course. Plus, I get paid too. :wink:

QNM is indeed the place to look, but you should also go into your friendly neighborhood quilt store and ask. I’ve seen stores advertise or partly sponsor retreats; the one I go to in Sacramento was advertising a 3-day cruise with a famous quilt instructor.

Have fun! I’d love to do this but I have a couple of anklebiters, so I’m happy just to take a class every so often.

Heh - that’s what I’m doing - getting away to camp before we start with our own anklebiters:). I’ll check with the quilting store nearby, too. I’m half-tempted to rent a small cabin on the lake somewhere, and drag my sewing machine with me so that we can just spend a weekend quilting.

t-keela, is your mom in the midwest? I’ll be happy to pay her for a weekend if she’ll put us up!:slight_smile: And I make killer caramel cakes - I’ll make one for her before I go :smiley: .


Whoops - missed one. Kyla, I’ll check the local flea markets. I’m actually hoping to find an old, antique sewing machine - I’m talking late 1800s/early 1900s, but I seriously doubt I’ll find one of those. I’ll look for the one you suggested, though - that would be much more handy than dragging my heavy Singer all over creation. Thanks!


I’m planning on trying my hand at quilting soon.

I just want to start with a simple baby blanket. Do I have the foggiest notion what I’m doing? No. I found a book at Wal-Mart though that looked pretty thorough.

I grew up very near Paducah, KY. Those of you that are hardcore know that Paducah is the Mecca of the quilting world. Hancock Fabrics is the holy shrine.

Every April, Paducah is swamped for a weekend. Need a hotel room? No problem, as long as you don’t mind staying in, oh, Missouri or Illinois or Tennessee.

They are EVERYWHERE, they are HUNGRY, usually very nice but they all seem to be bad tippers. Nobody working anywhere near the mall gets off work on convention weekend. :wink:

avabeth, if you really want a good antique machine, a guy here in my town refurbishes old machines. He deals mostly in Featherweights, but has all kinds–and they’re all in good working order, he fixes them up and all. I’m sure that he would know who to call in your part of the country to find such an item. Or if you find a busted one at a flea market, it can be fixed up by these guys.

For myself, I want a working treadle machine. Someday, when I’m rich, I’ll buy one from him.

Well Ava we are west of the Mississippi and in the middle of the U.S.
But, I don’t think Texas is usually considered being in the midwest, sorry. :frowning:
Pay her? I doubt that she’d take any pay for the chance to quilt with a group of women again. All the old timers are gone now. That’s why she quilts alone now. My wife used to sew and crochet and quilt too but…

Y’all keep talking about old sewing machines like that’s what y’all are using to do the quilting with? Maybe I’m missing something but the tops are sewn together with a machine and the actual quilting is done by hand. Needle, thread, thimble…do you actually quilt with a machine? I’ve seen a few that were done that way but you better not try it around these parts. Matter of fact, it is quite intriguing to see a really talented person use a needle and thread the right way. They’ll sort of push the needle along the pattern being quilted and with their free hand move the fabric up and down slightly while the needle just glides through the quilt. They’ll get a few inches done, pull the slack and slide a few more inches. (Unless they’re doing some delicate work.)
I’ve never sat and watched the whole process but with one person on each side of the frame they can knock one out pretty quick. Save the borders and any fancy needlepoint . There’s also a stitch from the bottom that I never got a good look at.
I’m not exactly a stranger to sewing myself. Been patching my own stuff since I was a teen. Nowadays, I’ll take two needles and thread them on whatever I’m sewing with. I use a lot of “Spiderwire” braided fishing line to do repairs on heavy stuff. It won’t break, is waterproof, and will keep a knot. Take the two needles and from opposite sides stitch in a line tying a half hitch as you go through. A kind of “buckstitch” if you will. Learned this from making saddles once upon a time.
Anyway ladies, sorry if I stepped on y’alls thread :rolleyes: I just think it’s great that there are still folks who appreciate this kind of thing. Most folks wouldn’t bother. They’d be happy with a $20 blanket from W-Mart or some other crap.
Have fun :slight_smile:

Abbie, do you mean to tell me that the Hancock’s of Paducah people on quilting sites drool over is plain old Hancock’s Fabric, and that it’s based in Paducah, Kentucky? Like Land Between the Lakes Paducah? Well, I’ll be. After we move back home next year, Mom and I just may have to wander down there some weekend. That convention sounds like it would be terribly fun; we haven’t ditched the guys and gone ratzing around for girly stuff in an awfully long time.

I’m teaching myself to quilt with books and websites, too. It’s fairly straightforward, really, but there are some things that I had trouble with that I would have picked up immediately if I’d actually watched somebody do it once. There are other things that I probably would have benefitted from having a teacher for, like fabric selection. My first quilt was nice, but a little blah, because I didn’t realize how much the fabrics would blend together in the finished quilt. They seemed to have enough contrast on the bolt. The second time, I picked fabrics that seemed border-line garish together on the bolt, and it looked wonderful. I’ve found some pretty cool sites for patterns and tutorials, if you’d like links.

t-keela, machine quilting is a growing trend in the quilting community. You trace your quilting pattern, baste your layers together, and slap that bad boy on the machine. Some people like to hand quilt; they find it soothing and more satisfying than tying or machine-quilting. I personally find that hand quilting is nice for small intricate areas, or for something to do with your hands on a long car ride, but I find it tedious on large areas and my hands start to hurt after a while.

CrazyCatLady, would you mind sending me those links for patterns and tutorials? I’m teaching myself, too, so I’m still in the basics, but I really want to try something a little more complicated. I’m planning to take a class at the quilt shop here, but for now, I can barely afford material and supplies, so I’m teaching myself.

I’m hand-quilting a wedding quilt for a friend - it’s just a simple nine-patch in various colors, but I wanted to hand-sew and hand-quilt it because I tend to go to fast on the machine - so I wanted to make myself slow down and learn to do even stitches. I may change my mind when it comes to quilting it, but for now, I’m hand-sewing the top. It is definitely relaxing - I’ll sit in front of the TV and sew, and it relaxes me to the point where I lose track of time.


Yep. I was amazed too when I found out that Hancock’s of all places is “famous.”

Apparently Mr. Hancock carries a lot of really obscure quilting/sewing stuff that you can’t find anywhere else.

I soooooo want to learn to sew. I tried once and it was a disaster. I see all these pretty patterns for adorable little girl clothes and I know I could save a ton of money if I could sew my kid’s clothes. It’s a matter of getting determined, I guess.

Abbie, after you buy the pattern and fabric, and count the time, you might as well go to Target for your kid’s clothes. Factory-made clothing has gotten so cheap that it’s no longer worth the money to sew your kid’s clothes unless you know where to get nice fabric very cheaply indeed. I still sew costumes and a few dresses, but it’s no longer the moneysaver it once was. You should still learn to sew, though.

As for hand-quilting vs. machine-quilting, there’s a place for everything. People make incredible, lovely hand-quilted things, but machine-quilting is great too. It’s fast and convenient, and much less likely to result in arm pain. And you can do neato stuff with metallic thread and whatnot that doesn’t work by hand. Many people feel that they’d rather produce several machine-quilted things than one hand-done masterpiece, and not everyone has time to sit and hand-quilt for hours at a time. And it’s better for baby quilts or other items that will be well-loved. I appreciate the work and time and skill that go into hand quilting, but I haven’t got the ability or the time for it. I have a lot of nieces to make quilts for.

My favorite quilting sites:

http://www.silverwing.net/cabinquilter/charities/04.html I made a variant on this for my niece, and it was dreadfully cute, fast, and easy. She’s got some other really nice patterns, too.

http://www.livejournal.com/community/quilting/ Scroll down and have a look at the portrait quilts and art reproductions this one woman does–they’re just amazing. This is a great resource for asking questions and getting opinions and advice.

www.quilterscache.com This is pretty much my online quilting bible. She’s got tutorials to walk you through pretty much everything you need to do, with clear, concise instructions and really good pictures. She’s also got one of the largest pattern libraries I’ve ever seen, including quite a lot of things she designed herself.

http://hometown.aol.com/anotherpat/babystuff/index.html This just has some useful patterns for baby stuff I thought was cute.

http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/3721/quillow.htm These make wonderful, easy gifts. I’m churning them out by the truckload for Christmas gifts.