How to Have a Successful Craft Retreat

Quilting parties or quilting “bees” were a time when women would get together to eat, sing, and take turns sewing on whatever quilt was being worked on. This was a great place for women to bond, share family stories, helpful tips and recipes, and support one another. Today there is a resurgence in this way of socializing with scrapbooking and sewing retreats known as “crops”. Women are getting together and renting beautiful restored mansions or quaint cottages to spend all weekend with their girlfriends filling up scrapbooking pages or finishing that baby blanket while eating snacks and talking. With crops growing in popularity, here is how you can plan a successful retreat.

As you gather your friends together, you first want to decide what the purpose or theme of the weekend is going to be. Are you all needing some much-needed time away and want a more social retreat with some light crafting? Or are you wanting to spend your time getting tasks completed with the added bonus of having your friends around? This will also help you decide where you will be having the retreat.

There are many places popping up all over ready to host you and your party. Each venue will have their own amenities, costs, and restrictions. If a damage deposit is required, you might ask your group members to contribute an amount to cover the fee. Decide what venue is right for your retreat and reserve as soon as you have your dates and guest list.

Find a way to communicate with everyone in the group. Create a closed group on Facebook or start an email thread. This will help as you prepare supply lists and finalize other details. If anyone is new to the group, post conversation topics or “get to know you” questions. If everyone is already familiar with each other, ask them to post their goals and what they will be bringing to work on.

Take a field trip before the retreat and stock up on sewing or scrapbook supplies. Some stores provide group discounts. Contact your local craft and fabric store and see if your group is eligible.

No gathering is complete without food! Through your communication group, decide who will be bringing snacks. Some retreat houses provide all three meals and others are completely DIY. Your group should decide what makes sense for your retreat and plan accordingly.


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