Packing Checklist for Quilt Retreats

posted in: Learning, Studio/Organizing | 5
Everything fits in a rolling cart with room to spare
Just about everything fits in a rolling cart with room to spare.
Have you had the opportunity to attend a quilt retreat? Nothing can be better! My quilt guild holds one each year. I’ve also been blessed by being able to attend several week-long workshops at Nancy Crow’s Timber Frame Barn.

The wonderful thing about retreats is that all you have to do is sew…sweet, uninterrupted sewing! Someone else does all the cooking and cleaning. You get to eat, sleep, and sew.

My least favorite thing about retreats is that I have to leave the convenience of my own studio. I always worry that I’m going to forget something important. I decided it was time to create my own packing list so I don’t have wrack my brain every time I am preparing. You’ll want to customize it for your own needs. Be sure to read any special information you’ve received from the retreat organizers and add that to your list, too.

A PDF version of this packing list is found here.

Little notions fit neatly in a divided Tupperware container.
Little notions fit neatly in a divided Tupperware container.

Sewing Machine and Accessories

      Sewing machine
      Foot pedal
      Power cord
      Sewing machine needles
      Small screwdriver
      Small cleaning brush
      1/4″ foot
      Walking foot
      All-purpose foot
      Extra task lighting
      Heavy duty extension cord
      Surge protector


      Plenty of fabric, pre-cut if possible
      Thread in neutral colors
      Pre-wound bobbins
      Sewing scissors
      Thread snips
      Rotary cutter
      Extra rotary blades
      Cutting mat(s)
      Rotary ruler(s)
      Hand needles
      Seam ripper
      Straight pins
      Magnetic pincushion
      A few safety pins
      Chalk pencil
      Measuring tape
      Painters tape
      Fabric glue stick
      Lint roller
      Gray scale tool

Personal Supplies

      Pencils, eraser, sharpener
      Pens, markers
      Reading glasses
      Lens cleaning wipes
      Eyeglass repair kit
      Hand lotion
      Nail clippers
      Pain reliever
      Allergy medicine
      Comfortable clothes
      Comfy shoes or slippers
      Healthy snacks
      Chocolate for rewards
      Digital camera and charger
      Cell phone and charger
      iPad and charger

Optional, as space allows

      Ironing board or pressing surface
      Spray bottle
      Portable sewing machine table
      Height adjustable chair
      Batting for design wall

I find it convenient to group my supplies in various Tupperware containers or Ziploc bags, often nesting smaller containers inside larger ones. With a little forethought, it is surprising how little space all this actually takes up.

5 Responses

  1. Shelley

    Maria, I want to *thank you* SO much for making your checklist available as a PDF! It is so gracious and thoughtful of you to take this small extra step to have the list available in this convenient form.

    So many times (in fact, the majority of times), I will find a delightful tutorial but in order to save it in a printer-friendly form, *I* need to do the copy/paste thing in my word processor, as I have found that simply printing off the webpages completely messes up the formatting and presentation. But having it available as a PDF ensures that the format is *exactly* what the author intended it to be.

    Thank you so much!

  2. Sue-Ellen Higgins

    Do you have a quilting retreat scheduled? I live in New Hampshire and would be interested in learning about portrait quilting, preferably in the fall of 2014.

    • Sue-Ellen Higgins

      Oops, forgot to say thank you for all the helpful hints on your website. Thank you!

    • Maria

      Hi Sue-Ellen! Thanks for asking! Sorry, I don’t have anything scheduled in the New Hampshire area right now, but I’d love to travel out there. Please feel free to pass my name and website on to your local quilt guild. I’ll be happy to send them all the necessary information.