Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I'm going on retreat.  That's right, friends, going on quilt retreat with old friends, a new friend, and guild friends.  Through the wonderful and magical world of blogging, I discovered a new quilter friend, a nurse who works five floors below me at Johns Hopkins Hospital.  We've talked a couple of times, met once, read each other's blogs, and now we are going to be roomates on retreat.  Oh my gosh, I love retreat.  I am going up to Camp Hebron in Halifax, PA on Thurs. evening and staying until Sunday afternoon.  LOTS of sewing time and I still don't know what I want to work on.  Hmmm, something will rise to the surface on my
'want to do'  list.  I belonged to a guild for a few years before I got myself together enough to commit to a retreat.  Once I went on one, I haven't missed.  That's right, twice a year I have an awesome weekend full of friends,  fabrics, sewing, quilting, laughing, and a bit of chocolate thrown in.  Each time I go, I get a little more organized and efficient.  There are a few things I wouldn't go without.  Have you ever seen one of those portable design walls?  They look wonderful and portable and they cost a pretty penny.  My secret weapon is this!
Isn't this pretty?  A $3.00 flannel backed tablecolth from JoAnn's. 

Combine it with these hooks from 3M and you have a very cheap and portable design wall.

I used masking tape to strengthen two corners of the tablecloth and snipped openings.

Pop up the 3M hooks and 'BAM!'  instant design wall!  The best part is that the Command strips on the hooks will come off the walls without leaving a mark.  Perfect for retreat.  (one time I forgot to take the hooks down, I looked for them  the following year but they were gone,  darn!) 
The flannel on the tablecloth is great for holding blocks.  Check this out.  One the left is my design wall in my sewing room.  It's covered with batting and works great.  To the right  is my 'travel design wall'. 

Ta dahh!  I ran out of room for all of my wonky churndashes so I put up the 'travel wall'.  Look how well the blocks stick!  No pins at all!  By the way,  I now have 43 of the wonksters made.  I am completely undecided on whether or not  to make more.  I hope I don't take too long deciding because I really like them. 

Have time to check out another retreat tip?  Here's a mini ironing surface.  I took a TV table, padded it, and used a staple gun to cover it with a piece of old sheet.  Easy-peasy!

And it folds flat which makes it so easy to pop in the car for a weekend. 

And my latest idea is to pack my individual projects in these boxes.  These art bins are a little expensive when full price but JoAnn's often marks them half off.  Nifty way to organize projects huh?I tend to WAY overpack for retreats.  I just keep tossing in more and more fabric.  I am just so worried about getting there and not having  something.  Yeesh!  This time may be different.  I think.  Maybe.  I hope.  Well,  tomorrow I work 16 hours.  That's part of the price I am paying to get a long weekend.  I need to hit the hay soon.  Thursday, I will sleep in and then force myself to decide what to take to work on.   
If I have a few spare minutes tomorrow, I will make a list of stuff to pack.  I am so excited about my weekend.  And there is a surprise ending on Monday.  A daytrip to New York City for a fantastic quilt exhibit.  Stay tuned!


  1. Have the most wonderful time.

  2. Thanks for posting the tip about the tablecloth - I'm going on retreat in a couple of weeks and that will be perfect! blessings, marlene

  3. I hope you have a most wonderful time!! I sure love that idea for the design wall...currently I use my design floor, LOL!!

  4. Hope you all have a great time - will miss being with you :-( first time in about 6 years that I won't be able to go. Looking forward to some pics on what you work on and hearing about the fun you'll have!

  5. I am headed there now! See you soon!