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30+ Ways to Make Your Next Quilt Retreat More Fun!

Updated: Feb 19


Are you planning your next quilt retreat and looking for ways to make it more enjoyable and memorable? Whether you're a seasoned quilter or just starting, adding some fun activities and thoughtful touches can enhance your retreat experience. Here are some ideas to help you create a fun-filled quilt retreat that everyone will love.


1. Group T-shirts and Group Photos: Start the retreat with a sense of unity by getting custom group t-shirts.*


Then, take group photos throughout the retreat to capture memories that will last a lifetime. Everyone wants fun pictures to post on Facebook and share with their family and friends about the retreat they went on, and it's also a special memory you can hold onto for years to come.





*Actually, if you're coming on retreat with us, we include these for free!).


2. Nosh Night & Show & Tell: Share your favorite snacks and drinks with fellow quilters during a relaxed evening of show and tell. Share your latest projects and stories behind them.


Skip the cooking or going out to eat for a night and make a spread of charcuterie with meats, cheeses, crackers, fruits, veggies, and chocolate of course and everyone can share a favorite quilt they brought with them.




3. Quilt Shop Pop Up: Invite a local quilt shop to set up a pop-up shop at your retreat. It's a great way to shop for fabrics, tools, and patterns without leaving the retreat center.



This is such a fun way to shop and no need to even leave your retreat or change out of your PJs! At Camellia Palms Retreat, you can book Nona Quilts, our sister shop for Pop Ups!


4. Theme Night: Choose a fun theme for one of the evenings. Encourage everyone to dress up and join in the theme, or decorate your tables for a specific theme!


5. Tea Party: Host a tea party complete with delicious teas, sandwiches, and pastries. It's a charming way to spend an afternoon with your fellow quilters.


6. Pajamas & Pizza Night: Relax in your favorite pajamas and enjoy a casual pizza dinner with your quilting friends. It's a comfortable and fun way to unwind after a day of quilting.


7. Margarita Night: Shake things up with a margarita night! Enjoy refreshing margaritas and Mexican-inspired snacks like chips & queso while you quilt and socialize.


8. Halloween Costumes: We love a good Witch & Stitch! Have a Halloween costume night where everyone dresses up in fun and creative costumes. It's a great way to add some excitement to your retreat. Use Youtube or Spotify to get a fun Halloween playlist of spooky music!





9. Ice Cream Party: Treat yourself to an ice cream party with all your favorite toppings. It's a sweet way to cool off and indulge in some delicious treats.


10. Wine Tastings: Organize a wine tasting session featuring a selection of wines. It's a sophisticated way to unwind and enjoy some quality wines with friends.


11. Chocolate Tastings: Indulge your sweet tooth with a chocolate tasting session. Sample a variety of chocolates and discover new favorites.


12. Celebrate Birthdays: If there are any birthdays during the retreat, celebrate them in style with a special cake and birthday treats.


This lavender lemon cake was brought to one of our retreats for a birthday guest!

Have everyone sign a card for the birthday girl, give her a tiara and a boa, and celebrate with a small cake or cupcakes! Don't forget to take pictures!


13. Food Festivals: Explore local food festivals and indulge in delicious food from different vendors. It's a great way to experience the local culture and cuisine.


14. Quilt Shows: Attend local quilt shows and admire the work of other quilters. It's a great source of inspiration and a fun way to spend a day.


15. Shop Hops: Join a shop hop and visit multiple quilt shops in the area. It's a great way to discover new shops and find unique fabrics and patterns.


16. Book a Limo: Treat yourself to a luxurious limo ride to a local attraction or restaurant. It's a fun and stylish way to travel with your quilting friends, especially if they're a little bit bougie!




17. Book Massages: Relax and unwind with a relaxing massage. It's a great way to pamper yourself during your retreat.


This is one of the most-requested retreat activities! You can book a local massage therapist to come and do short, 15-minute chair massages or even full body massages and other services like facials.* *At our retreat center, we have an incredible licensed massage therapist who will come to the retreat house and set up a personalized spa day. Past retreaters who have booked Christine have said it was a wonderful and relaxing experience! Reach out to us to get her spa menu for your retreat!


18. Plan an Escape Room: Challenge your group with an escape room adventure. It's a great way to bond and test your problem-solving skills.




20. Do a Group Project: Collaborate on a group project, such as making bowl cozies, mug rugs, applique tea towels, or Christmas ornaments. It's a fun way to work together and create something special. Get more group project ideas for your next retreat here!


21. 'Chopped' Challenge: Have a 'Chopped' style cooking challenge where participants use surprise ingredients to create a dish...but instead of cooking, it's a quilting challenge!


Give everyone a bag of mystery materials & just 30 minutes to create something out of their surprise quilting materials!


22. Quilt of Valor Blocks: Make Quilt of Valor blocks to honor and thank veterans for their service. It's a meaningful way to give back and create something special. If everyone makes 1-3 blocks, the group will easily have enough blocks to put together a quilt for donation!

23. Play Games: Organize fun games like the "Don't-say-the-word" game, "What's-in-your-sewing-kit," or a quilt shop scavenger hunt. It's a great way to break the ice and have some laughs.


Our sister shop, Nona Quilts, has dozens of fun quilting printable games that are perfect for your next retreat! Shop them here!




24. Left-Right-Center Game: Play the Left-Right-Center game with fat quarters for a chance to win some fun prizes. You can get the instructions here!


25. Alternative Left-Right-Center Game: Play with five one dollar bills instead of strips of fabric or fat quarters. The winner gets to buy fabrics that they want instead of being left with fabrics they don't want.


26. Give Everyone Favors: Provide everyone with a small favor, such as a quilt pattern, jelly roll strips, fat quarters, or quilter's emergency kits. It's a thoughtful gesture that everyone will appreciate. Each person coming can bring a small gift for everyone else!


27. Swap Table: Set up a swap table with items like patterns, notions, tools, fabric, and kits that folks don’t want or need. It's a great way to exchange items and find new treasures.


28. Shop at Local Boutiques & Quilt Shops: Explore local boutiques and quilt shops for unique fabrics and quilting supplies. It's a great way to support local businesses and find one-of-a-kind items.


If you're retreating with us at Camellia Palms Retreat Center, don't forget to check out our recommended local shops & boutiques near us!


29. Secret Sisters Gifts: Treat everyone to a small, special gift from a mystery sister!


Before your retreat, put everyone's name into a drawing and have each person draw a name. Then, each person will bring a small gift for their secret sister to the retreat. You can keep secret sisters anonymous if you want to, and you can set a spending liit (ex. $15) for everyone if you want!




30. Create Awards: Give prizes for tidiest, messiest, most quiet, etc. and a prize for the most decorated workspace to match the theme if your retreat has one!


Here are a few fun ideas:


  • Tidiest Stitcher: Awarded to the quilter with the neatest and most organized workspace.

  • Messiest Maker: For the quilter whose creativity knows no bounds, leaving a delightful mess in their wake.

  • Lively Laugher: Presented to the quilter with the most infectious and joyful laugh that fills the retreat space.

  • Productivity Prodigy: Recognizing the quilter who manages to churn out the most impressive number of completed projects.

  • The Early Bird: For the quilter who rises with the sun, eager to start the day's quilting adventures bright and early.

  • The Night Owl: Awarded to the quilter who burns the midnight oil, stitching away into the wee hours of the night.

  • Stash Hoarder Extraordinaire: For the quilter whose fabric stash seems to defy the laws of physics with its sheer magnitude.

  • Design Diva: Recognizing the quilter with an impeccable eye for design and a knack for creating stunning quilt patterns.

  • Social Butterfly: For the quilter who effortlessly floats from one conversation to another, spreading warmth and camaraderie.

  • Snack Master: Celebrating the quilter who keeps everyone fueled and energized with their delicious snacks and treats.

  • Thread Whisperer: Recognizing the quilter with an uncanny ability to choose the perfect thread for every project.

  • Quilt Retreat Queen: Presented to the quilter who embodies the spirit of the retreat, spreading joy, creativity, and friendship to all.


These awards are sure to add a fun and playful element to your quilt retreat, fostering camaraderie and laughter among fellow quilters!


31. Don't Say the Word: Choose a very common word that people say while at retreat like "cute" or "iron." Then, everyone's goal is to NOT say that word. So, instead of saying "iron" for example, you have to say something like "steam apparatus." There are a couple of ways you can play this game.


One way is to give everyone a safety pin to wear on their shirt. Everytime you hear someone say the forbidden word, you can steal their safety pin! Whoever has the most safety pins collected at the end of the day wins.


Another way to play this is to bring a gaudy necklace or hat and whoever has last used the forbidden word has to wear it! Every time someone else says the forbidden word, the gaudy hat gets passed to the next person. This game can be really funny when you begin to realize how often you use certain words and you get creative trying to not say the word.


32. Big Sister, Little Sister Pairings: Pair up more experienced quilters with newbies for the retreat. It's a great way to make new friends and share your love of quilting. They can help with projects or do a charity project together. Big sisters could also teach a technique!


33. Nature Walk: Take a break from quilting and enjoy a leisurely nature walk. It's a great way to relax and rejuvenate.


Our beautiful paved walking path around Lake Jackson, next to our retreat center.

34. Try a different medium: Change things up and get the creative juices flowing by having a 1 or 2 hour project that's outside of what you usually do! Here are a few fun ideas:


  • Zentangle

  • Painting

  • Weaving

  • Scrapbooking

  • Wreath-making

  • Home decor projects

  • Cookie or Cupcake Decorating



The fun part about trying a different craft is that everyone gets to be a beginner together!

By incorporating these fun ideas into your quilt retreat, you can create a memorable experience that everyone will enjoy!


Whether you're quilting, shopping, or exploring the local area, there are plenty of ways to make your next quilt retreat more fun and exciting.





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