General Supply List for Quilting Retreats

This is a 'basic' list for what to bring on quilting retreats. I've gone on retreats for over 25 years, and while you may not use everything every trip, I've always found that if you don't bring it, you will wish you had brought it.

Keep in mind that each retreat facility is different. Some places you need to bring your own bedding and towels. Some places do the cooking for you, others you bring in food or go out to eat. I've not covered drinks and snacks in this list.

Some retreats have more structure than others. Some will have classes and usually you are free to participate or not in those. Always bring more to work on than you think you will need I bring LOTS of different projects to work on. I like to put individual projects in plastic tubs. I also include everything in that tub that goes with the project such as HST paper, specialty rulers, the pattern and so on.

My FIRST retreat way back in 1983 (The Oklahoma State Retreat at Fin-n-Feather Resort) had around 250 women from Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas. It had Friday night entertainment, vendors, classes, meals provided, the full structured event. Nowadays, I mostly just attend retreats with close friends, and we start on a Monday morning through Thursday noon.

I also try to pre-cut everything for new projects before heading off to retreat.

Sewing Supplies

    • Add A Quarter Ruler (for paper piecing)
    • Applique pressing sheet
    • Batting
    • Comfy Chair (I bring my sewing chair- depending on the facility)
    • Extra Bobbins
    • FABRIC! (Duh!)
    • Flannel for design wall (back of vinyl table cloths work well also)
    • Freezer paper
    • Fusible web
    • Glue stick
    • TIP: Some retreat facilities are not equipped to handle individual irons and will insist you only use one or two ironing stations.

    • Iron & ironing surface (facility might have power issues)
    • Marking pencils
    • NEEDLES, hand &/or machine
    • Needle threaders
    • Notebook/sketch pad
    • Ott Light* or similar work light
    • Paper bag for threads
    • Pincushion, pins
    • Personal fan (if you have personal summers!)
    • Rotary Cutting mat, cutters, and extra blades*
    • Rulers, templates*
    • Ruler or paper for 1/2 Square Triangles if you use these
    • Scissors* (Paper and cloth)
    • Seam ripper
    • SEWING MACHINE, presser feet, foot control, power cord, bobbins
    • Sharpie Pen
    • Spray starch or sizing
    • Address labels for marking your supplies
    • Tape - masking and/or scotch
    • TIP: If your facility does not have Wi-Fi, you might need to learn how to use the tethering/hotspot option on your cell phone. Figure out how to do this ahead of time to avoid frustration!

    • Template plastic
    • Thimble
    • Thread (machine/specialty)
    • Thread snips
    • TV Folding Table* (great to make an L shaped work space)


    • Cell Phone & charger
    • Camera & extra batteries
    • Power Strip, extension cord


    OK, this depends on how large or small the venue. If you are there with 20, 30 or more people, you will probably bring more clothing. A small venue with best friends, you might stay in your pajamas and house slippers all day. Will you be in the same building, or hiking to another room for the sewing and eating?

    • Comfortable pants, sweats, shorts
    • Shirts/Sweatshirts/sweaters
    • Quilty clothes
    • Shoes
    • Pajamas/Slippers
    • Underwear, socks

    Personal Items

    • Medicines (prescriptions, OTC items (Rolaids, sleep aids, Aleve, etc)
    • Medical equipment (inhalers, C-Pap etc)
    • Glasses


      • Snack to share - or not :)
      • Drinks – water, coffee, tea, wine, Margaritas
      • Granola bars, etc
      • Your meal

      I don't go to the BIG retreats anymore. I like the small groups with Bee members and close friends. With this type of retreat, we usually plan meals for each day. We are a small group, and each person is in charge of one evenings dinner. Lunches are usually leftovers or soups and salads. In our group, everyone likes different things for breakfast, so we each bring our own preference (yogurt, Little Debbie snacks or maybe just coffee).

*Be sure to label or mark any item(s) that might be shared.

**Depending on how many people are at the retreat, you might have to wait in line for cutting tables and/or irons.

Copyright © 2001 Betty Baker -
Shadywood Quilts/T-Shirt Quilts of Texas
Updated July 2016