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  • Writer's pictureLonda

Try a SEWING Retreat …. to RELAX

Prescription for sewing FUN – a Sewing Retreat where you can…

  1. Sew 24/7

  2. Sleep – whenever!

  3. Food prepared and served

  4. Friends: old + new

alt="compass retreat centre"

Melissa and her staff have created a ‘heaven on earth’ retreat centre out in the TX Prairie at Mt. Calm, TX – in the WACO area.  If you’ve never been on a sewing RETREAT – I highly advise you check out Retreat Centers that cater to sewers.  While most will be slanted to those who quilt, I found my creative sewing projects ‘fit in’ and ‘fed’ their sewing interests, just as their quilting and crafting fed my creative brain.  This was a special treat for me, as for the first time, I was on the ‘participant’ side of a Retreat, rather than being the organizer/instructor.  Other retreat centers I can recommend from my personal experience are:

Threads of Time – Danville, IL  – no food, but there is a kitchen.  Nice rooms + a huge room for sewing, great chairs, and a FABRIC STORE!

Pati’s Last Resort – Grandbury, TX

Lake Yale Baptist Retreat Center  – Lake Yale, FL  where you can structure your own retreat.  No fabric available though…

PLEASE ADD RETREAT CENTERS catering to sewers that you know of in the COMMENTS below! 

My sister has gone to this retreat for about 5 years now, and last year, I suggested that if I met her there, that it would be a fun yearly ‘sister’ thing.  Let’s just say the dates are ON MY CALENDAR already for 2018!  The only damper on the weekend was 5 or so deciding to return ‘home’ to the Houston area to be with family and at home for the devastation headed their way with Harvey and it’s aftermath.  At this writing, they are all doing OK.  Many of the gals went home, and are returning for Labor Day Weekend – my sister included!!! What lucky ladies THEY are.

alt="Melissa n Judy new products

Melissa is shown at the right above, along with her assistant, Julie as they show off new products.  The GREAT THING about this retreat centre is the FABRIC STORE right there that features BATIKS BATIKS and MORE BATIKS, plus just great ‘mixing’ fabrics.  They operate by you cutting your own fabric as needed, and adding to your running hand-written invoice, then settling up at the end.  The RETREAT COST for 3 nights and 6 prepared meals and breakfast selections for 2 mornings was just $260!!! Though I drove from TN to TX, with a stay along the way each direction, my total cost was just around $600 including gas. THAT is a GREAT DEAL for 3 nights and 3 total days of sewing plus 6 prepared meals!!!


My recommendation?  Take MORE than you think you can ever accomplish.  You  might surprise yourself!!!  Some gals stayed up all night.  2 lazyboy recliners in the corner offered a wonderful place to relax, yet still ‘be with the action’.

I took along

  1. 3 project boxes, full of color-coordinated ‘fabric’ and garments awaiting re-cycling from my stash.  I also took:

  2. thread – plenty of thread color-coordinated to your possible projects.

  3. embellishments

  4. all sewing notions

  5. interfacing and stabilizing tapes, fusible web, etc.

  6. iron, cutting mat, rotary cutter, machine, serger (though I forgot my foot pedal and cord for the serger – SILLY ME!) There were cutting mats, so I didn’t need to set mine up.

  7. For garment/design work, I took my Duct Tape Double dressform


My little sister is a quilter extraordinaire!  She is the ‘GO-To Gal’ for picking fabrics – for sure!  She just has that ‘eye’ for color and pattern mixing.  Proud to claim her! Her project is pretty simple, but features batiks she and new hubby picked up in Hawaii on their recent honeymoon.  This will become a throw quilt on their sofa.

alt="Laurie quilt"

RV Quilt Hanging

Donna and her hubby are ‘RV’ residents – cruising the country.  She did this ADORABLE embellished RV quilt hanging.

alt="Donna RV Quilt"

Mary’s Coloring Quilt

Mary took a pattern that looked ‘old’ and, with my sister Laurie’s help picking sashing and borders, came up with this awesome quilt hanging.  Each square was colored with markers and embellished with embroidery.  It really took my breath away!

alt="mary with quilt"

Pam’s Seasonal Quilt

We all learned the power of white and black prints as the perfect sashing and border – Martha’s lesson for us all – with this adorable seasonal strip quilt of Pam’s.  The large workroom is set up with 2×4 tables – each participant gets 2 tables – and is surrounded with flannel design walls.  You can see those design walls being put to good use below.

Martha’s  Star Quilt is for her Mom’s room at the care home where she resides.  It is bound to become THE room to visit!  What a loving thing to create for her 92-year-old mom.

alt=star quilt"

Virtual Scrapbooking 

Two gals joined us without any fabric or sewing machines!  Instead, they brought in computers, monitors, and educated us all with the ‘new’ way to ‘scrapbook’ – with a computer program, then printing out the pages.  Pretty nifty!  I dare not allow myself to venture that direction…

alt="Londas projects"


  1. EZ PULL-OVER TOP  from a sweatshirt and a T-Shirt.  See the periwinkle top at the upper left of image above. Watch for PDF pattern coming soon in the future!

  2. DANCE ASSYMETRIC TOP from left-over fabrics and a sheer cut velvet skirt I’d made for my daughter when she was in high school.  This was probably my most fun project of the retreat.  Somehow, it just ‘fell’ together.  Sometimes, that happens! See this top in the top row, center of the above image.

  3. KNIT LONG VEST from a long knit one-seam skirt that I was no longer wearing.  I was trying to duplicate a great funky pull over the head ‘collar’ as I’d seen in New Orleans.  I didn’t quite accomplish the final look, but I WILL!  I went onto the next project when I got stumped on that one.  See the back view in the lower row, right corner in the above image.  At least, the basic bound long vest (boring sewing in my book) is all done.

  4. FLOUNCE EMBELLISHED JACKET from a burgundy fake suede flounce hemmed maxi skirt I was no longer wearing – which had found it’s way to my ‘Burgundy Stash Box’. See how easy it was to take my Terrific T Knit Top basic pattern to re-cut the skirt, maintaining and raising the flounce hemline to a hip location.  See the left and center images above in the lower row.  The selection of batik fabrics at the centre offered the perfect fabric for bias embellishment – inspired by a pair of sandals of mine.  See the picture below with the picture of my shoes on the design wall.

alt="burgundy shoe inspiration"
  1. Lilac T-Shirt simple Up-Cycle.  Here is my project based on a man’s 2XL Russell 360 T from Walmart plus my scraps…

 Heard at the Retreat

‘Long in the tooth’ = droopy boobs

‘Junkydoodle fabric’ = ‘muslin’ trial fabric

‘Are you fixing that or is it a ‘re-design’?

Please COMMENT below regarding where you might have attended to spread the word of where to GO!

I’m sure many of you have attended a retreat – but many more have NOT!  I can’t more highly recommend the experience – really! Please COMMENT below with your own experience and places to recommend for ‘retreating’!


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