Perfect projects for quilt retreats (+ giveaway!)

Make It, Take It

Quilt-retreat rulesWhether you’re “retreating” to your quilting space for an afternoon or meeting up with friends for a long weekend of sewing, quilt retreats are all the rage. And why not? Just like a massage or a mani-pedi, a retreat plucks you from your day-to-day life and places you in an environment where you can lavish time and attention on—who else?—yourself!

Quilt-retreat organizer Krista Hennebury knows all about the two stages of these fun events: getting there and being there. In her new book Make It, Take It, she and her retreat friends offer organizational projects that, when sewn, let you travel to a retreat in style. Then, choose beautiful quilts and more from the book to make during the retreat itself!

We’re happy to have Krista as a guest blogger today—and if you’re organizationally challenged, take note. You are going to love the inventive projects in Make It, Take It for organizing your sewing stuff. Welcome, Krista!

Krista HenneburyI’m so excited to share the inspiration for my book Make It, Take It with you today. Readers of my blog Poppyprint will know that I’ve been quilting for 15 years, teaching for 12 years, and running a successful retreat business for over 10 years.  In that time, I’ve seen just about every possible type of equipment storage and organization, and more than a few chipped acrylic rulers and extension tables. I’ve also gained a lot of insight into realistic sew-day or weekend sewing goals!

Make It, Take It is a collection of unique, functional projects for sewists who love to take their “sew on the road” and create with friends. In the book, I bring together some of my favorite quilt-blogging friends for a virtual retreat, where we share our innovative designs and fun retreat stories to inspire you.

The “Take it” section of the book is all about moving and storing your supplies and equipment. Aside from my own projects in the book, the first thing I made was Berene Campbell’s “Ultimate Equipment Tote.”

Ultimate Equipment Tote

It’s an incredibly clever construction; the tote securely holds my entire acrylic ruler collection, 18″ x 24″ cutting mat, rotating cutting mat, portable ironing surface, rotary cutter, marking tools, folded fabric, and a copy of my book. The tote is a must for anyone who sews away from home!

Projects from Make It, Take It

Clockwise from top left: along with Leanne Chahley’s zippered sewing-needle case and Ayumi Takahashi’s roomy totes, you’ll also find Amy Friend’s sweet scissor caddy (I’ve made eight for gifts already!), Kristie Maslow’s stylish knitting clutch, and Cindy Wiens’s colorful machine mat with see-through storage pockets.

Projects from Make It Take It
You’ll also get a pattern that I had so many requests for on my blog, I decided to design my own version and include it in Make It, Take It: my non-skid pincushion/thread catcher. And Krista Fleckenstein’s crafter’s apron will keep your tools, glasses, and treats handy as you move around your home or retreat hall.

Once you’ve got your supplies happily tucked into their traveling cases, look to the “Make It” section for sewing and quilting inspiration at home or on retreat.

Quilts from Make It, Take It
Lynne Goldsworthy’s “Lone Star Circle Quilt” and Christina Lane’s “Macaron Delight Quilt” are both beautiful quilts to easily complete during a weekend retreat. Or, decorate your home or sew up a hostess gift with Felicity Ronaghan’s woven placemats for a round table, Amy Friend’s foundation-pieced pillow, or the “Stepping Stones Table Runner” (follow Krista Withers’s expert advice for creative quilting in negative space with a walking foot).

Orange Grove quilt
My "Orange Grove Quilt" is a modern take on a classic block.

Do you have a group of friends that would like to try quilting, or a stitch group looking for a fun charity project? “Rainbow ’Round the Cabin Quilt” is an afternoon project for six friends. Everyone contributes fabric in a chosen rainbow color and leaves with a completed lap-quilt top!

Rainbow Round the Cabin quilts

It was my desire to create a book that was approachable, friendly, and useful for quilters and sewists on the go. I’m excited to see what you create and hear how the projects in Make It, Take It enhance your own retreat experiences! Please share your projects on Instagram using #makeittakeit.

Make It, Take ItThanks for introducing your talented group of retreat friends, Krista!

COMING IN APRIL: Twelve Martingale staffers are planning an afternoon retreat to make “Rainbow ’Round the Cabin” quilts as part of Krista’s blog hop for Make It, Take It, which starts on April 6. Everyone goes home with a completed lap-sized quilt top. Stay tuned for the results!

Quilt retreats: home alone or away with friends? Tell us what you prefer in the comments and you could win a copy of the Make It, Take It eBook! We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win.

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Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The winner is Judy, who says:

“I’m going on a quilting retreat next month with my quilt guild. This is my first time. It may become my favorite quilting time.”

Judy, we’ll email you about your prize. Congratulations!


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