Checklist of items to bring to a retreat, class, workshop

In a recent issue of Cloth Paper Scissors, I enjoyed reading insights from Pokey Bolton on how she packed for vacations and managed to find room in her luggage to take a project with her on vacation. This was a very insightful article in the July/August ’09 issue.

With airline luggage restrictions I always find it stressful packing for any trip that requires air travel. While I still get stressed packing a “car” to go to a retreat, workshop or sew-cial, the level of stress is definitely minimized, when I drive my own car (I feel as if I can bring more, when I take my own car).. It would even be better if I had a BIG SUV, but I keep reminding myself my car lets me pack more than I can take on an airline.

I wish I could be as organized and creative as Pokey. While I promise to strive to be more organized (and creative), I have found that having a checklist to help me pack for a quilt retreat, sew-cial, or workshop is an absolute must.

I continually refine this list, based on feedback from friends, such as Rosie Gonzales (Rosie’s Calico Cupboard), a new quilter, Beth Nidzieko, and so many other friends that have helped to coach me on being more organized. With luck, I’ll someday arrive and have everything I need. While my checklist may not be perfect, I thought it is fairly inclusive and worthy of sharing. If you do have any suggestions, I hope you will share with me.

I recognize I still need to improve on my organizational skills, and always appreciate hearing insights from others.

Here is my checklist that has been created with inputs from others, and I’ll continue to update based on feedback.

SewCalGal’s Checklist
of items to bring to a quilt retreat, workshop, or sew-cial:

Any supplies recommended by the instructor of the retreat, workshop or host of the sew-cial.

Sewing Machine
• Sewing machine – clean and in good working order. If you are uncertain, have it serviced by a qualified technician well ahead of the event.
• ¼” foot and any additional feet, appropriate
• Appropriate power & foot peddles
• Attachments: light, magnifier, etc.
• Sewing machine extension table
• Extra sewing machine needles
• Pre-wound bobbins (when you can) or extra empty bobbins

Iron & accessories
• Iron
• Ironing board
• Teflon ironing sheet
• Spray Starch (non-scented)

• Beer, wine?
• Cheese & crackers?
• Sweets: Candy, cookies, cakes?
• Healthy: Yogurt, Fruit, granola?
• Bottled Water, soft drinks, lemonade

Storage & Organization
• Snapware storage products to help organize and store your tools, supplies, and quilt blocks.
• Ziplock bags – multiple sizes
• 3M sticky pads or “Tag A Quilt”
Sewing extras:
• Glue stick
• Bobbin winder

Basic Sewing Supplies
• Neutral threads: 100% Cotton threads of color that will support your project, or a mix of light grey, blue, white/tan, dark, if you are uncertain of fabric color
• Scissors – small and large
• Rotary cutter – 45 mm and extra blades
• Rulers: 6.5” x 24″; 6 or 6.5 ” square; 12.5″ square; 96L triangle; June Taylor strip cutter; extra long ruler;
• Cutting mat (18×24)
• Pins – long, fine straight pins
• Seam ripper
• Fabric marking pencils – for light and dark fabrics (Slimline)

Documentation tools:
• Notepad/notebook
• Pen/pencil
• Camera, extra batteries, battery charger, extra memory cards.

ATC Cards/Artist Trading Cards
• Do you like to trade hand made cards?
• Or do you like to exchange personal business cards?

If this is something you are interested in, you may want to bring some cards to share with those you meet. If you are not familiar with these delightful cards, check out the book “1,000 Artist Trading Cards“, by Pokey Bolton.

• Extension cords
• Surge protector
• Additional task lighting

Personal Comfort:
• iPod, if you like to listen to music
• Reading glasses
• Chair cushion
• Comfy shoes (especially for any day that you’ll be doing a lot of standing), socks or slippers, light jacket or sweater if the A/C is too high
• Empowered purse: Money, charge cards.
• Travel directions
• Copy of your receipt, if pre-paid, and lodging reservation

• Perfume – Many people are allergic to scents and perfumes; many others do not enjoy a mix of different perfumes in an enclosed area!
• Boombox
• Hotel and retreat contact info for your loved ones, in case cell phone coverage is poor inside the room.
• Worries and cares – you’ve gone quilting!

Copies of my official checklist, with a checklist format, is shown below. If you want to use this format you should be able to double click on each image and then print a copy.

Please do email me if you have any additional items you’d include in a checklist.

And, like my friend Beth recommends, leave your troubles at home and enjoy your retreat, workshop or sew-cial.


7 thoughts on “Checklist of items to bring to a retreat, class, workshop”

  1. I love going places…it’s the traveling that I can’t stand :)This is a great list! (I especially like the beer, wine and cake! And also the thoughtfulness about leaving the perfume at home.)


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