July 22, 2013

2013 CQI - Crazy Quilt Retreat Update

So, what's new with retreat business? -

Well, I've been working, nearly daily with Cathy to get the retreat organized. Planning has been really, really fun but I have seriously under estimated the number of balls I would have in the air at one time, and also just how many loose ends there would be.

So, just who will be joining us this year?

Barbara W, Beth P, Bev F, Carol K, Cathy K (Etsy), Colleen A, Connie K (Etsy), Diane M (Etsy), Donna D, Elizabeth R, Gayle S (flickr), Hideko I (flickr), Ingrid G, Josie T, Lauri B, Lorraine S (Etsy), Maggie H, Maureen G, Shari J, Sharyn N, Susan B, Wilma W, and of course Me (Etsy, flickr).

We're really trying to think outside the box and mix things up a bit now that we're in our 6th year. We will have a slightly more 'structured' schedule, which only means that we are being more realistic about what time we actually have available to us. That scheduling enabled us to add several popular classes and still maintain the free time for stitching and visiting that everyone looks forward to. And with 23 of us in attendance this year, time management is going to be an important factor in pulling this off. I know I haven't been the only person a bit disappointed at past retreats because some of my 'want to dos' just didn't happen.

Some of the other changes we've made this year is scheduling in a little more 'fun time' with a variety of games, prizes and giveaways! We've also had a wonderful response from attendees and outside vendors offering to donate a little something for our Swag Bags. I don't want to spoil the surprise by posting what those items are but I will say, everyone will be very pleased!

Another bonus, in my opinion, is the change in sleeping arrangements. This year most attendees will be staying at a nice, local hotel, where we were given very reasonable room rates for our retreat dates. Being able to start your day with a hot shower and a satisfying and unrushed breakfast will go a long way to getting everyone ready for the day's activities. And there is a lot to be said for having a place to drop your stuff at the end of the day, to have a little privacy, and a chance to unwind before climbing into your own bed at night.

I am also very happy to welcome three International attendees to stay at our home this year. Hideko from Japan, and Diane and Lorraine, both from Canada will be staying with us. We had the pleasure of Hideko's company when she came for the 2010 retreat. Diane regularly attends the retreats and I am very much looking forward to seeing her again, and having her stay with us. I will be meeting Lorraine for the first time, and I'm really looking forward to it. All three of them are arriving 2 days prior to the retreat which will not only give them a chance to settle in but will give the four of us a chance to spend some time together before the 'fun' begins!

So far our biggest 'obstacle' has been making sure we have enough extra chairs and seating areas for everyone (LOL). Luckily, we're covered! The Formals (dining and living rooms) will be our 'retreat area' where all of our retreat related activities will take place. By adding a couple of table leaves to the dining table and few extra chairs, we can seat 7 comfortably. The living room has 2 love seats that will comfortably seat 4 more. Then finally, with both of my folding, 6 foot banquet tables and another 12 chairs, we have the remaining 12 ladies comfortably settled in! DH is going to help me with side tables (as needed for Ott lights, etc.) and run all of the power cords around the area so that we have plenty of electrical connections without having tripping hazards. Wish us luck with that one (LOL)!

The kitchen, which is just off of the 'Formals' will of course, be for cooking and serving. Between the kitchen table, the patio furniture, and the retreat area there shouldn't be a problem finding a place to sit and eat. Just off of the kitchen is the family room, which has been dubbed a NO RETREAT ZONE where DH (and our house guests) can hang out with coffee and read the newspaper in the morning, and watch TV and relax in the evening. With the whirlwind of activities and busyness of the retreat during the day, having a place to take a break and relax a bit at the beginning and end of each day is a must!

We're going to have the Vendor Boutique set up downstairs. I know I need to fit 8 vendors in there but I haven't quite worked out the logistics on that one yet. I would like to maintain some usable entertainment space down there during the retreat, just in case. Maybe even for Saturday night after the hubbies join us for our farewell dinner. It might be nice to have access to the sitting area and TV, or to shoot a game of pool and/or have a drink, etc. So...still thinking on that one!

And finally, let me address that burning question that has to be in the back of your mind: WHAT ABOUT POTTY BREAKS FOR 23 WOMEN? Well, we have that covered, too. And for the first time ever (I think) I am really glad to have 5 bathrooms. The three upstairs will be for private use and the other 2 (main floor and basement) will be for retreat use. Pretty sure we won't have to take numbers or endure long lines at Intermission (LOL).

Well, that's it for now on what I can post about retreat stuff. And I'm off to work on some of the many lists and posts that we need to provide to retreaters so that they can better plan for their trip and the upcoming activities. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to talk to you again soon.

See previous 2013 retreat post here .


**This post is a 'cut and paste' version originally posted at my blog**

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