Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Packing For My Retreat

Hi Everyone,

I'm writing a few blog entries to post while I'm gone on retreat, so if you comment and don't hear right back from me, it may be that I'm unable to do so.  I'm not sure how much internet we are going to have at the retreat area.

The fact that we would even go came into question on Wednesday morning.  Our area finally got some snow--and it was enough to shut down most things today.  It was only 3 inches or so, but they aren't equipped to deal with it here, so we "wait it out" a bit.  Finally, we heard the decision that we would be going and I was very relieved.  I'd already packed and carried most of my stuff downstairs!

I meant to take a picture of my enormous pile of stuff, but I forgot.  I'm driving up there with a friend and we want to leave early Thursday morning, so we got together and loaded what we could Wednesday afternoon to make for an easier time in the morning.

If you follow me on Instagram (I'm patrioticquilter), I will be taking and sharing pictures of the retreat if I can.

Since I've been having a bit of a hardware store theme this week, this post fits right in.  I'm going to show you the tool caddy I got for Christmas, from Menards (a Home Improvement Store) and how I packed it for the retreat.  I first learned about this from this post.

I'm sorry that the photo is blurry.  If I had known before I packed the chest in my friend's vehicle, I would have taken another.  Anyway, you can get a fair idea.  There is a lower section that is quite spacious.  It opens and angles out to reveal a large compartment.

Inside it, I have many of the containers of squares that I cut last week.  Also on the side is my thread holder and giant cone of thread.

The middle section of the caddy opens to reveal three drawers.  You can tell that the bottom one is a bit deeper than the other two.

 In the bottom drawer, I have my folding, vintage travel iron, small bottle of Best Press, and a few Monthly Mini kits from the Temecula Quilt Co.

The middle drawer has a divider to allow for pens or other small tools.  In it I put a magnet (in case of pin spills--which is always a possibility with me,) some marking pens, and a glue stick.  In the larger compartment I have my case of machine needles, oil, scissors, bobbins (prewound so I'm all ready), etc.  I also have a container of pins.  Later, after I took the photo, I put some small rulers in as well.

In the top drawer are some more small containers containing things I likely won't use, but am taking anyway, "just in case."  I also have the books I need for some of the projects I'm working on.

Finally, the top of the caddy opens like a lid, revealing another nice space.  I filled it with all the kits that I put together for the projects.  I think I have 4-5 of them, plus those Temecula ones.  Do you think I will run out of things to work on?  It is always so tough to gauge and anyone who has ever gone on a retreat can probably attest to the fact that we usually take way too much stuff!

On another hardware store note, I forgot to mention that I have a heavy piece of cardboard (not corrugated) to which I taped sheets of extra fine sandpaper.  I use it to "hold" the squares or other pieces that I need to draw a line across.  It keeps them nicely in place.

If you are wondering where my rotary cutter and other things are, they are in my Tutto bag that holds my machine.  I have this caddy, the Tutto bag, and then just one other bag of oversized items (my cutting mat/ironing surface combo, sandboard mentioned above, some of those design boards that I made and showed here, a lamp, and power strip/extension cord.  Other than that, I have my chair, and then a bundle of bedding, suitcase, snacks and food and drink, etc. (We provide our own breakfast and lunch--they do supper.)

Have a great day!


  1. When I used to go to retreat with my friends before I moved, my BFF and I always went alone in my van. I could lay the back two rows of seats down and take all of our stuff, which included, the kitchen sink!!!! Sounds like you pack like we did!!! Have a wonderful time and drive safe!!!!!!

  2. I've never attended a retreat but hope to one day. I must save this post to my favorites as a reference of what to pack. I tend to over-pack on a normal trip...can't imagine packing for one of these. I hope you have a great time and that the weather cooperates to & from for safe travels.

    I'll be following you on Instagram as well. (I'm jeannarae64)

  3. Your stuff is quite loaded, but packed very well, JoAnne. How many days will you be gone? I hope your retreat is going well. Tell us about it when you’re back. =) Tamie @ GeneralStoreAll.com