Congratulations! You’re attending your first retreat!

Attending your first retreat can seem intimidating, especially if you are attending by yourself and don’t know anyone else. But remember, you already share a love of cross stitching with everyone you will be meeting and even for us introverts striking up a conversation is easy when chatting with others about this hobby that we love!

Essentials to Bring

 Basic sewing supplies, such as needles, flosses, a project or two, scissors (paper and embroidery), hoops or Q Snaps (if you use) ,reading glasses, etc.

Extras to Consider

Top of my extras list is a portable light and magnifier! Linnie likes to keep her scissors on a lanyard. Other extras are snacks, beverages in covered containers, light jacket or sweater if you tend to get cold; personal fan if you tend to get warm; sewing mat, extra zipper bags for projects you’ll receive, finished projects for brag tables (check if your retreat has this), patterns/supplies for freebie tables (check if your retreat is offering this).

Smalls Exchange

Not all retreats have a smalls exchange but if yours does it is usually optional. If you do choose to participate a small is usually something like a small pillow, pin cushion, drum, box, pear or strawberry with stitched design.


Gifts are optional. I know one retreat has an optional bagged gift exchange, but other retreats don’t mention anything about this and it’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to bring gifts and how many. Some people bring gifts for people they know or for their table; some exchange only with others who also provide a gift and sometimes people bring gifts for everyone in attendance.

Gift ideas include candy, floss tags, rings, zipper pulls, counting pins, tiny pincushions, needles, needle books etc.