Omaha Crazy Quilt Retreat June 2006

Mona Berning 2006

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Are you a crazy quilt enthusiast? Would you like to meet others with the same interests as yourself? Would you like the opportunity to increase your crazy quilt stash with some terrific shopping? How would you like to go on a mini vacation and have more fun than should be legal? Then you should really consider attending the 9th Annual Crazy Quilt Retreat in Omaha, Nebraska!

This year's retreat is being held Friday, June 2, 2006, through Sunday, June 4, 2006, at the DoubleTree Suites Hotel in Omaha. There will also be a beginning crazy quilter's class given on June 1st as a pre-retreat class, and there will be two post-retreat classes on the 5th of June.   Courtyard of Hotel
Courtyard of Hotel 

Teachers this year are Cindy Brick, author of Hanky-Panky Quilts; Barbara Randle, author of Crazy Quilting with an Attitude; Helen Gibb, author of Victorian Ribbon Work; Nancy Kirk who will teach the pre-retreat class and one of the post-retreat classes, Val Bothell, who will be teaching silk ribbon embroidery and a crazy quilt 3-D pumpkin; and Mona Berning who will be teaching two quick "project" classes. (Yes, I am "that" Mona Berning.)

For 7 years I have attended the crazy quilt retreats as a participant, and this year I have been offered the chance to teach. Can you tell I'm a bit excited?

Thursday night there will be a chance to meet the teachers and other retreat participants with something called "Chocolate and Chat". Each person brings a few pieces of chocolate to share (something most of us place on top of our "have-to-have" lists). We get a chance to meet each other in an informal setting, eat and chat - three of my favorite things!

Friday there will be classes during the day and Friday evening there will be something called "Great FEX" (which is a great Fiber EXchange) and the annual Prom Dress Swap. You will never see a pile of prom dresses cut up any faster than they are when 50+ women stand around the tables, scissors in hand, and when the whistle blows....they start hacking away!

Scissors at the ready!
Scissors at the ready! 
Beginnings of Prom Dress Swap from 2001
Beginnings of Prom Dress Swap from 2001 

Just wait until you see what is created from the "leftovers"! We will have a "short" fashion show on Saturday during Show and Tell.

Kate Models
Kate Modeling "Designer Left Overs" at Auction 2004 
Show & Tell
Show and Tell  
More Show and Tell
Carol Stoudenmier 

Saturday there will again be classes and then at 3:30 there will be Show and Tell and the annual Scholarship Auction. We all get together to "show" what we've been working on since the previous retreat. There are some very talented crazy quilters out there! The past couple of years I've been overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of projects that we get to see at these retreats! By the time the retreat ends, I have "inspiration overload"!

Bring a camera to take lots of pictures and a notebook so you can sketch stitches or just write down ideas that you get from all the items that are shown. Take it from me, you'll never be able to remember everything you see!

Bring something to donate to the auction. It can be something like embellishment supplies, crazy quilt books, blocks, fabrics, crazy quilted items that are embellished, but not finished, or even a completed crazy quilt project. Proceeds from both the silent and live auctions are used for tuition scholarships the following year so people that may not otherwise be able to attend, get a chance to learn and share with the rest of us.

The last thing we do on Saturday, after the auction, is draw the winners of the raffle quilts that have been assembled from blocks donated by gals from all over the world. To see some of the blocks, go to - click on the "Conference" tab, then choose a "note" and click on it to see some of the blocks. There are some totally awesome blocks that have been donated! Kate Hollifield and I will be assembling them into the raffle quilts. We should have some beautiful wall hangings to be raffled this year.

There will be a special exhibit this year called "Boxers or Briefs". Everyone is invited to make a crazy quilted or embellished pair of either ladies or mens boxers or briefs. You do not have to attend the retreat to have an entry in this exhibit. These embellished undies will be going on "tour" for 3 years. Proceeds from the exhibits will be donated to the Colon Cancer Alliance and the Crazy Quilt Scholarship Fund. Nancy Kirk's husband, Bill, was a strong force behind the Crazy Quilt Retreat. He passed away two years ago from Colon Cancer. This exhibit is a reminder to all of us that this "unmentionable" cancer is a very curable cancer when caught in time. Since this exhibit will go on tour, you are asked to keep the theme of your boxers or briefs either G or PG rated. These will be exhibited on commercial display forms that will be supplied by the Crazy Quilt Society. In order to best fit these displays, use either a ladies small or mens medium as your base. Last year we had embellished bras for an exhibit. These were a great hit! Let's make the Boxers or Briefs exhibit even better!!!

There is a great variety of classes being given this year.

Cindy Brick will be teaching 3 classes. They are: Crazy Painting, Hanky Panky
Two, and Quilts with Secrets.
Barbara Randle will be teaching 4 classes. She will teach a Crazy Quilt
Lampshade, a Purse/Museum Bag, and Sunday will have a "Pick Two Projects"
class. On Monday she'll be teaching an Advanced Purse post-retreat class.
Helen Gibb will be teaching a Rose Button Brooch class. Many of you will
recognize Helen from her many appearances on the Carol Duvall Show on HGTV.
Nancy Kirk is the "brains" behind the Crazy Quilt Retreat. Without her,
there wouldn't be an annual retreat. She will be teaching the Pre-Retreat
Beginning Crazy Quilt Class and the Post-Retreat Marketing and Promotion for
Crazy Quilt Teachers Class.
Val Bothell will be teaching a Silk Ribbon Floral Monogram and a very cute
Crazy Quilt 3-D Pumpkin.
Mona Berning I will be teaching a Stained Glass Crazy Wallet/Checkbook Cover
and a Crazy Hearts Sweatshirt Jacket.

Come and join us for a GREAT time! You'll make new friends and meet up with old friends! Shop 'til you drop! Get together in the evenings to stitch with your friends. Relax and just enjoy yourself!

For more information go to The Crazy Quilt Society website at to register for this year's retreat.

If you are in need of a roommate to share expenses, Email me - I've agreed to be the go-between for roommate requests. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. If I can't answer them, I'll get your questions to someone that can answer them.

I hope to renew old friendships and make new ones this year. Please join me at this year's Crazy Quilt Retreat!

Martha Green's Quilt
Martha Green's Quilt 
Relaxing after class
Relaxing after class 
Brisk raffle sales
Brisk Raffle Sales 
Raffle Quilt Winners 2001
Raffle Quilt Winners 2001 

Editor's note: Pictures in this article were collected from several past retreats.

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