Saturday, March 8, 2014

Quilt History Retreat on Lopez Island

Welcome! Ready for a QUILT adventure on beautiful Lopez Island, Washington!


(1) Karen Alexander helping a local farmer move sheep.  (2)  Looking at Lopez Village from  across Fisherman Bay 
 (3) photo of eagle and ferry by Charles Givens of Lopez Island      

Planning and holding a Quilt History Retreat here on Lopez Island has been on my Bucket List for 10 years. This Retreat is my personal way of promoting both quilt history and local history. I want this to be a FUN event as well as an educational event. We aim to show you a good time! I have been studying quilt history since I became a member of the American Quilt Study Group in 1981. I moved to Lopez Island and became involved in its historical society in 2004.

Lopez Island is an ideal location for a quilt-related retreat because of its beauty, its close-knit small community and its many quilters. If you live on Lopez yourself, consider inviting a friend to spend the week of May15-17 with you so that she too can attend the Retreat and visit you at the same time.

Pay VERY CLOSE ATTENTION to the ferry schedule as you plan your trip.

The challenges of holding any kind of event on Lopez is the FERRY SCHEDULE and the fact that you may be tempted to never leave the island!  Not every ferry goes to every island. You have to get in the right ferry line for Lopez Island and you should be in line at least 30-60 minutes ahead of time to be safe. They will tell you at the ticket window which line to get into when you buy your ticket. There is no “reservation” system. It is first come, first served. Here is the link to the Washington State Ferry site— We will be on the SUMMER SCHEDULE by the time you head for the Anacortes ferry dock to come to the Retreat. The SUMMER schedule will be posted in early April.

This event is a Fund Raiser

The REGISTRATION FEES you pay to attend the Quilt History Retreat will cover the travel expenses of our out-of-state-speakers who will be sharing a selection of early English, French and American quilts from their private collection. Leftover funds after expenses will be donated to LIHS and WQSG. I earn nothing personally from this event except the sheer pleasure of sharing Lopez Island with you! Members of Enchanted Quilters our local island guild will be assisting! (Click on the name and you can visit their blog.)

You may register for the whole Retreat at a discount if you are a member of the American Quilt Study Group (AQSG) or the Lopez Island Historical Society (LIHS). 
($165.00 for members of either group or $250.00 for non-members of either group.)

Or you may choose from the a la carte menu and attend only one or two sessions. If you are not a member of either group, the Registration fee is higher.  However, you can join either group right (see links above) or when you register for the Retreat itself so that you can take advantage of the discount pricing that membership affords you. 


Thursday, May 15   -   Optional Tour - quilts of Orcas & San Juan Historical Societies – full details will be sent to those who plan to arrive in time for this event. All three islands historical societies will have quilts on display. Arrangements will be made to go as a group if enough people show interest and commit to this tour. 

Friday - May 16,  9:30-11:30am            History of early 20thc Quilt designers Ruby McKim & Marie Webster – Karen Alexander. Bring a quilt or two from either designer to share. 

Friday - May 16, 2:00-4:00pm            Kate & Mary Edgar Collection of Early British, French & American 19th Century Quilts.

Friday, May 16, 7-9:30pm            Signature Quilts  Karen Alexander & Susan Underwood at the restored Port Stanley one-room schoolhouse (Fund Raiser for LIHS)  (We will have Show & Tell as long as time allows.)
Saturday, May 17, 9:30-10:15am    Lopez Island Historical Society Tour (includes some Signature Quilts)

Saturday, May 17, 10:30am-12:00            A Bed Turning - Karen Alexander will share a selection from her wide ranging teaching collection as well as share her documentaton  methods, files and extensive textile research library.

Saturday, May 17, 2:00-4:00pm            Quilt Restoration/ConservationQuilt restoration expert Anne Dawson. We will meet at the restored Port Stanley one-room schoolhouse. (Bring one “needy” quilt and your questions)

Saturday, May 17, 4:00-5:30pm            Show & Tell at PSS – the restored Port Stanley one-room schoolhouse.  Here is your chance once again to share quilts from you own collection.

Expect some pleasant surprises along the way as well!

So what next? If you already have my email address, contact me. If you are new to my list, email me at for a Registration form and put Quilt History Retreat in the subject line.  Thank you!

Ya'll come!

(above - one of my other pastimes on Lopez!) 

PS: What else is there to do on Lopez Island?                 

photo by Karen Alexander 2005 - Lopez Island beach

~Beautiful bays, Watmough Bight and beaches 

~Biking (and Bike Rentals) 



~Driving tour of Lopez Island

~Kayaking (and Kayak rentals)

~A Beautiful Library with rotating art displays!

2006 Doll & Crib Quilt Exhibit at the Lopez Library

We have at least 7 establishments that serve excellent food!

Holly B’s – our renowned bakery mentioned in  the New York Times!

The Bay Cafe - Also mentioned in New York Times

Vortex - Vegetarian

Vita's - Wildly Delicious - take out or eat on patio

The Galley - beautiful view of Fisherman Bay

The Love Dog Cafe - across from Holly B's and Vortex in the heart of the Village and a stone's throw to Vita's.

Buckey's - fabulous fish tacos! Next to Holly B's.

A GREAT Historical Society & Museum!

~The Fudge Factory - plus jellies and jams!

~Locally Grown Organic Produce and Meat to take home! (Bring your coolers!)