Valley Scrapbookers and Crafters Find Space, Equipment and Sanctuary in Area Retreat Houses

If you’ve got a crafting project to finish, have we got a destination for you.

Once you hear of it, it’s hard to stop thinking about: a long weekend away with your craftiest girlfriends, uninterrupted time and excellent lighting, and plenty of tabletop space to spread out and really tackle your choice. That scrapbook you’ve been meaning to finish for your graduating senior? The heirloom quilt? Some bead or hand-stamping projects? Now that we’ve put the idea in your head, here are three lovely, comfortable and definitely-not-roughing-it settings to consider for your first (or next) crafting retreat.

The Trails Retreat, St. Croix Falls

The Trails Retreat owner and operator Jan Lane says a long weekend at her “crafter’s paradise” is a “great opportunity to get away and relax.” Business has been good, she says, since she purchased the stunning Trails Retreat home 11 years ago. The retreat is open year-round, with the busiest season from August through Mother’s Day. Heidi Blomberg has come “at least 14 times, sometimes twice a year” to the retreat; her group includes friends and family who scrapbook, knit, crochet and “a sister who just comes along for the company.” They keep coming back, she says, because of the great care Lane takes to make sure everyone is “treated really well. Jan plans for everything.”

Whispering Pines Retreat, St. Croix Falls

Andrea Kullmann’s Whispering Pines Retreat has hosted scores of beaders, quilters and scrapbookers in its 12 years. The retreat is a special place for scrapbooking because Kullmann is a former Creative Memories consultant. She’s put a lot of attention into things like lighting and has the solid wooden tables that are best for grommet and other heavy scrapbooking work. Even the chairs are super-comfortable, writes one satisfied customer. Kullmann adds that several of her retreat guests have returned with their families for summer vacations. Local attractions include several public-access lakes, Wild Mountain and wineries.

Birch Park Retreat, Hudson

Jeannie and Paul Badger have been in business 10 years with their Birch Park Retreat, which is mainly known as a scrapbook retreat but has hosted quilters, card makers and knitters. People have even come to take advantage of their large work tables to organize their piles of home clutter and paper work, Jeannie Badger says. What makes Birch Park Retreat unique, Badger adds, is that “people can still get away for a girls’ crafting weekend, but if they need to run home for a sporting event or an activity for their kids, they can leave for a couple of hours, leave all their stuff set up, and come back after the event and join right back in on the crafting fun!” Sixteen guests can be accommodated. Badger’s list of crafting equipment is always growing, she says, urging guests to “let us know what you want.”


The Trails Retreat

Sleeps: 18
Rates: $1,800 plus tax 10 a.m. Fri.–6 p.m. Sun.Additional days are $32.85 (includes tax) per person per day, minimum of six guests Amenities: Crafting and quilting tools; computer and color printer; sound system, TV and wi-fi.

Whispering Pines Retreat
Sleeps: 12
Rates: $555/night plus tax Fri.–Sat. (two-night minimum on weekends); $290/night Sun.–Thu.
Amenities: The resource room is supplied with a color Gateway computer, 12-inch color printer, Cricut and Zip’e Mate die-cut machines, various dies and alphabets, circle and oval cutters, punches, large paper-cutter and other tools.

Birch Park Retreat 
Sleeps: 16+
Rates: $800/night Fri.–Sat., $450/night Mon.–Thu.
Amenities: A large selection of tools, including shape-makers, cutting tools, large paper trimmer, and more; a large workshop area and wi-fi.

This is merely a sampling of the local options for crafting weekends in the Valley; go online to discover more on both sides of the river.