The Joe Retreat :: Okan Arts

delve into new territory with your quilt making

The Joe Retreat with Joe Cunningham

Sunday, November 10 – Friday, November 15, 2019
Saint Andrew’s Retreat House, Union WA
$1,550 per participant, double occupancy
20 spaces available / SOLD OUT
Reserve your space with a $250 non-refundable deposit.

To be on the Waiting List, contact Patricia at

Welcome to The Joe Retreat where you can expect learning, laughter, good food, and great friends. All with the gorgeous backdrop of the Hood Canal.

Joe Cunningham encourages growth in your personal quilt making approach and artistic vision.

The Retreat includes morning directions, lessons throughout the day, evening programs, 24-hour access to the workroom, chef-prepared meals, and accommodations—all in a remarkable setting.

To take a peek at earlier retreats:
-the February 2018 session of The Joe Retreat +click here
-the November 2018 session of The Joe Retreat +click here

2016 The Joe Retreat with Joe Cunningham

retreat theme

the big picture

My quilts nearly always consist of one large image. It helps me clarity my thoughts on a subject, and makes me develop my ideas enough to create a large quilt that can stand as the embodiment of my feelings of the time.

At this Retreat, we will create a theme for each person’s project, then decide on a way to develop it into one quilt-size image. I will have new techniques and new models for the lessons.

Bring 6 or more yards of various fabrics you like and want to make into something great. Open to quilters of all skill levels.

retreat leaders

joe cunningham: teacher

Joe Cunningham aks Joe The Quilter

Joe began making quilts professionally in 1979, after a ten-year career as a musician in Michigan. His early mentors were steepedin the history and traditions of quilts, leading Joe to a life of study in quilt history and a love of traditional technique.

Over the years Joe’s quilts have evolved into a unique, personal style. His quilts are in the permanent collections of museums, as well as in numerous private collections.

Joe has written 11 books, and been featured in the PBS Craft in America series and the American Craft Magazine. 

patricia belyea : coordinator

Patricia, co-owner of Okan Arts, is a Seattle-based quilt maker, teacher, and importer of vintage Japanese textiles. She has spoken and taught throughout the US and Canada, and in the UK and New Zealand.

Patricia’s love affair with quilting began in 2007 when she met machine quilting pioneer Maurine Noble. Her book, East-Meets-West Quilts, released in October 2017. (Abrams NYC)

Beside coordinating The Joe Retreat, Patricia leads hands-on workshops where she teaches her students to make quilts with curves and curved elements. To learn more +click here

2016 The Joe Retreat with Joe Cunningham

retreat stats

Who Comes?

Return Rate: The typical return rate for alumnae is 80%

Number of Participants: We plan the capacity to match the space so everyone has a full table and easy access to an ironing board.

Additional Folks: Many times spouses have attended the Retreat with a reduced Companion Fee. Ask Patricia ( for details.

Guys/Gals: Both men and women sign up for the quilt retreat.

Furthest Travel: Twice participants from Australia have joined The Joe Retreat.

International Alums: We have a cadre of alums who come down from British Columbia, Canada. Yeah!

retreat venue

This will be the seventh year that The Joe Retreat has gathered at Saint Andrew’s. Every time we enjoy welcoming hospitality, incredible meals (including special preparations for those with food sensitivities), and a lovely location overlooking the Hood Canal.

questions + answers


What’s so special about Hood Canal?
A saltwater fjord of Puget Sound, Hood Canal’s clear deep waters and pristine shoreline are a delight to see and experience. To the west, the craggy peaks of the Olympic Mountains majestically frame the view. Hood Canal, just southwest of Seattle, attracts anyone who enjoys the simple pleasures of nature.

What if I want to take a break from quilting? What is there to do?
There are hiking trails throughout the old growth forest behind Saint Andrew’s. Or drive down the road to Alderbrook Resort and walk the network of trails there.

If you head down to the water, you can walk along the beach where oyster shells litter the shoreline. Look for birds, fish and marine mammals!

Also, you can be pampered at Alderbrook Resort with spa services such as massages, body treatments and healing baths.


When I arrive at the Seattle Airport (SeaTac), how can I get to the Retreat?
The easiest way to get to the Retreat is to drive a rental car. In good traffic, the drive is just over one hour.

I’m driving to the Retreat. What’s the exact address of the venue?
When you are driving along the Hood Canal from Bellfair, the venue is on your left:
Saint Andrew’s Retreat House, 7550 E. Highway 106, Union WA 98592


I am coming by plane. Will there be sewing machine rentals at the Retreat?
There are fourteen Bernina 1230s available to rent for $50 each. The Sewing Machine Rental includes a sewing machine, a large extension table, two bobbins, and a small cutting mat.

Please mark on your registration form that you want a Machine Rental. You will be billed for your machine rental as part of your Final Payment invoice.

What do I need to bring? Is there a Supply List?
You need to bring your sewing machine and quilting fabric. Plus sewing tools needed for making a quilt top—scissors, pins, thread, guides and cutter, etc. The Supply List will be sent two months before your Retreat.

at the retreat

Who else will be at the venue while the Okan Arts Retreat is there?
Okan Arts has reserved the whole retreat center so we have exclusive use of all the spaces.

What if I want to quilt non-stop?
There are no requirements that you participate in any of the activities if you don’t want to. You have access to your sewing area 24 hours a day.

I have food restrictions. What about that?
If needed, there will be vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options at every meal. For those with food intolerances, our chefs prepare foods for persons with special dietary needs and Celiac disease.


The rate is for double occupancy. Do you have single rooms?
Sorry, no. Nearby Alderbrook Resort, has a special rate for Okan Arts participants of $139 per night (plus applicable taxes) for a Creekside Queen Room with an ensuite bathroom. If you choose to stay at Alderbrook, you will receive a $150 credit on your Final Payment invoice from Okan Arts. Please let Patricia ( know that you want to stay off-site and she will give you reservation instructions for Alderbrook.

more student work

These photos are from the February 2019 session of The Joe Retreat which took place at Harmony Hill Retreat Center in Union WA. The theme was Two Colors.