thankful for joe :: Okan Arts
thankful for joe

thankful for joe

By Patricia Belyea

UNION WA Every November, intrepid quilters trek to the Hood Canal to spend a week working with Joe Cunningham. For this year’s session of The Joe Retreat, one traveled from Australia, another from Florida. Fifteen more came from various locales in the US.

What’s the big deal? It’s Joe, a maker of quilts and music. Through artful challenges, encouragement and laughter, Joe guides participants to find their own quilting voices with clarity and confidence.

Let’s take a peek in the workroom, where you will find that no two quilt projects look alike:
There is another man at the Retreat who spreads happiness to all: Executive Chef Treacy Kreger. Treacy brings us farm-to-table fare that fills our bellies and warms our souls.
With an 85% return rate, The Joe Retreat expanded to two sessions this winter. The second one is in February 2018. Happily it is sold out.

I’m thrilled to have worked side-by-side with Joe to organize The Joe Retreat for five years. Spending time with Joe has honed my understanding of the quilt universe and how to find my way forward. I’ve learned a lot and gained a great friend.

If coming to The Joe Retreat appeals to you, please contact me ( to have your name added to the Pre-Sale List for next winter’s sessions. This gives you the opportunity to register before the general public. And to come to a very special quilting experience.

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9 comments to “thankful for joe”

  1. Sandra says:

    Thanks for the photos of all my new quilting friends. It was one of the best weeks of my life. I gained so much, and thanks, Patricia for your welcoming kindness. Thanks to Joe for his ongoing encouragement and guidance. It was a week I will never forget.

  2. Lynne Douglas says:

    I am thankful for both my son and daughter being cancer free for 5;years on Dec 22 and Dec 29. What a celebration we will be having.

  3. Terry Waldron says:

    The work in that class was absolutely brilliant. Bravo to Joe and to the entire class! By the way, did he sing to you, too, you lucky ladies?

    • Patricia Belyea says:

      Terry, It was a great gang in November. We enjoyed Joe’s strumming and singing during the big chunks of time when everyone was working. PB

  4. Miep Jager-Schiphorst from New Zealand. says:

    Those quilts in progress all look amazing.

  5. Janet Hasselblad says:

    Thanks for the pictorial reminder of the excellent and sewful week with you, Joe, the wonderful quilters from near and far, and of course the amazing organic scrumptious meals! I had such a good time. The perfect vacay.