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Meet Joe

In Joe's own words...

“I make quilts to be positive existential objects, that will look and feel like something that can warm you against the coldness of the universe.”


Joe Cunningham has been a professional quilt artist since 1979. He has written essays on the subject for museum catalogues, books and magazines. Joe travels throughout the country to give lectures and workshops on quiltmaking.  Joe Cunningham has been invited to give lectures at many institutions including the DeYoung Museum, the University of Michigan, the Chicago Art Institute, the Shelburne Museum, the International Quilt Study Center and Museum, The National Quilt Museum, and the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles.


His ten books on quiltmaking  include the first biography of a living quilter, the first book on men who make quilts ("Men and the Art of Quiltmaking,") and a definitive book on marking quilts for quilting called “Quilting with Style”.   He has been seen on the Peabody Award-winning PBS series Craft in America, the HGTV series “Simply Quilts with Alex Anderson,” as well as  “The Quilt Show” with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson.


Joe's quilts are in the permanent collections of the DeYoung museum, The Shelburne Museum, The Newark Museum, The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles and many private collections. 

In 2009 Joe received a grant to study with the Gees Bend quilters in Alabama, and in 2019 his work was shown in Venice, Italy, and Kiev, Ukraine.  To see more of his quilting accomplishments, visit his websiteYou might also like to view his YouTube channel to get a sense of his teaching style.

In a student's words...

Joe meets the student where they are; at their skill level, with their vision, using their stack of fabrics, facing their doubts and fears, and then nudges them to explore beyond their go-to approaches to quilt-making.  He uses simple prompts that can be interpreted and executed in a broad manner.  It doesn't matter whether the student thinks they're an "artist" or "just a quilter", they come away with a new understanding of how to begin and maybe even a bit more confidence in their abilities.



The Retreat

Tentative Retreat Schedule

What to Expect...

Each day will begin with breakfast in the dining room adjacent to the class room.  Joe tends to keep his lectures short and encourages students to dive right in and sew while avoiding over-thinking.  The afternoons will include optional short easy hikes and snacks.  There will be a maximum of 20 students.

You will be provided with a workstation and a design wall.  Irons and ironing boards will be available for shared use.  You will need to bring:

  • Your sewing machine - Or there is the option of renting one of six Janome MyStyle 100 machines for $40.

  • Cutting mat and rotary cutter

  • Rulers - at least one that is 24"

  • Scissors

  • A variety of fabrics

  • Thread and other sewing supplies


Each guest room has a private bath and there are options for single or double occupancy, so bring a friend and you'll both receive a discount!  You can also invite an extra guest that doesn't attend Joe's class for a fee.  Santa Fe has many options for sight-seeing, and the free Santa Fe Pickup Shuttle has a nearby stop.  Click here to see the schedule and map.

Booking Options


Queen Single Room - $1,750

Twin Single Room - $1,650

Queen + Twin Double Occupancy - $1,625 each

Twin + Twin Double Occupancy - $1,525 each

Extra Guest - Room only - $525

Extra Guest - Room and meals - $775

A $500 non-refundable deposit holds your space.   The balance will be invoiced on July 1 and due July 31, 2020.  You are welcome to make interim payments.  Contact me for details.


Book by June 1, 2020 for a $100 early booking credit. 

Tuesday Sept 29

7:30 - 8:30 a.m. - Breakfast

8:30 - 12:00 p.m. - Class Time

12:00 - 1:00 p.m. - Lunch

1:00 - 5:00 p.m. - Class Time

6:00 - 7:00 p.m. - Dinner

7:30 - 9:00 p.m. - Parlor Time - Our Quilts

Wednesday Sept 30

7:30 - 8:30 a.m. - Breakfast

8:30 - 12:00 p.m. - Class Time

12:00 - 1:00 p.m. - Lunch

1:00 - 3:00 p.m. - Field Trip - Folk Art Museum - Optional

1:00 - 5:00 p.m. - Class Time

6:00 - 7:00 p.m. - Dinner

Thursday Oct 1

7:30 - 8:30 a.m. - Breakfast

8:30 - 12:00 p.m. - Class Time

12:00 - 1:00 p.m. - Lunch

1:00 - 5:00 p.m. - Class Time

6:00 - 7:00 p.m. - Dinner

Monday Sept 28

7:30 - 8:30 a.m. - Breakfast

8:30 - 12:00 p.m. - Class Time

12:00 - 1:00 p.m. - Lunch

1:00 - 5:00 p.m. - Class Time

6:00 - 7:00 p.m. - Dinner

7:30 - 9:00 p.m. - Parlor Time - Joe's Quilts

Sunday Sept 27

4:00 - 6:00 p.m. - Check-in and Meet and Greet

6:00 - 7:00 p.m. - Dinner

Friday Oct 2

7:30 - 9:00 a.m. - Breakfast

9:00 - 11:00 a.m. - Check-out and Departure

50 Mt Carmel Rd

Santa Fe, NM 87505


All meals will be provided by Piñon Catering.  Chef Kim Faulkner will freshly prepare all meals with the highest quality organic and locally sourced ingredients, when available.  Daily meals include a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  She can accommodate all dietary needs by offering:

  • Vegan Options

  • Gluten Free Options

  • Sugar Free Desserts

  • Organic Produce

  • and All Around Yummy Food

You will enjoy these fabulous meals in the “Truly Santa Fe” dining room, surrounded on all sides with spectacular views of the nearby foothills.


The Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Retreat and Conference Center is a historic property nestled in the piñon-covered foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. This truly is a place where one can cultivate the richness of life and spirit.  The beautiful conference and dining rooms overlook the Monte Sol and Atalaya mountains, with the Ortiz and Sandia mountain ranges in the distance. The lush campus offers serenity, privacy, and space. 


The Albuquerque International Airport is just 1 hour away, with shuttle service to our door.  IHM is just 2 blocks from Museum Hill, 1 mile from world famous Canyon Road, and 2 miles from the historic Santa Fe Plaza. Some of the best hiking and biking trails are in our back yard.  Read more here:


A Quilting Retreat Lead by 

Joe Cunningham


September 27 - October 2, 2020

Please watch the site for updates

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