One of the best things about UK Quilters United on Facebook, is how it brings quilters together in real life (the outernet!) instead of just the internet.

Whether you are looking for a friend for  ‘cuppa and sew’, a local group to join, or to start up your own group, UKQU is there to help. They can help you find people in your area or what kind of insurance you need to start a new group in a hall, just ask and our members will provide you with a wealth of information.

Retreats are also brilliant; a few days in a hotel, a room to sew with big tables, all your meals provided, and if you’re lucky, a pool and sauna! It’s a brilliant way to get to know new people and have time to really throw yourself into some sewing and get things done. Excellent for quilters like me, who generally  do more thinking about sewing than actual sewing. Mind you, that’s also the biggest problem with UK Quilters United, once you’re on there you’ll be stuck for hours reading all the posts! 😉

Last year Penny Chattey decided she would book a retreat for April 2019 and offer it up to UK Quilters United and I jumped on the chance, I don’t get out much so it was a great opportunity to get out the house and quilt. After months of chatting about it on messenger, a few quilters having to drop out and replacements joining up, the time finally came to pack as much sewing equipment as possible and drive to the Denham Grove Hotel in Uxbridge, and yes, there was a pool. We came from all over, a fairly random bunch of UKQU’ers so most of us had never met before.

Everyone diligently beavered away at their sewing machines except Penny, who managed to do no sewing at all all weekend somehow! The chat was loud and jovial and as we sat in a large circle the conversations included the whole group. At meal times we sat in different seats to chat to people we weren’t sitting next to in the sewing room, giving us a chance to get to know everybody, rather than just pairing up in small cliques.

Here is some of the work we did, including one that got finished at home afterwards. One of the great things about sewing in groups was the help given by the whole group. Whether it was decisions that needed to be made, placements corrected or suggestions for quilting, we all chimed in and helped each other out. I got two UFO tops finished which would have sat round for years otherwise, the black and white plants and the Alison Glass rainbow, which needs appliques added now before quilting.

Amusingly we bumped into another quilting group there too, Avrill Collett and the South East Sewing Retreats gang, all UKQU’ers too. Avril is in my UKQU Mini Swap team so I wasn’t allowed over to chat, in case I saw what she was working on. Didn’t stop me chatting to everyone else, watching an embroidery machine demonstration, or them coming over to our room though!

Overall we had a fantastic time and next year is already booked. Plus, we’re a brand new group now, albeit one who meets once a year in a hotel, so I introduce to you the newly formed ‘Lady Chattey’s Quilt Lovers’ group  😀


  1. Sharon Reid

    Fabulous. I love our annual trips to Paignton with my quilting group and this year I have a lovely trip up to Derbyshire to look forward to in July. Like many, with work and tutoring I don’t get much time to stitch myself, so a few days away just for stitching is a real treat.

  2. Avril Collett

    Always a pleasure to meet fellow quilters and our group ” Barclay Quilters” have been up and running for years with 3 successful retreats per year. Lovely to have met Juliet, if only from a distance just in case she spied my mini quilt…….

  3. Teresa Barrow

    Denham is a great venue for a retreat, I have been there twice with Avril’s group. Some amazing quilts your group has made there! Love your flowerpot and Rainbow. So pleased you enjoyed it, and like Lyn I can’t wait to meet everyone again at the Bloggerati retreat in November!