Last week I had the joy of attending the first ever retreat at Ambleside Quilting in Cornwall. Sarah Wickett’s lovely new purpose-built centre is an absolute pleasure to work in. Big, spacious, warm, light, bright, flooded with light from east facing windows, it has stunning views across to Dartmoor; (and, on a good day, Bodmin Moor) it has everything any fabric artist could want.

Inside there are widely spaced pairs of tables equipped with full-sized cutting mats, an Accuquilt Go with templates, central ironing stations and cutting area with rulers and cutters. There are even long-arm facilities for you to learn or to leave your quilt for Sarah to complete. A quilt wall for planning and a wider variety of chairs-height adjustable draughtsmen’s,(for swivelling) and office (for spinning and rolling) will complement the comfortable padded chairs already in situ.

Then there is a gorgeous complete kitchen and comfy sofas in the sitting area all of which make a quilter feel comfortable, happy and unwilling to leave. In fact, the hours are what you make them: I felt as though I could sew as long as I liked!

The kitchen table is the longest I have ever seen and could seat a minibus full of retreaters in one sitting for tea, coffee, chocolate and …

…then there is cake. And there are scones with cream and jam ….

Need I go on?

In case you have wider needs….the drying area for dyeing outside.

You want to relax outside? Head out to the gin garden.

You want to enjoy sewing AND the view? Sit under the full length canopy (see pic above) or in the garden and take advantage of the exterior sockets to set up your machine outside. You fancy a bit of dyeing? There are sinks outside  (see pic for drying area) and Sarah is growing a number of dye plants already!

We stayed nearby in a comfortable, warm farmhouse, within a short drive or walking distance. Mind you, Cornish lanes are easily confused in the dark, even though it is a very short distance. In my defence, It was dark! And I mean dark for all us town-dwellers!  So, when you head off to this lovely sewing location, ensure your satnav is up to date, though Sarah’s excellent instructions should get you there. 

My fellow retreaters came from London and Bristol with no problems.But don’t take my word for it. Check out Sarah’s FB page or Instagram Ambleside Quilting for details and pictures.