Strictly Quilting has some brilliant news – We are going on Retreat!

 

As followers of Strictly Quilting you may know that a retreat has been on the cards for some time. Imagine – a whole weekend fully catered dedicated to our wonderful hobby of patchwork and quilting. Having been on a few over the years, I can honestly say, I’ve enjoyed every one.

Earlier this year I invited the brilliant teacher Cecilia Slinn to run a Free Motion Quilting course for Strictly Quilting. Those that attended enjoyed it immensely and it certainly stretched my skills. Sometimes you meet someone who shares the same passion for your hobby. Someone you just get on with and Cecilia and I certainly hit it off.

We have both been involved with patchwork and quilting for a similar amount of time coming at it from different aspects, we compliment each other well and recognise each others skill set. During one of the Free Motion days, we began to hatch the retreat plan.

Daises, Cecilia Slinn
Mind the Gap, Cecilia Slinn
Bubbles, Cecilia Slinn

Cecilia’s love of quilting began just over a decade ago when she made a Sampler Quilt. Since then, Cecilia has gone from strength to strength embracing and enjoying all aspects of patchwork and quilting from Wholecloth quilts to vintage art pieces. She now specialises in Free Motion Quilting for which she has won awards and regularly gives talks to groups across the country.

Another passion is teaching and she finds it immensely gratifying helping students to lose their fear of Free Motion Quilting and develop their skills. Concentrating on teaching techniques, Cecilia has a selection of workshops and courses to choose from on her website. She is a member of the Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles and runs a craft and sewing group near her home in Montgomery on the border of England and Wales.

You will be able to see Cecilia’s work on display at Grosvenor quilt shows across the country this Autumn/Winter show season and you can find her courses and see more of her work on her website.

Like Cecilia, I have sewn since childhood and discovered patchwork and quilting a decade ago at a local quilt shop. Having fallen in love with the craft, I went on to become the assistant editor for British Patchwork and Quilting magazine for a number of years. This involved designing quilts for publication, writing features and visiting many shows and exhibitions where I was lucky enough to meet many of the leading names. Through this, I expanded my knowledge of all things quilting from technical methods to the expansive history, which I find fascinating.

Over the past few years I’ve built a workshop cabin in the garden and now teach most days in the beautiful surroundings of South Wales. ‘Sit and Sew’ sessions are Strictly Quilting’s most popular sessions where students bring projects to work on with assistance, advice and technical support. A full range of project and technique workshops are also available on the website. I am also a member of the Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles and regularly blogs for the website, UKQU, where her on-line shop can be found.

One of the retreat locations I have visited before is Hillscourt. Some may know of this already, but it is a conference centre where we can sew all day, enjoy fabulous food in a relaxed environment. Each in their own single, en-suite room with all food provided. The only thing to think of is which project to bring!

Helen on retreat
Q4CL Talk

The idea is to bring and work on your own projects. Perhaps you have a UFO which you are desperate to finish, maybe you would like to work on some Christmas projects or do you have something that you are stuck on? This would be an ideal time to get them finished. There will be four optional mini workshops included, Cecilia and I having designed two each which you can join should you wish to.

These include a Machine Needle Roll and Podlet Pouch from Cecilia and a Sewing Machine Mat with Pincushion and, for some little light hand sewing relief, a Redwork Christmas decoration from myself.

Machine Needle Roll
Machine Needle Roll
Podlet
Sewing Machine Rug

I will be bringing a selection of notions from Strictly Quilting HQ, just in case you forget anything, but we will also have Andrea from Black Mountain Fabrics joining us bringing a selection of fabrics should you like to have a little retail therapy.

The full details of what’s included are as follows:

Retreat running from 18th to 20th November

Friday: Arrival, set up and sewing from 12:00, hotel room check in from 14:00. Afternoon refreshments and 3 course evening meal.

Saturday: Full English or Continental breakfast, morning refreshments, sandwich buffet lunch, afternoon refreshments, 3 course evening meal.

Sunday: Full English or Continental breakfast, morning refreshments, sandwich buffet lunch, afternoon refreshments.

2 nights overnight accommodation in single, en-suite rooms equipped with: 
• Freeview TV • Wi-Fi • Combination safe 
• Hairdryer • Tea/coffee facilities • Free parking on site

Unrestricted use of the sewing room from 9:00 until 21:00.

Ironing boards and irons will be available in the sewing room.

Support of two Tutors during daytime sessions. (9:00 to 17:00)

Also included are four, mini workshops. Machine Needle Roll, Podlet Pouch, Redwork Christmas 
decoration and a Sewing Machine Mat with pincushion. (Materials are not included and a requirements list will be sent out prior to the event.)

Trader: Black Mountain Fabric and Strictly Quilting will be joining us with a selection of fabrics and basic quilting supplies and notions.

NOT INCLUDED: 
Bring your own sewing machine and equipment, together with the projects you wish to work on. Please ensure your machine is serviced and operational – we may not have the time to repair machines. Drinks, other than the above listed are not included but can be purchased from the onsite bar.

The cost of the retreat is £345. £50 deposit (non-refundable) secures your place, with two further payments of £147.50 due by 31st July 2022 and 30th September 2022.

Should you be interesting in joining us on this wonderful weekend of Sewical fun, please email Helen at [email protected] and we will send you a booking form with all the details.

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