Tuesday 27 March 2018

Three Day Quilting Retreat

Once again I've been lucky enough to attend a three day quilting retreat. That's right, three solid days of sewing, with no gardening to distract me. With over sixty ladies in attendance, that's a lot of sewing happening.

Held in the Blue Mountains town of Blackheath, the retreat is run each year by the wonderful Anne Sommerlad. Sadly, there'll be no more at this venue.

Unlike some retreats where you take your own sewing along, with this one there are specific projects sewn. Every day is a different workshop, each with an experienced tutor. All the materials and patterns are provided, so basically we just have to rock up - with our sewing machines plus the normal sewing bits and pieces. 

Can you see my sewing basket in the photo? It's come in very handy at retreats, and at home I use it for stashing fabrics scraps on the go - before they are colour sorted into ziplock bags.

Surrounded by fabric for three days, of course meant a little fabric shopping was in order. I showed great restraint and only purchased ½m each of two fabrics from the pop up store Sew Can I...
Authentic Etc by Sweetwater for Moda. You know I have a thing for text fabrics!
Not a surprise - I have absolutely no idea what I'll do with it yet. The right project will come along, even though that may be years away.

I was lucky enough to win a jelly roll of batiks, via a raffle held to support the Timor Learning Centre. With the $2000+ that was raised the centre will be able to employ women to teach sewing - a very worth while cause.

Nothing to do with sewing, but I couldn't resist purchasing a pair of boots at one of the local shops. Ha, ha... yep, I could have bought a lot of fabric with what the boots cost, but, in all honesty, I have to curb my fabric buying addiction. The boots will not sit in a cupboard waiting for the right moment. They will be worn as soon as the weather cools down a little.

It's most definitely not cheap to attend a sewing retreat such as this. There's the overall cost of the retreat, plus an additional cost for each kit used in the workshops. Accommodation, travel expenses and incidental must have purchases all add to the cost. Is it worth it? Absolutely YES!!! I had a wonderful time. There's more photos over on the Anne Sommerlad Designs Facebook page.

Catering for the three days was provided by the Blackheath Rotary Club - morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea each day. All we had to do was think about dinner. Breakfast was provided with our accommodation.

Over the next couple of weeks, I'll show you the projects from the retreat - none finished yet, but all well under way. Here's some from previous years...
There are other projects that haven't made the blog, and some still waiting to be finished. I'll get to them.

In the meantime, I have some clothing alterations that are calling - taking up the sleeves on a lined pleather coat. Alterations are definitely not my favourite kind of sewing, but I can't let family pay to have them done. If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen that the screen printed quilt is almost finished - hand stitching two sides of the binding and I'm done. I'm aiming for the end of this week. Wish me luck - it's been a long time in the making.

Have you been lucky enough to attend a sewing retreat?

... Pam


  1. I have never attended a sewing retreat but would love to now I have retired. Your retreat sounds like heaven, what a fabulous way to spend three days. Can’t wait to see your projects.

    1. Oh, Lenore, it was a fun filled, relaxing three days. I do hope you get to attend one.

  2. This is something I would like to do one day! It looks like so much fun. I LOVE your boots. I have a couple pairs of Josef Seibel boots myself and they are such good quality boots. Now you make me want to buy another pair! LOL

  3. No retreats for me; they wouldn't be my kind of thing. However, for those who do enjoy such crafting getaways, they seem like the perfect opportunity to combine a bit of relaxation with whatever craft is involved, with no other obligations. I can think of many times where I'm working away on something and wished I didn't have to stop and cook dinner, for example!

    Kudos on your fabric buying restraint. And what woman can't use additional footwear? (I recently bought a new pair of shoes!) ;-)

  4. OOoo I can't wait to see your retreat projects :) I've never been on a retreat - I'm not sure it would be something I would want to do - it's a lot of money, and I can have my sewy friends over for hen parties for the cost of a pizza and a case of vodka coolers, LOL. I think I'd be more likely to look into a day retreat - that would be more my budget and comfort level :D

    P.S. My husband tells me I snore - it's OK if *he* hears me because I elbow him almost every night about HIS snoring - strangers, however, don't need to hear the rattle and roar!

  5. That sounds like a fun retreat! Looking forward to the projects you made there:)

  6. Thanks for taking time to create a helpful and informative article also for sharing us this unique content.


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