I went away on retreat a few weeks ago. It was my first retreat and I wasn't sure about signing up to start with, but I am so glad I took the plunge! The retreat took place at Eaton Manor in Shropshire - literally in the middle of nowhere! It was run by the very lovely @tuppencehapennyquilts - she was a force to be reckoned with and the organisation and planning that went into the retreat were phenomenal. Her partner, Patrick, did all the cooking for us for the weekend - the only guy on site! But the food was amazing! The homemade flat bread with chicken and dips and veg and salad was fabulous, and I have never had such good sausage and mash!
My room-mate for the weekend was Andrea @frustrated_crafter. I didn't know Andrea at all when the room mates were first announced, but it turns out she lives very near where we go on holiday every year, so we were able to meet for coffee over the summer and get to know each other, which was either a huge coincidence, or some very clever stalking by Pennie! We did a roomy swap and Andrea made me some beautiful pieces: a clear pouch from Aneela's book, a scissor holder and an origami pouch. Along with chocolate and a Sidmouth tea towel! I'll share what I made for her in a separate post!
Pennie also organised the most amazing goodie-bags and lucky dip over the course of the weekend. The goodie bag had threads and fabrics and money-off vouchers, and my lucky-dip prize was amazing! A box of Aurifil 50w threads and some Liberty fabric. Now I'm not a liberty fan, but these prints are not all your normal ditzy florals... I may have plans and I may have purchased some linen to go with them!
The very lovely Saira from Olive and Flo Handcraft had a pop-up shop all weekend. I'd pre-ordered a fat quarter bundle of Tula Pink's new line, Zuma from her and picked that up, and may have possibly bought more later in the weekend - again, I have plans!
There were options to take three classes over the weekend. I didn't, as I knew I would never get prepared for them in advance, but some fabulous makes came out of the scrappy improv cushion class with Susan @canadianabroad, there was some beautiful embroidery from the class with Aneela Hoey and some pretty impressive free motion quilting from the class with Trudi. I spent my weekend doing Social Sewing. There was a lot of talking and laughing, and yes, we did some sewing too. Though I didn't stay up sewing until 4am unlike some people... I worked mainly on my Awesome Ocean quilt, a Bjorn Bear Quilt and made good progress on the Round We Go quilt.
It was the people who really made it such a good weekend. I met so many people in real life, who I have got to know through Instagram, as well as some new people. Everyone was amazingly friendly, and willing to share and laugh and we all had a great time. A special mention goes to Maria @stitchy.stitchy who is possibly the worlds most crazy quilter - I picked her up on my way down and we got on like a house on fire, egging each other on to start new projects and cause Instagram mischief!
There will be another Sewing Shindig next September. And despite the 7-hour drive each way, I've already signed up - the kids will be having a Daddy-weekend! And if I've whetted your appetite to join us, I'm sorry but 2019 is already sold out!!! In just 2 days! The sign of an excellent retreat!