Quilt Retreat

20-09-2017

We only quilted on days ending in “y”

The Quilt Retreat – A Review

If you are looking for an escape from the every-day and want to sew and quilt to your hearts content, then The Quilt Retreat is a tranquil haven for quilt lovers of all skill levels. Bunts Barn was once an old dairy barn in a rural location amidst open countryside, with outstanding views, in Hooe near Battle in Kent, which has been sympathetically converted into the Quilt Retreat by husband and wife team Julie and Michael Barnes.

It was with great excitement that our group of 5 – Mandy, Pat, Patti, Rosemary & Sarah headed off to the countryside for a completely new experience. We had no idea what to expect, none of us had ever stayed at a quilting retreat before. There were 2 other ladies at the retreat with us, both named Sue!

We were made welcome from the moment we arrived with friendly greetings at the car and offers of help to take our belongings indoors for our stay. There was a déjà vu moment when first meeting Julie and it wasn’t until she explained her friendship with Isabel Hall from Compton Quilting that we realised we had previously met her before at Isabel’s Open Days.

It didn’t take long to settle in and discover the delicious food on offer, starting with some very yummy homemade carrot cake and tea. Each day we enjoyed new culinary delights - from continental breakfasts, to lunches and evening meals prepared with enthusiasm and variety. It was a luxury not to think about food preparation or cooking, everything was done for us by a local lady chef who came in for the duration of the retreat. Attention to detail on dietary requests was exemplary and we all felt very spoilt and enjoyed the food enormously.

Our rooms in the newly converted barn were spotlessly clean with quality linens and comfortable beds - equal to any top hotel. It was the personal quilt related touches, like themed quilts in each room, the sewing machine lamps or quilts hanging from the rafters that made us realise this was really a holiday with a difference. The views from the barn and balcony were amazing – you could see The Royal Observatory at Herstmonceaux on the horizon – now a Grade II listed monument.

A definite highlight was being shown all the many quilts Julie had made, their stories and how they evolved and seeing the long-arm quilting machine set up ready to quilt. Julie has over 20 years’ experience in patchwork and quilting and makes quilts as a hobby and professionally. Julie is also one of the UK’s longest providers of long arm quilting services.

The quilting workshop was huge with plenty of light, was well equipped with space for all our ‘stuff’ whether we wanted to spread out on tables or use the trolleys and bins provided. Thank goodness for the ironing and cutting table height – our home tables will never meet that level of comfort! We were fairly competent and happy to be left to get on by ourselves but it was lovely to have Julie or Michael pop in every now and again to chat and make sure we were OK. Surprising how much chat and laughter goes on during quilting!

Despite, or maybe because of all the banter and chat and many stops for food & refreshment we achieved lots of quilting and sewing to take home.

Sewing and quilting can be pretty intense without distractions but we were on holiday and also wanted to see a little of our surroundings. A morning’s outing to Hailsham, a very old Market Town was a must – mainly because the lovely fabric shop The Pumpkin Patch was situated there -and who can resist the opportunity to add more fabric to our stash!

Hailsham is very pretty with a variety of local and national shops and restaurants. We enjoyed a great coffee at Bucklers Café/Tapas Bar in the heart of Hailsham and we also discovered Millies – a wonderful little gem of a shop with a variety of gifts, ladies’ outfits and homewares spread over 3 floors of quaint rooms.

Our hosts provided a beautiful quilter’s retreat, giving great thought to everyone’s comfort and wellbeing. Spending time there was like going home to family or a special friend where everything was done for you (yep, even the dishes!) with a smile and it made for a most enjoyable holiday.

The retreat was only opened October 2016 and Julie and Michael have set a very high bar for any other quilting retreats! Judging by how much we all enjoyed our stay I don’t think it will be a one-off, we are hoping to go again next year. As much as we would like to keep them to ourselves, here is the link http://quiltretreatuk.co.uk

RL

September Meeting

16-09-2017

At our September meeting we were treated to one of our own very talented members, Doreen Plummidge as our speaker. 

     Doreen has been quilting for more than 25 years and specialises in watercolour quilts, using Liberty prints and batik. Doreen uses bleach to fade the original fabric colour until she achieves her required value of the fabric. Not only is Doreen artistically very creative and original, her techniques and skill are outstanding.  All of her quilts are hand quilted and she only makes one quilt a year.

    She has sold many of her beautiful quilts and it is easy to see why people would want to buy them.

Doreen was a very entertaining and interesting speaker and it was a real pleasure to hear her speak.

                        

July Meeting

16-07-2017

Our July meeting was made all the more enjoyable by our guest speaker, Louise Mabbs, who shared her enthusiasm for the Fibonacci sequence and how she uses it in her work.

Louise uses the Fibonacci sequence in a variety of different ways in her stunning, brightly coloured quilts, resulting in some amazing, 3 dimensional patterns. 

The four images below are Louise Mabb's lovely quilts.

   

  

       

 This lovely,colourful star quilt was made by one of our members                                                                     

This beautiful sailboat art quilt was also made a Guildford Quilters member   

June Meeting

14-06-2017

Our June meeting started off with a very interesting talk by Liz Betts, about iconic British company Liberty. The focus of her talk was the post 1960 years and the use of Liberty fabrics by quilters. Liz brought along some lovely Liberty fabric samples pictured below.

                   

Our members brought along some beautiful quilts to our popular Show and Tell. It is always such a pleasure to share their quilting projects and draw inspiration from them.

           

        

         

Our members have also been busy making beautiful items for our 2018 exhibition sales table

   

             

May Meeting

23-05-2017

Two members of the Quilters Guild from Region 2 came to our May meeting to tell us how to set up a quilting group for children. They are running their own groups teaching children how to hand and machine sew, and these have been a great success.

 We also spent time doing mini workshops learning how to make items for the sales table at our exhibition next April. 

Our members brought along some beautiful and much needed baby quilts and fidget mats for the Royal Surrey hospital.They are always gratefully received.

            

 Some of the lovely items made by a group of children with the help of ladies from the Quilters Guild

     

Our members enjoying the mini workshop on items for our 2018 exhibition sales table

          

Three beautiful quilts made by our members