We think we are such a clever species because we have mastered the art of speech, even becoming fluent in what we refer to as ‘our language’ but there is another- a universal, non-verbal language that transcends speech that we can all relate to on a fundamental level. Verbal speech is a veneer; it is blasé, fickle and can hold lies and mistruths if we are not careful.

The art of stitch holds no lies, it is your truth. It is there to be seen and it speaks to us all deep within our soul; it talks of colour, depth, energy, harmony, discord. It can hold a memory, hope, love, shame, beauty and fear and it uses principles laid down in science to subliminally send messages on multiple layers; those of line, shape, scale, proportion with just as much impact as any other expressive medium. It has breadth of meaning; what red says to one person can be something completely different to another so it certainly isn’t one dimensional.

But to master this language doesn’t always come easy. We can pick up the basics from looking at others’ work, from reading reviews or a book and even trying to copy a technique here and there but to truly learn to speak your own creative truth in this medium you need a guide until you become more fluent; not just in speaking it but living and breathing it so it becomes a natural part of you.

If you admire the work of others, see exhibitions, pour over magazine pages and marvel at the creative accomplishments you see but wonder why your own work lacks depth or meaning then I am here to help, I am your guide.

On a retreat you leave behind the mundane treadmill of repetition and escape into a world of your own making. By devoting this time to yourself you create the conditions be able to see differently. Without the external pressures of the day to day you have the mental space to assess and decipher your work with more clarity and inquisitiveness than before in order to make more informed and focused decisions about the organic development of your work, all while being supported along the way.

Your Creativity Unleashed

Creativity should not be forced; it should evolve through creative experimentation, exploration, mistakes and polishing. It should grow naturally, not crammed in between a trip to the store and the school run. A retreat setting allows the time to be used to best effect without constant distractions and external pressures that can often subdue the creative flow at home or even in a classroom setting where it takes most of the time to set up and pack away your equipment. At a retreat you can spread out both physically and mentally, allowing the juices to flow uninterrupted. It should also be fun, a time to connect with that child within from before you learned to shut your imagination down and behave and also to join up with those of a like mind so the inspiration multiplies.


Your Award-Winning Personal Guide

I am an award winning textile artist, author and Member of The Society of Designer Craftsmen with many years’ experience of teaching both basic and advanced sewing and textile techniques to a wide range of learners. I am here to take you on a personal journey of discovery, self-expression and creativity in the perfect setting.

Your Luxury Location and Facilities

All of this is accomplished while you also enjoy the purpose built luxury accommodation of cute and cosy en-suite bedrooms, vaulted lounge area and spacious studio workshop in the tranquil setting of The Quilt Barn, Hooe, East Sussex. Check out their website for details of the wonderful accommodation we will be using at: The Quilt Retreat.

Your retreat includes expert tuition, ensuite accomodation with luxury beds and mouthwatering meals, all snacks and soft drinks in addition to access to the beautiful Sussex countryside for walks and relaxation. We believe the environment is crucial to inspire and hold you during your stay.

You are welcome to bring your own alcohol if you wish.

Your Space to Create

On the practical side, the workshop has the best available lighting systems, perfect for detailed work or switch to mood lighting when it suits. The desks, chairs and equipment are all there to make your stay easy and comfortable.

And when the day is through you can take time to relax or take a walk through the stunning Sussex countryside and contemplate your achievements and soak up the fresh air before dinner


Your Course

The emphasis of this course is twofold: get to grips with some exciting techniques and materials with expert help while exploring your personal goals and interpretation of meaning with regard to utilizing these techniques in your very own unique way.

During the retreat you will

  • Be guided and encouraged to find out what your own method and style is with regard to cloth and stitch in a safe and friendly environment with lots of mutual support and the opportunity to bounce ideas around with likeminded folks.
  • Learn how inspiration can feed your ideas and help you to develop your own style.
  • Learn how to let the ideas flow and document them to help you focus and hone your development in a way that works for you.
  • Explore a variety of methods for design and expression before interpreting them in cloth and stitch.
  • Practice and develop a range of techniques to build up a repertoire of examples for future reference.
  • Understand how to continually assess your work for quality with respect to design, execution and the potential for further progression.
  • Work towards a finished piece that is your personal interpretation of a combination of your ideas and the techniques you have chosen to illustrate them. (Optional but encouraged!)
  • Relax and unwind
  • Gain insight into your own particular style and identify where your strengths lie to refine and use them to your best advantage.
  • Learn actions and methods personal to you that help you continue to grow at home.




Retreats take place over 4 days to allow for the maximum creativity to emerge and let you leave with competence in the techniques you have explored. 

Available dates for 2019 are as follows.

4 nights from 8th October  

4 nights from 31st October 

The price for the retreats in 2019 are

685.00 per person single occupancy

635.00 per person twin/double occupancy

We can arrange collection from a local train station (Battle/ Polegate) if necessary and we offer you the use of a sewing machine if you can’t transport yours on the train.(please contact us as availability is limited)

For confirmation of booking we require a non-refundable deposit of £200 with the balance due no less than 8 weeks prior to the course starting. This can be paid via paypal on our site, bank transfer or cheque, just let us know your preferred method at the time of booking.

Alternatively, you can pay in installments with the full balance due no more than 8 weeks prior to the start of the course. Again, just get in touch.

We look forward to seeing you soon.