The tribe behind Modern Makers Retreat

You know that feeling you get when you realise you’ve found your tribe?

In my everyday life when I tell friends, colleagues and acquaintances that I quilt, so often I get a look – you know the one I’m talking about. The one that says “oh, so you’re a crazy cat woman who makes grandma patchwork!”

It can almost be enough to make you deny your crafty side (except of course to those people who actually get it!)

Then one day, inexplicably, you meet your tribe. Your people… the ones that get you and your obsession with fabric, with block patterns in tiles and wallpaper, who understand what a fat quarter is and why a bloc loc is the answer to your prayers. You get to be yourself… finally.

That’s what it was like for me when I finally met Jane and Alison at a sit and sew day at GJs Discount Fabric organised by Ros of @sewdeliciousros. We’d been online “friends” for a while on a Facebook sewing group page when we all realised we lived virtually around the corner from each other in Melbourne’s western suburbs.


It was in this first meeting that we also realised how kooky, funny and well… lets be honest… good looking (!?!) we all were! I mean – check us out (hehehe)!

Seriously though – we had found our tribe. We were each other’s supporters, cheer squad and confidantes with a definite love for the modern aesthetic – no granny patchwork here.

Here’s the thing though. We soon noticed that whilst there is an amazing modern quilting movement in the States (think QuiltCon, Glamp Stitchalot, Sewtopia) we had been searching for a modern quilt retreat to attend in Australia and had found that there was really nothing here that took our fancy!

And so… the inaugural Modern Makers Retreat was born.

The brainchild of Alison Fanthorpe, Jackie Gillies (that’s me!) and Jane Pipke, the Modern Makers retreat seeks to provide a space for you, the modern quilter, to hang with your tribe – the people who instinctively understand why you swoon when you say Tula (one word, like Madonna or TayTay) or when you mention Sunprint or Architextures or putting fabric in rainbow order.

To give you a better understanding of whose tribe you’re joining, here are some further fun facts about us:

Alison Fanthorpe (aka The Baroness) hails originally from Britain (we don’t hold that against her though) and is the face and talent behind the recent crafting venture @thebaronessdesigns. Alison makes gorgeous quilts and cushions which she sells at local markets.


A Rising Star quilt top made by The Baroness!

Jane Pipke (aka Lil Pip) blogs over at Lil Pip Designs and can also be found at @lilpipdesigns where she makes the most gorgeous children’s clothes – seriously, if you have kids you should check them out! Her modern quilty endeavors can be found at @behind_lilpipdesigns.


Paper pieced one hour bag made by Jane Pipke

And then there’s little old me.

Jackie Gillies (aka Jackie Gillies!) can be found at @jackiegillies and is the driving force behind #quiltblockstohealviolence and KeepSafe Quilts, a charity that makes quilts for women and children escaping domestic violence. In her spare time, she loves making modern quilts – mostly rainbows for anyone who wants one!


Greek Cross Quilt by Jackie Gillies

We’re excited that you’re joining our tribe and to be your hosts for the upcoming 2016 Modern Makers Retreat. We have big plans and some surprises, so keep checking back in and remember to follow us over at @modernmakersretreat so you don’t miss out on all the fun!


Jackie xxx


Jane, Jackie & Alison


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