Retreats are not an unknown thing. I’ve been on three now I think.
When Alison, Jackie and I started talking about a sewing weekend together we had our list:
- Close to Melbourne, within an hour or so drive
- No hand stitching, we want to take our machines
- Reasonable price point
- No workshops, seminars, guest speakers necessary (would be nice though). The focus here is lots and lots of sewing
- Surround ourselves with like-minded and inspiring people
- No cooking if we could avoid it
So we looked around. There are other quilting and crafting retreats around Australia but they just didn’t quite meet our needs. We were certainly inspired by a few in the US and have taken ideas from there.
Close to Melbourne
We researched a lot of places and so now have a good range to select from in future. Create @ Warburton offers us fantastic facilities in a beautiful setting. And if we decide to have a break from sewing, Warburton is a lovely little town. Owner Kerrie has been so incredibly supportive and we can’t wait to stay!
Hand stitching versus epic marathon sewing
There are some amazing retreats and craft weekends where the focus is more on hand stitching or portable projects you can do while listening to various guest speakers. I’ve personally been to a day retreat a few years ago. It was great and I loved meeting local celebrities – Melanie McNeice of Melly and Me and Jodie Carleton of Ric Rac before both went on to become famous fabric designers! But this wouldn’t do – we wanted uninterrupted sewing, away from families and the chance to sew for 10 hours if we want to.
Reasonable price point + workshops, seminars and guest speakers
I totally get it. You get what you pay for. The retreats that have incredible speakers, designers, teachers and even international guest stars tend to be a higher price point. We wanted to keep it reasonable for everyone to afford and be able to do them more often rather than a once in a lifetime thing. Although, if Tula Pink was there I would pay more lol
Like-minded and inspiring people
Modern Makers Retreat is all about modern quilting. Clearly. It isn’t that we are being selective, rather that there are existing retreats to cater to other audiences. And we wanted to gush over others creations – specifically modern quilts. If you know me, I’m more a children’s clothes and toy maker and only recently began making quilts. I’m pretty sure if I whipped up a dress or shorts or a stuffed animal, those around me just wouldn’t be gushing. Sure, I guess admiring but we want to be able to learn from each other and if the person beside me has no intention of ever creating a toy – then let’s be focussed rather than broad.
Personally, I don’t mind cooking. I actually really enjoy it. But I agree with my executive management (aka Alison and Jackie) that if this is going to be a break and a weekend off, the less we have to do the better. So our weekend for the most part will be catered. Yay!
So, this was our vision and given the reaction out there, seems others like the idea too.
Yours in modern quilting