By Maggie Colpus, Event Co-ordinator

Camden Bag – 5-6 November 2022 – Daphne Morris – New Place Hotel

This was our final weekend retreat of the 2022 programme, and as usual we were joined by students who had travelled far and wide to be a part of the Camden Bag weekend. Our long-distance ladies opted to stay Friday night at their own expense. They had dinner together in the Manor House of the New Place Hotel, socialising and making new friends before the class started on the Saturday morning. Some even stayed an extra Sunday night as well.


On Saturday morning, after a very leisurely breakfast, we welcomed the rest of the ladies who were more local.  Workstations set up and coffee in hands, Valerie Nesbitt welcomed everyone and introduced Daphne Morris to the class before giving a brief description on how the weekend would run. Then, Daphne explained the various steps for making the Camden Bag.  So many different jelly rolls – some very bright through to the delicate pastels! After a quick demonstration from Daphne, everyone was ironing their strips before placing their double sided fusible ‘tubing’ on their strips.  With the very helpful use of thermal fingertip stalls, everyone then ironed their fabric over the tubing (very similar to making bias binding).

Coffee and mid-morning snacks suddenly appeared and were very welcome. Most took the opportunity to sit in the coffee lounge before getting back to their sewing.  Some headed back to the ironing boards, and some organised their colour rolls ready for the next stage. By lunchtime, we had reached the stage of sewing two fabric tubes and were now adding additional sets of strips to each other using a zig-zag stitch.

There seemed to be a sigh of relief when it was time for a leisurely stroll through the gardens for a delicious hot and cold buffet lunch in the Manor House. Then, it was back to the sewing room trimming the work to make it ready to put bindings on and prepare the base for the bag. All were delighted when it was announced that afternoon treats were just out of the oven and hot. Time for the afternoon beverage break.

Some of the students take more time than others, maybe just to spend a little more time in the coffee lounge. Coffee is on tap 24/7.  Others take a quick stroll, or even a mid-afternoon swim!  There is never a prize for finishing first. Everyone works at their own speed.

The teaching part of the day usually finishes around 4 p.m, but Daphne offered to stay in order to give advice and assistance where needed and to help students move forward to the next stage.  Some of the class stayed until it was time for dinner in a private dining room in the Manor House, some headed to their rooms to relax, but most went to the bar for a well-earned drink before dinner in the Manor House Bar.


Most of us had a leisurely breakfast on Sunday morning, but some were in the sewing room working under their own steam until the class started.  Few sewing machines were being used now as students were either hand stitching their binding, making handles or sewing on a decorative button. A few were already putting their bases together and adding studs to the bottom of their bases. The only interruptions were coffee and snack breaks, then, a gentle stroll to the Court, a separate building in the grounds, for their final hot buffet lunch of the weekend.   The weekend was now very much drawing to a close, new friends made, ideas and advice exchanged with one or two of our long-distance ladies leaving a little early while it was still light.

What a lovey weekend everyone had and such a nice way to finish our 2022 programme with some amazing Camden Bags either finished or almost complete.

Check out the pictures from the weekend.

Here’s what the students had to say about the Camden Bag Weekend

Brilliant organisation and very friendly and helpful atmosphere made it 

Found Daphne warm, hardworking and a good teacher. 

Don’t think anyone, even less mobile, were concerned about distances between the different buildings

How to book a place at a retreat

Come and join us and escape for the weekend at one of our upcoming retreats – you’ll find full details here.  For any questions, just click on the Contact Us button.

You can also pre-register your interest for any of our retreats. Just email

Here’s what coming up:

Patchwork Weekend: Pineapple Pizzazz with Valerie Nesbitt and Emma Randall, 
25 -26 Feb 2023 The Hog’s Back Hotel & Spa, Farnham, Surrey

Quilting Weekend: Make 2 quilts at the same time with Sarah Soward and Terry Summerfield,
25-26 March 2023 at New Place Hotel, Shirrell Heath, Hampshire

Embroidery Weekend: Introduction to Machine Embroidery (Stitched Pictures) with Dionne Swift,
22-23 April 2023 at New Place Hotel, Shirrell Heath, Hampshire

Embroidery Weekend: Goldwork with Wendy Mansfield,
13-14 May 2023 at New Place Hotel, Shirrell Heath, Hampshire

Patchwork & Quilting Weekend: Use a Template to Create Snail’s Trails with Andy and Jo of Crafty-UK, 23 -24 Sept 2023 The Hog’s Back Hotel & Spa, Farnham, Surrey

Quilting Weekend: Quilt as you go Sampler Quilt with Sarah Soward and Terry Summerfield or BYO with Valerie Nesbitt, 14-15 Oct 2023 at New Place Hotel, Shirrell Heath, Hampshire

Quilting Weekend: Applique Cushion with Anita Birtles, 28 -29 Oct 2023 at The Hog’s Back Hotel & Spa, Farnham, Surrey

Quilting Weekend: Make it Celtic with Angela Madden, 18-19 Nov 2023 at New Place Hotel, Shirrell Heath, Hampshire

You are always welcome to join us in the sewing corner as a day or residential student on all our weekends if you don’t fancy booking on the class offered and you’d simply like a little sewing me time. You can finish your UFO’s or even start a new project without interruptions. The day student option is subject to availability. Please get in touch if you are interested.