By Maggie Colpus, Event Co-ordinator

Double Delight – 25-26 March 2023 – Sarah Soward and Terry Summerfield – New Place Hotel

Well, our first retreat of 2023 at New Place Hotel, Shirrell Heath, Hampshire. Friendly and relaxed company, great tutors, good food, beautiful surroundings and purpose-built meetings rooms equals a great weekend.

As with all our weekends quite a few of the ladies arrived Friday afternoon, at their own expense, to settle in, explore the Manor House, its bar and the 32 acres of grounds. Some even made time for a swim before the start of an exciting weekend quilting with Sarah Soward and Terry Summerfield.

We all had dinner together that evening to socialise and relax prior to the class starting in the morning.  Of course, there were a few friendly drinks in the bar prior to dinner and after!!


After a relaxed breakfast, we made our way across to the sewing rooms so everyone could set up their workstations, and were joined by those who did not stay the extra night.

Once set up with coffee in hand, Val welcomed everyone to the weekend, after which Sarah and Terry introduced the three of quilts and explained the process for each.  Hot beverages were on tap all day which gave everyone the opportunity to take a break and natter in the coffee lounge whenever it was needed.

As there had been some home preparation required by the students before the weekend, everyone seemed to be settled fairly quickly at their sewing machines working on their chosen pattern.  Two ladies joined the class to finish off their quilts from a previous weekend with Sarah and Terry.  The only interruption was from a member of staff with our freshly made mid-morning choc-chip cookies. They were warm!!

Lunch time was suddenly upon us and a short walk in the fresh air to Manor House to find a lovely hot and cold buffet. Despite the windy day, everyone seemed to like the idea of the short walk to and from House.

A busy afternoon for everyone. Some had got as far as making quite a number of blocks. Again, the only outside interruption being the delivery of tasty afternoon treats.

The class was officially due to finish at 4 pm, but before leaving, Sarah and Terry went to everyone’s work station to check on progress and whether any students required any further help that day.  Apart from one or two students, most stayed happily sewing until dinner.

Saturday dinner is always taken in one of the private dining rooms (changing for dinner is not compulsory!).  After dinner some of the ladies went the extra mile and returned to the sewing room.  Our non-residential lady joined us for drinks before driving home, informing us that next time she would arrange for her husband to drop her off in the morning and pick her up as she was having a lovely time but had to stop after one glass!  By the way this lady was back in the sewing room at 7.15 Sunday morning.


After breakfast it was time for everyone to check out of the bedrooms, but we still had a full day of sewing before leaving for home.

Again, our only interruptions during both the morning and the afternoon on Sunday were the tasty home-made treats brought to us. Sunday’s treats included very very gooey warm chocolate muffins in the morning, and delicious cake slices in the afternoon.  Some of the ladies were pleased they had emptied some of their smaller fabric boxes to use as take away boxes!!!   The hotel team served our hot/cold buffet lunch in an adjoining syndicate room in the training centre.  This enabled everyone more time to sew as lunch was served across the corridor from our sewing room.

After lunch Sarah discussed her plans with for both April and October 2024 with quite a few students eager to register their interest to secure a spot – – even before find dates and venue were confirmed!

As this was a two (quilts) from one weekend retreat, everyone had the relevant strips, triangles for second quilt.  During the afternoon, Sarah and Terry went round each workstation to discuss each students second quilt.

Suddenly it was the end of a lovely weekend and time to say goodbye.

Everyone loved the weekend with its relaxed informality.  And yes, a few new friends were made.

Check out the pictures from the weekend.

Here’s what the students had to say about the Double Delight Weekend

Weekend was excellent as were tutors, will be coming again

As always, the social side is a big part of our enjoyment, along with learning new quilt blocks and admiring everyone’s work

Once again, a lovely weekend with lovely people.  Tutors speak my language and make it simple

My first weekend – extremely friendly – Maggie, Sarah, Terry and Val extremely welcoming and informative, all the ‘regulars ‘likewise’.  Definitely back for more, thank you I am so excited!!!

Thank you for a lovely weekend, enjoyed every moment of it

Super weekend, thank you Maggie for organising us and hope to see you soon

I enjoy working with Sarah, she creates a very safe learning environment where it is okay to work at our own pace and make mistakes (which she can always resolve) and it is fun.  A very nice group of people to spend a weekend with.

How to book a place at a retreat

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:

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

Embroidery Weekend: Introduction to 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 Hogs Back Hotel & Spa, Farnham, Surrey

Quilting Weekend: Quilt as you go Sampler Quilt with Sarah Soward and Terry Summerfield or BYO to Val’s Sewing Corner, 14-15 Oct 2023 at New Place Hotel, Shirrell Heath, Hampshire

Quilting Weekend: Applique and Free Motion Quilting (Delphine Brooks Highland Cow Pattern) 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.