By Maggie Colpus,

Sewing Me Time – 18-19 November 2023 – the New Place Hotel

We ended our 2023 programme of retreats on a high with a NEW concept – Sewing Me Time.

The weekend is an open format with the girls on hand throughout the weekend if any help is needed. It is a chance get projects finished, enjoy pampering time at a stunning countryside hotel and hang out with like-minded people.

Most attendees stayed Friday night at their own expense, and we all enjoyed drinks and dinner in the Manor House.  The final student arrived early Saturday morning as she only lived 10 minutes from the venue.

The sewing room opened at 8 am, which allowed the early birds to set up and start sewing two hours earlier than our usual 10 am start. The rest had a relaxing breakfast or swim before starting on their projects. The choice was theirs.

As usual hot beverages and juices were available throughout the day and into the evening.  Our only interruptions being the arrival of homemade snacks in the morning and afternoon which were delivered to the sewing room. And of course, lunch both days and Dinner on Saturday evening.

Each student had 2’ x 6’ tables side by side which gave them the extra space to spread out their work.

There was no teaching as such. The team (Maggie and Anita) were on hand throughout the weekend to offer advice, support, and assistance to everyone in a very relaxed informal atmosphere.

It was nice to see that many of our regular quilters have additional strings to their bows!

We did have someone layering and quilting her first quilt under close guidance and support from Anita. Others were continuing with their on-going quilting projects. Another quilter also makes purses/wallets and spent her first day making the linings complete with all the necessary pockets for credit cards, phone, etc.  Another of our quilters brought along her daughter and they both worked on their family Christmas projects including an advent calendar, Gonk themed cushion covers and last, but not least, they each made a Gonk from scratch.

It was nice to see so much talent in one room.

The majority worked through to dinner on Saturday. Although a few were found in the bar! After dinner, most went back to the sewing room until about 11 pm.

Then it was an early breakfast on Sunday and straight back into the sewing room before 9am.

Everyone said they had had a wonderful weekend with many booking for our next Sewing Me Time in June 2024.

Check out the pictures from the weekend.

Here’s what the students had to say about the Sewing Me Time Retreat:

“It was very relaxed.  I am new to sewing and this was my first event.  Everyone has been very kind and friendly and welcoming.  I have learnt new skills and enjoyed looking at everyone’s creations.”

“It was very relaxed.  Completed so many projects which were unfinished.  Anita and Maggie very professional as always and very helpful. “

“The Sewing Me Time was exceptional.  It allowed me to catch up on sewing which I didn’t have time to complete at home.  Great class and people very friendly.  Have booked for the next one.”

“Relaxed and at own pace.  Help available and assistance when needed.  I loved the whole weekend including Friday.”

“Very relaxed weekend.  Maggie and Anita were superb with their very generous kindness and support and thank you both for helping me when needed and to Maggie for getting my newspapers from the village on Saturday morning. “

I very much enjoyed having that ‘me time’ last weekend.  The team took a lot of trouble to make sure I was looked after and. It was very good to meet Anita too and I think her knowledge and calm guidance was much appreciated by everyone.”

“Loved it.  What a fab weekend.  Anita is so approachable and knowledgeable and fun.  I learnt so much, finished a lot.  What a great group off ladies.  Finishing is just as important as starting projects and I feel more confident all due to the relaxed and informal atmosphere created by Maggie and Anita, I boked again for June and Anita’s free motion in September.  Thank you and loved having 2 side by side 6-foot tables as my workstation.”

“Perfect for what I wanted to do and with perfect advice and support from Anita.  Part of me would like to do 3 days but don’t think I can afford it!!  Have rebooked June.  Maggie was in fine organised form and relaxed.”

“As a regular, this weekend could be the best yet.  Yes, didn’t learn a new technique or make a quilt to someone else’s personal design but for relaxed productivity it couldn’t be beaten, with no household distractions.  All of us were in it together.  Very grateful for the extra sewing hours and the extended room access.  thank you.”

“Thank you to Maggie and Anita for a fantastic weekend. We thoroughly enjoyed it.” 

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:

Quilting Weekend: Crazy Patchwork with Valerie Nesbitt, 24-25 February 2024 at The Hog’s Back Hotel & Spa, Farnham, Surrey

Quilting Weekend: Machine Stitching with Sarah Soward and Terry Summerfield, 6-7 April 2024 at New Place Hotel, Shirrell Heath, Hampshire

Machine Embroidery Weekend with Dionne Swift, 27-28 April 2024 at The Hog’s Back Hotel & Spa, Farnham, Surrey

Goldwork Weekend with Wendy Mansfield, 11-12 May 2024 at New Place Hotel, Shirrell Heath, Hampshire

Sewing Me Time Weekend: start a new project or finish your UFOs, it’s your time, 15-16 June 2024 at New Place Hotel, Shirrell Heath, Hampshire

Free Motion Quilting and Finishing Weekend with Anita Birtles, 14-15 September 2024 at New Place Hotel, Shirrell Heath, Hampshire

Quilting Weekend: Bargello with Sarah Soward and Terry Summerfield, 26-27 October 2024 at New Place Hotel, Shirrell Heath, Hampshire

Sewing Me Time Weekend: work on a Christmas project or finish your UFOs, it’s your time, 9-10 November 2024 at The Hog’s Back Hotel & Spa, Farnham, Surrey