By Maggie Colpus, Event Co-ordinator

Slice up a Circle – 15-16 October 2022 – Angela Madden – Hogs Back Hotel & Spa

From as far as Yorkshire, Somerset and places in between, 14 ladies descended on the Hogs Back Hotel, Farnham to Slice a Circle in a weekend with Angela Madden.  Of course, our ‘long distance quilters’ stayed Friday night at their own expense and enjoyed dinner together at the Hogs Back.  It was an opportunity for them to socialise and relax before the class started on the Saturday morning.


We were joined early Saturday morning by the rest of the class.  With all workstations set up and coffee and Danish in hand, Valerie Nesbitt welcomed everyone and introduced Angela Madden before giving a brief description on how the weekend would run and pointing out the fire exits in true airline style!!

With two of our ladies up and running in the Be Inspired sewing corner working on their own projects, Angela explained the weekend and the work involved to her class.  Paper templates were handed out and Angela explained the first step, this one included how to choose your fabric from your stash, the first of many such steps.

For most of the morning, there was total concentration at each workstation, circular objects appeared in different sizes borrowed from the restaurant and other areas of the hotel. Freezer paper was now being used as each person designed their circle – colour coded of course – as was tin foil. I never did find out what that was for! Mid morning most took a well deserved break with coffee and biscuits in the coffee area, with some stepping outside for some fresh air.  The morning continued with everyone making up their design on the freezer paper.  Angela was constantly walking round the room offering advice and hands on assistance.

After lunch it was, again, back to design. Some of the ladies used colouring pencils on their freezer paper, some little scraps of fabrics ensuring that each section of the circle mirrored the previous one.  Most took a coffee break to relax and discuss with each other how they were progressing with some a little unsure.

Teaching for the day was due to finish at 4, but Angela stayed until about 5.30 making sure everyone was happy with what they were doing, and helping others.  As dinner was at 6.30 almost everyone continued their work and the majority went back into the sewing room after dinner as well.  By the end of the evening some of the ladies had completed their colour design and had started to cut their fabric round the templates.


After a relaxing Sunday breakfast, it was back to the sewing rooms. When asked, most of the ladies said they had finally understood the theory from Saturday and were happily working to Slice a Circle under the guidance of Angela. Most were now using their sewing machines. They felt more relaxed at coffee breaks and lunch.

Angela explained whilst they would not go away with a completely finished circle, they had enough knowledge and understanding to complete the project in their own time at home or in their local groups.

Some ladies with a very long drive home left early Sunday afternoon with most staying until 4 when the weekend finished. Although tired, everyone enjoyed the weekend, understood how to Slice a Circle, learnt a new complex skill with no interruptions, made new sewing friends, and exchanged contact details.

The ladies in the Be Inspired sewing corner, myself and Val included, also had an enjoyable weekend. Quilts were layered, finished and quilted. I even managed another two blocks of a baby quilt  – 5 more to go!

Check out the pictures from the weekend.

Here’s what the students had to say about the Slice a Circle Weekend

Thank you so much for all your hard work this weekend.  I had such a great time learning a technique that I’ve been wanting to master for ages and meeting such lovely people and making new friends.  Looking forward to joining a weekend again next year, probably at Fareham. 

Enjoyable weekend, enjoyed the course, hotel, food and company.

Thanks Maggie. It was fun. I think I ate myself into a stupor!

Many thanks for this. Great weekend and great company

It was a really enjoyable weekend, lovely company, great venue, good food and comfortable accommodation. Thank you for all your hard work in arranging such a nice venue.

Thank you once again for organising a fabulous weekend. Looking forward to seeing you again in 2023!!

Many thanks for the weekend. I enjoyed it very much and think that I made good progress with my quilt.

Thank you very much for another fantastic weekend what a lovey venue.  Really enjoyed it and looking forward to seeing you next year.

Confessed to my husband about booking the three weekends so he is prepared when the bills come in.

Thank you for facilitating such a lovely couple of days last weekend. I loved the venue & the sewing. It was good to meet up with people from previous weekends & to meet new friends.

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.