Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Quilters Retreat at Rydal Hall...

Feeling ill prepared, I stayed up until the early hours updating my PowerPoint presentation last Saturday night ready for my talk at Rydal Hall. I was still up early packing quilts and sundries last Sunday morning and as Linzi was delayed thought I would clean the car hoping that the Swallows would soon leave for warmer climates.  I love to see the swallows arrive early summer but am so pleased to see them leave, they make so much mess on my house, car and windows.

As usual I probably took too much 'stuff' but with Linzi's help we managed to pack it all into Linzi's Landrover and left my home for the short two hour journey to the Lake District. We had supper of fish, chips and mushy peas by Lake Windermere before arriving at our hotel for our six night stay.

The Hall was dimly lit and quiet with a skeleton staff, luckily we were escorted to our room by one of the groundsmen else I'm sure we would never have found it, we did find an easier route ourselves the next morning. I admit to feeling a little uneasy on our first night, I did wonder why when morning broke as I found my bearings and realised that Rydal Hall is so peaceful and picturesque.  The views from the house are stunning, the weather for the whole week could not have been better, we slept with the windows wide open every night.

We quickly set up the sewing room ready for our guests who arrived on Monday afternoon. After our first dinner together we drifted into the sewing room and started on our projects that very night.

Linzi doing a demo for the Rev...erand
Sewers admiring Ani's special quilts
My small Demo piece just needing some binding
Ani, Linzi and I gave demonstrations and then evening talks to 'sewers', visitors and hotel guests. We left a wonderful display of quilts hanging in the drawing room all week, we could often see hotel staff and guests wandering in to admire our handy work.

Linzi admiring felted jewellery

The Art Yurt was a must see, where the Resident Artist was spinning Hedrwick fleece straight from the sheep.

A trip to Derwent Pencils and the Pencil Museum could not be missed as it was only a few miles away, so along with seven of our sewers we excitedly drove along the edge of the Rydal Water, Grasmere and Derwent Water on our way to Keswick.
We toured the small museum and were told about graphite, black gold and how indeed graphite was worth more than gold at one point. There were displays of nibs and pencils which reminded of quilts, it's a wonderful place to visit, I'm sure I'll be back again soon.

Our Ladies worked really hard on there personal projects, some Husbands went off walking in the hills and who could blame them, this is a stunning part of the country. I've been here many times as a child and many times with my young family, it's been a while and I had forgotten how beautiful the Lake District is!

A group photo on our last morning in the drawing room....

After our guests had left we packed everything into the vehicles and drove to Townend Farm, a National Trust Property

Lots of intricately carved furniture

Before we knew it it was Saturday and time to leave, time flies when your having fun!


  1. Oh, my, Kay! What beautiful countryside and I love the historic feel of your venues. Wish I had been there! (craftnut on MQR)

  2. I guess my comment did not make it...but wanted to say Wow! What a beautiful place for a retreat - how did you get any quilting done with so much beautiful scenery? I am sure you got alot of quilting ideas from the pencil and nib displays as well as the wood carvings on the furniture! Lucky you!!! I am just excited to see green leaves and rolling hills on my short retreat next week here in TX...!

  3. Gorgeous! What a beautiful location for a quilt retreat! Love the pics - the very last one, the building made of rocks - love that - what is, or rather, what was the original purpose of the building? I'm very drawn to it! LOL! Love your sample also - wish I could have been there! Hugs, Cindye

  4. oh wow what a beautiful place for a retreat…lucky you


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