Patchwork for Absolute Beginners £600

If you love the idea of creating patchwork cushions and throws/quilts, but don’t know how to use a sewing machine… If you have already done some patchwork, but only by hand… If you want a new hobby which also allows you to make gifts for your friends and family, or add furnishings to your home….. Then this might just be the holiday for you…

This holiday is 7 nights/6 days long, with approximately 4.5 days in the Studio.

COST: £600 or

            £550 each if you bring one friend, £450 each if you bring two…

NEXT DATES:       Sat 23rd September to Sat 30th September. 

The holiday will also run on:

                                         7th – 14th April 2018


                                         8th – 15th September 2018

      If neither of these dates is convenient for youplease contact me” 

This holiday assumes no knowledge of – or experience in –  using a sewing machine.


    • about the different basic stitches and the tension
    • how to sew straight and accurately
    • how to prevent frayed edges
    • the importance of pressing during manufacture
    • the importance of accurate cutting
    • stitching a seam
    • simple patchwork using squares
    • hand-stitching to close a gap
    • simple patchwork using trianglesto thread and use a domestic sewing machine
    • underlining
    • quilt-as-you-go Log Cabin patchwork
    • finishing off a quilt


  • a patchwork pincushion
  • a patchwork cushion cover
  • a log cabin lap quilt/throw, approx. 1m x 1m (40″ x 40″)

ITINERARY: If you wish to have more free time and less tuition/guided time, that is perfectly fine – the holiday can be adapted.


If you “Google” patchwork you will see an incredible range of patchwork quilts; there are so many possibilities, and so many different types. This holiday gives you versatile, basic skills, techniques and confidence which you can then build on in the future. You’ll make three different products, and learn three different kinds of patchwork. You’ll also learn a very useful “Quilt-as-you-go” method of quilting, so you don’t need to manipulate bulky fabrics until you’re much more experienced. The method I use to finish of the quilt edges is not only very neat, but is also beginner friendly!

ARRIVAL DAY: Arriving at Bordeaux Airport. We will meet the Saturday Ryanair flight from Stansted, arriving at 15:20 and the Easyjet Bristol flight arriving at 16:05.

DAY 1 – The day will begin with a trip to a French supermarket, where you can enjoy browsing and then buying some delicious French food. Afterwards, in the studio, we’ll start with the basics – using a sewing machine, threading, stitching straight, understanding the settings and dials. You will make a pincushion using 8 squares – an excellent challenge and great practice for the next two projects!

DAY 2 – Today you will make a patchwork cushion cover, using 4 different fabrics cut into triangles. This will further practice your cutting, sewing and pressing skills! It’s a fun project, and there’s a great sense of achievement when it comes together.

DAY 3 – You will start to make your Log Cabin throw… Part of the day will involve sorting out the colours – it’s important to arrange them into various groups to achieve the familiar appearance, where the contrast between light and dark colours give these quilts their impact. You’ll also prepare your wadding and base layer, ready for creating the block; in the afternoon you’ll start to make the first few blocks.

DAY 4 – This will be a whole day off, with a visit to a nearby town such as Saintes, Angouleme or Cognac where you can explore a Cognac house, or the Abbaye aux Dames and wander around the streets of a typical French town. You could walk by the river, have lunch, just enjoy the atmosphere. If you prefer, you can relax, go for a walk, use the studio… It’s really your day.

DAY 5 – Today is an unsupervised Studio day – where you will work on the remaining 12 squares, using the first 4 as a guide. Don’t worry, I’ll be on hand if you need help – it just means that you learn to work independently. Once all 16 squares are made, you can play with the layout until you’re happy with it.

DAY 6 – This is the day when all your hard work comes together… We start by checking that the final chosen layout is the one you want. You then start sewing the squares together. Yes the more accurately you’ve made them, the easier it is to piece them together. However, there are lots of ways that imperfect or uneven squares can be “lost” in the whole product! In the afternoon, I’ll show you how to add the backing and finish the edges.

DAY 7 – Departure. You will be taken to Bordeaux airport for your flight back to the UK for the BRISTOL (Easyjet) flight leaving at 16:30, or the STANSTED (Ryanair) flight leaving at 15:45.

THE HOLIDAY: This is a Textiles holiday, where you have space to relax and enjoy yourself as well as spend time in the studio learning new skills. The location is wonderful for sitting quietly with a book ( I have a very good Textiles book library – you could try out a few new skills independently!) or a walk in countryside. You might, though, like to bring your own Textiles project to work on in the studio, in your spare time. It’s so lovely to have some time away from other distractions, to focus on something you enjoy. You could bring knitting, tapestry, another dressmaking project, or perhaps watercolours or pen and ink.


  1. Transport to and from Bordeaux airport meeting the Stansted and Bristol afternoon flights – see below*. Please travel with one small suitcase and a (hand)bag only.
  2. Studio times – please see the detailed description for an explanation. The supervised studio times are usually 10am – 1pm and 2pm – 5pm, but some days may finish a little earlier. Obviously, you can have tea/coffee breaks when you wish! You’re very welcome to use the studio yourself out of these times.
  3. Days/ half days out – on certain holidays full or half day trips out are included – please see the ITINERARY above for a more detailed explanation. These are of course optional – you can stay “home” and relax or use the studio instead if you prefer.
  4. Some fabrics/threads etc will be provided, others you will need to bring with you – please email me for further information.
  5. Accommodation
  6. will be single occupancy of a double room with private/en-suite shower room/wc*. Please see the “Accommodation” tab for details, but we have two ground floor rooms ( Ouessant and Merino) and one first floor room (Rambouillet). If you take up the special offer and bring two friends, you will each have single occupancy of a double room but will share 2 shower rooms/toilets. (The 3rd room is our lovely large room “Jacob”).
  7. Meals – The holiday is self-catering – there is a large, open-plan kitchen/dining/sitting room and full cooking facilities. We will take you to the supermarket and/or local markets (depending on the availability) when you arrive/ at your convenience during your stay so you can enjoy buying exactly what you like.
  8. Numbers – We can accommodate 3 residential guests in single occupancy double rooms. However, if you are travelling with a friend or partner – participating or not – we can of course accommodate them too. Please contact me directly to discuss your requirements. Non-residential “students” may also join the group, but the max. numbers on this course is 6.


  1. Flights to and from the UK.
  2. Meals.
  3. Holiday insurance.

Arriving at Bordeaux Airport:

We will meet the Saturday Ryanair flight from Stansted, arriving at 15:20 and

the Easyjet Bristol flight arriving at 16:05.

Please contact me for further information.  mailto:

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