After spending two days in Lisbon we arrived at our quilting retreat hotel, Marriott Resort – The Praia D’El Rey, near Obidos.
The Belengas conference room was an ideal size for 18 students and the views, stunning. Twelve Bernina machines were provided by the Portugese distributor and we made good use of during the four days of sewing.
We could sit out on balconies hand sewing, looking out at the noisy Atlantic rollers or the large pool below.
When class finished several of us went swimming, relaxed on the sun loungers, walked along the beach and paddled in the sea.
Breakfast and an evening meal were included and voted as the best food we have eaten on a quilting retreat. They were both buffet style with superb fruit and salads, followed by fresh cooked main courses and desserts to die for. We often tasted three or four, but our excuse was that they were delicate small portions!
Drinks were included and the wines were good, using local Portugese vineyards.
We were very well looked after by the hotel staff, Ana looked after our ‘conference facilities’ and she could not have been more helpful. Our lovely large bedrooms had balconies overlooking one of the golf courses.
I had prepared five projects to teach – Mariner’s Compass, Curved blade pinwheels, a Circles quilt, a quilted bag and a hand stitchery project. The latter was a reindeer design and the fabric kit was a free gift from the tour organisers, Arena Travel. We had beginners in the group as well as more experienced and on every retreat we have several who are new and they were made very welcome.
I also like students to bring their own projects and the teaching can become very diverse. It is all good fun and relaxing!
If you have never joined one of The Stitchtopia quilting retreats before, do consider them. I will be teaching on a quilting retreat to Madeira, 1-8 February 2017, an ideal time to leave the UK. There are a few places left but hurry to avoid disappointment.