Magical Moments in Madeira

The penultimate day of our Quilting Retreat and we have decided to share some of our more memorable moments.  The group visited the local market in Funchal, in the entrance was a beautiful tile collage in the typical Portugese blue and white colours.  

There were so many varieties of flowers including Birds of Paradise at 50 cents each; shame we couldn’t fit them into our cases.  We sampled different flavours and colours of Passion fruit and custard apples to name but a few.


Funchal has an old area where students, young and old, design and paint the doorways – some of the imaginative ideas were stunning.


Some of the group decided to risk the famous Wicker Basket Monte Toboggan run, 2 kilometres at speeds of 48 KPH. How did we stop or slow down?  The Carreiros wore thick rubber boots that were used as brakes!


The Madeiran Folklore evening was at a restaurant above Funchal, the views on the drive up were spectacular, twinkling lights going all the way up the mountains. We were entertained by a local folk group doing traditional Madeiran dancing and a Fado.


The trip to Rita’s village Gaula, included a walk around Levada Dos Tornos and lots of history about village life before electricity and running water.  After a delicious afternoon tea, Rita’s aunt demonstrated spinning using a simple wooden implement.


The group have worked very hard on exciting projects including Bargello, Exploding Pineapple, Hexi flowers and little bags.  There was some time to enjoy coffee on the terrace and lunch in downtown Funchal.

This blog was written by Hilary Harrison(tour manager) and Karin Hellaby (expert).

About Karin

International quilting teacher and author. Looking forward to semi-retirement after 23 years owning Quilters Haven shop/online in UK. Works with www. arenatravel.com and www.stitchinheaventravel.com.
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