Madeira Quilting Retreat

February 2019Who wouldn’t want to escape winter in the UK and enjoy sunny warm days in Madeira? And if you are a quilter with four days of sewing and tuition and the use of a Bernina machine you would feel close to heaven!

Fifteen quilters have really enjoyed this experience.

Included was a morning exploring the capital of Madeira, Funchal. We saw gorgeous flowers, fruit and exotic vegetables on sale in the market, painted doors in the old town and had a visit to the embroidery factory/school. The latter was a highlight as all of us admired the exquisite hand embroidery. We were shown each stage from pattern designing to marking the fabric and finally had a good look at the various stitches used in Madeira embroidery.

We also visited Monte and were encouraged to sleigh down the cobbled roads in a basket.

Our teaching area in The Golden Residence hotel was huge and full of light. Each quilter was assigned a large table and a Bernina 350 sewing machine.

Five projects were taught and most tried at least two and some also added their own work to stitch. Coffee and tea were bought up to the sewing area each morning and afternoon and we also had a terrace to sit on. Breakfast and dinner were from a lavish buffet with a bar close by for evening drinks. Lunch by the outdoor pool overlooking the Atlantic ocean was a popular choice.

One day had been set aside for a full day excursion around the island. We drove east, north along the very scenic coast and west, stopping to view A-frame houses, villages and panoramic vistas.

Lunch was at a restaurant called Orca in Porto Moniz, the waves were crashing over the rocks and forming large pools.

Another afternoon was an optional trip to Gaula with a walk along a high up Levada (a terraced irrigation system) followed by afternoon tea in a typical Madeiran family home.

Six of our group also booked a 90 minute embroidery class held in the Embroidery Factory in Funchal, where local skilled Embroiderers taught some of the various they used.

Our final evening was celebrated in a restaurant near the top of a mountain where we could see the lights of Funchal. Dinner with Maderian folklore music and dancing bought to an end a week to remember. Thank you Stitchtopia!

Some of the students quilting and patchwork stitched this week in Madeira.

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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