myBearpaw Blog by Jo Avery

The Thread House Retreat 2018 Report

And so our second Thread House Retreat has come and gone!

We returned to Folly Farm in Bristol with another 45 Retreaters from around the world for a jam packed weekend of workshops, fabric, frolicking and fun!

We started things off on Friday afternoon with a fabulous goody bag  (thank you to all our amazing sponsors!) and a name tag swap before heading to one of three workshops. I was teaching Improv Flowers, which was great fun and my students produced some amazing panels, including Cath’s on the left and Jen’s on the right (I love how happy they both look!). Karen taught Screen Printing and Kerry taught her FPP Kitchen Trio blocks at the same time.

The evening was spent swapping fabric (left) and storage pots, and enjoying the delicious food provided at the venue.

On Saturday Karen taught Lino Printing, Kerry Small Piecing and I taught a workshop for Overall FMQ patterns.

We were so pleased that Anna from the Eternal Maker brought along her pop-up shop again on Saturday!

After lunch Karen repeated the Screen Printing, Kerry taught her Japanese-style Cross-back Apron and I taught my Tendrils Project Pouch. And here are a crop of the fantastic finished pouches!

On Saturday nighty we had an epic Lucky Dip with a prize for everyone, some of them huge prizes!  And then we had Show and Tell!!

What a talented bunch of Quilters!

Here’s Mary with her stunning Welsh Blanket Quilt, and on the left Kate’s ‘Long Time Gone’ quilt top, made from a bundle of Karen’s fabric that she won at last year’s Retreat!


I was delighted to see this gorgeous version of my Crockery Cupboard Quilt made by Jacqueline. Pattern available here.

Tori came along to the Retreat with her mum Mary. The weekend was Mary’s birthday treat and on Friday night Tori presented her with the most AMAZING quilt! We asked Tori to tell it’s story during Show and Tell…

All the blocks and motifs mean something to Mary and the details are really awe inspiring.  What a fabulous daughter! Which means Mary must be a equally fabulous mum 🙂

We had a little quilt drive slot for Siblings Together. The wonderful Nicky and Jenny who organise the 100 quilts that the charity need every year gave a little talk about this wonderful project and asked for help to form another bee. And it looks like we might just have a Thread House Siblings Together Bee! And Catrin donated this beautiful heart quilt, one of my favourites from the whole night (which is saying something!).


Here are the students from Kerrys’ class showing off both sides of their fabulous aprons.

I taught my Tendrils Project Pouch again on Sunday morning, while Karen taught her Technique and Tips class.

I love the pouch that Catrin made from pieces she produced in her other classes. That star block was from Kerry’s class and she used her screen printing here too, and for one of the leaves of her tendrils on the other side.

It’s a TTH Retreat memory pouch!

Talking of Retreat Memory Projects, I was delighted to see this photo from Sue who came along to last year’s Retreat and made this stunning panel from all the pieces she made at all her classes!! She finished this weekend and it was so lovely to see it as we packed up on Sunday afternoon. Beautiful work Sue and I love the quilting!

Lastly I am pleased to present our Thread House Retreat 2018 Medallion Quilt!

Karen and I designed the quilt using our class samples from this year’s workshops and Kerry made extra blocks from her Small Piecing class which we added too. It’s made completely with Karen’s new Blueberry Park 3 collection (out in May!) and is an exclusive pattern for all this year’s Retreaters!

I had hoped to get it quilted and bound before retreat and the pattern finished too. But I got quite ill a week before retreat and I just ran out of time.  I’m really looking forward to quilting this over the next couple of weeks though.

Wow what a fabulous weekend! As Kerry said in an email today, being at retreat makes me feel all ‘warm and fuzzy’. It’s something about sharing a passion with lovely, friendly, generous people, and gettign away from it all to sew, chat and laugh – what could be better!

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One comment

  1. Thank you Jo and Karen once again. I had an Ab Fab weekend. The organisation was terrific. I loved meeting so many like minded people from the UK and beyond. Great projects and great tutors too. I promise to post photos of my pouch on Instagram ASAP. I was super lucky to get the Aurifil thread collection in the prize draw too. I’ve decided that 2018 will be the year of the full size quilts for me (I’ve got my sewing mojo back) so the threads will come in very handy. I would love the pattern for Kerry’s teapot class if it available please. Jane and I arrived home tired but really happy after the super weekend.

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