The last weekend in May 2023 saw 18 SydMQG members head north out of Sydney towards the Central Coast.

Rumour has it some retreaters might have stopped off en route at the very well stocked West Gosford Spotlight, and to see the lovely folk at the Sewing Basket in Kincumber (it’s part of the Achieve network of charity shops, and is located just 1 handy km from our retreat location – and near the really good coffee shop. I think they did very well with both donations & purchases that weekend!)

Some of us are pretty familiar with the facilities up at St Joseph’s in Kincumber, and it was great to be back there for a couple of full days dedicated to all things sewing & quilting, a lot of chatting, a modicum of wine slurping, and lots of scones. (And one of the best collections of Lucky Door prizes we’ve ever had.) For those members who struggle to get much dedicated quilt-making time in day-to-day life it is a real treat!

It was also lovely to catch up with some members who don’t often get to travel to Ashfield for Sunday Sewing, but managed to make it for the weekend. We had a handful of retreat newbies too, and it was great to see their delight at the facilities. That big hall where we sew works so well for a group our size – plenty of room to spread out and get creative! (Also, Sister Ellen has high hopes for her new chef, and she got the thumbs up from us too!)

The retreaters had an opportunity to get involved in the laying out of the QuiltNSW 2024 Raffle Quilt; and there was plenty of discussion and tweaking. Then the Dream Assembly Team of Helen Hill and Catherine Butterworth helped Kate Shea (this year’s group project coordinator), and they cracked on with pulling the top together – so by the end of the weekend we had a Colourful Cascade* pulled together from all the gorgeous improv cross-cut blocks (made by so many our generous members earlier this year) all ready for basting. And another multi-coloured block to go home with Anita Brown who volunteered to piece the backing. Hooray!

It was a glorious autumn weekend. Bright sunshine, with a crisp bite in the air – perfect for mooching around the beautiful riverside grounds for those of us who need an intermittent leg stretch and break away from the machines, irons and design boards.

But gossiping (sorry: information sharing), walking, shopping and eating aside; it was a very productive weekend for so many. Just have a look at the photos to see what was achieved.

Roll on August 2024. We’re booked in again for the first weekend. Can’t wait.
(We’ll probably be very glad of those electric blankets then!)

Cheers Kate Shea

* Thank you Helen Tait for the excellent name suggestion.

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