Virtual Retreats

GillyMac Designs is delighted to announce the Autumn 2023 Virtual Retreat will open for bookings at 10am on Monday 3rd July.

Autumn 2023 Virtual Retreat

The next wonderful Virtual Retreat will take place on the weekend of 7th & 8th of October 2023. Once again, the Retreat will happen from the comfort of your sewing table-

The project for this Retreat will be the Monarch Quilt – fondly known as the “Chazzle-Dazzle” within GillyMac Walls. 

What is a Virtual Retreat hosted by GillyMac Designs?

Over the past four years, the Retreats have become a regular feature in the GillyMac Calendar. 

The Retreat is a weekend of sewing and laughter with two days of mixed live tuition and personal sewing. There is a quiz and a highlight of the weekend is always our Bingo game! The event runs over Zoom with a supportive private Facebook group. The Facebook group opens ahead of the Retreat to allow participants to share photos of their fabric choices and stays open after it for final projects to be shared between the group.

During the weekend, Gill will be doing the project with you, demonstrating every stage in full. Furthermore, the pattern comes with fully illustrated notes, and there is a pre-recorded video tutorial for the project – including the quilting.


Quilting Support After the Retreat

Along with the Retreat you will have video-on demand support for each of the three blocks within the Monarch Quilt and a quilting video which provides three different quilting options to suit all abilities and style. 

I love quilting my projects and whilst the retreat may be over, you will have all the support you need to finish the project, bind it and admire your work.


What are the logistics of a Virtual Retreat ?

Gill’s Virtual Retreats are always great fun and run over two full days. On Saturday 7th October we will be sewing from 10am – 5pm and on Sunday 8th October from 10am – 3pm.

The Facebook group will open to participants a week before the Retreat and will be available for a further six months after the Retreat is over.
The instructional videos will be yours to access from my website



What’s included in the price of the Virtual Retreat?

  •  Two days of live tuition and personal sewing via Zoom over two days
  • Fully illustrated GillyMac Monarch Quilt Pattern
  • Three different quilting plans for the Quilt
  • Instructional videos for all aspects of making the Retreat Quilt (including step by step guidance through the quilting and binding).
  • GillyMac Bingo & prizes.







    What happens if I get stuck with the sewing, who will help me ?

    There will be live instructional Zoom sessions and pre-recorded Video Tutorials covering all aspects of making the Retreat Quilt and the small project throughout the weekend. Additionally, Gill will be online, answering your questions and cheerleading your progress. Gill and her small team will help you get the most from experience.


    What happens if I can’t be available for the whole weekend or miss a part of the retreat?

     All the instructions video tutorials will be available in Gill’s website members for you to replay at your convenience. So there is no chance of you missing out on the tuition.   If you need to pop out or do something else for a short time, you will be able to catch up with all the teaching when you get back. Just don’t miss the Bingo!


    What you'll need for the weekend

    1. An internet connection, access to Zoom (you do not need a Zoom account) and Facebook account,  if you would like to join the Retreat Group.
    2. Fabric – Gill will send you the requirements shortly after booking.
    3. Sewing machine, Sewing kit, rotary cutting equipment and enthusiasm.

    How much is this Virtual Retreat and how do I book it ?

    The price of the GillyMac Virtual Retreat is £95 and places are limited. Booking open at 10am on 3rd July. From that time, you will be able to book via the button below.

    Will fabric kits be available to purchase? 

    Not on this occasion, but with four fabrics find I am looking forward to seeing what you pick. 


    What Past Retreat Participants are Saying…

    It’s always great to receive feedback on my classes

    Gill’s Virtual Retreat is fantastic. I cannot recommend this highly enough as it’s suitable for all levels. It’s wonderful to have Gill’s expert tutoring to guide the project and she is encouraging and supportive. It really is an amazing time of fun, friendship, sewing and creativity. Thank you GillyMac x
    Spring 2021 Virtual Retreat Participant
    My first virtual retreat, wasn’t sure what to expect... i felt Gill had got the balance just right .. was interesting and great fun ... would definitely do another....Sue N
    Sue - Spring 2021 Virtual Retreat Participant
    Gill was very welcoming and extremely supportive throughout. I felt confident, supported and that made me happy. Sue S
    Sue - Spring 2021 Virtual Retreat Participant
    A fab sewing project, with fab people, taught by a fab teacher. All in all an absolutely fabulous weekend
    Spring 2021 Virtual Retreat Participant
    Gill is a marvellous teacher and such a lovely, naturally friendly lady as well. This all makes her delightful to be around. She has mastered the technology really well for online retreat filming. The resources she makes available for post-retreat are very thorough too, including videos. Diane
    Diane - Spring 2021 Virtual Retreat Participant
    This was my first experience of a retreat on zoom and i absolutely loved it. Everyone was very friendly and supportive. Having the Facebook support group in advance to get to know people and to post updates on our progress was really supportive. Gill is a fantastic teacher and was willing to help with any questions we had over the weekend whether or not they related to the projects.
    Carolyn - Spring 2021 Retreat Participant
    Well organised, very engaging,Great project, Lovely people,Very informative, Easy to follow no rushing working at your own pace.Great Teacher.
    Spring Virtual Retreat Participant
    There is no doubt it is Gill's bright can-do attitude that makes even an incompetent sewer like me feel they can achieve the task. Gill's bubbly and easy-going character makes the whole retreat a delight.
    Spring 2021 Virtual Retreat Participant
    Easily the best online experience of the past year. Thank you Gill for all you put into these events.
    Spring 2021 Virtual Retreat Participant 1
    Fabulous Retreat in the comfort of your own home so no packing up equipment and lugging sewing machines to a venue. Great tuition and clear instructions. Super opportunity to learn new skills.
    Marion - 2021 Virtual Retreat Participant
    A fun-filled weekend! It was so nice to sew along with others and chat. Also lovely that everyone was going at their own pace. Gill’s videos were very good, as was her support throughout the weekend. The Bingo is always a great laugh. Rosie
    Rosie - Winter 2021 Retreat Participant
    Superb weekend
    Winter 2020 VR Participant
    A great way to sew at home, - with a talented tutor - learn new techniques or twists on old ones, in an informal format, and with a whole bunch of Zoom sewing buddies
    Winter 2020 VR Participant
    Gill is lovely, supportive and encouraging. All the instructions and tuition are very clear. The virtual retreats are a pleasure to be part of.
    JL - Winter 2020 VR Participant
    Gill has taught me both face to face and also using remote sessions. She is an excellent teacher, well prepared, willing to go over techniques, while keeping everyone engaged. Her classes book up quickly, which shows how popular they are. I thoroughly enjoy her sessions and highly recommend them to anyone, from the novice to the experienced quilter.
    LL - Winter 2020 VR Participant
    I really enjoyed my first virtual retreat with Gill - even though we weren't together Gill managed to provide excellent demos and was very engaging. Being able to ask questions and get real time help and advice was very helpful and the addition of a surprise box of treats and a bingo session added some fun to the weekend. I am looking forward to the next one !
    MP - Winter 2020 VR Participant
    Any class taken with Gill is full of information and her generous teaching style is always a delight. No matter what your anxieties or abilities you will have a fully informed, engaged and enthusiastic teacher and you will be given the tools to continue on your sewing journey.
    MB - Winter 2020 VR Participant
    Nothing is too much trouble for Gill when she runs a course or a retreat. Every detail is thought of in advance. Lots of options and advice and nothing you do as a participant is ever wrong!
    SJ - Winter 2020 VR Participant
    A thoroughly enjoyable weekend dedicated to sewing with lovely fellow quilters and fantastic teaching as always from Gill. I learnt so many new skills that will be useful in so many projects. Thank you so much - here's looking forward to the next one! 😊
    Winter 2020 VR Participant
    Another fantastic retreat - a gorgeous box of carefully thought out goodies, a stunning quilt with lots to learn, fabulous teaching with brilliant reference video, bingo... what more could you possibly ask for?! Roll on spring for the next one!
    DK - Winter 2020 VR Participant
    This was my first virtual retreat, I will certainly be doing another one, if I can get a place! Fun and informative with plenty of support material online.
    HJ - Winter 2020 VR Participant
    As a newbie to patchwork I found this really helpful, informative but most of all brilliant fun. Meeting new people and experiencing a new skill under expert guidance; couldn't be better! Gill is a generous; patient; friendly and knowledgeable. I look forward to learning more on her courses and Retreats.
    MK - 2020 VR Participant
    Such a fabulous idea – I really enjoyed working on a project with other people from all around the country……can’t wait for the next one.
    TF - 2019 VR Participant
    The virtual retreat was a fabulous weekend idea, masterminded and managed expertly by Gill. From the arrival of our Goodie Box, through the cutting out, Smarties Challenge, reverse sewing, fabulous fabrics, cats & dog, great encouragement, getting A & B mixed up, hints and tips and regular video tuition catch-ups I cannot enthuse enough about how much I have enjoyed the inaugural GillyMac Virtual Retreat. Oh, the Bingo too – how can we forget that! Gill’s generosity is fabulous- I can’t wait for the Winter Virtual Retreat. Thanks you all.
    EC - 2019 VR Participant
    Valuable experience for anyone who finds travelling a barrier when getting to a venue. Being able to go back and view a video session again makes it easier to catch up. This also means that you don’t have to make copious notes. Everyone was so encouraging, especial Gill
    Summer 2019 VR Participant
    The virtual retreat was a wonderful idea and something great to try! Really looking forward to the next one!
    Summer 2019 VR Participant
    Gills a awesome teacher. I’ve been blessed to be on a residential three day retreat and just finished a virtual 2 1/2 day retreat. What I know about Gill is she really meet you at your ability she doesn’t make you feel silly if the others are advanced she is such an encourager & inspiration. I’ve been blessed to be on a residential three day retreat and just finished a virtual 2 1/2 day retreat. What I truly know about Gill is she will meet you at your ability she doesn’t make you feel silly if the others are advanced she is such an encourager and is willing to help you on a one to one. Nothing is too much of a problem for her. I’m quite disabled and no feeling in my hands. But I’ve always found my way around those problems with her help. I Must mention the glorious GillyMac box 📦 of goodies that turned up just before the virtual retreat. Like Christmas. It’s a no brainier GillyMac Retreats are worth it for the teaching And comradeship.
    JM - 2019 Retreat Participant
    A lovely experience and an excellent new concept. Brilliant idea Gillymac.
    JF - Virtual Retreat Participant 2020
    Not only an excellent lesson but also a lovely box of quilting goodies. Nice touch.
    MA - Virtual Retreat Participant