Virtual Retreats

GillyMac Designs is delighted to announce the Spring 2020 Virtual Retreat will open for bookings at 10am on 3rd February.

Spring 2020 Virtual Retreat

Our next fabulous Virtual Retreat will take place from Friday 17th April – Sunday 19th April  and it all happens from the comfort of your own sewing table!

Normal retreats take place away from home, often with people that you don’t know and can be quite costly. For many people this is perfect, but for others, one or more of these factors is prohibitive. It is for this reason that GillyMac Designs has devised the Virtual Retreat. 

As ever this will be a weekend of sewing and laughter – it really is great fun. Just look at the reviews below.

What is a Virtual Retreat  hosted by GillyMac Designs?

This is a weekend of sewing with 16 hours of mixed live tuition and personal sewing from the comfort of your own home. The event will be held over Facebook in a closed group which is only available for the participants. The videos will all be saved to this group and they can be watched as many times as you like, even after the retreat is over.

For the 2020 Spring Virtual Retreat, we will be making the new GillyMac Sparkle Quilt.  There is no pressure to finish the quilt during the weekend, the aim is to enjoy learning how to make the blocks and make as many as you would like or can manage.

The quilt can be made in three sizes – Cot (36″ x 48″), Snuggle – pictured – (60″ x 60″) and Double (60″ x 84″).

The quilt is made up of two blocks, which combine beautifully together. Each block has been designed so that, should you wish, the light and darker shades of a colour can be used to create a 3D effect. The blocks also look great with smaller prints. Versions of the blocks in prints will be released during February.

The blocks are constructed using simple (super simple) foundation piecing at the corners and ‘normal’ piecing for the rest of the block. You will learn how to make half rectangle triangles and piece them precisely and then incorporate them accurately into the block. Building this quilt will help you consolidate many of the basics of patchwork and improve your accuracy in piecing.

Also, for the first time in a Virtual Retreat, the participants will be given exclusive access to a set of videos covering how I have quilted the Sparkle Quilt. The videos are a separate quilt-a-long each participant can view and use when they are ready.


Retreat Box & Saturday Night Bonus Project!

The weekend will kick off on Friday night with the reveal of your Bespoke Retreat Box which will be sent to you in advance. This box has been curated for Retreat participants and contains a mixture of quality sewing supplies and mini gifts to get you buzzing from the very start.  

Each retreat comes with a fully kitted project which you can either sew along with Gill on the Saturday Night or you can save it to complete at another time. The  Saturday Night Project for this retreat is the Super Star Pouch. This 10″ x 8” pouch is made in Metallic Essex Linen fabric with a pleather base and metal zip. The pouch has boxed corners and is lined with Dashwood Metallic Twist fabric. The Super Star Pouch gets it’s name from it’s star motif – which is also included in the pack.

What are the logistics of the 2020 Spring Virtual Retreat ?

The Spring Virtual Retreat will run from 7pm on Friday 17th April to  3pm on Sunday 19th April.

The  Facebook group will open to participants at least a week before the retreat and will be open to re-watch the videos for a further 6 months after the retreat is over. The Retreat Box will arrive by registered post in the week prior to the event. 

Active cutting/sewing/creative time will be from 7pm-9pm on Friday, 10am-7pm on Saturday and 10am – 3pm on Sunday.  Facebook lives will be instructional, like regular classes. If you want to replay these instructional videos, this will be possible as soon as the ‘live’ is over. This will allow you to see something again immediately or watch it at a more convenient time if this suits you better.  

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

• 16 hours of mixed live tuition and personal sewing over 2 days and 1 evening
• GillyMac Sparkle Quilt Pattern for the weekend project quilt and the foundation papers for the lap quilt
• Bonus Pattern (and full kit) for the optional Saturday Night Project
• A Bespoke Retreat Box, full of quality goodies delivered to you for the weekend’s enjoyment.
• Spot Prizes throughout the weekend

and instructional videos to assist you in quilting your Sparkle Quilt. 



What you'll need for the weekend

  1. An internet connection and Facebook account.
  2. Fabric for the GillyMac Spring 2020 Quilt (requirements will be sent to you at time of booking) – a variety of kits will be available to purchase from 21st February
  3. Sewing machine, quarter inch foot, rotary cutter and mat and a ruler.

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

The price of the GillyMac Virtual Retreat is £135 and places are limited.

An early bird discount rate of £110 for the retreat is available for bookings taken from 3rd to 28th Feb.

Will fabric kits be available to purchase? 

Yes, a variety of kits will be available to purchase from 21st February.

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

Throughout the weekend there will be live instructional videos and Gill and a colleague will be online answering your questions and cheerleading your progress and helping you get the very most from the experience.

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

All the instructions and Facebook Lives videos will available in the group for you to replay at your convenience, meaning 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.

What Past Retreat Participants are Saying…

It’s always great to receive feedback on my classes

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.
Tracey F
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.
Elaine C
The Retreat has been great fun and given me the confidence to try something completely different, it’s been lovely to be part of a fab team without having to leave home. Can’t wait for the next one!
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 Retreat Participant
The virtual retreat was a wonderful idea and something great to try! Really looking forward to the next one!
Summer 2019 Retreat 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.
Mrs J. M Marsh
A lovely experience and an excellent new concept. Brilliant idea Gillymac.
Not only an excellent lesson but also a lovely box of quilting goodies. Nice touch.
Maureen Aspinwall


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