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Mon, 12 May



Monday 12 - Thursday 15 May 2025: Midweek Welsh Craft Retreat with Nicholas Ball

Join us for our 4 day luxurious and exciting Retreat with a small number of attendees (maximum 18) as we explore Wales & work alongside Nicholas Ball on a Two-Day project, eat wonderful food together and relax in a beautiful location!...

Monday 12 - Thursday  15 May 2025: Midweek Welsh Craft Retreat with Nicholas Ball
Monday 12 - Thursday  15 May 2025: Midweek Welsh Craft Retreat with Nicholas Ball

Time & Location

12 May 2025, 14:00 BST – 15 May 2025, 16:30 BST

Lampeter, Falcondale Dr, Lampeter SA48 7RX, UK

About the Event

2025 Four-Day Midweek Welsh Craft Retreat - Monday 12 to Thursday 15 May 2025

Work alongside improv-crafting guru, Nicholas Ball - The Falcondale Hotel, Lampeter, Ceredigion, Wales

Join us on our all-inclusive 2025 Midweek Welsh Craft Retreat package which includes two Museum visits, all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), luxurious Own or Shared-Occupancy bedroom and 2-Days of improv-quilting alongside renoened craft expert & improv wizard, Nicholas Ball!

At the end of our incredibly successful Rutland Hall Hotel Weekend Craft Retreat in September 2023, tutor Nicholas Ball and CraftyMonkies CEO Rachel Pierman hatched a cunning plan over supper to bring you wonderful craft enthusiasts an incredibly special, one-of-a-kind, up-close and personal, fun-filled, Four-Day Midweek Craft Retreat which would be set in the beautiful Welsh countryside. Nicholas is hugely proud of his Welsh heritage and really wanted to showcase why Wales is such a wonderful place: from the rich traditions, to the warmth & diversity of her people and of course, it's wool! 

Wales has a rich quilting history that predates the Amish in Pennsylvania, USA. Once one of the country’s most important exports, flannel has found its way not only into the national costume of Wales, but also into many stunning examples of improvised quilts. Less known than whole cloth examples, Welsh flannel quilts were first created out of necessity, for warmth and comfort. Now, they are works of art which hold their own against more celebrated examples of improvisation, such as the quilts of Gee’s Bend.

The location for our all-inclusive 2025 Four-Day Midweek Welsh Craft Retreat in May 2025 is an absolute gem! The Falcondale Hotel in Lampeter, is located just a few miles off the A5 (about twenty miles from the M6) and is a stunning four-star, Grade II-listed country house hotel beautifully situated in the Teifi valley near to Cardigan Bay. This delightful Italianate mansion nestles amidst 14 acres of glorious, landscaped gardens with stunning vistas of the Cardiganshire countryside. A unique and incomparable setting.

So please read on in the hope you'll decide to join us in May 2025 in the beautiful county of Ceredigion for a truly fabulous 2025 Four-Day Midweek Welsh Craft Retreat; not only will you have a re-invigorating, luxury break away with 18 - yes, only 18 places are available, so be sure to book early! - like-minded 'crafty souls', but you will also work alongside & be tutored by Nicholas Ball for TWO full days!

This package is an all-inclusive Four-Day Midweek Welsh Craft Retreat. All of your breakfasts, lunches and evening meals, coach transport to and from the Museums, entry fees at both Museums and the 2-Day Improv-Quilting Workshops with Nicholas are included in your ticket price: AMAZING!...

Day ONE - Monday 12 May 2025

The first day of our 2025 Four-Day Midweek Welsh Craft Retreat will see you welcomed by us with a Drinks Reception from 4.00pm on the afternoon of Monday 12 May 2025. After the drinks reception and informal meet & greet with Rachel and Nicholas, you will be served a beautiful dinner. We've been assured by The Falcondale Hotel that they are going to tailor make our menus to give you traditional Welsh fayre throughout your stay. After dinner you can socialise in one of the hotel's many relaxing areas with your new-found friends or sit peacefully by yourself before retiring to your wonderful accommodation.

Day TWO - Tuesday 13 May 2025

After a hearty (or light, if you prefer!) breakfast, we will be collected by coach and driven to our first location, the National Wool Museum. Wool was historically the most important and widespread of Wales's industries. The picturesque village of Dre-fach Felindre in the beautiful Teifi Valley was once the centre of a thriving woollen industry, earning the nickname 'The Huddersfield of Wales’. Located in the historic former Cambrian Mills, shirts and shawls, blankets and bedcovers, woollen stockings and socks were all made here, and sold in the surrounding countryside - and indeed across the globe.

We will follow the process from Fleece to Fabric and visit the sympathetically restored listed mill buildings and Historic Machinery.

We will then travel on to have a wonderful lunch at the Town Hall deli. The friendly staff serve Great Taste Award winner Union Hand Roasted Foundation coffee in a relaxed atmosphere in the spectacular Lampeter old Town Hall building. At Town Hall Café Deli all meals are freshly prepared daily using the finest local ingredients!

Our second location on Day Two will be the fabric shop next door to the café called Calico Kate, so you can have some time to do your favourite thing, fabric shopping! After your shopping comes another museum visit to The Welsh Quilt Centre. Since opening in 2009, The Welsh Quilt Centre has become an exceptional venue in the heart of the Teifi Valley. It was officially opened in 2010 by His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. The idea to open a centre to celebrate and promote a wider understanding of the Welsh Quilt, came from Jen Jones, whose obsession with collecting Welsh Quilts, Blankets and textiles has spanned over forty years. Jen’s perseverance has led to the saving and preservation of this vital part of Welsh heritage.  Housed in Lampeter’s historic Town Hall, visitors will celebrating the ancient art of the Welsh Quilt alongside the contemporary works of local and international artists. 

After what will have been a fascinating day, we will be driven back to our hotel where you will enjoy another delicious dinner!

Days THREE & FOUR  - Wednesday 14 & Thursday 15 May 2025

On Wednesday 14 & Thursday 15 May, we will be heading to our beautiful, well-lit quilting room within The Falcondale Hotel where Nicholas Ball will be taking centre-stage! Classes will run from 09.30-16.30 on both days, perhaps finishing a little earlier on Day Four when we will all be vacataing the hotel and heading homewards from whence we came!...

Here's What You Will Learn over this very special 2-Day Workshop:-

How to improvisationally piece many of the familiar elements found in Welsh flannel quilts, such as four patch, nine patch, half square triangles, and quarter square triangles. Each student will receive a small piece of traditional Welsh flannel which they will combine with brought fabrics to create a small improvisational study, approximately 18” square. Students will then learn big-stitch hand quilting using wool thread to add wonderful texture to their quilt in a number of traditional motifs, as well as a more organic, improvised design. Each student will receive a reel of thread for quilting. Finally, the edges of the quilt will be finished using a traditional Welsh butted-edge technique.

The workshop is suitable for all skill levels. The traditional blocks will be familiar to new and experienced quilters, whilst the improvisational nature of the piecing will provide a gentle introduction to sewing without patterns or specific measurements. A small quilt study is also great for learning how best to fit irregular sized pieces together without feeling overwhelmed and provides a firm foundation for lots of other improvised techniques.

Material requirements for this 2-Day Workshop:-

Whilst not essential for the workshop, Nicholas's book Use & Ornament (Lucky Spool, scheduled for release in late March 2024) will expand upon some of the techniques learnt and provide many more improv tips and tricks!

Fabric requirements:-

Whilst difficult to give exact fabric amounts and measurements when sewing in an improvised way, please use the following as a rough guide:-

  • An assortment (4-6) fat quarters in your chosen colour scheme. Students may wish to use the traditional colours of Welsh flannel quilts, which are black and red, though any colour scheme will work. The flannel provided will be a mixture of red, black, and cream.
  • A piece of wadding approximately 22” square
  • A piece of backing fabric approximately 22” square
  • An assortment of small square and rectangular scraps in your chosen colours for added interest.

Please don’t stress about these requirements. They are simply a guide and I’ve yet to teach a class where something couldn’t be made because of the wrong fabric pieces. If in doubt, gather up a selection of prints and colours you like and you can cut during the workshop. Accuracy at the cutting stage is not so important using my techniques, so it won’t take long at all if you want to cut your pieces along with Nicholas.

Equipment requirements:-

  • Sewing-Machine - you could hand piece, yet this will be slower and so you may not achieve as much on the day.
  • Good quality Thread in an appropriate weight for piecing (I recommend Aurifil 50wt)
  • Sharp Fabric Scissors
  • A Hand Needle for quilting - Nicholas prefers a long milliner’s needle. Use whatever length you are comfortable with, though ensure that whatever you choose has a large eye to accommodate the thicker woollen thread. We will be using a 12wt thread for quilting.
  • A willingness to explore your own creativity!


For the 2025 Four-Day Midweek Welsh Craft Retreat at The Falcondale Hotel, places are extremely limited, and it will require some people to share - we are taking over the whole hotel! In essence, we’re offering two core ticket options, with a slightly reduced rate for those sharing a room. Please note, if you wish to book a Single Occupancy room you must ensure you book promptly: these rooms will be available very much on a first come, first served basis.:-

SINGLE Occupancy

For the all-inclusive price of £1,195.00, you are guaranteed your own en-suite room within The Falcondale Hotel.

SHARED Occupancy

For the all-inclusive price of £1,145.00, you are guaranteed a SHARED en-suite room within The Falcondale Hotel. If you decide on this option, once you have booked your place, we will contact you via email with details of who is also attending the 2025 Four-Day Midweek Welsh Craft Retreat (a fellow attendee who is not previously known to you) and who you will be sharing with. Of course, if you are coming with a friend, you can share together.

IMPORTANT: Due to the nature of advance bookings & payments needed to secure the tutors, hotel, food and facilities we operate a strict Non-Refund Policy; you are however free to assign another person to take your place on the Retreat, should you be unable to attend for any unforeseen reason. All we ask in that instance is that you give us due advance notice of such an arrangement, should it be necessary.

Paying in FULL

For those of you wishing to pay in full, simply click on one of the purchase options below to begin.


For those of you interested in paying via FOUR monthly instalments, simply click the room option indicating a down payment of £250.00. The first payment is a deposit of £250.00 and we'll be in touch via email to spread the remaining balance for you across the next four months.

All being well, we've covered any questions/queries you might have about this exciting 2025 Four-Day Midweek Welsh Craft Retreat at The Falcondale Hotel, but if there is anything else at all you'd like to know, please don't hesitate to contact us via email:

We look forward to welcoming you along to our 2025 Four-Day Midweek Welsh Craft Retreat at The Falcondale Hotel!...


  • Wales: OWN Room

    This Ticket is for those Paying in Full for the 2025 Midweek Welsh Craft Retreat at Falcondale Hotel on Mon 12th May - Thursday 19th May 2025 staying in your OWN Room!

  • Wales: OWN Room (£250 Deposit)

    This Ticket is for those Paying a Deposit for the 2025 Midweek Welsh Craft Retreat at Falcondale Hotel on Mon 12th May - Thursday 19th May 2025 staying in your OWN Room! £250 Deposit +4 further instalments for the remaining balance.

  • Wales: SHARED Room

    This Ticket is for those Paying in Full for the 2025 Midweek Welsh Craft Retreat at Falcondale Hotel on Mon 12th May - Thursday 19th May 2025 staying in a SHARED Room!

  • Wales: SHARED (£250 Deposit)

    This Ticket is for those Paying a £250 Deposit for the 2025 Midweek Welsh Craft Retreat at Falcondale Hotel on Mon 12th May - Thursday 19th May 2025 staying in a SHARED Room!! £250 Deposit +4 further instalments for the remaining balance.




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