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2023 UK Weekend Retreat & Workshops

Welcome to our Sewing & Quilting Weekend Craft Retreat section for 2023!


After careful consideration of a selection of key venues that might fulfil all our criteria, we're absolutely delighted to announce that our 2023 Weekend Crafting Retreat will take place at Rutland Hall Hotel, in the wonderfully picturesque county of Rutland (near Leicestershire, UK) over the weekend of Friday 08, Saturday 09 and Sunday 10 September 2023 - please read on to learn all about our next exciting live event!...


Class times on

Saturday and Sunday

09.30-16.30 (BST)

(with lots of treats in-between!)


Weekend Craft Retreat!

Rutland Hall Hotel

near Oakham, Rutland

Sewing & Quilting with

Sarah Hibbert

Sarah Payne

Nicholas Ball

Gary Mills

Join our fabulous Weekend Craft Retreat at the Rutland Hall Hotel in September 2023!

Rutland Hall Hotel Weekend Craft Retreat

Friday 08, Saturday 09 & Sunday 10 September 2023


Rutland Hall Hotel

Near Oakham, Rutland, LE15 8AB, United Kingdom


So, what do we have planned for you?!

This exciting event will feature luminaries of the crafting world who will need little introduction to you - Sarah Hibbert, Sarah Payne, Nicholas Ball and Gary Mills -

and you get to work with all of them!


Each tutor will also deliver a Trunk Show over the Friday & Saturday evenings! There will be a raffle and everyone will walk away with a little something!

Read on for more detail...(the video below on the left will show you your sewing room, it's not set up yet, but gives you a really great idea of space and light! The video on the right is an interview with the teachers!)

CraftyMonkies 2023 Weekend Crafting Retreat Rutland Hall Hotel!

Join us in September 2023 in the beautiful county of Rutland for a truly fabulous weekend of crafting, trunk shows, relaxing spa-time, socialising, wonderful food and (perhaps most important of all) FUN!

On this fabulous CraftyMonkies Weekend Craft Retreat, not only will you have a re-invigorating, luxury break (the

hotel even features a Spa!) away with like-minded 'crafty souls', but you will also work with FOUR of our fantastic CraftyMonkies tutors: Sarah Hibbert, Sarah Payne, Nicholas Ball and Gary Mills!


The wonderful Rutland Hall Hotel in Rutland, very close to the equally lovely Leicestershire, is located just a few miles off the A1 (you need the A606 turn between Oakham and Stamford). The Weekend Craft Retreat ticket will see you welcomed by us with a drinks reception from 5.00pm on the evening of Friday 8th September 2022 , have a 9.30am start for craft classes on Saturday 9th September and Sunday 10th September to work with each of the four CraftyMonkies tutors for a morning and afternoon session, a two-night stay in a luxurious room within Rutland Hall Hotel - did we also mention you'll also have use of the beautiful Rutland Hall Hotel pool should you so desire?! - have a three-course dinner on the Saturday night, a cooked breakfast on both Saturday & Sunday mornings (lighter options are also available, as are meals for those with special dietary requirements, if needed) and be entertained with a couple of Trunk Shows in between! Lunch & light refreshments will be served on both days (again, all dietary requirements can be catered for) and you will walk away with some goodies too!


Rutland Hall Hotel fits within our CraftyMonkies  Weekend Craft Retreat ethos: luxury, quality, attentive service, beautiful views and a stunning environment in which to learn, focus, relax, make friends, enjoy terrific food, (including cake!), and learn new invaluable skills. Did we mention a pool and spa visit is included in the price? Yes it is, but please note that any treatments in the newly refurbished Rutland Hall Hotel Spa are payable in addition to our core course fees and payment for such must be made direct to the hotel. Please also note that any treatments would also have to be pre-booked directly with the hotel prior to you arriving on the course.

CraftyMonkies 2023 Weekend Crafting Retreat Rutland Hall Hotel!

SARAH PAYNE - Saturday 09 September 2023

"Of course I'm going to go down the traditional route with one of the most traditional and iconic shapes; the Hexagon! Not only are we going to create little hexagons, but we're going to learn 'quilt as you go' with your hexagons. We're going to use scrap bits of fabric and put them together and these hexagons can be made into a coaster or a bed coverlet! You can go as big as you want to go by simply adding and adding as you go! As we're using scraps we're going to be looking at colour, how we put it together, how we can enhance and combine colours. Then we'll be using a backing, a wadding and a top fabric together to create the quilt as you go hexagons. It's a great method, one I think you will enjoy but also benefit from when going forward in your quilting journey..."

GARY MILLS - Saturday 09 September 2023

"I'm going to potentially push you outside your comfort zone, and thats a good thing!! I'm going to be teaching you some free motion embroidery along with applique and some hand painting! I have already got several templates based on Exmoor animals (you can buy them with an instructional 20 minute video on the CraftyMonkies website), and specially for this retreat I'm going to create a new image! A new animal! We're going to transfer it onto cloth, applique some fabric, (bonded applique) then free motion across that and then add in some hand painting. Lot's of great fun techniques and a lovely project to create. You might be a beginner or very experienced, it doesn't matter, this class suits everyone!"

NICHOLAS BALL - Sunday 10 September 2023

"I thought this year I would take a deep dive into my inspiration I use behind improv quilting. For those of you who have read my book or taken a class with me, I take inspiration from amongst other things; plants, flowers, veg and  fish! I then create pieces based on these items. I thought it would be fun to ask you to bring something that you may never have associated with a quilt, look at maybe two or 3 basic improvised techniques (like inserts or slabs) and go through the process of making a small unit best representing the object you have chosen. It's about looking at an object and learning how to represent it, but also a chance to learn some new techniques and spark some joy in your work!"

SARAH HIBBERT - Sunday 10 September 2023

"A lot of people ask how I put fabrics together, how do I choose colour and textures that work? So I thought I could play around with this in class with you! So we're going to a do a 'sarah'dipity! We're going to start by cutting up fabrics in a certain size like 6x4 or 8x6. We then put them through the throat of the machine and we pull out two pieces and build up blocks. You don't know what size you are going to put together, its pot luck, but this is where the beauty lays! I'll then be asking people to swop pieces with you in class. It's about getting you used to using different types of fabric, textures and colours, but it's about playing and experimenting and you'll learn so much along the way. You will also take away a piece/block made out of your friends fabrics who you have met on the day, a great way to remember them and cherish the experience forever! What you do with the block is up to you!"

Here's what you will need for your CraftyMonkies Retreat weekend:-

  • Your own fabric you would like to sew with (more details to follow but it will simply be from your own stash, no need to buy anything fancy!)

  • Sewing machine in good working order – with manual, and standard sewing machine feet. If you are unfamiliar with your machine, please take a few minutes to practice stitching in a straight line. You will need no further skills than that!

  • Sewing threads in neutral colours (cream, ecru, greys – bring what you have!) and coloured swing machine threads for embroidery stitches.

  • Rotary Cutter (45mm rotary cutter is the best size) and mat (18” x 24 approx so a fat 1Ž4 fits on it easily) – please check that the cutting blade is sharp. I will have some spare bits of equipment, but it means you may have to share!

  • Rulers – Easy Rule 2 (long ruler) and any square rulers you have hidden away will be useful.

  • General sewing kit (pins, scissors, stitch ripper, etc).

  • Optional items – craft iron and ironing mat (so you don’t have to queue!). There is an ironing station planned with domestic irons, so only bring small irons and don’t worry if you don’t have one – it’s not vital.



Rachel and all our tutors really are the most warm, engaging of souls and our total focus is on ensuring that you have an experience to remember - trying anything new is always a wee bit scary but don't be put off; jump in - you're going to love it!!!...We've curated a selection of teachers who can all teach something quite different across the weekend, traditional quilting, improv quilting and some mixed media/art! We aim to inspire you and gve you a lot of fun at the same time!

CraftyMonkies 2023 Weekend Crafting Retreat Rutland Hall Hotel!
CraftyMonkies Weekend Retreat at the Rutland Hall Hotel in September 2023!


For the Rutland Hall Hotel Weekend Craft Retreat we are offering TWO ticket options:-


Single Occupancy

For the all-inclusive price (please note that any Spa treatments are NOT included) of £599.99, you are guaranteed your own en-suite room within Rutland Hall Hotel.


Shared Occupancy

For the all-inclusive price (please note that any Spa treatments are NOT included) of £485.99, you are guaranteed a SHARED en-suite room within Rutland Hall Hotel. If you decide on this option, once you have booked your place we will contact you via email to see whether you would like to share with a friend or family member who is also attending the Weekend Retreat or are happy to be placed with one of your fellow attendees who is not previously known to you.


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 go to our Pay Online page, find the Weekend Craft Retreat 2023 graphic and follow the prompts.

Paying via Instalments


For those of you interested in paying via two monthly instalments, we're not able to do this automatically via the website but it can be arranged wholly securely via PayPal. Please email us via if you would like to pay via two monthly instalments. The first payment is a deposit of £200.00 with the balance in full (ie second payment) due on 01 February 2023.


All being well, we've covered any questions/queries you might have about this exciting Rutland Hall Weekend Craft Retreat but if there is anything else you'd like to know, please don't hesitate to contact us via email:

CraftyMonkies 2023 Weekend Crafting Retreat Rutland Hall Hotel!
CraftyMonkies 2024 Weekend Crafting Retreat Rutland Hall Hotel
CraftyMonkies 2023 Weekend Crafting Retreat Rutland Hall Hotel
CraftyMonkies Online Interactive Zoom Workshops with leading craft tutors!
CraftyMonkies Online Interactive Zoom Workshops with leading craft tutors!
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