My name is Philippa and I love quilting and textile arts.
Back in 2009 my parents bought a holiday house in the Limousin, France. Next to it was a derelict farm and barns which I had my eye on, but I didn't know what for at the time! One day there was a knock at the door and a gentleman asked if I wanted to buy the farm as his uncle had died recently and we were the nearest neighbours. Of course I said YES!
When the dust had settled and the conveyancing went through in early 2012 I thought to myself "What on earth shall I do with this farm?" I sat down and considered what I liked to do and quilting came up tops! In my opinion there is nothing better than spending a day at a workshop learning new quilting techniques, so why not take it a stage further? I decided that week long residential quilting and textile art courses was my mission for this old farm.
I drew up plans for 7 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms and 3 lounges to go into the farmhouse and large barn and a workshop and studio to go into the other barn. All was passed easily and work began in earnest. Everything from floors to roof was restored, renewed and rebuilt! I became a stonemason and pointed 1000's of feet of stone and vowed only to use local, reclaimed materials when possible to keep the character and integrity of the buildings.
The summer of 2015 saw our first residential courses take place. Authors Lynne Goldsworthy and Rosie James were the tutors. Everyone who came had a marvellous experience and laughed all week! We made beautiful quilts, learnt loads and ate really well! Frances, my partner, cooked delicious fresh cakes daily, local dishes with mouth-watering desserts for the evening meal and served up sumptuous salads and delectable cheeses at lunch. Naturally there was unlimited wine too!
Oh, by the way, the hardest part was thinking of a name for the centre... eventually after long deliberations I called it CraftyRetreats.com