What’s it like to run away on a sewing holiday?

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When it comes to dream jobs, there few more appealing than taking groups of fellow sewists on getaways to far away lands to sew and explore. We speak to quilting pro Karin Hellaby about what she’s most looking forward to about her upcoming sewing retreat the French Alps…

She’s taught at quilt markets all around the world, written sewing books and arranges annual sewing trips with craft tour holiday operators Stitchtopia – we want Karin Hellaby’s job! This summer she’ll be joining a band of fellow stitchers on a 7 night French Chateau Quilt Retreat to the Alps to sew and sightsee. The trip will include excursions to Lyon and Chambery plus fine dining and wine tasting in the chateau’s cellar with the hotel’s sommelier, and while she’s there, Karin will be running four quilting workshops. We couldn’t resist the chance to quiz her about what bits she’s most looking forward to.

We catch up with Karin while she’s sitting in a ski chalet waiting for a snow storm to clear. “I’m in the Savoie region of France – the area we are visiting in August on our chateau based quilting holiday,” she tells us. “It’s a complete contrast…  a white out now compared to sun and warmth in the summer! Beautiful mountains all around me, awe inspiring in every season.”

We ask her to share her top 5 things she’s most looking forward to about her French Chateau trip?

1 The quilts!

“I am planning to teach five projects at the Chateau. One of them will be a quilt using my unique technique, Pineapple Plus (below). There will four more exciting projects to choose from, or you may wish to try them all.”

2 The food

“France is a lot about the food and wine. In this chateau we have a highly recommended French chef to feed us as well as a wine tasting in the chateau cellar.”

3 The textile heritage

“Lyon began to manufacture silk products in 1466, and in the mid 1800’s there were 25,000 silk looms in the city. At the Fabric Museum we will see 2,000 years of textile history!”

4 The views

“Lazing around an outdoor pool surrounded by mountains and fabulous views. I can see this as a lovely location for some hand sewing”

5 The markets

We all love markets and Chambery Market is on our itinerary, after a guided tour of the medieval old town. Time for us to shop for gifts to take home with us as we near the end of a glorious, relaxing week at the Chateau.

Find out more

The French Chateau Quilt Retreat with Karin Hellaby will take place from 19 – 26 August where quilters will be surrounded by fabulous alpine landscapes and sunsets at the Chateau des Comtes de Challes. To find out more or book a place on the trip, visit www.stitchtopia.co.uk.