Retreat Week with Sarah Vedeler - bold, bright and beautiful 3D blooms

Sunday 8th - Friday 13th September 2024

An exclusive experience for Machine Embroidery Lovers.

Our guest tutor for this retreat week is Dr Sarah Vedeler, the award-winning quilt artist, pattern designer and teacher. She promises to ignite a fire of creativity in the hearts and minds of all machine embroidery lovers, and guide them through the transformative process of creating something beautiful.

British-born Sarah has loved sewing since an early age, converting this from a hobby to a career after she moved to the United States in 1998.

With a PhD in computer science, Sarah has brought together her knowledge of embroidery software with a passion in quilting, to create her signature technique of creating applique on an embroidery machine.

Making a special trip back to the UK in September, Sarah will be with us for the whole week to present her signature technique, and impart all her knowledge and skills, to a small, like-minded group of machine embroidery lovers (MELs).

Course Content

During your time with Sarah you will complete a 'Tall Posie Pot' 3D Mini Quilt.

It features flowers measuring 4", 4.5" and 5", in a fantastic 3D effect that makes them pop right out of the quilt!

Sarah will show you, step-by-step, just what to do to make this beautiful project come to life.

Fabrics and thread will be chosen on your first day at the Quilt Direct studio, so you can have the perfect colour palette for your own unique version of this stunning design.

Finishing at approximately 22” x 29”, this 3D Mini Quilt is packed with gorgeous stitching and opportunities to flex your creativity muscles.

You’ll be able to take what you learn and apply it to any design collection from Meaning of Life Designs.

And you'll become part of Sarah's community of MELs - Machine Embroidery Lovers!

All tuition takes place in our bright and airy studios in Tavistock, Devon.

"Fun and amazing!"

I think Sarah's designs are just fun and amazing.

When I get everything stitched out, it's like I'm holding it up and I go, wow, did I really do that?

- Carol C, fellow MEL from TX

You will learn to:

  • Stitch designs that are way bigger than your embroidery hoop, giving you endless possibilities for what you can create with your embroidery machine.
  • Create beautiful applique designs in the hoop with 3D embellishments.
  • Piece in the hoop - no more chopped-off points on your flying geese!
  • Quilt in the hoop, aligning designs perfectly every time.
  • Finish a quilt with a No Hands Piped Binding to add a wow factor. 

Kit requirements:

  • Embroidery machine with at least 150mm x 260mm hoop (Midi)
  • A full kit list will be provided before the event
  • Fabric, thread and other materials to be chosen at the start of the week (included in cost of retreat)

Lydford House Hotel

One of the gorgeous bedrooms

Relax and enjoy!

The Lydford House Hotel

Come and spend an amazing week with Sarah and the the Quilt Direct team, and relax in this beautiful hotel.

The Lounge

Warm, spacious and waiting to welcome you.


There's plenty of options for breakfast, including VERY local honey!

The Dining Room

For breakfast each morning and for the Farewell Gala Dinner.

Accommodation is included on a bed and breakfast basis at Lydford House Hotel, Lydford.

Operating as hotel for over 100 years, Lydford House provides a relaxed and friendly atmosphere within the Dartmoor National Park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The hotel has a graceful double aspect lounge with views over the gardens, furnished with comfortable sofas and plenty of room to relax around the open fire. There's also a snug bar offering a good range of alcoholic and soft beverages.

Breakfast, catered by your host Jodie, is in the cosy dining room. You will enjoy full English and continental breakfast options, including a honey bar courtesy of Jodie's bees!

Each bedroom has its own style and charm, and all are delightfully decorated with quality linens and bathroom accessories. The bedrooms are on the first and second floors. One of the rooms has its own kitchenette and sitting area, and can be booked on a first come first served basis at a supplement of £100.

The picturesque village of Lydford is a short drive away, with its historic Castle and the White Lady Waterfall at Lydford Gorge. The ancient Stannary town of Tavistock is also nearby.

In this part of Dartmoor, we are spoilt for choice for dining options. There are several characterful and traditional pubs nearby serving quality food made with local produce, and Tavistock has a great range of restaurants, cafes, and bars.

Please note, this is a residential-only retreat. There are no places available for day bookings.

Your Itinerary For The Week

Sunday 8th September

Check in to Lydford House Hotel, make yourself at home, and meet your fellow 'MELs'. At 7pm, join Sarah and Quilt Direct owner Katherine in the lounge for a glass of fizz and canapés for a welcome to your week ahead. A light buffet supper will be provided.

Monday 9th September

A good breakfast will set you up for an exciting day ahead. Make your way to the Quilt Direct studios for 9am. We can arrange transport if required.

Katherine will welcome you to the studio and then Sarah will commence your tuition. There will be breaks for refreshments throughout the day, including a delicious buffet lunch at 1pm and homemade cake at 3.30pm. The day's tuition ends at approximately 5pm.

Dinner at your leisure (not included in cost).

Tuesday 10th September

Same format as Monday.

Wednesday 11th September

Today, the choice is yours! As a free day, this is your opportunity to explore Dartmoor or visit the local Stannary town of Tavistock. The team at Quilt Direct will be full of good advice and ideas for your day off.

You are welcome to use the studio facilities and continue with your project if you wish.

Lunch and dinner at your leisure (not included in cost).

Thursday 12th September

Same format as Monday and Tuesday.

Remember to bring your party clothes, as tonight Katherine and Sarah are your hosts for a very special Farewell Gala Dinner.

This fine dining experience will be at the Lydford House Hotel; a wonderful three course meal created for you by a local chef who will be cooking exclusively for the 'MELs'. Menu choices will be sent you in advance.

Wine included.

Friday 13th September

Alas, your final day! Same format as Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

Sarah will bring the week's tuition and journey to a close, leaving you with not just skills, but happy memories and new friends.

Retreat Week ends at 5pm.

Where we are

Quilt Direct, Pitts Cleave, Union Mine Road, Tavistock, Devon PL19 OPW. 01822 810877.

Places to visit:

This is a beautiful part of Dartmoor, there are so many things to see and do. There are areas of outstanding natural beauty, rivers, valleys and forests to explore.

Golden sands and Atlantic waves are also in easy travelling distance, historic naval Plymouth is not far away, and beautiful Exeter and its Cathedral are within an hours drive.

Getting here:

Transport links from across the UK are excellent to Plymouth, Okehampton and Exeter by train. The nearest airports are Exeter and Newquay. Plymouth also has continental ferry links.

We can organise private transfers from the above locations on request. Please ask at the time of booking.

Retreat includes:

  • 5 nights accommodation in a double room for single use, including full English and continental breakfast.
  • 4 full days tuition from Sarah Vedeler for a maximum of 8 persons
  • Lunch and refreshments throughout the teaching days.
  • Use of the Quilt Direct studio on the rest day.
  • Support of the Quilt Direct team throughout.
  • Design, fabric, thread and all other materials required to make your 3D Mini Quilt.
  • 3 course farewell gala dinner with wine.
  • Fizz, canapes and light buffet on arrival.

Please note, dinner is not provided at the hotel (other than the Sunday night buffet and Thursday night gala dinner).

£1995 per person

To book your place on this retreat:

  • Click on the link below to pay the full amount, or call the office on 01822 810877 to arrange to pay a 25% deposit.
  • We'll send you our terms and conditions, and a booking form. Please read these, and return the completed booking form to us to secure your place on the retreat.
  • The balance is payable 10 weeks before the retreat commences, which is 30th June 2024.

Book Your Retreat Here