Last week Suzanne Pederson, the founder and heart of the Madrona Fiber Arts Retreat, sent out an email that was not surprising, but still sad. 2019 Madrona will the be the last.
Suzanne is retiring after 20 years of delighting the fiber world. Madrona stands head and shoulders above other fiber retreats. It started small, but grew into a large and boisterous retreat, educating, raising money for charities, and just being an excellent coming together of fiber minds. It is one of the most inclusive and friendly retreats I’ve attended, no one is a stranger.
Madrona was the first big retreat that I knew of to combine crafts. Knitting was it’s core, but there were many spinning,weaving and dyeing classes too. Madrona was also the first big retreat to treat their teachers very well. It has an epic marketplace.
I was lucky enough to go to Madrona three times, once as a student and twice as a teacher.
I’ll never forget the email Suzanne sent me to ask if I would teach, I still have it saved. For fiber teachers, Madrona, was a BIG ONE, getting asked to teach, especially as a spinning teacher was a huge moment for me. There was cheering, all the nerves and maybe a tear or two. I taught there in 2016 and 2017.
Madrona changed the way I thought about making and teaching, gave me new friends, a clear focus and a love for the PNW and the way fiber is revered there. It really has a different fiber vibe than the rest of the country.
Jillian is the author of the best-selling spinning book Yarnitecture. She is the editor of Knittyspin and Developmental Editor for PLY and PLY Books. She kinda loves this spinning thing and wants everyone who spins to love it too, so she teaches and writes a lot. She knits, weaves, and stitches and tries to do as much of it as she can with handspun yarn. She's always cooking up all kinds of exciting and creative things combining fiber arts.
She likes her mysteries British, her walks woodsy, and to spend as much time as she can laughing.
Spy on her on her website jillianmoreno.com