First of all, the retreat was great. If you have been dithering about going, stop and book a ticket for next year as soon as possible. It is so much fun.
Friday morning I got ready to hop on an earlier train to London as I had been given a last minute ticket to the Liberty talk which had been organised by the Fat Quarterly Team. It was all about how the designers find inspiration for their beautiful fabrics. Sadly my train was really late and I arrived in London when the talk was almost over. Not a great start to the weekend but I wasn’t going to let this upset me and instead took a taxi to my hotel.
After dropping Edna and my bags at the Radisson I ambled over to the Baden-Powell House to meet up with lots of crafty and creative ladies and gentlemen. It was so much fun to see some ‘old’ friends and meet lots of new ones. Soon it was time for my first class, EPP curves. I didn’t get much done as I was having too much fun chatting with Di from Quiltova and Helen from runquiltknitwrite. However, I have taken all my bits and bobs out today and am hoping to finish this little block tonight.
Friday evening was spent on the terrace chatting and looking at fabulous quilts. Delma from Siblings Together came to pick up the quilts that people had made for the charity. Because I’d been ill before the retreat I hadn’t managed to hand sew the binding onto the back of my quilt. So I sat on the terrace stitching like mad to get it finished. The lovely Jane (Teacupfaery on flickr) offered to help and I gratefully accepted. It was very much a last minute finish so I didn’t actually get to take a picture of it. If you’d like to see it finished there is a picture here in the Siblings Together group pool.
Saturday morning my first class was Improv with Lu Summers. I’ve been admiring her improv minis for ages and was incredibly excited about learning some of her techniques. I had so much fun (I think Lu is one of the funniest people on this planet) as I was sitting with some great people. I shared my sewing machine with Rachel from House of Pinhero who is such a nice, beautiful and generous person. I’ve been following her blog for quite a while as she makes the most wonderful clothes. She gave me lots of tips and I’m now really excited to start making my own well-fitting clothes. It’ll probably have to wait until after our move but that’s alright.
I was under a bit of pressure to finish my improv mini as my next class was hand quilting with the lovely Mandy. Mandy’s hand pieced and quilted quilts are totally drool worthy. The one below is her version of the Green Tea and Sweet Beans quilt by Jen Kingwell of Amitié Textiles and I would have loved to discreetly stuff it into my bag. I brought some batting and backing for my mini so that I could hand quilt it in Mandy’s class. However, they were both too small as my mini ended up rectangular rather than square. I’ve decided to unpick the quilting again and start again with a bigger piece of batting and backing rather than cutting off some of the quilt. Watch this space.
My last class on Sunday morning was making a flexi pouch with Tacha Bruecher. I loved making the x and + blocks from tiny little pieces but got a bit stressed out by the fact that Edna doesn’t have a quarter inch foot. In the end I didn’t finish my pouch as the top was falling apart because I hadn’t backstitched properly. I might just take the whole thing apart again and fix it with the help of my Bernina. I still had lots of fun chatting (I think there might be a theme here) with the lovely Claudia, Amy and blogless Helen.
Right, those were my classes and they were all brilliant. I came home totally inspired and am already looking forward to next year. In the next blog post I’ll tell you all about the wonderful gifts I received and goodies I bought. TTFN!