25 July 2013

Fat Quarterly Retreat, London

I'm back from my long weekend in London attending the Fat Quarterly retreat! I learned lots, and met and chatted to some super talented sewers. 

On the Friday I *attempted* crochet. big fail! This was my second go at the craft, and I can safely say it's not for me. Sorry Laura, it wasn't you! I just can't get my head around it? On Saturday Morning I did a free motion class with Trudi Wood, where I was back on my machine and feeling slightly more in my comfort zone. Although I've never practiced it before - it was even my first time putting the fm foot on my machine! I found out that I like to swirl! and will be practicing more in the future to get the knack down so I can free motion my 16stlouispatch quilt! (this is me the evening I got back, completely shattered - eyeing up my new purchases!)
In the afternoon I had my first experience of foundation paper piecing with Joanna and Julianna, they were so nice and I got lots of one-on-one help from the lovely Julianna during the class - because as like crochet - I didn't get it at all!! I completely forgot that following simple instructions and learning new skills takes me AGES! The idea of looking at things back to front, and flipping it back and forth was so confusing to me. Yes I'm blaming my lack of skills in this area and crochet to being a leftie, ha! But after being back home for a couple of days, I had another few go's at it - and eventually (last night) I got the hang of it!!!! It really didn't come to me easily, so I think this finished block is my greatest sewing achievement. ever. I've wanted to learn to paper piece for so long, but never had the confidence to try, and since finishing this block this morning I have just bought the lovely Ayumi's Dishy Treats pattern this afternoon! so as soon as I finish writing this post it's off to the sewing room to choose fabrics for them! :D
Later on came 'market night' where we got the opportunity to shop from various sellers and purchase their wares! There was some great stuff up for offer, and I was tempted in every direction - though I was very restrained and came away with only 3 fat quarters (which you can spy in my first pic). We also got given a great little goodie bag on arrival too! A big thanks to all the many sponsor's who donated. 
On Sunday, I had hand quilting with Lu Summers. She brought in some examples of her mini improv quilts with hand stitching, and wow, they were amazing! I don't think I've seen these online or perhaps noticed them (eek, sorry!) but I'm so glad I did, they blew me away! No photo's of course, sorry. Most people in the class had done her previous class 'improv' so they had blocks to do some sashiko stitching, whereas I had my traditional sampler quilt so Lu suggested I talk to Mandy who was doing another hand quilting and applique class. She was really helpful, and gave me some advice on threads and patterns to try :)

If I'm able to visit next year, I would definitely like to be a little more social!? I'm really shy around new people, so I didn't get to talk to as many people as I wanted and I annoyingly I didn't join in any of the activities going on in the evenings as I was MEGA shy and ran away, eek! Should have also taken more notice of the Flickr group and got involved in the name badge swap, dohh! So upset I missed out on that. And perhaps set up my Sew and Quilt shop to sell fabric for market? wait, what am I talking about - let's not get ahead of myself now?! Just handing out some business cards would be an achievement! 
    I'm slowly getting round to all the different blogs I was introduced to during the weekend, it's been a great way to get to know fellow sewer's I've not come across before, and also chat with some people whose work I admire from online! Jessie, xo

19 comments:

  1. Yay for learning new skills! I'm so glad you had a chance to attend. Next year will be even better.

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  2. Hi it was lovely to meet you, although we only realised who we were after the class! I'm the same as you and must be more social at these events! Love the typewriter block and seeing your lovely quilt in person!

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  3. Hi Jessie, it was so lovely to meet you, I wish we could have chatted for longer, where did the time go?! Well no need to be shy next year, we can paint the town red after hours ;-) Ok so that might be a little ambitious after a whole day's sewing and chatting, but we might manage dinner and a cocktail??! I struggled in my FM quilt design class too, I just found it so hard, and it didn't come naturally at all, so I was glad to read your post and find that I wasn't the only one struggling!! Speak again soon, Sarah x

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  4. It sounds like a blast. I'm hoping I get to go next year, and I know I'll be shy, too.

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  5. I would love to go, never heard of it before, where can i find details?

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  6. Jesse, your block looks absolutely wonderful! So delicate, but still modern. I'm impressed that you didn't give up and finish it! (I know that first steps in new technique are always very hard) You'll see that next blocks will be easier to make and very soon you'll be paper piecing genius! Hugs:)

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  7. you will get the crochet and paper piecing ...I know it !!You just have to give it a go in a low pressure atmosphere!
    Be well,
    Donna

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  8. It was so great to finally meet you! I love your paper-piecing block, it's amazin....now you just need to decide what to do with it! I'm still trying to process FQR myself, it was so much to take in but I definitely want to go again next year!!!!

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  9. Wow your typewriter turned out so well.
    Which one of Joanna's other patterns are you going to try?
    It was so good to meet you. Next year, you should definitely come out with us for cocktails.

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  10. You could have tagged along with us in the evenings :) Well done on the typrewriter block but don't blame lefties, k? Cos I can do both :P

    Show us your FQs!

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  11. Love your typewriter block! Ooh it was scary with soo many people, but I was so glad you sat down at the table on Friday, it wasn't as scary then haha. Next year will be even better cause you'll know everybody :)

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  12. i get my knickers all in a twist with paper piecing too! altho I have just seen one I want to give a try so i'm going to take a deep breath and give it a try ;-)
    ps i'd have been running away with you at the social times...hey maybe next year if i manage to go we should do that!

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  13. It sounds like a fab weekend, and well done you for having the courage to go along for the first time - that's never easy. Now you've done it, so well done. Love your typewriter btw!
    Have a lovely weekend,
    Xx

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  14. Didn't meet you but we were in the between the lines class together! Love your typewriter - you must be so pleased!

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  15. Your paper pieced block looks amazing. Congrats. I want to try that too.

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  16. It sounds like fun even if you were shy. Next time will be even more fun. I love meeting new people but sometimes I'm an old lady and in noisy rooms can't hear that well and people talk so softly, I can't really keep track of what's going on as well as I'd like. I guess we all have our issues. I would have loved meeting you in real life! xo

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  17. Looks like an amazing time!

    I would have been shy, too...

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  18. Sorry you were too shy to say hi to me when you saw me! I hope we'll get to meet next year :)

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  19. Oh I wish I'd known about you being on your own Saturday night-I would have come and got you. Next year....

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Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments.
I love reading each and every one. I try and respond to questions in the comments so other readers can see as well. Best wishes, Jessie