Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Fat Quarterly Retreat London! What it meant to me!!

Every day I have commented on people's blogs and read comments from others on mine!  So what I was looking forward to most at the Fat Quarterly Retreat London 2012 was meeting those people face to face!

I was so not disappointed!  You are all more marvellous, more lovely, more inspiring, more talented than I could have thought possible!  Wow!  

John started the show talking about community and that's what we were - I really felt that - I hope everyone else did too!  It wasn't them and us it was just US - that really felt amazing!

Stolen from Susan

The same went for the teaching at FQ - have to say I have learnt heaps more and tried more since I started in this virtual bloggy community.  And this continued in spades at the Retreat...

First of the genuinely unscary and lovely Katy got us through the intricacies of framed purse making - Katy you do not know how long I've wanted to make one of these 

Next I revisited embroidery with the delightful Aneela Hooey!  I sewed a cute wee robin -  I think he is a charmer!  And learnt to couch - apparently nothing to do with sofas!

Dinner on Saturday was organised for me by the lovely Susan and a whole bunch of us enjoyed food and chat!   See photos chez Susan

My Sunday morning started with breakfast with Kerry who regaled me with stories of her fighting over fabric from a rag man - ok she wasn't fighting the ragman - rather the other ladies trying to find cheap fabric!   Both the stories and the food was good!  When she wasn't doing that she could be found teaching freezer paper piecing - she does excel at that!

Fortified I went on to the Fat Quarterly Designer Challenge with John and Katy.  I didn't know exactly what I was letting myself in for but first we had to think of blocks made with squares and rectangles, then triangles then finally stars!  I had come with an idea of squares and rectangles - a train track idea but my mind was blank for the other two!  Until I emptied it and just let something come in - I liked the triangles and star ideas I had better  - I may even try them out in fabric!

Just goes to show what we can do with paper, crayons and colouring in - why leave all the fun to the kids!?  I will be doing more of this in future!

Last but not least was a class with Lu Summers on her porthole quilt!  

Stolen from Cindy

Stolen from Cindy

This was perplexing to say the least and then the penny dropped, the sun shone and we all had the aha! moment!  I stitched my block by hand and used some Liberty, some Oakshott, some cream on cream and some cotton linen mix (I think)  - bit subtle for me huh?

 Group shot

Lots of other stuff happened including a sample swap which changed these that I made

into these!

Thank you (clockwise from the left) Emily, Elisabeth, Teresa and Di!

There was a Jelly Roll Race and an Iron Man Competition which I was too chicken to join in!   Well done to all involved!

Then the end came all too soon and I was sad - sob - that it was all over....and Hadley, Fiona and I nabbed a taxi taking us into the sunset of Victoria Station - almost fully packed with daytrippers coming to participate in the other stellar event that weekend.  Can't help but feel sorry for them...they were at the wrong place - well in my opinion!

But put your hankies away, dry up those tears ( I mean you Katy and Lynne) the good news is that it is due to happen all over again!  I may need the year to recover....haha!  And to practice some of the things I have learnt....

Stop Press!

Talking of which - it turns out I love making framed purses and have started another but would be so happy to run a swap with those equally enamoured of the frame!   Thinking it would be open to all and involve a purse or two with a little goody if you wish but only something that fits inside!

Let me know if you wish to play along by leaving a comment here or on this flickr thread!  Do not worry if you didn't do the class as Katy has pledged to write a tutorial with lots of photos.  It is easier than it looks and I know you all want to make one!


  1. Love all the pictures! So awesome to hear about it from each different person! So glad you had a great time. Love the little purse and porthole block =D

    I'm having a giveaway on my blog. Feel free to stop by and enter (if you haven't already) =D

  2. I have an absolute plethora of frames should one wish a swapsie :o)

  3. Great post. I felt as if I was there all over again! It was so nice to chat with you over the weekend. Frame purses swap - I don't have a clue how to do them so put my name down and pair me with someone who is fabulous at them! Di x :)

  4. I am so glad you such fun! A little purse...should be filled with a little magic from this weekend, a little joy from both celebrations!!

  5. You are so lucky to be able to attend : ) Glad you had fun

  6. Ahhhh...finally! The post I have been waiting for! I thought of you all weekend....and how much fun you were having! Wonderful post - thanks Nicky!

  7. Nicky, great post on the retreat!! It was so much fun to meet you, and i still don´t know, warum du so gut Deutsch sprichst?! Please tell me!!
    We´ll meet online until next year in person again, ok? Take care!!

  8. Lovely to meet you at last. It was a really great weekend.

  9. It was great to have met you Nicky. It was such an amazing day (weekend for others): can't wait for next year

  10. You already know I'm in for the swap. So pleased you had as good a weekend as I did.

  11. It was a fab weekend indeed... I'm in x

  12. I just love reading about the weekend form other people's perspective. Loved meeting you too - you were just how I thought you'd be!

  13. I feel very, very nervous, but if you promise I can make it...

  14. Looks like a lot of fun Nicky thanks for sharing.
    ps. the melody miller fabric is my alltime fav!

  15. Great post - I'm really enjoying reading about it! I love your purse (gorgeous lining!) and your portholes block - are you going to magically turn it into a quilt in a few days? If anyone can you can!! Good luck with the swap!

  16. Great post, love all the things you made, was lovely to meet you again.

  17. You achieved a lot!
    Lovely makes!


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