Monday, June 4, 2012

Fat Quarterly Retreat Wrap Up (Pt 1)

What a weekend!  I have just returned home after a spectacular weekend retreat in London with the Fat Quarterly crew.  They did an incredible job mixing classes with mini competitions, raffles, impromptu workshops and general socializing.  It was all I had hoped it would be.  I am sure you are reading similar stories on 25+ other blogs today so I am sorry if I repeat what others have already said.  I'll just give you the highlights of the weekend from my perspective. 

First thing Saturday morning I went to Lucie Summers' Portholes class.   You might know Lucie as designer of the Summersville line of fabric for Moda, or from her incredible Portholes quilt.  If you don't know the quilt, I snapped a few photos of individual blocks:





This technique gives you a way of layering several different prints of fabric in concentric circles so you get a peep of each in one block.  It is an amazing technique that can be easily applied to nearly any shape, so your opportunities to create are endless.  Lucie gave us a quick demo of the technique and then we were off and running.  



 You can see Judith and Kat were in my class...


As well as Mary, Ceri, Susan, Terri and Judith.  We had a great giggle as newbies trying to work it all out.  In the end, I made one block with four different types of fabric.  I think in the end this will become a child's quilt with 9 blocks and a bit of a border.  I would like to mix it up so that some blocks have huge circles (like this one here - it's about a 12 inch block with a 10 (-ish) inch circle) and some with many smaller circles.  We'll see how it goes.


Between classes we had time to chat.  Chatting with folks was perhaps the best part of the weekend. It was incredible actually talking to people who you feel like you know but have never met in person before.  I know what projects they're working on, some times a bit about their families and/or jobs, have seen photos of their pets, but actually getting to TALK to them was just fabulous.


I spent a little time with the lovely Emily and her Zakka bag made especially for the retreat.  Isn't it lovely?  She even had a skirt made out of selvedges for Sunday!  Incredible.  

After lunch I ran to my English Paper Piecing class with Tasha.  She's a total master of all things EPP, so it was fantastic to sit and learn with her.  I was joined in class by MaryBrioni and Lizzie.


We had a great time chatting while trying to make something that even SLIGHTLY resembled Tasha's example.


Also in my class were Terri and Katie, here with Tasha (AKA: the master).


Right next to us was an embroidery class taught by Aneela Hoey.  Kat, Laura Jane, Trudi and Nicky were so proud of their stitching...as they should be!



I started to re-create Tasha's Square Dance pattern, shown above.  I have a LONG way to go, but am happy with my little piece so far.  I'm making this with left over bits from the Community Quilt, so it will be very colorful and scrappy.  Not sure what I'll make just yet.  Maybe a mini quilt.  Maybe a bag.  I need to see how many repeats I need to stitch to really get the repeat of the pattern and I'll make the decision from there.


After Saturday's classes, we took the opportunity to take a photo with some of the contributors to Stargazing.  I wish the whole bee was here for a huge photo of everyone, but we at least had five of us together.  From left to right you'll see Trudi, the quilter, then Kat, Judith and myself all stitchers in the bee.  Nicky should have been in the photo too, but I didn't get a good picture with Nicky included.  Hopefully someone will send one to me (hint, hint girls!).


This was the first time I saw Stargazing after Trudi worked her quilting magic and it was SPECTACULAR.  Just lovely.  I will bind it this week and will post a gazillion photos for you all to see it in better detail.  Thank you, bee ladies, for such a lovely way to cement our friendship!  It will keep me toasty warm on the couch this winter.

We finished the day with dinner together, organized by the fabulous Susan.  I had the great pleasure of sitting with Laura Jane on one side, Kat on the other and Sarah right across from me.  Who could ask for better dining partners?  I loved, loved, loved spending time with these ladies in person.  Again, being able to hear their voices or see their hand gestures just adds another dimension to their personalities that I never would have grasped from our online relationship. Priceless.

If you were at the retreat and think you escaped the camera lens, you are so wrong.  Check back on Wednesday for photos of the second half of our retreat.  I can't wait to tell you more!

40 comments:

susan said...

Cindy, it was such a true pleasure to meet you. Wish you lived up the road from me, or me from you. I am sure it wouldn't be too different as the cows would sound much the same, only we wouldn't hear them above the sewing and talking!

Archie the wonder dog said...

What a fabulous weekend - I really enjoyed this post and can't wait for part two!

Amanda said...

Sounds like a wonderful weekend, love the quilt patch you did!

Shevvy said...

Such a great weekend - lovely to meet you very briefly.

Nicole Follow the White Bunny said...

Lol, I couldn't fit my story in just one post either...I don't think we met (though I really talked to a lot of people) possibly next year. :)

Leanne said...

I'm glad you are home safely and it was so nice to get to know you better.

Sue Bone said...

Thank you for the personal delievry service, a 241 bag is planned for later this week with the fabrics

Patchwork and Play said...

Thanks for sharing your experience! Love the reverse applique block! Sounds like a great technique!

Catherine said...

It was lovely to have met you Cindy, at long last! I was only there Saturday but it was such an amazing day!

Lizzie Allen said...

It was great meeting you and putting a face to the blog. The community quilt was even more impressive in real life!

Cherie said...

Looks like you all had so much fun! Love the photo updates =D

Cindy said...

Thanks for sharing pictures. It looks so much like a retreat that I might go to here. A bit of a thrill to imagine myself at a quilt retreat in London....with people that I have come to "know."

patchworkdelights said...

wow wow and jealous jealous! Nice one Cindy! Fi

ScissorsandThread said...

Lovely post - with great pictures. It was lovely to meet you.

memmens said...

So fantastic to meet you in person, I can't think straight to write a post yet! Missing you already!

Lynne said...

Actually, yours is the first blog I've read about the event - thanks for sharing so much. It sounds like a lot of fun.

Collette said...

can't wait to hear part two!! so glad you had such fun! love your portholes. I am really hoping they organise one next year and I am going to start saving those pennies now!! x

Jennifer @ Ellison Lane Quilts said...

Looks like you had so much fun and I love your porthole block!

Laura Taylor said...

*blubs* I miss you already Cindy!! I so loved talking with you!

diane said...

so glad you all had a blast and learned so much. But, the best part was meeting everyone, which I hope to be able to do next year.

Judith, Belfast said...

There were certainly lots of hand gestures, lol! It was a pleasure to meet you and see your stargazing quilt too! Now I have a lovely 'real' person to think of when we chat! Jxo

Isisjem said...

Great post and lovely pictures. So much fun to get all the different takes on the weekend.

Nicky said...

Love you Cindy and your quilt ! I felt so happy to see it as it is the first bee quilt I've been involved in! Now just get on and finish it!

tusen said...

So great to know you've had such a wonderful time. I wish I could have been there.

my4lilgirls said...

Oh wow looks like the best weekend, how fabulous to get to spend an entire weekend doing what you love
Karen x

pippablue said...

Ooooh! It looks like so much fun. I love your portholes! You'll have to give me a quick lesson :)

Flying Blind... said...

Lovely memories!

verykerryberry said...

Great piccies! xxx

The Sewing Directory said...

Lu's Porthole quilt looks amazing, I bet it was a brilliant class.

Sorry I didn't get chance to speak to you at the retreat but maybe we'll meet at the next one :-)

{Pink Stitches} said...

Lovely to meet you and thank you for the personalised delivery service of your wonderful fabrics!!!

Clare said...

That star quilt is amazing. Do you like liberated quilting? If so can you PM me please.

Inspiredbyfelix said...

Hi Cindy, what a fab write-up! Makes me want to do it all again, and this time to go to other classes, so I get to do them all! Love love love star gazing, it's awesome :) x

Mish Mash Mama said...

Was so great to meet you, your star gazing quilt is fantastic, what a treasure. xox

Diary of a Flutter.Kat said...

Oh Cindy it was so lovely to meet you in person!! You are everything I imagined and more :)

Brioni Greenberg said...

Lovely to meet you and thrilled you had a great time!!!

Linda Coleman said...

Cindy, I am so jealous, it looks like you had a ball of a time.

Fiona @ Poppy Makes said...

It was soooo lovely to meet you Cindy. Wasn't it just the best weekend? x

Katy Cameron said...

It was so fun to meet you, and lovely to get extra time on Sunday, plus I love your star gazing quilt!

Ester Kiely said...

Looks like you had a great time...lovely photos!

Tacha said...

So lovely to meet you and have chance to chat in my class. Can't wait to see what you make with your colourful square dance.

The star quilt is stunning! Love it!

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