I realize nearly everyone else who attended the Fat Quarterly Retreat has already posted about their time at the retreat, but took me a while to get that organized. Please just play along nicely and let me reminisce.
About 10 days ago I woke up before the sun and made my way down to the airport to grab a flight to London. I was really looking forward to an hour of quiet time to myself, a coffee, the newspaper and a little happy stitching. I pulled out my Big Stitch Swap cross stitch and x-ed my way to the land of the Union Jack.
The retreat was just lovely - lots of old friends complimented by several new-to-me faces who were very enthusiastic, happy and chatty. It was a lovely crew of folks to share a weekend. I signed up for five classes, each of which was led by a really patient, excited, knowledgeable instructor. Some classes really inspired me and others just did not suit me, but I am glad I tried them all. It was a great adventure. Quickly, let's run through two of them...I will save the others for a second post.
First up is Amy Smart's Fabulously Fast Tiles class where we started making a quilt top from her new book. This is a very basic, straight forward pattern of strip piecing that will come together quite quickly if I could (or when I will) dedicate a weekend to it. I am quite happy to have it in my tool belt for a go-to gift.
Amy was chatty, clear, friendly and was wonderful answering our many questions. She gave us hints and tips as we went about how we could get more fabric variation in our top or which fabrics to choose.
There were also very clear instructions for cutting/squaring and piecing a top on point. Look at Di there soaking it all in!
I stitched like the mad woman I am and came up with a few tiles and lots of pairings to give me a running start when I pick this project up again in August. I love the fabrics here and can't wait to dive in again. It's the perfect project to pick up and stitch in the evening after work.
I also signed up for Karen's screen printing class. I was SO excited to take Karen's class as I've been a huge fan of her work for quite some time now. She tempts me with her creations daily on that darned IG feed of hers! We stared out with an overview of how you screen print with the stencil method and a few dos and don'ts from the master herself.
|She looks like she's yelling at us here, but she's really very nice and cute!|
And then we dove in, sketching cutting and taping. To my right was the famous Hadley causing all kinds of trouble and to my right Nicky and Reene. You know there was a bit of messing in the front row of class.
I warn you now, that this class has taken over the creative side of my brain and I am obsessing about the next time I can screen print something/anything. Nothing is safe in our house. You will absolutely see me pulling out the paint and a squeegee as the summer moves on.
I brought with me a little clip art sewing machine that I could easily trace and print. It worked relatively well, but as the printing went on I slowly lost detail like the needle. I can just backstitch that in as I go. I'm not worried.
The screens made by my class mates were just amazing. There was a wonderful mix of birds, text, fruit, more traditional almost Dutch barn designs and household items. These were the few that really caught my eye.
|Really really liked the idea of printing on another print. What a cool combo!|
I lost my mind a small bit and went from my trial printing on newsprint to my little class supply tote...
And then onto my retreat goodie tote, followed by all of the Kona White scraps that I brought with me. I don't know what came over me, but I was just delighted with the process and couldn't stop. I will cut around the machines on the Kona White and use them in pouches, etc. They're so darned cute!
In the end, Karen helped me work through a stencil to print the my favorite fluffy sheep. I just need to stock up on ink and find a sunny weekend and there will be a pile of quilt labels made with my small friend.
Come on back later in the week and I will tell you all about my two Jen Kingwell classes. She was AMAZING. We even saw her famous quilts up close and personal. There may even be a giveaway included! Don't miss out.