Monday, 29 July 2013

Fat Quarterly Retreat....

 Oh, where to start.  Hmm, I honestly don't know.

Here is what I do know. I came back from Retreat, knackered, absolutely wiped out.  And whilst I didn't exactly set the world on fire with the amount of sewing finishes, I think 48 hours of sensory overload was just too much for me.  And so here we are, 7 days later and I haven't fully recovered- what a wimp!

I had a great time.  I got to chat to loads of real life and online friends, there were many I didn't get to speak to, and really wished I had.  It's strange, many people I speak freely and openly with online, but in person, it was a lot harder- i guess there is only so much looking at peoples chests to see their name tags you can do before you look like a bit of a perv!

After getting my fab goodie bag, some very generous sponsors, thanking you all!

Classes started out on Friday afternoon with English Paper Piecing with Curves- hosted by the lovely Joanna and Julianna.  There were around 20 of us giggly and nervous learners huddled around a table, with 2 very nervous teachers.  But after a few minutes we managed to settle in, and the hour and a half flew by, before I knew it the time was up and I had 2 pieces together, pathetic, and another WIP to add to the pile!

After a little light refreshment on the terrace (the weather was glorious) we headed to the Med Kitchen for our evening meal.  The food was superb, and they managed to feed nearly 40 hungry, cackling ladies very efficiently, if only the air con had been working properly, it was sweltering, and I could barely stop myself from melting.  The lovely Emily brought us all gifts, isn't she adorable!

After a reasonably early night, in my room for 6 in the hostel (not as bad as you might think, took me back to my hosteling days in Oz), and a very good nights sleep, i was up and raring to go on Saturday.  The rest of my classes involved stalking learning from the very funny Lu Summers, Improv and Portholes classes.  

Unfortunately the Improv was split over 2 rooms, and some of the lovely ladies I knew were in the other room, but it probably made me a bit more productive :o).  I carried on working through lunch to get the Improv Mini (snigger) finished, as I needed it to do my Hand Quilting class the following day (also with Lu)
Improv Block from @lusummers class #fqretreat
I'm rather chuffed with how it turned out, I kind of listened to Lu, and half ignored her instruction, and it's the kind of "just go with it" solids sewing that really appeals to me.

In the afternoon the Portholes class started in the main hall, and I sat with the lovely Hadley and Kerry, and we giggled our way through 3 hours of class, the naughty girls at the back.  I just finished 2 proper blocks, which I think I will be using for 2 baby quilts I need to make in August, as 2 of my girlie friends are expecting girls any day now.
Portholes Technique from #fqretreat
I did make an Improv Porthole, but unfortunately the colours are a bit blah, too dark for my tastes, I was thinking I might make it into a pincushion, but maybe not. 

Saturday night involved an early meal with Sarah, Sonia, Marit and Rachael, at a local eaterie, yum.  It was also sample swap night, and I somehow lucked out and ended up in a group with Marit, Susan, and Brioni, check out these beauties! 
Photos shamelessly stolen from Susan
Photos also stolen shamelessly from Susan
And so Saturday night we headed to Quilt Market, and made a few purchases.  I couldn't resist Lu's new book (of course as I have a little crush on her, talent wise only of course!), my copy should arrive as soon as the burly men at the docks have finished educating themselves on the joys of Improv.  
Katy J's newest book also jumped into my hands, there are some really cute blocks in there (you know what a sucker I am for a book).  
I made a little trip to the Oakshott table and picked up this cute little pile, who could resist?  

And a little drive-by to Leanne for one of her scrap packs, who doesn't love her hand printed fabrics?  

And a couple of little cuties for my collection.....

Hadley also managed to tempt me to one of her little Liberty pretties, who could resist?

After Quilt Market I helped the lovely Tracy from Pin It And Stitch to pack up her car and break down her stall, and headed to bed for an early night once Kerry and I had been kicked off the terrace for the evening.  

Sunday saw my Hand Quilting class with Lu, and she genuinely had me giggling the whole time, she has a really dirty sense of humour that I totally get, I guess it must be an East Anglian thing, there isn't much going on in the countryside where we grew up!

The Retreat finished with many goodbyes, and Sarah and I hurrying back to get the car, and bringing it round to Baden Powell House for our bags before the drive home.  

It was a great weekend, and I can't really convey the full extent of the fun and chatting, I'm sorry, but I can thoroughly recommend it, thoroughly.

Ange x


  1. Wow, looks like all your christmases came at once! Glad you had such a great time :-)

  2. I think that sums it up pretty perfectly :D Though if you're still tuckered out you need to man up ;)

  3. Great recap - Sorry we didn't get to meet. You are not a wimp. I didn't make it in on Sunday I was like an extra from The Walking Dead. You picked up some good swag!

  4. It was lovely to meet you there, and I had a fab weekend too - I think you've captured the overwhelming wonderfulness of it rather well, actually!

  5. What an adventure! This is something I would love to do someday.

  6. It's so difficult to actually convey isn't it?! Think we had quite a few shared purchases - most of mine were driven by inspiration from Lu's Improv class!!!!! Maybe next year (!) we'll get to spend a bit more time together.....!?!?!?!?!

  7. Stealing my photos!! How could you? ;-)

  8. it truly was an amazing weekend ! You've inspired me to get a blog post up!

  9. It's your age hindering the recovery you know ;o) And we always knew you were a perv :oD

    See you next year :oD

  10. Sounds like you had a great time, no wonder you needed time to recover!

  11. Your improv is really beautiful Ange - I really want Lu's book now!

  12. Sorry we only got to say hi briefly. It was such a great weekend wasn't it? Looking forward to next year!

  13. Oh thank you! Your post makes me feel so much better! I was so hoping I would meet you, and others I've been admiring online for the year, but I also get way too overwhelmed in public! I'm also exhausted, a week after the fact! You were perhaps in the naughty room for Lu's improv class? But we must have been at the table together for the hand sewing... I think I was across from you, and the swedes also have nasty humor. Needed that good laugh! Your improv came out super! Hope to meet for reals next year.

  14. It was a fun weekend for sure. It took me an age to process it all and physically recover! Di x

  15. Sounds like a fab weekend! And you certainly have some great sewing to show for it too! :-)

  16. Some lovely purchases .... Love the Fanny Pack and the Oakshott. There were just so many people to talk to I found it difficult to get around.

  17. You hit the nail on the head with 'sensory overload', it really was a great weekend. Thanks again, Sarah x

  18. You blogged much quicker than I did and look it still took me a week to even read your blog. I'd say I am still on sensory overload. Lovely post, Ange.

  19. Ha! Never thought about the looking at the chest/nametag thing that way. Sounds like a wonderfully lovely, challenging and fun time.


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