Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Fat Quarterly Retreat 2012

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to attend the FQR in London. It is a tall order to try and encapsulate such a brilliant weekend into a blog post, but I will try...

I was up bright and early on Saturday morning and caught the 07.17hrs train up to King's Cross. Tanya and myself were texting each other as were both travelling up to London. I am so glad that I had met Tanya a couple of weeks ago as it made me feel less nervous about walking into a room full of strangers.
Getting to know each other
 When we arrived we were greeted by the Fat Quarterly team.
My first class was with Lucie Summers. Lucie is a really friendly and warm person. Her class was lots of fun and very relaxed. She taught us how to do Portholes which was not as complicated as I first thought it might be. I think that you will see some stunning creations popping up in Blogland.
Portholes with Lucie Summers
It is a great technique and Lucie uses it to make some fantastic quilts.These portholes quilts are just stunning. This lady is seriously talented. See the photos below of some of her work.

 At lunchtime we had our sample swap. I was in a group with (L to R) Teresa, ElisabethNicky and Emily
The swap girls
How lucky was I to receive these sample swaps? Very, I reckon! Thanks girls, they are soooo nice and I will treasure them. This swap kind of sums up the spirit of the retreat.
The sample swaps that I received.
Saturday afternoon I met up with Claudia Toelle as I took her zippered pouches class. Claudia made my name tag for me, so it was really nice to say thank you to her in person. Her class demystified zippers for me and I will definitely be making more pouches in the future.

Saturday evening, I went out to dinner with a great bunch of women and failed miserably to take any photos, so if you want a peak, try here!

On Sunday I did Lynne's class. I was so looking forward to doing this class as I have wanted to make a paper pieced Union Jack pillow cover for ages. Now Lynne was a great teacher but my brain took time to get this technique. Thankfully Mandy was assisting Lynne and she kept me on the right track, as I just couldn't get the back to front thing!
Lynne taking us through paper piecing

One quadrant of a Union Jack
Second quadrant is a work in progress

 I did eventually 'get' this, as my brain caught up with the instructions. Lynne described this technique as marmite. I think that I could get to really like this technique as long as my brain can 'see' how to get the directional fabric the correct way up. I am so eager to finish this project as I just love those butterflies.

My last class was the complete opposite of Lynne's. Instead of being precise and careful we were encouraged to embrace our inner wonk! John took us through wonky log cabin blocks. This was such a laid back class and we had lots of fun. 

It is harder to produce a wonky block than I thought it would be... We are just too used to using that 1/4" foot!

This post is a poor attempt at trying to convey the mix of classes, friendship and fun that was present at the FQR. As you can see, we had a blast. 

The weekend passed so quickly and as the rain fell, late on Sunday afternoon, Trudi and  I collected got our bags and trundled off to Gloucester Road Tube to get up to King's Cross Station with the hordes of Jubilee watchers. I am afraid that the Queen will have to wait for me to catch up with her weekend, although the Red Arrows are now back in Lincolnshire as they flew over my house just a little while ago, after flying over her house!

Just a quick reminder before I go that the Let's Get Acquainted blog hop continues over at  Cinzia from Deux Petites Souris
Kristy from Quiet Play
Di xo


  1. It sounds like it was a very valuable, learning weekend, in addition to being great fun. Sorry I missed it.

  2. Glad you had a fun weekend :) Hope to meet you next year :)

  3. I'm still trying to process it all and I was only there for 1 day! Your makes are lovely, especially like your pouches. No more fear of zips then? Have a great half term week. Jxo

  4. Fly past at yours after the Queen's? Quilting royalty you are! Love your pouches and portholes!

  5. Thanks for a great post - I'm really enjoying reading about it!!
    P.S. So the Queen's fly past was a mere warm-up for yours?!

  6. great to have met you Di: am really hoping that I can be there for the whole weekend next year!

  7. Di - I just realised you and I were in the exact same classes the whole weekend! Very cool :) So pleased to have met you and I hope to keep in touch with you!

  8. I am so impressed with what you got done...iwould have just chatted all day long.....Love the swap too!

  9. Gloved meeting you over the weekend. So glad you had such a fabulous time.

  10. It was the best weekend ever! The Reds flew over my house too! :)

  11. lovely to meet you Di, and funny how we all loved the ease of the wonk after the brainache of the FPP! Oh, and if you're near the Red Arrows home, you must be relatively close to where I spent my last school years last century! My mum now lives in Louth. Look forward to seeing you at the next Retreat!

  12. Sounds like a brilliant weekend :-)

  13. Glad you found your inner wonk!

    Trying to get everyone signed up on Framed Purse Swap so get on over here


    and sign up officially please Di thanks!

  14. And boy was I jealous of those butterflies, they were the perfect fabric for the UJ. So lovely to meet you. X

  15. It was really god fun and lovely to meet you xxx