Sunday was wet, I didn’t have a coat and I needed to get all my stuff from my brothers to the retreat, fortunately for me he offered to come with me and carry a bag or 2!
My first workshop of the day was Freezer Paper Piecing with Kerry. I had an idea of what to expect as I’m a regular reader of Kerry’s blog, in fact I was secretly hoping she had a magic wand which could make me instantly as talented as her. Anyway she gave us a great intro to the technique and she had goodies for us too. I should have mentioned that Liberty had come to the retreat on the Saturday with samples of their new quilting weight cottons for us to drool over and a Liberty print bag for each of us, they had also left some fabric with the teachers for us to use, so Kerry emptied the bundles onto the table and let us fight/negotiate over them, I came away with this gorgeous lot:
Then I got tracing, cutting, ironing, cutting and eventually sewing, and made my first spool block with ‘Y’ seams:
If you want an explanation go and read Kerry’s blog, she knows what she’s talking about, suffice to say it’s not easy to do, precision and accuracy are where it’s at.
Encouraged to try a more complex block I choose the house template, not the 4″ one, that did seem like madness but 6″ appeared more manageable. I started prepping for this but didn’t get any of the sewing done…until last weekend. As usual I made a trip to the car boot and on arriving at my fabric haunt found Kerry giving a freezer paper piecing tutorial to 2 other regulars but without any aids! It inspired me to get the house block out and complete it, what better way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon?
Technically I’m pleased with how it came together, delighted that I could remember a week later what Kerry had taught, and realise now I look at it how important fabric choice is. I did think that I had placed my freezer paper in such a way that the stripes on the house would line up – it appears that I was wrong.
I carried a bag of 5 quilts with me to London and unfortunately Delma from Siblings Together was unable to make it to the retreat due to the closure of roads, there was some event or other on that was deemed that important! So I left the quilts I’d made in a pile with others ready to be delivered (i.e. there was no way was I carrying them home again):
Sunday afternoon was spent in the company of some crazy ladies making frame purses;
Katy assured us it was easy and we all seemed to manage it, despite the threat of glue spoiling everything:
Mine is the geometric orange and pink one 2nd from the front on the left. I’d taken an Amy Butler print to use thinking I could fussy cut it, but it wasn’t a whole fat quarter and it wouldn’t quite work so I went with the alternative I had stashed away in case!
And do you know what I can’t really remember much after that! But from looking at my photographs there was the judging of the Iron (Wo)man competition, the winning quilt on the left:
Imagine our delight that despite her busy weekend the Queen was able to take part in this:
Ok so really that is the winning team in disguise but disturbingly after showing this photo to my children, Leah thinks that Prince Harry was really there! (could have been a William mask for all I know).
There was also the winner of the jelly roll race (sorry can’t remember who) who made a quilt in approx 1h 8min! If only I could be that productive.
I think that was it and I had a train to catch so off I went with what felt like millions of others, fortunately I was fast enough to get a seat on the way home completely exhausted after an amazing weekend.
So a great, big huge thanks to the FQ team for organising the weekend. If you missed out you can sort of join in as the FQ Community Retreat special is available for just $5 with a stack of great projects many of which were taught on the weekend, and obviously I couldn’t have gone to every workshop now I can join in at home – assuming that I can find the time!
Looking forward to next year already.