Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Fat Quarterly Retreat - giveaway winner

Thank you for all your comments on the giveaway post. I hope that those of you who have not been to FQR yet will be able to go in the next few years.

In order to make sure that everyone got their full entitlement of entries, I numbered all the comments and let do its work and the winner is ...


Congratulations to Jo and I hope you enjoy the little bag of goodies.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Fat Quarterly Retreat – sewing, shopping and swapping

I’m back from three days away in London at Fat Quarterly Retreat and I could do with a day off to recover but I’ve learnt lots such as:

  • The weather forecast was right for once and there was no need to pack a raincoat.
  • I’m rubbish at remembering names and faces.
  • Unpicking is not fun when you used a stitch length of 1.3.
  • You have no hope of winning the pub quiz when you have more team members than points.
  • Cathedral Windows can become draughty windows if your points are a bit iffy.

I didn’t take many photos during FQR as I seemed to be too busy sewing or talking, but here’s a quick rundown of the weekend.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Fat Quarterly Retreat – the final countdown

With just two days to go, I hope that apart from packing, everything is done. This is what I hope, but I know that the reality will be lots of last minute sorting and may be even some sewing on Thursday evening.

I signed up for the sample swap and decided to make pincushions as I’d seen some rather cute ring pin cushions on the Liberty Craft blog.  I altered the size to fit the paper hexies I already had and, keeping with the Liberty theme, I made them with some Liberty Bloomsbury fabrics. After seeing what other were making for swaps, I thought just a little ring pin cushion rather miserly, so I decided to make large caddy pin cushions to go with them. These were made using some Mama Said Sew fabric and a novelty sewing fabric. I hope to add the pattern to the blog as a tutorial once I've recovered from FQR. After seeing the little and large pin cushions together (can you see a pattern developing?), I decided that it would be nice to give my swap partners the option of going matchy-matchy and so last night I finished a second batch of ring pin cushions.  All this chopping and changing means that I will have some spare ring pin cushions at FQR - if you would like one, come and find me after the Sample Swap at FQR and see which designs are left.

In an attempt not to leave everything to the last minute, I made the most of a day off last month to get my class supplies sorted and packed. I also managed to pick out the fabrics for the scrap strip swap and the ugly fabric swap and get those folded and bagged. Despite the glorious weather on Sunday, I spent most of the day indoors and had a productive time making an ironing pad that will actually fit in my sewing bag and a notebook cover so that I can have pen, paper and cards all to hand in one place. I had planned to make an insulated cosy for my travel iron, but my travel iron has disappeared off the face of the earth (that might be a bit of an overstatement) - oh well, less last minute sewing I suppose.

If I don't find my travel iron this evening, then I think that all have to do now is to sort out my sewing kit, label everything and get that packed up. Unfortunately, as I hadn't anticipated sunny weather in July, I have realised that my sewing bag doesn't go with any of my summer clothes, but there is no time to make another bag or more summer clothes, so anyone going to FQR will just have to put up with my mismatched wardrobe and accessories.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Fat Quarterly Retreat - my name tag has arrived

Look what waiting for me when I got home from work the other day – it’s my name tag for FQR. Sarah from Duckeggthreads has made it to match colours on my blog and has cleverly included two pockets on the back which will be handy for my Oyster card, room key, small pair of scissors, loose change – in fact most of the essentials I’m likely to need could be kept close at hand.

My photos don’t really do the tag justice – I amazed by how teeny and neat the stitching is and that she has included my rather long blog and twitter name.

If you spot me at FQR, do come and say hello and admire Sarah's teeny stitching.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Fat Quarterly Retreat - this is me

Well, the linky party for FQR started while I was away for the weekend in the Lake District, so this is the first opportunity I’ve had to post my introduction. Anyway, I’m Sara and here’s me trying to take a half decent photo of myself in the hotel room.

For some people the best part of a trip to the Lake District would be the fantastic scenery or the great walking opportunities, but for me it is the short diversion off junction 34 of the M6 to visit the Standfast and Barrack factory shop. S&B print fabric for Liberty and I love Liberty fabrics, but I love a bargain even more and they have some fantastic scrap packs. All fabrics are seconds and it is pot luck as to what prints are available in the packs or by the metre, but that adds to the excitement of a visit. I'm building up a little collection of Liberty lawns, but I still need to find the ideal quilt pattern for them.

Anyway, this post is not supposed to be about all things Liberty, so I better get back on track. I’ve been sewing for more years than I care to admit to, but I only started patchwork and quilting about 18 months ago. I seem to be very good at taking screenshots of quilts that catch my eye and very good at buying fabric when it too catches my eye, it is just the sitting down and sewing that seems to be my weak point.  I’ve made a few baby quilts, one full sized quilt and several smaller patchwork projects, but that’s all. I’m even newer to blogging than I am to P&Q and you’ll find a bit more about me and my sewing projects in previous blog posts.

As I've so much to learn about P&Q, I was very excited by the range of classes offered at FQR, but a little disappointed that we would only have time for four classes. It was very difficult to pick my favourites from the list, but I was lucky with my allocation and I will be doing Cathedral Windows, Curved EPP, Paper Piecing and Fantasy Fabric Shop. I didn’t go to last year’s FQR and although a friend from Liverpool Sewing Club is also going this year, we are doing totally different classes. It is slightly scary just how quickly FQR is approaching – I’ve sorted out my supplies and sent off my name tag, but I’ve still my sample swaps to finish.

One final photo,and not the most flattering, just to prove that i) I didn’t just sit in the hotel admiring my fabric bargains and ii) there are sometimes patches of sunshine in the Lake District.