Wednesday, 24 July 2013

FQR13: Part 2 Saturday & Sunday

So I'm back with another Retreat instalment. Saturday morning I had Free Motion Quilting with Trudi. Other than some pretty bad stippling I've never done any FMQ. I really wanted to know some tips and tricks so I could go home and practice on my own machine and not spend ages scratching my head sort of knowing where I was going wrong, but not know how to put it right.  Trudi told us a lot about thread, needles and the need to practice, practice, practice. I shall certainly be doing the latter.  I also (and I wasn't the only one) didn't realise that it's ok and actually preferable if your stitches are not too big.

Trudi's FMQ in the main room.
The Main Hall where everyone was learning to FMQ

Trudi suggested if we didn't like to use gloves, then sections of the stuff to make shelves non slip (you know for glasses) was ideal as you got the grip without hot sweaty hands. Or in Thrifty's case below: sweaty paws.

Thrifty was better at FMQ than me!
Thrifty was better at FMQ than me!

Some simple shapes were a bit easier than others. I couldn't do the 'c' shapes for some reason. I'll be doing lots of practice though.
I need a lot of practice. These are my squiggly hearts 

I was quite pleased with my hearts.

I was meant to be doing Trapunto in the afternoon. I arrived at 1.30pm only to find since looking at the board before lunch, they'd split the class into two sections and I wasn't required until 3pm. Other people had already left by that stage to go shopping or do other stuff and I felt a bit like a spare part on my own. I had a walk around Kensington and contemplated a trip to the V&A. But it was a bit to hot and stuffy. So I ended up going back to my hotel room. I think it's really good they have a feed back thread on flickr because through the course of the weekend I did wonder about people that had come alone, not knowing anyone and how easy it would have been for them to mix in. Especially if they were shy.  I never did make it back for Trapunto...

Baden Powell House where FQR 2013 was held
Baden Powell House where FQR 2013 was held!

I had sample swap at 4.30pm so headed back to BP house and the roof terrace - where most of the socialising went on for the whole weekend. I can't show you my sample swap items yet because I've not photographed them. 

Quilt Market was taking place and a quiz. I missed the quiz as I went along to dinner early, so I could be back in time for the raffle. I met some lovely people to have dinner with.  We went to a Moroccan restaurant. I'd never been to a Moroccan restaurant before and I really enjoyed the food.  I wasn't very hungry by this stage because the exhaustion of the weekend and the feeling of general unwellness had been kicking in since lunch time. It was still fun though.

Dinner on Saturday Night

One thing I loved about the retreat was meeting different people. These were just such a lovely bunch and they let me tag along, even though only Katy knew me before. 

I had been looking forward to quilt market all day.  However, when I finally got there just before the raffle I was so tired I struggled to buy anything. I know! I will show you in another post what I did get. I'm still kicking myself I missed out on getting Lu Summers Improv book. Still it's on my wish list on Amazon. I only have to wait until September for it to be released!

The Raffle was cool - even though I didn't win anything. The sponsors had been incredibly generous especially Aurifil and Liberty.

A lucky winner in the Raffle
John handing out a prize. See the blue bag. Full of raffle prizes. 
Seriously good stuff!

After the Raffle Katy and I headed back to our room so Katy could bind one of two quilts she needed to finish before the next day, as she was handing over the quilts to someone else.  I admire her staying power - machine binding until the early hours of Sunday morning!!!!

Katy at stupid O'clock in our hotel room binding one of two quilts that needed to be finished before Sunday!
Katy burning the midnight oil

It was a great chance to see her Strip Tease Stitch Tease quilt. It has so many great details to it. 

Katy with her stitch tease bee quilt

Katy showed me all the fabulous details

"Hey" said Jack. "It's me on the back of the bike...
Jack was pretty impressed some of the most important 
details had been included in the quilt

Whilst chatting I checked my mobile and discovered a message to say my cousins husband had died. It wasn't totally unexpected, but it was sad news and all the more stressy as it was too late for me to ring and get more details or offer any support to my cousin, who I am very close to. 

I still wasn't asleep at 3.15 am. There had been a party in the mews by the hotel which had stopped by then, but had left me feeling over tired and exhausted and reflective because of more sad news. When I woke up...early... I felt really ill and there was no way I was going to make it into my last table top session with Lu Summers. I was bummed about that as I'd spoken to Lu several times on Friday in the upstairs corridor and really took to her - SOOOOO funny. I knew her table top session was going to be a lot of fun and I couldn't believe I missed out on her book and her class!

I had breakfast alone, which I struggled to eat, checked out of the Grange and sat for the morning in the Grange lounge and made like a zombie. I remember feeling bored, but too tired to do anything. I think other guests came in stared briefly then went on with their business.  It's all a bit of a blur now.

So if you wondered why I didn't come say good bye or looked for me on Sunday morning, I didn't make it to Baden Powell House at all. It was a bit of a flat way to end the weekend, but really at the time I could barely function so I had little choice.

I hope if you went it was good for you. I am only sorry there wasn't more time for me to chat to more people.

My next post will be about the stuff I bought or was given. Yes, there really is enough to fill a whole post and I was being restrained!


  1. Aw pity I didn't get to speak to you a bit more! But now I know why!

  2. I know what it is like for Retreat to not turn out the way you planned, with my 'accident' last year; it will make next year more special!

    PS. Lu only had a couple of books as the rest were stuck in Customs. You could email her and paypal her the £ for a pre-Amazon copy xxx

  3. sorry to hear you were too tired to enjoy the end xx

  4. Know how you feel sweetie, I fell asleep and missed the whole afternoon last time, and I was only there for one day!!
    Thanks for all your great photos on flickr, I've really appreciated them.

  5. Oh poor you, I wondered what had become of you. Hopefully next year it will all go much more smoothly and will be perfect!

  6. Oh sweetie sorry it wasn't the best time but at least you had dinner with a fab group of people! Sorry about your sad news.
    I'm hoping to go next year and hope you'll come too so we can hang out together :)

  7. Sorry I didn't get to speak to you much, but it was lovely to meet you. Jack and Thrifty were great too, hope to see you all again soon.

  8. Sorry to hear that your weekend didn't end too well, it was a shame that we didn't get more chance to chat. Love your fmq though, I can do "c"s but my hearts look like bums :-)

  9. Awww man! If you were alone you could have sat with me, I had a couple of "alone times" too but not long enough to go to the V&A which I really wanted to do, I would have gone with you. Next year, OK? :)

    Hope your family are doing OK as much as possible.

  10. Sorry to hear you had such a sad ending to the retreat. I wondered where you had gone, wanted to say goodbye to you. Sorry we barely got a chance to meet up over the weekend but glad at least I got to say hi to you :)

  11. Not a great ending but lots of good stuff happened as well. Thank goodness.

  12. Glad you got lots of good stuff in before the crash, hope you're feeling better now!

  13. I felt a bit bad reading this post as Katy was up late binding that quilt for me to take and I actually picked it up from her last Thursday instead! Also I keep forgetting to tell you that you will have a quilt in our exhibition (starts Saturday!), as Fiona is putting her Brit Quilt swap mini in that you made her!! :D


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