Retreat run down part 2 – the classes

Here’s the second installment of my trip to Fat Quarterly Retreat. In fairness it seems a bit daft to call it retreat as it was anything but relaxing! Don’t get me wrong, it was fabulous, but totally exhausting. I could happily sleep for a week or two. Anyway, back to the run down.
Day one – First up – Hand quilting with Jen Kingwell. I was so excited about the prospect of meeting Jen as she is one of my biggest quilting idols! Unfortunately I missed over an hour of this class due to transport delays and was so hot and bothered by the time arrived that I didn’t actually get to do much hand quilting. Fortunately for me I was lucky enough to have another class with Jen on the Saturday so a major tantrum was unnecessary 😉 No photos to show for this class.
Second class – Embroidery with Jo Avery  – it was fantastic to finally meet Jo! We have known each other online for many years thanks to Flickr in the good old days when it was actually a thriving community. Jo was very patient and encouraging which was particularly helpful as our class was fairly high maintenance 😉 This is as much as I managed to sew in class…

I predict this being finished some time in the next decade 🙂
Day 2 First class – Screen Printing with Karen Lewis – I was ridiculously excited about meeting Karen as we have been in constant email contact since a Flickr swap in 2010. Karen is even more fabulous in real life! Despite Karen’s best efforts I am not a natural screen-printer, I’m blaming it on the early morning and vertigo. While the rest of my class mates churned out numerous perfect pieces I managed 2 semi-decent prints and gave it up as a bad job. Check out this post on Karen’s blog to see what the other members of the group created 🙂

I do have Karen’s awesome new book so I’m not saying never again…

Second class – Green Tea and Sweet Beans with Jen Kingwell – Jen is an amazing teacher! Her down-to-earth style is right up my street. It was an absolute privilege to witness a master at work. Jen was very generous with her expertise and we were all rapt.

I didn’t get a great deal accomplished in class as I was too busy ogling Jen’s quilts! Here’s my sad effort…

…I do love it. I’ve promised myself I’ll finish this quilt before I turn 60 😉 Here’s Jen’s original!

It’s impossible to convey just how beautiful this is in real life but I did take a few close-ups to try and give you a better idea 🙂

Check out the tiny hand quilting stitches!

I was even lucky enough to see the Gypsy Wife quilt! Let me just tell you that it is so much more awesome in real life. The colours are far softer than they appear on the pattern cover. Kerry and I had a good fabric-porn session ogling all those yummy fabrics!

After all that excitement I was pretty much done in so I gave the Sunday classes a miss. The weekend was truly inspirational and I can’t wait to have the energy to get creative again! I’m sure there are plenty of other things I should be telling you here but frankly I’ve run out steam. I am going to leave you with a giveaway! I’ve decided to share these lovely freebies with someone who didn’t attend retreat.

For a chance to win these lovely goodies just leave the comment NOT AT RETREAT. I will draw a winner by random number generator if there are lots of you (or out of a hat if there a handful of you) on Saturday 26th July around 12 midday (BST). Catch you soon x


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