Fat Quarterly Retreat 2013: The Classes

First of all, the retreat was great. If you have been dithering about going, stop and book a ticket for next year as soon as possible. It is so much fun.

Friday morning I got ready to hop on an earlier train to London as I had been given a last minute ticket to the Liberty talk which had been organised by the Fat Quarterly Team. It was all about how the designers find inspiration for their beautiful fabrics. Sadly my train was really late and I arrived in London when the talk was almost over. Not a great start to the weekend but I wasn’t going to let this upset me and instead took a taxi to my hotel.

Waiting for the train

After dropping Edna and my bags at the Radisson I ambled over to the Baden-Powell House to meet up with lots of crafty and creative ladies and gentlemen. It was so much fun to see some ‘old’ friends and meet lots of new ones. Soon it was time for my first class, EPP curves. I didn’t get much done as I was having too much fun chatting with Di from Quiltova and Helen from runquiltknitwrite. However, I have taken all my bits and bobs out today and am hoping to finish this little block tonight.

EPP Curves

Friday evening was spent on the terrace chatting and looking at fabulous quilts. Delma from Siblings Together came to pick up the quilts that people had made for the charity. Because I’d been ill before the retreat I hadn’t managed to hand sew the binding onto the back of my quilt. So I sat on the terrace stitching like mad to get it finished. The lovely Jane (Teacupfaery on flickr) offered to help and I gratefully accepted. It was very much a last minute finish so I didn’t actually get to take a picture of it. If you’d like to see it finished there is a picture here in the Siblings Together group pool.


Saturday morning my first class was Improv with Lu Summers. I’ve been admiring her improv minis for ages and was incredibly excited about learning some of her techniques. I had so much fun (I think Lu is one of the funniest people on this planet) as I was sitting with some great people. I shared my sewing machine with Rachel from House of Pinhero who is such a nice, beautiful and generous person. I’ve been following her blog for quite a while as she makes the most wonderful clothes. She gave me lots of tips and I’m now really excited to start making my own well-fitting clothes. It’ll probably have to wait until after our move but that’s alright.

Improv Mini

I was under a bit of pressure to finish my improv mini as my next class was hand quilting with the lovely Mandy. Mandy’s hand pieced and quilted quilts are totally drool worthy. The one below is her version of the Green Tea and Sweet Beans quilt by Jen Kingwell of Amitié Textiles and I would have loved to discreetly stuff it into my bag. I brought some batting and backing for my mini so that I could hand quilt it in Mandy’s class. However, they were both too small as my mini ended up rectangular rather than square. I’ve decided to unpick the quilting again and start again with a bigger piece of batting and backing rather than cutting off some of the quilt. Watch this space.

Mandy's Quilt

My last class on Sunday morning was making a flexi pouch with Tacha Bruecher. I loved making the x and + blocks from tiny little pieces but got a bit stressed out by the fact that Edna doesn’t have a quarter inch foot. In the end I didn’t finish my pouch as the top was falling apart because I hadn’t backstitched properly. I might just take the whole thing apart again and fix it with the help of my Bernina. I still had lots of fun chatting (I think there might be a theme here) with the lovely ClaudiaAmy and blogless Helen.

Tiny x and + block

Right, those were my classes and they were all brilliant. I came home totally inspired and am already looking forward to next year. In the next blog post I’ll tell you all about the wonderful gifts I received and goodies I bought. TTFN!

Claudia and Elisabeth


Teacher Gifts

I have had an absolutely fabulous time at the Fat Quarterly Retreat and I will get round to writing a post about it very soon but first I would like to show you some mug rugs I made as teacher gifts for Little Miss Bossy-Boots’ teachers and teaching assistants.

A little while ago I bought ‘25 Patchwork Quilt Blocks‘ by Katy Jones of Monkey Do fame. For Christmas I gave all the teachers a fabric bucket filled with chocolate, this year I decided to make them mug rugs. I was a bit too quick wrapping them all up so I only have these Instagram pictures to show you.

Mug Rugs I

Mug Rug IIThe mug rugs are all made with scraps and some Kona Snow or Sketch in Mist. As always I pieced and quilted them with my trusty Aurifil 50 wt. Because I didn’t have that much time I kept the quilting to a minimum, simply echoing some of the shapes.

I added some tea and biscuits in the bag but didn’t actually have the time to get them a mug (that’s what you get when you organise presents at the last minute because you go gallivanting in London). Hopefully they get some mugs from one of the other children.


The List: FAL Q3

I’m joining in with the Finish-A-Long, hosted by Leanne of She Can Quilt, again. What can I say? I didn’t finish a single thing on my FAL Q2 list. No, not one; although I have made some progress on Master’s bag and Little Miss Bossy-Boots’ quilt. My FAL Q3 will therefore look much like Q2.

1. Master’s Bag

Master's BagThis just needs the flap and handle attached. I’ve promised Master to finish it this week so I really need to find an hour or so to sit down at the machine.

2. Little Miss Bossy-Boots log cabin quilt.

Pink Log CabinsI’ve got the quilt top finished but am debating adding a border to make it a little bit bigger. As I’m sure you’ve gathered by now, decisions aren’t my forte. Missy likes it the way it is, so I might just go with it and keep it at 48″ x 48″.

3. Athea Spring Version and Bloom

Athea Spring Version and BloomStill not sure what to turn them into, so I’m going to think about it a little longer.

4. In the Woods

In the Woods Finished

I’ve taken the papers out and given it a good press. So now I need to decide what to turn it into.

5. Spring Carnival

Spring Carnival Progress

No progress at all. However, I’m going to bring it to FQR as I need help with deciding how to continue. I really want to make it bigger but have now run out of the stripy fabric fabric I used for the centre. Hopefully I will be able to finish it after FQR.

6. The Siblings Together Quilt

Siblings Together QuiltI need to baste, quilt and bind it before next Friday so I can hand it over at the Fat Quarterly Retreat.

This list is ridiculously long and very ambitious, especially considering that I’m moving to Switzerland in August. Never mind, I’ll try my best to at least finish a couple of things.





It’s Almost Time

Fat Quarterly Retreat 2013 is almost upon us and I’m joining in with the linky party here.

My name is Elisabeth and I live in a small village in lovely Cambridgeshire, England. I won’t be here for much longer though as I’m moving back to Switzerland in August. I usually look like this:Me, myself and I

(although I’m hoping to get a visit to the hairdresser’s in before FQR) and will be wearing this:

Name Tag by Leanne (She Can Quilt)

My fabulous name tag was made by the incredibly talented Leanne from She Can Quilt. She’s one of my quilting heroines so you can imagine how it feels to have a name tag made by her. That foundation paper pieced ‘e’ is 1″ square!

I’ve been sewing since I was a girl but only started quilting a couple of years ago. So far I’ve only made one quilt, although two are now ready to be basted and quilted in the next few days. However, I have made quite a few mini quilts and cushion covers. My favourite is hand sewing and I love drawing and sewing my own English Paper Piecing patterns. There are a couple of free patterns on the tutorials page if you are interested and I’m working on two more which will hopefully be added soon.

I also make bags. This one was made especially for the retreat with some Boho for Moda mini charms although I’m now in quandary as it doesn’t go with any of my coats or cardigans. I might just have to make another one…

Boho Bag

My classes are: Improv with Lu Summers, English Paper Piecing curves with Julianna and Joanna, Flexi purses with Tacha Bruecher and Hand Quilting with Mandy. I’ve got all my materials ready (except for quilting needles and embroidery floss) and have put my name on my mat, ruler and rotary cutter. Oh yes, I’m ready.