Wednesday, 23 July 2014

A busy weekend

I think I may have said on my last post that I had a blast last weekend! This was my second visit to the Fat Quarterly Retreat and I have to say it might just be the best!
So after trying to recover for the last few days, heres my #fqr2014

First up The Goodie Bag!!! It was a good one, thanks so much to those sponsors.
I started Friday with Paper Piecing with Tacha, you may think it's mad that I took the that class when I can already do it, but I love paper piecing and the idea of several hours doing what I love is my idea of a sewing retreat!! With a massive power cut thrown in, I think we did brilliantly.
I have the book Playful Little Paper Pieced Projects that the Mail Pouches is from and was itching to start on one of the projects. As I didn't read the prep instructions well enough, my pouch is a little on the short and stout size, but I still love it! 
Saturday started for me with the fabulously clever Karen and screen printing. This was the class that I was really hoping to get and was amazed at how easy it was on the small scale.
We had enough time to get two prints done and I was astounded with everyones prints!

After lunch I had Quilt Maths with Lynne and I have to say, I loved seeing how people work out there fabric amounts, which were all very different to my "lets order half a yard and see how we go" approach!

Saturday night was ram packed! It started with swaps……
Thanks Pippa and Dolores
Next a quick stroll down to Shaukat with Sonia and Jen for a little peek at some Liberty treats.
I may have done more than just peek!
Then, it was time for quilt market and I might have bought some pretty things……

Then on to the handover of Siblings Together Quilts, it was amazing the quilts that were made and given!

Later, I was lucky enough to be in the winning team (Team Butler) on the pub quiz and have honestly not laughed as much in a long time.
And was chuffed with my winnings, although I'm not promising I'll pluck up the courage to start that Steam Punk yet and my bingo prize of Celebrate With A Stitch looks like it's got some good projects in it!
On the team was the lovely Reene, who I made a name tag for last year and she wasn't able to attend and she wore it this year, so I had to get a photo, even if it was nearly 11 at night!

On Sunday I got to do Fabulously Fast Tile Quilt with the most down to earth lady Amy Smart, she was just so lovely and just gave us some fantastic tips.
After nearly three hours of sewing away, I've got lots of blocks ready for pressing and the next step.

But, then it was all over…….but in true FQR style the fire alarm went off and our farewells meeting was given on the street.
Lynne looks very serious here!! 
So lastly I would just like to say thank you to that lovely team above of Brioni, Tacha and Lynne and also to their fabulous assistants of the Two Jacks and Sandi, they really made the weekend and made everyone feel like it was fun, inclusive, inviting and although I'm exhausted it was such a relaxing retreat environment, I personally had a ball.
I learnt so much this time, but I think the real thing I've come away with is new friends, meeting Sarah, Sonia, Trash (the social secretary with brownies and a really nice pair!!), Hadley, CaraSarahJo and loads of others. I know it sounds a bit corny but you 'speak' to people on IG, blogs and emails and you feel you sort of know them, but you don't, but now when I read Trash's IG comment I can hear her in my head…..which is slightly worrying!!!! But honestly, if I could do it all again next weekend I would and sadly I can't wait for next year!!!

You can read about everyone else time and classes at the Fat Quarterly linky

Monday, 21 July 2014

I'm exhausted, but so happy.....

...... this weekend has been the best in a long time.

I've laughed so much!

and pulled stupid faces in EVERY photo!

Sewed lots!!

Met amazing people and laughed even more!!!!

I've also bought too much, but we won't linger on that too much!

Once I've recovered from the weekend and a trip to Whipsnade Zoo today, I'll get some better photos of my loot and the weekend from my camera and do a proper post........and I'll answer my emails!!


This is also my 300 post, so for you lot reading my waffle for so long and for sticking around, I feel a giveaway coming soon!!!






Thursday, 17 July 2014

Washi Dress LOVE!!!!

I'm in LOVE!
My second Washi Dress is all done and ready for wearing!
I used Pretty Potent - Echinacea in Outloud by Anna Maria Horner, which I had bought especially, as it has the best mix of bright pinks and turquoises! Although I did hold my breathe as I cut it out!!
But, it worked perfectly.
This time I added piping at the neckline and scooped the neckline down a bit lower.
For the piping and armholes I used a really vivid turquoise bias binding that I had bought from Frumble, the quality of it is so much better than the stuff I've got from HobbyCraft before. Even making the piping was a fairly easy affair, I used a thin piping cord and my zipper foot. I basted it in position before I sewed the neckline to the facings and it went together pretty much first time…..but with a bit of swearing and my zipper foot again. 
It was also the first time I've used a woven interfacing and I could really tell the different in that, it stiffened the fabric, but not so much that I was aware of it when I tried it on. The other stuff I've used before still feels really cardboard-like even after washing!!

Look at this matching!! 
I spent a lot of time when I was cutting out trying to pattern match up the bodice to the skirt, as I think on such a strong pattern I needed the flowers to run through the centre of the dress and I can't believe that I got it as perfect as that!! 

 And here it is on….
As with my first one, I went with my bust measurements and made and XXL in it and the fit is perfect. I just wish I had time to make another before this weekend! 

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Le Challenge #14 - Small

I have been a very very lucky chicken when it comes to Le Challenge, I am fortunate enough to have won twice, with my Charity Quilt winning last month, so although I have a project I don't think I will link up this time for the small theme.
But, this is what I made, it's the Secret Name Tag for my partner at this years Fat Quarterly Retreat and it has two very small bits of sewing.
A really small sewing machine, with it's very own tiny Aurifil Thread, which I paper pieced from this pattern.
And some super small patchwork, those squares ended up at just under ½" each.
The whole tag finished up at about 3"x 4" and I used some yummy Pam Kitty fabric for the lanyard.
I find secret sewing so difficult, I spent ages trailing the internet and even set up a new Pinterest board for name tag ideas.  I really didn't know what my partner would like as she didn't have many Flickr photos and no favourites to sift through, but I figured a sewing machine is topical for a sewing retreat and patchwork for the quilting bit!!!!! 
It was popped into the post last week, with some scraps and hopefully I will get to see it on my partner at retreat.  
Not long now…….

Le Challenge

Friday, 11 July 2014

This time next week...

I'll be travelling across London to go to the Fat Quarterly Retreat. I am just a little bit excited, as I had so much fun last year and learnt so many new things and met lots of lovely people!
And those lovely people at Fat Quarterly have done their linkup for people to get to know each other before hand and so here is my spiel…...
If you don't already know, my name is Joanne and I'm a mum of three, two boys aged 12 & 9, one 3 year old girl and the wife to a very long suffering and patience husband. (who's sure we now have enough quilts and cushions in this house!!)
I live in the very furthest East London, bordering onto Essex. I started sewing properly 2½ years ago, when I pinched my my mums sewing machine to make some Christmas cushions. I did do textiles at school, so knew the basics, but school sewing was more of a chore!!
From making those cushions I was hooked and quickly became aware of quilting through the crazy world of blogging and the rest is buried under a quickly developed fabric stash and the countless cushions and quilts I've made since.

The classes I've got are

Paper piecing with Tacha

Screen Printing with Karen
Patterns into Print with Jenny Fox Proverbs
& Quilt Maths with Lynne

Fabulously Fast Tile Quilt with Amy Smart  

Are you in any of those?

I'm signed up to the Name Tag swap (I've sent my partner her one, but haven't got one back yet) and the sample swap.
I am definitely planning on wearing at least one handmade outfit (the Washi Dress above, if I've finished hemming it!!) and I will be clashing that with my Molly Market Tote (if I get it finished!).

I'm quite shy and quiet at first and am excitedly nervous about going this year, even though it's not my first time going solo, I'm a secret sewist/quilter, so most of my friends old and new have no idea just how much I sew and love it!!

I'm staying at the Grange Hotel, yes I have two child free evenings and I'm looking forward to Trash the Social Secretary keeping us busy!!
And after seeing all of the extra activity, I want to do it all…. sewing on the Friday night for Siblings Together, but also I wouldn't mind popping up to The Village Haberdashery's late night shopping  for a bit of sneaky fabric purchasing….. they have Cotton & Steel….. and I really want to find time to get to Shaukat, which I think is fairly close to Retreat?? and breathe….
Too little time too many fun things to fit in…..
Are you going?

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