Sunday, 3 June 2012

Surrender and retreat!

(Apologies in advance for those of you who were unable to get to the retreat, and are basically fed up of hearing all about it)

But..... woooo hooo I was there on Saturday.  This is Baden Powell House, where we met for the Fat Quarterly Retreat.

It was madness when we arrived. With everyone trying to find someone they knew, in amongst a game of staring at the names on everyones chests to collect 6 signatures on a card.

For me, looking back, the whole day felt quite surreal.  It was kind of like stepping into a novel that I had been reading for a long while and becoming a character within the plot.  It was, on the one hand, wonderful and intriguing and enlightening to meet people that I feel I already know, and getting to know some fabulous new people.  It was inspiring to see such sewing talent amongst the people there.  And made me feel like a very small fish in a very big pond. 

In the morning I did a freezer paper piecing class.

Here's the view from my desk (yes it was like sitting in a large exam hall with rows of desks with sewing machines on!)

Not the clearest photo - but Rachel can you see the tip of your zippy pouch full of my sewing goodies, and Lynz can you see your little booklet full of my pins and needles in use???

I was glad to have the opportunity to give this technique a go.

Then it was time for the sample swap.

This took place in the sunshine on the roof terrace.  I am so thrilled with my swap items, and I do hope the recipients of my pot holders manage to put them to some kind of use in their kitchens!!  I got a lovely mini bag full of sewn coasters, a fab folder with notebook and pen in it - definately will be showcased at work - and a beautifully hand sewn reminder of the retreat, and a fab zippy pouch.

After lunch and more nattering with lovely people (in fact I met some great people over lunch - who had to put up with me constantly trying to get them to take my place in the iron man quilting contest - who on earth put me in the contest, I've never made a quilt in my life!!!)

Then I went to the wonky log cabins class with John. 

And made this.....

Then one of the highlights of my day was a wonderful hour with Carol and Helen over a cuppa (or barcardi breezer in Carol's case - who meant to order an orange juice!!).  I live a very simple life, with a small diameter in terms of the places I go and distances I travel and people I meet, and this hour reminded me just how much the blogging community has offered to me, and how much I gain from it.  And I feel hugely thankful for a lovely day.... 

My only regrets are that there were two people I had really really hoped to meet, Jude (Just Jude) who I have started sending bee blessed blocks to, and Sarah (Narcoleptic in a Cupboard) who I wanted to thank for my fabulous pouch, neither of whom I managed to cross paths with.  My other regret was that I was not there for the sibling's together quilt showing, this is a charity close to my heart as I work so hard with so many siblings trying to keep them together, and help them come to terms with situations when they can't live together  - so there's a reason to go next year!



  1. It was a Grand Day Out! Di x

  2. Great post - thanks for sharing. I'm hoping I can go next year. It's great living vicariously through everyone's blog posts and photos on flickr. I know what you mean about surreal though as I experienced this the first few times I went to Bookcrossing meet ups. People 'knew' me and I was quite famous without even realising it!

  3. Loving hearing all about the Retreat and your experiences there.

  4. Oh Tan I am sorry :-( It was a bit of a mental day wasnt it! Probably didnt help that I had to disappear and sleep for most of the afternoon... Next year!!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing and showing!
    It makes me feel a little bit of me was there, with the pouch! Glad it is being useful! And very pleased you enjoyed your day.

  6. I didn't realise we had paper piecing together, how did yours turnout? I was really surprised how precise you could be with it (as I am not morally careful enough for little things like matching corners, but I managed it, mostly, in the class)

  7. I'm glad you had fun (and gladder still that my wee needle book was useful!) - although it all looks a bit frantic for my tastes. Lovely makes, too, nice job!!

  8. Hey T, I'm so gutted I didn't get to meet you! I kept asking folks where you were, but could never find you among the chaos! Perhaps next year we will get together! So glad you had a great time - it was brilliant wasn't it? Jxo

  9. The whole weekend was so surreal and it will take me ages to get all the people and conversations straight in my head xxx

  10. I'm sure I've read and commented on this post but it seems not!!

    It sounds like a brilliant day and I love your swap goodies!!

  11. it was fab to meet you Tanya - see you soon I hope x

  12. Hello Tanya - I LOVED meeting you and having our little tete à trois with Carol - one of my fave bits of the weekend too! FQ was all such fun and people were wonderful and it was one of the few occasions where I actually wished I lived in England ;-). Anyway, now that you're on my radar I shall keep in touch and hope I get to see you next year!! best wishes, Helen xx