STASHING #24

Last weekend, when I attended the Fat Quarterly retreat in London, I took with me a small suitcase, filled mostly with clothes, toiletries and the like, as well as an over-the-shoulder canvas bag that held the majority of my class supplies.  I imagine it comes as absolutely no surprise to you then that during the return journey home, my shoulders were burdened with an additional two bags.  Bank balance and musculature alike were not happy with the obscene amount of fabric I had managed to accumulate over the course of the retreat.

But what a retreat it was!  I swooned into London with all the excitability of a child at Christmas.  I had no idea what to expect and was, if I’m honest, a little nervous.  I needn’t have been.  The weekend was a delight from start to finish, so much better than I could have ever imagined.  I meet so many wonderful people, took some great classes taught by some greater teachers and, much to my disbelief, walked away with an even bigger sense of love and pride for the community we find ourselves in.  The passion was palpable.  In every room creativity bred, passing from person to person like an infectious laugh.  It was intense; days filled with fabric, friends and the odd power outage.  Seams were sewn and ripped alike; cutting, pressing, laughing and singing, all culminating in a teary farewell on the street outside Baden Powell House, thanks to a rather ill-timed fire alarm.  Wonderfully organised and incredibly rewarding, I’m already looking forward to the next one!

What made it so much fun for me were the people.  Before the retreat Id touched base with a few people on Instagram, most notably Kelly, who posts as the_orriginal.  As well as looking through her stash for any Tula I needed, Kelly was kind enough to be a fabric mule for me.  She told me she lives close to Intrepid Thread, and that if there was anything I wanted she’d be happy to bring it over for me.  Well, I don’t need asking twice!

Not wanting to over-burden her, I tried to restrain myself.  Unfortunately fortunately the store hadn’t received their delivery of Cotton and Steel by the time Kelly had to leave for London, so I limited my self to a fat quarter bundle of Indelible by Katarina Rocella.  This stunning debut collection is heavy with my favourite colours, teals, greys and mustards, and features a shade of purple that simply begs to be seen in real life.  Graphic lines mix beautifully with flora and fauna to make a truly striking collection.  I can see me needing more of this before to long.

I couldn’t let Kelly leave just yet though, not before I’d scored another fat quarter bundle, this time Brambleberry Ridge by Violet Craft.  This seemingly endless collection blends soft pastels with vivid greens, purples and metallic ink.  Like the indelible, this collection features stags, as well as birds and other woodland creatures.  There are so many useable prints my mind is doing over time trying to come up with a quilt design that will do them justice.

Go and seek out these fabrics at once!  You will not be disappointed!

I’m so greatful to Kelly for bringing these all the way from the states for me.  I have a lot more goodies that I acquired at #FQR2014 to share with you all, but you’ll have to wait until next week for the juicy details.  I’ve got to keep a little something back! so, after all of my recent extravagance, the stash looks like this…

Like I said on Instagram…it’s a sickness.

As usual, I’m linking up with Molli for Sunday Stash.  I’ve already had a nose around at who’s bought what and it’s looking pretty from where I’m sitting.  I suggest you go and do the same!

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MY HEAD RUNNETH OVER!

Oh my goodness you know when you have so much to say and you think you’ll never be able to say it all so you don’t take a breath and talk really quickly and then you think of something else you want to say and the list grows longer and longer and you start to fidget because the words and the sentences are growing and growing and building up in your brain like a pressure cooker but there’s nowhere for the words to go and it feels like your head may explode so you wish you could just snap your fingers and have it all stream out of your mouth in a wonderful wordy rainbow!

Phewwwwww!

Let’s stop there, if only to remember that punctuation is my friend.  In all seriousness, I think the last few weeks may have been the busiest quilty ones I’ve had since I stated this blog.  I mean my last post was weeks ago!  I apologise to anyone who may have been crawling the wall waiting for me to say something (no, no one?) but now that I’m here I do have a lot to share.  Firstly, and perhaps the most exciting news, is that this happened this week…

Hold the front page!  It’s only my dream machine, on the back seat of my dad’s car, making its way to my house!  After much research and nervous deliberation I finally succumbed to my inner desires and bought this beauty.  In my defense, the deal I was able to score, what with sale savings and the trading in of my old, beloved machine, was far too good to turn down.  I wasn’t expecting to be upgrading quite so early but I’m so glad I did.  You may not be able to believe that I haven’t actual sewn with it yet, just lovingly unpacked it and placed it proudly in the attic.  I’ve scoured the menu and will settle down with popcorn for the instructional DVD sometime soon.  The weather here has been unbearably hot and humid, no more so than in the attic, so that’s put me off a little.  But, bee blocks and future projects wait for no man, not even the weather one, so I’m excited at the prospect of having a good play very soon.  I’ll be sure to write up my thoughts and let you all know how I got on.

In other news, I attended the Fat Quarterly retreat in London last weekend.  I’m going to do a full write up when I blog about Sunday Stash this weekend, simply because I couldn’t talk about how much of an awesome time I had without mentioning all of the amazing goodies (not to mention the strained necked from the weight of said goodies) that I came back with!  Let me just say that it was such an amazing experience, full of creative people from all over the world, all joined in their shared passion for patchwork and quilting.

A few other bits and pieces have made me smile over the few weeks, mostly some secret sewing projects that I’ve been working on, but that’s all I can say on that matter for now.  You’ll just have to watch this space…

That’s all I’ve got!  This weather is really draining, and all I can think about right now is the glass of wine that inches from my hand. I’ve got a lot of projects in the pipeline, some secret, some not so much, and can’t wait to share some more with you all soon.  Thanks for sticking with me!

A VEGETABLE PATCH QUILT

I finally got around to photographing this quilt today.  I actually finished it about 2 weeks ago but have been waiting to take it to a friends allotment plot.  I couldn’t think of a more suitable location for a photo shoot.  After a couple of false starts we finally managed to meet up today and get the job done.  Thankfully, the storm held off just long enough for me to get my lens cap back on!

I loved making these blocks and am so pleased with how they’ve turned out.  The whole process was improvisational (recently, my mot de jour) and you can find out more about them in this post.  I didn’t really have a finished product in mind when I started but love where the creative process has taken me.  Most of these blocks started life as sketches on the back of receipts and the whole journey was, aptly, an organic one.

After I finished the top I wanted the quilting to really emphasise the earthy nature of the quilt.  For the backing I chose a seeded, natural cotton that has been in the stash for a while.  Thankfully I bought a lot of it, which is good as I can see it becoming the back to many more quilts like this.  I chose dense matchstick quiting in a white, cream and tan variegated thread.  The texture is amazing and I can’t help but be reminded of onion layers when I look at the back.

I was stumped on the binding for a good few days.  At first I was drawn to the colours of the vegetables, but after somebody suggested they should remain the main players and the binding shouldn’t compete with them, I opted for an old, go-to binding; a Carolyn Friedlander crosshatch, this time in grey.  Subtle, but still nice to look at.

My head is already full of ideas for more ways to explore this type of piecing and now, when I’m in the supermarket, I’m lingering just a little longer in the produce aisle!