August 1, 2013

FQR 2013 in London

If you've ever been to the Fat Quarterly Retreat in London you know how exciting things can get. For me it was the first time and I was a bit late finishing my name tag, the swap items and finding all the stuff needed for the classes. Worst of all; I had to finish a king size quilt for a friend of mine, bacause I was leaving for Finland a couple of days after the retreat. I've been working on this quilt for five years, but now of course everything had to happen at the last minute.

Swap items
 So the last night before the retreat I finally finished the quilting around midnight and spent one hour getting the house in some kind of order. Off to bed at one and up again half past three. Of course I couldn't sleep at all; it was too hot and then there were some mosquitos in my bedroom. Zzzzzz, zzzzz, zzzzz around my head...

Lovely quilt on one of the tables at the retreat market
Luckily I got to the airport without any hassle and I fell asleep on the plane before takeoff. I woke again from the hard landing, but that was all the sleep I got that night. At the bus to London I was too excited to sleep; you see I was going to meet Rachel (Mammafairy) for the very first time! We'd planned to do some shopping before we went to the retreat and to grab some lunch as well. You know how it is when you finally meet someone you only know online; you can never be sure if you get on as well IRL as in front of a machine :-) No need for this with Rachel! She met me with her adorable son Alex on Oxford street and we got along like houses on fire from the first minute on. Rachel is even lovelier IRL than online!

At the retreat lots of people were milling around with their new name tags around their necks. I tried to find some familiar names or faces and did find a few. Some ladies came to me presenting themselves and looking rather confused because I didn't react with the expected enthusiasm. I was just too tired to take anything in, sorry ladies. Too much information and too little sleep. I even told Susan (Canadianabroad) to her face that her name was Amy...

The first class was to begin at two o'clock, but the group was divided into two. So I had some time at my hands and could check in at the hostel. Well, it took some time and patience. I'm not a big fan of the people at the reception desk at the Baden Powell hostel. Actually this was my worst check in ever. However, this story isn't about the hostel. I shared my room with some lovely, lovely ladies; Aylin (Nilya) and her daughter Leila, Ulrike (Floh), Kris (Zaynoo1) and Miriam (Berlinquilter). Viele sonnige Gruesse aus Finnland!

Aylin and Ulrike

Aylin's cathedral window being born
My first class was EPP curves with Joanna. Of course I'd forgotten a lot of my stuff upstairs, but with a little help from the other ladies I got my things done. Sorry I didn't take any pictures of my sample, but if you're really interested you can see it here.

The first evening closed with a visit at the Village Haberdashery and an Indian dinner with friends.

Alex, Rachel and Kris
As you can see we had a great time! Then off to bed, trying to stay awake on the subway.

Next day started with some Free Motion Quilting with Trudi. I've never made FMQ before so my expectations were high, but Trudi topped it all! It was just great, every question answered and lots of information about things I've never concidered.

Di, the quilting goddess
I sat next to one of the greatest quilting goddesses on this planet, Di. Don't know why she signed up for this class?
Dear Rachel lent me her sewing machine, because I didn't want to take mine on the plane. Here she is, sewing away during her break from another class. I used the time annoying everyone else around.

Lunch was served at the terasse. Just imagine all the discussions going around :-)

Lovely ladies discussing important matters
After lunch the next class was due. It was photographzy with Judith Damen. Thanks Judith for a great class; I've finally understood some fundamentals about photography and got a lot of useful tips about how to present a good picture as well. Can't thank you enough Judith! You don't see the results yet, but I promise some improvment later on.

Judith needs Gummibaerchen as fuel
After the second class Rachel and I went for dinner alone; I think both of us needed some quiet around us after all the chatting.

On Saturday in the evening we had a market place in the great hall. Lots and lots of gorgeous stuff. It was difficult to limit oneself to only some of the things.

Michael Oakshott at the market place
The Oakshott table was the hardest to resist. Well, I did buy some things...I'll show them later on when I know what to make from them.

Market place
But the other ones weren't much easier to resist...

Impatient ladies waiting for the raffle
After the market place we had a very generous raffle. No, I didn't win anything, but it was fun to see how happy the winners were with their loot. Each one of us got a bag full of goodies at the retreat, so it was easy. Sorry not to have a picture of everything we got, but I put everything away at once after returning home.

Turn needle application class
Sunday closed at midday after the last classes. Here are some pictures I took during the retreat to give you an impression of what was going on and some lovely items.

Susan, Cindy, Leanne, Emily, Nicky and Di

Ulrike's lovely pouch

For me the next FQR is already booked in my mind. Hope to see you there as well! And most of all; a big, big hug to the ladies organizing this retreat! You did a marvellous job!


  1. Ja, das hoffe ich auch, dass wir uns dort wiedertreffen :)

    1. Wenn wir uns das ganz fest vornehmen wird es wohl klappen :-)

  2. Sounds like a great, if tiring, trip May!

  3. What a wonderful time! I see some of my favourite bloggy friends there and I agree Rachel is brilliant! Hope to see you next year :)

    1. Yes please do come Lucy! I'd love to meet you!

  4. Exhausting the first year - more relaxing the next! Cannot wait for yr3! Glad you had a good time May and must try to chat longer next year!

    1. I do hope I get some sleep before I come next year; that should help. And yes, I do hope we get a bit more time to chat next year.

  5. If I can't commit to attending, I'm definitely gate crashing supper one evening next year!!!

  6. Oh, it looks as if you had such a good time.

    1. I really enjoyed myself and it was so good to meet some many lovely persons IRL

  7. sooo good to meet you, here is to more meetings!