After a nice, easy, early morning jaunt across the capital on the tube, Leanne and I hauled everything down to Baden Powell House from her hotel room, which may or may not have required a couple of trips *ahem*  We were greeted (the second time, after we were scolded for being too early the first time ;o) ) with a goodie bag, name sticker and a card full of names, which we had to spend the next hour finding the owners of.  There’s nothing like breaking the ice by staring at the chests of your fellow retreaters whilst chiding them for not appearing on your list.  There was a draw to be held if you found them all, but alas, one eluded me the whole time – I found one person with the right first name, but no matter how much I tried to persuade her, she wasn’t up for changing her surname…

Goodie bag goodies

After an hour of squealing, screaming, and mammary examination, John called us all to order, and we had a good rummage through the fat quarters from the fat quarter swap before we headed off to our first classes.  Now I’ll confess now that I got hardly any photos, and especially not of the classes, sorry about that!

Fat quarter swap goodies

First up for me, class wise, was freezer paper piecing, after which our fabulous teacher Kerry had assured me I would be laughing in the face of Y seams.  I managed all my Y seams relatively okay, but I did learn a valuable lesson in putting jigsaw puzzles back together the right way round, because by not doing so I gained a couple of slight wrinkly bits at the inner corners…

I’m not sure I’m entirely laughing in their face yet, but I can summon up a good giggle ;o)

I got evicted from the table my mammoth sewing machine was on after that first block so that the designer challenge people could do their thing, so I wandered round and did get these photos of the hives of industry around the main hall – please excuse the instagramness, I really couldn’t be doing with digging out the DSLR at that point!  As far as I can work out, there’s 4 classes going on here – freezer paper piecing all the way down the left hand side, the designer challenge middle far end, EPP at the far right end, and possibly frame purses on the near right end.

This was around the time the Liberty lady arrived.  I don’t think there was a more popular person at the retreat that day as we all flooded over to stroke and drool over her wares!  I was lucky enough to snag one of her gorgeously touchy feely pincord bags, and also a wee bundle that was leftover from Kerry’s class the following day:

After this we toddled upstairs for the sample swap.  Here’s my haul, and any suggestions on where to place each of my 4 Zakka Style sewing kits for stitching emergencies (since I’d made one for myself to take too), may win a wee prize (and no, not one of them!)  Please also admire the London fabric lined wee handbag too:

Next up was lunch, well, lunch time anyway.  Now my lack of lunch was entirely my own fault – I had duly filled in the dreaded banana and kiwi allergies, but had failed to mention that I don’t like sandwiches.  Actually I don’t eat bread at all, but I always forget this, because I don’t eat sandwiches for my lunch ever, I forget that other people do – mental head slap!  Next year I will be better prepared!

Post lunch I was EPP-ing with Tacha, and Brioni came out to play too, so they showed us the way they both do things, and now I feel the need for some experimentation to decide which I prefer – I have a whole cushion cover to work on, so I have plenty of subject matter to try on!  I could probably have got further than this, had we not been discussing a sad subject, so I had to bring the bears in for everyone to have a cuddle, and then I never sewed another stitch – oops!

The attending Clan members – Maple, Edwood, Woodward, Birch, Bluegrass and Maisey made lots of new friends, and here’s some pics I acquired from others that were there:

FQ Retreat
Courtesy of Kat
Courtesy of Trash

Our next task was the Iron Man Challenge – we were handed a fat quarter bundle of Thomas Knauer’s new line, Savannah Bop, so Trudi rounded us all up, and we set to, producing possibly the fastest Ohio Star ever!  Trudi and Fiona cut, Judith and I sewed, Terri pressed, and Pippa unpicked a bit I managed to screw up twice (oops!)  We handed the top in and then headed out for a big dinner with Brit Bee + friends (well, the portions were normal sized, the group was big ;o) )  Susan had done a great job finding somewhere willing to take on 29 unruly quilters, and a good time was had by all, including our special guest, although she didn’t eat much, in fact she really looked rather grumpy about being there, Jack wasn’t at all convinced about her… 

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