Jubilee weekend in that London and I shall FINALLY be on the Fat Quarterly sewing retreat. Honestly I can't f***ing wait. I pre-packed last night... and I'm super excited! I see from the other participants' blogs etc. that I'm not alone in my excitement. All the FQR-ers seem to be! Some were packing weeks ago. Never have I ever felt like the least organised stitcher. Usually I'm she who is earliest, with the biggest bag full of zip-lock bags obsessively colour coordinated etc... I've not been involved in the name-badge make, or any of the other pre-event gubbins. It's hard enough to just pack for the weekend when it's like 'This fabric... no that fabric... Ah BOTH fabrics!' 'Ah sh**... must pack some clothes in this bag too!'
Things to know about me for the other FQR-ers... I look like this.
People who know have previously described me as:
'a cross between Shere Khan and Thumper'
- because I might seem scary but really I'm lovely
'a bit dun-de-dun-de-de-dun-de-de-dun [the Imperial March]'
- I wear a lot of black
'incorrigible flirt and booze hound'
- so if you want to be lead astray I can likely have my arm twisted to the bar... or there's every chance that you can find me there.
My name is Sally in real life, but I'm nearlybutnotquite as a maker because I so want things that I make to be perfect... and need reassuring that it 'nearly' is... I often remind myself that even Mary Poppins was only 'practically perfect'. This means I'm terrible for not finishing things. But I so admire that in others.
Actually I'm pretty new to the world of sewing and blog reading even, let alone writing. Though I do remember a cross-stitching in the playground phase when I was 10 and the sampler still hangs in my mum's house. In just a couple of years it's built up to a frightening obsession - mostly EPP hexagons. Seriously they fill my flat. Basically this retreat is a meeting of Fabric Addicts (not very) Anonymous for me but I'm hoping to learn from some lovely people whose blogs and work I admire from afar and meet some like-minded strangers.
Ambitious secret project gift sweat shop panic mode very much engaged at the moment and once it's over I'll need a rest and retreat...
Here is a wee glimpse of a bit of it.
Did I say retreat? I meant sewing retreat! It's the Fat Quarterly Retreat over the weekend of the Queen's Jubilee and I'm going. Excited as I am, nervous is probably winning a bit at the moment. Thanks to the joys of social media I've seen photos of the name badge swap, blogs about it, twitter messages between teachers and attendees... and it feels like they all know each other, or they have time to make stuff, years of experience or a combination of those things... and I don't.
I'm a terrible blog lurker. I follow loads of them and almost never comment. This means that I know a creepy amount about folk who I will likely recognise if not on sight, then by their work, and yet I will know no-one.
I resolve to :
1) introduce myself to those people who I've e-stalked. They will I'm sure be flattered not scared.
2) try not to give myself a hard time if I feel competitive, or even bottom of the class-ish
3) leave with a brain full of new learning and maybe (hopefully) new stitchy friends to squeal at or take guidance from in times of craft panic... such as this one!
It seems that craft folk are properly nutty for bunting and with the jubilee coming it's everywhere! Perhaps I should whisper this but honestly (apart from the borrowers' sized micro bunting, for which I have a soft spot) I'm over it. I think it is for the kind of craft person that bakes and buys all their kitchen supplies from Cath Kidson. I don't bake. I like shop-bought battenburg, I like tinned fruit, I like pork scratchings (cheap and dirty in the good way right?) and a pint over tea and cake. I don't like waiting... so no bakey. I'm just not that kind of girl.
Nevertheless my friend asked me to make some bunting for her daughter's bedroom, and I started to. I really did try. The little miss had chosen some of her favourite things and sent me photos of them as requested for me to use as a starting point... and then it was over to me... I started making some hexagons in the colours she suggested and everything... but I just couldn't do it. In the same way that I couldn't wear croc shoes or pedal pushers. I just couldn't be that girl.
So, despite this being my first commission, I suppose, I changed the rules. Instead we agreed on a lovingly handmade, custom cushion.
Bright, patterned hexagons appliqued onto a purple background, shadowed by baby pink hand stitches in quilting thread, framed with raspberry pink.
I hope that this means that it will have a longer life. In fact I like to dream that it will be something she can keep for a long time. It's soft and envelope backed so it ought to survive well. I would be more than happy to have it in my flat now!
The back is lilac and pink - with my first ever attempt at branding/ labelling something I made...
The label is hand appliqued on with the 'n''b''n' and 'q' are picked out in sparkly purple thread too.
All I see are imperfections there, but it was my first ever attempt so I'm trying not to give myself a hard time about that.
She gets it this week and I am DYING to know the response. *fingers crossed*