Monday, July 22

Fat Quarterly Retreat London 2013 (1)


                                                    Confusion at Liberty photo by Catrin of I'd Rather Sew

I arrived at London City Airport early Friday morning for this year's edition of the Fat Quarterly Retreat. I was very thankful that I could get into my hotel room early because the 45 minute Tube journey was warm to say the least. So after cooling down a bit I then met up with Carina and we headed to  Liberty  to attend a talk about Liberty Fabrics! There was *some* confusion about where the room was where we were supposed to be so the whole group of 30 (?) women climbed stairs, descended stairs, went outside, went inside again, saw the Liberty Mail room, climbed some more stairs, you get the idea... I think the photo, where you see me on the back at the delivery entrance, says it all. But we got there in the end. :)

The Liberty talk was fabulous. We heard about where the inspiration for the collections of the past years came from and a bit about the history of Liberty fabrics too. Obviously things are well recorded now but about some of the fabrics and designers in the late 19th and early 20th century not all details are clear. Nowadays Liberty regularly works with established artists, like Grayson Perry and Lauren Child, but also with talented art students on their fabric collections.

I loved the many examples of how old Liberty motifs are cleverly transformed into new and fresh designs. I also learned that the name Tana (from the famous Liberty Tana Lawn) came from a lake in Africa. After the talk had ended we got to see a few of the original artworks and sketches that some of the fabric designs had been based on. We weren't allowed to put all of what we had seen on our blogs but I did take some photos for personal reference/inspiration.





Because we arrived a little early at Liberty, Carina and I had a look around in the store. The whole store is lovely but we obviously were mainly interested in the craft department. There were Liberty Fabrics of course, and a generous choice of Kaffe Fassett too. I spotted lots of What Delilah Did cross stitch kits as well (yay Sophie!). Well worth a visit if you are in London!

After a quick stop at the wonderful Wholefoods store for lunch (all yummy healthy and organic stuff, expensive too!) we headed back to the hotel to prepare for our afternoon Retreat Class. I wish I could say I made some PJ trousers in Kerry's three hour class but I didn't managed to finish them. Even with a great deal of help from both Kerry and Trudi. I now have two separate legs, which is a good start! :)

In the evening I started working on my Bird the Squirrel embroidery and continued to do so between classes the other day. People who saw him said they didn't realise these embroideries were so tiny, so I put a ruler next to him in the photo to show his true size, which is a little over an inch :)



Find part two of my Retreat recap here!

11 comments:

  1. Hello....that's me also looking confused. Those Liberty scrap packs were very tempting too.

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    1. I don't think I saw the scrap packs! :/ Oh well, maybe next year...

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  2. I have always loved how detailed your embroideries are, but oh my goodness, they are tiny!! How do you capture such amazing detail in such a teeny tiny space???
    E xx

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    1. Thank you Erin: basically lots of tiny stitches with just one strand of floss! I also use some unconventional techniques (if you can call it that) for certain effects. :)

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  3. Oh, how lovely that you got to go to the Liberty store!
    Bird the Squirrel is looking wonderful.

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    1. Thank you! Loved the Liberty store, so stylish!

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  4. It was so nice to see you again eve if e didn't get the chance to have a proper chat. Absolutely love Bird the Squirrel and am looking forward to seeing him finished.

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    1. Same here! we have to try and get in the same classes next time or at least have dinner together :)

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  5. What a nice recap Nicole, and the first picture is just so funny. As much as your teeny-tiny squirrel is amazing, love it! It was so good to meet you again!! See you again next year, hopefully..

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  6. Haha, yes that was really funny how we searched for the right Place at Liberty but it was worth it. So nice to meet you :-)

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  7. Well, I saw you at the retreat, but we didn't really met! Too bad, but maybe next year :)

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