Thursday, 9 October 2014

Brit Bee Weekender 2014

Yesterday teatime I waved goodbye to England's green and pleasant land as I flew home from my very extended weekend jolly.  Sigh!

Very long post and pic overload about to begin.  

As you know, I was privileged to have been asked along to last weekend's Brit Bee Weekender Retreat.  The ladies had booked a great property in Derbyshire for all of us with plenty of beds, tons of space for machines and all the equipment us quilters cart around with us.  

It didn't take us long to investigate, move in, re-arrange the furniture a little and get started on a weekend which at times felt equally balanced between sewing and eating!!

Evidence of Saturday morning's tasty cooked breakfast for 12 which Laura Jane cooked up like it was no bother at all.  So tasty!  I missed pics of the other yummy meals and treats provided, but trust me, no-one went hungry, even if some of us might have diced with sugar overload!

Contrary to the foodie pics on other blogs and IG, we did actually find time to stitch up a storm.  This was my little station with strips of pixels that seemed to go on forever!

I think sewing with friends really is the most fun you can have with a sewing machine.  I love the chatter and laughter amid the whirr of machines and the encouragement and support and admiring cheers as quilt tops come together and pretty bags take shape.

Here are some of the gorgeous projects that were worked on over our time in the countryside -

Susan's Bee Quilt - my photo doesn't do this justice.  It's a real stunner.

Ceri's Bee Quilt

Di pieced together blocks started on this year's FQR.
Laura Jane's huge quilt - entirely pieced on the weekend.  She is a speed queen.

These quilts are group finishes by the Brit Bees for our precious friend Terri who was unable to make this weekend.

Trudi stitched down her binding on this yummy sunny quilt.

Di finished binding a baby gift.

And this one is my pixel heart baby quilt top.  Pattern is Katy's from Issue One of the Quilt Now magazine.  All I did was made it up in 2.5" squares to reduce the size of the original to 42.5" square.  I think it's so pretty.  Will need to start thinking about quilting it soon.

And, here we are all together.  L-R: Hadley, Susan, Nikki, Sarah, Ceri, Fiona, Trudi, Laura Jane, Di, Ange, me and Katy.  Fab weekend, ladies.  Thank you so much for inviting me along to join your weekend of laughter and stitches.  Mwah!

Of course, leaving Derbyshire wasn't the end of my little jaunt across the water.  I spent my extra time in the company of my lovely friend Di.  We tried to relax ourselves down off the high of the weekend and then we chatted a little, we stitched a little and we chatted a lot more! 

Genius at work!

I spent Tuesday afternoon in the company of Trudi visiting her studio, her fabric stash and just generally standing with my jaw open in amazement at her skill.  I was so fascinated to see the whole process of long arm quilting as Trudi worked on my Kaffe Fasset Sparkling Gemstones quilt.  For the uninitiated like me, this was a real treat.  Now all those bars and rollers and handles make sense in my head and I honestly did find it mesmerising to watch as Trudi swirled and swished her way over the quilt top.  

I am going to claim I "helped" with this top because I got reasonably good at attaching and detaching the side stretcher canvassy thingies to their bungee cord clamps (check out me and my lingo) but of course, you know that Trudi was the one working all the magic. Thank you Trudi!!

If I lived closer I think Trudi could whip me into shape as quite a good little quilter's apprentice, but I would definitely leave all the swishing and swirling in her capable hands.

My quilt is bold, bright and beautiful and I promise close up pics in due course when I get the binding on.

Sad as it was to leave friends behind, I'm a homebird at heart and I do love being back with my men. My lovely hubby even earned himself some brownie points welcoming me back with roses and lilies! Don't mind admitting that made me blub a little ....

So, if you've ever thought about gathering a group of stitchy friends and running away for a weekend to just sew, sew, sew, I thoroughly recommend it.  It's fun, and while the sewing was furious there's no real pressure just loads of motivation, laughter and good times!  What are you waiting for?

Thanks to everyone who was part of my weekend and my hubby for being such a star about it! Big hugs to you all!!


  1. It was such a pleasure to be able to spend time in your company, Sarah.

  2. Looks like such a lovely weekend! And your Kaffe quilt will be a stunner.

  3. That is a gorgeous picture of Di!

    I could totally eat a breakfast like that right now....

  4. sounds like a wonderful time, production and fun and your quilt looks fab

  5. Another great post about the retreat - can't believe LJ made that quilt in the weekend, in awe! Such a beautiful pic of Di.
    And great to see clever Trudi at work on your lovely quilt.x

  6. It all looks so wonderful. I love the pixel quilt, it is on my to do list. x

  7. Great pictures and looks like you all had an amazing time

  8. So glad you could come over and be part of the fun xxx

  9. Amazing! It is so much more productive sewing with friends and so much more fun!

  10. What a brill w/e you had! Lovely pics. Jxo

  11. It looks like the best time, all friends and quilts and I bet you all laughed and laughed.

  12. It was indeed a brilliant weekend and I have enjoyed our week together. Your hubby must have missed you a lot. Di x

  13. Glad you could join us, and that Trudi and swish so well!

  14. It was a joyful weekend, including the swishing and swooshing, my pleasure, and you are a brilliant quilters apprentice!

  15. What a fabulous weekend!!

    P.S. I love your heart!

  16. Wish I could in you girls on the other side of the world. You'd be great company, and the food looked amazing! Your pixel heart is very pretty.


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