Sunday, 28 July 2013

Fat quarterly retreat 2013: Are you a Lynne or a Lu?

Last weekend was the Fat Quarterly Retreat 2013.  I spent a fantastic couple of days in London sewing and socialising with over a hundred like minded souls; all were there to learn and share whilst generally having a good time. 

The blogoshpere, instagram (#fqrlondon #fqretreat #fqr2013), and flickr ( are awash with great reviews and images of the whole event so I won't repeat here what has already been covered so well.
But, I am linking up over at Fat Quarterly for the post retreat party, so you can hop over and check out the weekend that was!

Kick off!

I'm focusing on two workshops; Precision Piecing and Improv. One selected by instinct and one for the desire to hone my skills.

Improv. with Lu Summers was right at the top of my workshop wishlist. Lu's "anything goes" style is right up my street and I adore her fabrics.

You all know this one! Summersville by Lu Summers for Moda

It was great to take part in a class where the rules really don't matter and look at my mismatched seams and random cutting as part of the charm of the piece rather than sloppy skills.

All hard at work

A bit of this, a bit of that, a chevron here, a strip there, and "voila", a classroom full of mini quilts with personality and flair.

Wonky wonky!

Next up, Precision piecing with Lynne Goldsworthy.

My patchwork piecing leaves alot to be desired. Sometimes it comes together quite nicely, but the consistency isn't there. In fact at it's worst you may mistake it for Improv!
So where am I going wrong? Is it my cutting? My seam allowance? My pinning? My pressing?

Lynne was a wealth of knowledge and as I suspected my skills in all of the above have room for improvement.
In particular, I'm guilty of ironing (read "pulling") rather than pressing the fabric, thus distorting the shape especially when using steam.
My cutting and seam allowance generally aren't too bad but I suffer from a lack of focus. I bore easily when doing fiddly piecing especially when there are alot of repeat blocks. But I was on my best behaviour for the lovely Lynne.


My favourite tip was not necessarily having to pin the seam join when sewing a couple of small pieces together (which is great because I don't anyway!), but rubbing the two pieces together until you feel a "click" as the seams line up. Love it!

Yes I could have done flying geese in the centre but I was practising HST's

Pleased with this one plus had my first play with a Big Shot

Now,  I'm going to ask you all a question.

"Are you a Lynne or a Lu?"

I'm not suggesting that this is the only style or work these ladies are skilled at and enjoy. I'm just interested in where your heart lies?


Do I mind the fact that my work is rarely constantly accurate?

Am I likely to change?
Ok, Ok, well maybe I will fine tune a little bit when the project deserves it and I do like those circles.

But, I do like knowing I'm not missing a magical piece of the process, and it's mainly lack of focus where I fall down. This way I can tell myself I could do it if I wanted to. Yeah right!

Do I enjoy Improv? Hell yes.

Am I buying Lu's new book
Already on pre-order............

Were both workshops worthwhile?
Absolutely! I was learning from the masters.

Conclusion: On most days I'm a "Lu". But which one are you?

Roll on FQR 2014


  1. More a Lynne I think as improv makes me nervous!
    It was good to meet you in person at last. Di x

  2. Love your post, it's so funny. I'm actually 50% Lynne and 50% Lu as I completely fell in love with Improv but am very anal about piecing. I try to be as precise as possible but there's a lot of room for improvement.
    It was so lovely to meet you in person and I do hope we meet again next year.

  3. Hi Jill, it was so nice to meet you. And the Ta-dah photo came out very nice, even with me in it ;) As for your question, I think in my case it rather depends on my mood. Perfect points in a block do fill me with real pride, but I also like the freedom of improv.


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