Each year, in ordinary times, the Bloggerati of this website gather in Birmingham for a weekend of quilting.  If you ever have the chance to attend a sew Retreat then do it.  It’s the perfect way to enjoy great company and spend your time doing what you enjoy the most .. sewing!

Nicola’s just arrived, but Juliet looks to be working out her pattern for the bright and cheerful KFC fabrics she was using.  I am not sure what Lyn and Linda were discussing but it looks important – it’s amazing how much stuff we each brought along for just three days sewing!

Often it’s the first time people have met face to face, so its a great social event too.  Lots of chatting went on, and ‘table snacks’ were shared.  The lovely people from Bosal sent a box of interlinings and wadding for us all to try out (you should be able to see blogs popping up about those soon) and the team at Cotton Craft Co. sent everyone a pack of 5 fat quarters from their range to create something beautiful with.

Quilters are generous people, and this year we had a great swopsie table, alongside our Secret Santa.  The challenge had been to make something from scraps and since we have some amazingly talented people amongst us the gifts were fabulous.   Together with a group many of us are part of ‘HUGS”, which encourages weightloss (ok ok .. so we do try each week), a second challenge was set to bring along a blue and cream block.  Lyn  stitched one set together which will be donated to a charity giveaway in Lincolnshire and the remains were sent home to be sewn together for a second group working to provide quilts for refugees.   The star sashing was something we picked up from a quilt show and tell during the weekend.  I think it might start to feature in a few quilts soon.

One thing I did discover is concentration can lapse during a busy Retreat as we all began to enjoy things, so rather than work on a complicated block pattern I was working on I  put that away and made a lovely quilt using the Cotton Craft Co fabric. This will be donated to my local sewing group’s efforts to support young people at Christmas – and thanks to Bosal I was able to quilt it too.  A quilt in a day!  The fabric is lovely to work with, the wadding too.  Disappearing 4 patch is a simple pattern but a really effective way of using a matching range.

We brought masses of our own projects with us, and Jonathan brought his pop up shop.  We are not at liberty to disclose what was bought .(haha) but there were bargains to be had.

We all spent time riffling through the fabrics in the shop .. and your secret is safe here Cheryl.

There were some great meals over the three days we were there, making new friends from the group, and plans laid to do it all again in 2022 .. bigger and better!

Not everyone was machine quilting – Christine brought along a hand sewing project and made great progress.  In the background is Nicola’s Mum, a non-sewer who just came along for the company.

If you think blogging would suit you and would like to join in for the 2022 weekend of just doing what makes a quilter happy then get in touch – I can certainly recommend it!

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