Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Stitch Gathering

On Sunday I attended the Stitch Gathering retreat in Edinburgh.  It surpassed all my expectations and was an excellent day of sewing fun.  It was wonderful to sit and sew with so many great people and accomplished stitchers.

It started with me driving ALL BY MYSELF to the venue.  I arrived ridiculously early as it had taken me 25 minutes to park the car the day before (did I mention I'm new at the driving?) and I wasn't taking any chances with being late.

So, I was first in.  I met some lovely people over coffee before being presented with the first of LOTS of gifts.  It was pretty much Christmas if you like sewing.

The first surprise from the Stitch Gathering team (headed up by the ever so kind and supportive Jo Avery) was this goodie bag.

 Over the course of the day, between goodie bags, lucky dips and a swap I ended up with 17 new fat quarters of lovely fabric, as well as a pooch of Liberty scraps.  How generous is that?

So on to the name tag swap.  I was astounded with my partner's thoughtfulness.  Brenda, who until the day was a stranger, had been assigned my nametag.  Not knowing the first thing about me, she had looked up my name in Gaelic, which apparently means white wave.  I did not know this and am so touched by what she made me.

And it turned out she loved cross stitch, so I was on a winner too!

My first class was crazy patchwork with Sheila.  Behold the fruits of my labour!

Turns out hand sewing might not be for me, but I love how it looks so fully intend on cheating and making more of these stash busting beauties on a machine.  This technique finds value in the tiniest of little scraps and turns them into the vital bridge from one corner to another.  Again, it was lovely to spend a couple of hours sewing in the company of fellow enthusiasts.

I happened to be sitting right next to the display wall where all the embellished tickets were hung.  These are going to be sewn together into a quilt which will be raffled off next year.

There was some serious talent on display.

And some not so serious....

I'm allowed to say that - it's mine!  I was petrified of cutting my ticket and wanted to play it safe.  I think I went a little too safe, but I did use fabrics from my very first sewing class which is how I had heard about the Stitch Gathering in the first place so it was appropriate and had a story to tell (if only to me).

There was a show and tell after lunch.  This is my favourite piece and the inspiration for the next project.

My second class was with Fiona and involved learning how to make a jelly roll quilt. I really should have thought about the design of it before the class because it seemed to take me a while to get going but once I did I was on a (jelly) roll...

I adore the fabric I chose and think it is going to be a really striking quilt.  I've pretty much decided to keep it for myself.  I have not kept anything I have made on my quilting journey but I don't know if I can part with something so "me".  Here's what I managed to accomplish during the class:

Unfortunately, I have another project to be getting on with (to a ludicrous deadline - there's a pattern forming here) so this is going to have to go on the back burner.  I just hope I don't forget all Fiona's expert advice!

The day ended at the Avery Homestore in Edinburgh for a private viewing of the Quilt Show hosted during the Edinburgh Festival.  Here's some of my favourites:

There were lots of other beautiful quilts on display, but I did too much chatting and not enough photographing!  They all had a note on them discouraging you from touching them, which was fair enough but extremely difficult.  They were so tactile and inviting.

The day was over in a flash and I can't wait until next year.  I'll definitely be signing up again. I was so apprehensive about it but I really need not have been. It left me feeling confident in my abilities and proud of how far I've come while still relishing and recognising the challenges of the classes I had chosen.

I'll leave this post on a high note of some of the lovely fat quarters I acquired throughout the day.

My fat quarter swap bounty - it's blue and white!  For more on why that's important, stay tuned for my next post in which I will be showing off some actual sewing.

These bundles were actually tied up with string - definitely a few of my favourite things.


  1. Wow, what a fantastic time! Your projects are looking wonderful.

  2. It was such a fabulous day, I love seeing everyone else's pictures, I can see what I missed, there was so much to see and do. What a fabulous name tag you got. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Great Post Jenny! I love Brenda's ticket and the way you used fabric from your beginner's patchwork and quilting class on your ticket. And I think your jelly roll quilt is going to absolutely stunning! So pleased you enjoyed the day and well done with the driving too!!

  4. What a fabulous day. Thanks for a great post and sharing all the loveliness of the day. A lot of beautiful quilts. Have a great weekend.
    Marie (

  5. Your quilt will be stunning! Can't wait to see it finished. Great post Jenny.

  6. your jellyroll quilt looks like it is going to be really stunning! Thank you for liking my quilt too x

  7. That jelly roll quilt is going to look fab :o)

  8. Well done on the driving thing, I've been driving a long now but still ended up getting a lift as I don't do driving in big cities....

    It was a brilliant day wasn't it and everyone seems to have had such a good time.

    Your jelly roll quilt is going to look really gorgeous!