Friday, 2 October 2015

Stitch Gathering 2015

As promised I'm back to tell you all about my lovely weekend in Edinburgh for the Stitch Gathering 2015.

It was hard leaving this little sweetheart for the weekend.  She was probably more fine without me than I was without her, but Edinburgh had been booked for so long and was such a great surprise birthday present from my hubby at the end of last year that it would have been a shame not to have gone.

Saturday was all about just relaxing in the company of good friends.  That's Trudi and me above there in a great wee coffee shop where we had lunch with Di.  It would have been better if I'd managed to get a pic of Di too but I didn't manage to remember all weekend to get someone to snap all three of us together! Doh! Anyway, chatting and lunch and quite possibly a return to the same coffee shop later with more Stitch Gathering friends for very necessary tea and cake (chatting requires fuel, you know) were definitely the order of the day.  Then, in the evening we met up with Jo and lots of other Stitch Gatherers and had a great meal in Jamie's Italian on George Street - building up our reserves for Sunday's main event, of course.  The evening meal was a lovely way to meet some new faces in advance of the Stitch Gathering itself and we had many laughs amid the food and wine and chatter.   I am still not convinced that young waiter was actually Italian, mind you, but at least his accent was pretty good if he was putting it on!!

Sunday was about stitching - and yes, ok, also about friends and cake.  What's not to love about a day like that?

Jo and her team had everything running like clockwork which really helped us all make the most of the one day event.  After arriving, handing over our "word tickets" and receiving a crammed goody bag, it was time to get the show on the road and I headed off to a great EPP class with Fiona.

We cut and basted and stitched up little nosegay blocks -

though you can see I didn't quite get it finished. Too much chatting? or too long a queue for coffee break ? I know which I'm blaming ;-)

I may also have oohed and ached a bit over some of Fiona's gorgeous paper pieced Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler blocks that she brought as EPP samples to show us.  Fighting hard to stop myself ordering the book and pretending I could possibly join in, but my ogs are turning and I would love to see more EPP blocks in my future.

During lunch I spent some time admiring the "word tickets" that we had all made to gain entry to the day's event.

They looked so fabulously colourful all pinned up together.

I'm quite sure they will make a brilliant quilt for wherever Jo decides the inspirational, fun words belong.

After lunch, Hikaru, the loveliest (and best prepared ever) tutor taught us how to make and assemble clamshell purses.  I should have had something in my photo for scale but this wee purse is just big enough to sit in the palm of my hand - so quite little really, though Hikaru tells us that it's very easy to just enlarge the templates and make one any size we like.  As you can see, this class was another "fail to finish" by me.  I was so nearly there when my thread snapped! Aw well, another one for the WIPs pile!

After a rejuvenating coffee, my last class of the afternoon was perfect in its simplicity.  Too much chat and cake (and possibly the catching up of the late night baby feeding) was really taking its toll by the second half of the afternoon, so Jo's sashiko class with its pre-prepared fabric and long running stitch was just the kind of easy task I needed.

It was good to hear Jo's thoughts and advice on approaching sashiko.  I really love the effect of the cream thread on the navy linen and am trying to plot ways of getting more sashiko in use around my house.  Of course, I would actually need some sewing time to achieve that!

Stitch Gathering was a really lovely day with a truly friendly bunch of stitchers. I had a fab weekend with some really lovely classes and I actually sewed, even if I didn't get it all finished!  I love how inspired I feel when I've spent time with other people who share and enjoy my hobby.  Yes, it's dangerous because I now have a hundred new stitching plans whirling around in my head and probably zero possibility of acting on any of them anytime soon, but hey, it's better to have those creative juices flowing than not, right?

Before I go, here's a peek at what was filling that goody bag -

Fat quarters from Coats, Dear Stella, Blend Fabrics, Michael Miller, Cloud9, Anbo and Lewis and Irene; gorgeous Liberty tana lawn hexies from Duck Egg Threads; Aurifil thread and embroidery floss; Coats Milward needles (I love Milward needles but can't always find them locally) and cotton thread; DMC embroidery floss; a sample sachet of Soak (bet it smells good); a pen from Frixion and finally a copy of Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine and some Nairns biscuits for when I get to put my feet up with a cuppa!

Oh, and I almost forgot, I won a beautiful Cori Dantini Christmas panel in the tombola.  Have a feeling Cutesy Tootsie might benefit from this one ;-)

If you haven't been to Stitch Gathering before I suggest you keep your eyes peeled for next year's tickets.  I had a great day with the loveliest people.  Thanks to all those who took time to chat and say hello, and thanks to Pam who very generously gave me a lift to the airport afterwards.  See, aren't stitchers just the kindest people?

Thank you, Hubs, for a fab weekend birthday treat and for taking good care of Cutesy Tootsie too.

A Quilt for Cutesy Tootsie

Last weekend I left this snuggly little bundle in the capable care of her daddy and met up with Di and Trudi in Edinburgh for the Stitch Gathering retreat day.  Before I tell you about that though (in another post soon) I have something gorgeous to share with you.

It seems that some love-filled scheming has been afoot since the arrival of my precious baby daughter earlier in the summer and some of my very dearest blogging and Instagramming friends have put their phenomenal skills together to make this adorable quilt for my Cutesy Tootsie.  Isn't it just so very beautiful?  And, so very pretty and girly (I am enjoying the pink indulgence after all the years of boy colours).

Di and Trudi did the honours of passing the quilt on to my little one via me on Saturday afternoon and as they told me all about this wonderful gift and how it had come together I admit that I shed some deep sobs that such a fantastic crew of lovely stitchers had made this specially for my tiny daughter.  I was rather overwhelmed y the loveliness of it all.

Archie the Wonder Dog's mum stitched up some blocks and co-ordinated the lot, receiving blocks from my friends at Bee Blessed - Judith (Just Jude), Marion, Lorraine, Ros, Ruth and Tina (Secret Ingredient Love), as well as from Catherine (Sew Wonderful Life), Nicky (Mrs Sew and Sow), Reene and Yvonne (Nellie's Niceties), Justine (Simply Solids) and Di and Trudi, of course.  Hope I haven't left anyone off the list - please shout if I have.

Di pieced the sweet flower, heart and butterfly blocks into a quilt top which was duly and magnificently Trudified with long arm quilting.  I hope you can see how amazing it is in these wee close ups.

Cutesy Tootsie is one very lucky little lady to be in receipt of such a kind and thought-filled gift.  I am looking forward to sharing the story of her quilt with her when she is a little older and telling her all about the wonderful, generous-spirited, kind-hearted women who created such a treasure for her.

I am not the first to say it, and know I won't be the last, but this sewing community is truly awesome!
Thank you so very much my lovely stitchy friends for creating this precious quilt for my precious girl.  Huge hugs and kisses from me!

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