Sunday, 5 October 2014

Modern Quilt Guild of Ireland - Sept '14 Quilting Retreat

Cindy - Organiser Extraodinaire
Last year I joined the Modern Quilt Guild of Ireland, drawn in by the most gorgeous creations I kept spotting on facebook.  They are a very active group, hosting meet-ups, swaps and getting involved with Bee Blessed.
Due to location and/or bad timing, I haven't had the chance to meet up with any of these stitchery-queens until last week.  I wasn't working, I didn't have family commitments and if I do say so myself, I deserved a day out doing something I love, so I signed up for the Quilting Retreat which just happened, very fortunately, to be in my hometown! 

From the outset, I was very impressed with the organisation.  Cindy, from Fluffy Sheep Quilting e-mailed me with a schedule for the day, directions, times, carparking details, food details and so much more.  Honestly, she thought of everything!  The room that was booked in Galway University was comfortingly close to the carpark so we didn't have to hump our machines and gear too far into the campus!

I'll be honest, I was nervous!  I'm well used to some of these girls online personas from instagram and facebook and deliciously pretty flickr pictures but to meet people in person!  Ooooh, that scares me! 

I encountered Anneliese from mailfromthecheekymonkeys first when I got to the room and she said "Oh, you look different to your pictures"!  Seriously, that's everyones nightmare, right?...... I mean we all just put our somewhat-passable pictures online but we like to think that in real life, we look like our "best" pictures.....right??  She's a sweet chick though and I relaxed pretty quickly.  Cindy arrived in the room then and there was a bit of organising to do before everyone else arrived. 

Anneliese & Eva  (& Kristina in the background)
In total, we were a group of 14........ a nice, comfy group from Galway, Portlaoise, Limerick and Cork.  There were three shops represented - Fluffy Sheep, Pippablue, and Wrap It.  So, we had lots to check out, some fabric to pick up and even some gift options!!  All three shop owners were sewing alongside us for the day too which was nice, it was great to put faces to these store-fronts and get to know them a little bit.   

We received really cute tote bags full of goodies which was a really lovely surprise!  All of the sponsors of our little retreat were very generous.  They included......

Aurifil - a fab selection of different weights of thread!
The Crafters Basket - a pack with some charm squares, ribbon and buttons
The Quilt Shop Tuam - some gorgeous fabric and a money off voucher
Fluffy Sheep Quilting - more fantastic fabric
Lisnaweary Quilts - yet more delicious fabric
Pilot - an erasable pen

And that wasn't all, we also were given a selection of vouchers for online purchases from other shops like Vibes & Scribes, Slaney Handcraft, Rags for Linda, and Seams Sew Simple.

Our super tote bag of goodies!!
The kettle never got a chance to cool down as we tucked into the lovely fare that the women brought - there was chocolate, brownies, buns and flapjacks to name but a few, but we promised ourselves we'd work it off........ eventually!

As the afternoon wore on, we got right down to work, there was a queue for the ironing and cutting tables at times as we all wanted to go home with something substantial accomplished. 

Áine, Ruth & Erin (& Cindy, well her reflection anyway)
I was working on my Storm At Sea quilt variation.  I got my head down and worked away but didn't get half as much done as I thought I would.  An 8-hour sewing day is not something I get to do often but I guess I did more chatting than I realised!

Storm At Sea work-in-progress

I did finally finish this quilt top this week though, well, at least, I finished the paper piecing side of it, I just need to add a couple of borders to "grow" it a little and then I'll bring it to the blog in all it's glory! 

The last thing to mention about our lovely Quilt Retreat though was our little part in Bee Blessed.  I had heard the name before but really had no notion what it was.  When we got our details for the day however, we were asked if we would like to make a couple of blocks for "Bee Blessed" and our colours were to be green & blue on a white background, with the finished quilt being for a boy.  The world was our oyster as regards design, as long as the blocks were 12.5" unfinished.

 I decided to make a little row of  houses with different characters in the windows and doorways - because every neighbourhood contains all sorts, right?  Even monkeys and pirates!!!  However, I didn't double check the size of my pattern and ended up doing a bit of re-jigging to make it size up properly but it worked out ok in the end.  

My second block was a simple colourful star.... nothing to write home about but it fit in well.  In the end, there was quite a lovely selection of blocks, I think it will make a lovely quilt and can't wait to see them put together, it's the first time I've been involved in a community quilt!

My poor blocks could seriously do with a proper iron......whoops!

If you are interested in learning more about Bee Blessed....... click here.   Sarah can answer any questions!

So that was our day...... a lot of sewing, a bit of shopping, alot of chat, even more coffee n' cake....... it was BRILLIANT!  Can't wait for the next one!

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Tomomi McElwee said...

You had a great day! Love that house block, very cute. Next time I will join the fun.

Unknown said...

Oh do Tomomi, would love to meet you!

Unknown said...

Looks like a brilliant day.... Well done!

Sarah said...

Looks like you had a well deserved fun day. Thank you so much for the great blocks for the bee blessed quilt. The colour scheme Cindy chose is beautiful and really works well in all the blocks you ladies have produced.

Sarah Carey said...

Oh wow I've been dying to hear and see some snaps, I was unable to make it this time but I hope it will happen again! I'm so impressed with your report f the day and your blocks are gorgeous!

Unknown said...

Thanks Sarah! Really hope you make the next one.... hopefully it won't be too long away!

cheeky monkey said...

It is the other way round: you look much better in real than on a bad picture made for IG! You absolutely got me wrong. Note to myself: need to work on my English!

Unknown said...

Oh that's good to know Anneliese @cheeky monkey! LOL, you just made me laugh, I'm not giving out! Loved meeting you girls!