myBearpaw Blog by Jo Avery

My Workshops at the Fat Quarterly Retreat

Some of you may already know that I will be teaching at Fat Quarterly Retreat this summer. The workshops have just been announced so I thought I would blog about my classes here. I am very excited about this!!

First off is Further Adventures in Embroidery. There’s been a few basic embroidery classes at the retreat over the last two years and I thought that an ‘improver’ workshop would be a good idea.

So we will be tackling a whole range of more advanced stitches such as bullion knots, raised rose stitch and spiderweb wheel, amongst others. I’ve designed a new pattern that fits a 6 inch hoop. All students will be emailed the pattern ahead of the retreat so they can transfer it on to their fabric and have it in the hoop ready to go. Embroidery is very laborious (but worth it!) so we probably won’t finish the whole thing in the class but we will have plenty of time to master the different stitches.

The second workshop I’m teaching is Fabric Bread Basket. In this class we will make a patchwork block and then transform it into this clever and useful folding basket. I will have be offering 3 different blocks to suit all skill levels. Above is the Improv House block, and I will also be doing a very simple one and a very demanding one. I will show you these when I have designed them!

You can also make a mini version of the basket which can be used as a thread catcher, or little holder for buttons or thread. I made this scrappy one a while back and then just knew it had to have a round pin cushion to sit inside.

The pincushion reminds me of the patchwork leather ‘pouff’ my mum brought back from Spain in the 1970’s!
Can anyone tell me which fabric range this is? A student on one of my classes brought this fabric along, and I oggled it so blatantly that she gave me all her scraps at the end of the class (I have quite a talent for this!). It’s really beautiful and I hadn’t seen it before.

You can read about all the other Fat Quarterly Retreat workshops here. There are so many amazing teachers and classes this year, I don’t know how anyone will be able to choose! I do hope a few friendly faces make it along to one of my workshops though 🙂

As far as I know there are still tickets left and you can buy your’s here. Looking forward to meeting you in July!


  1. I knew this was a post from you even without looking at the title…it screams…JO!:) Beautiful and what a great thing to be teaching as those stitches will be wonderful to learn! Wish I could be there!

  2. Wish I was going! Love your new embroidery design – haven't tackled any more since finishing your sampler tree. Knitting is my evening activity now but I know I will return to embroidery again as it really suited me – not too rigid and room for interpretation 9and errors!)! Have a wonderful weekend when it comes. Juliex

  3. The bread basket design is really sweet but I do like the smaller version as a thread catcher, really sweet. I am also not sophisticated enough to use a bread basket. The small one would be good for jewellery too.

  4. I'd love to be able to do your embroidery class. I'm really into sitting and stitching at the moment and your hoop design is so pretty and neat. I love the colour combo of the little basket and pin cushion too.
    Teresa x

  5. I love your new embroidery pattern, have fun at the retreat!
    P.S. No idea about the fabric but congratulations on your scrap acquiring habits! I must confess that at a recent dressmaking class I asked someone if I could take her (good sized) scraps out of the bin as they'd be perfect for patchwork…

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