myBearpaw Blog by Jo Avery

Preparing for Fat Quarterly Retreat 2014

It’s nearly that time of year again – yes it’s time to head down south to London Town and meet up with all my quilty pals at Fat Quarterly Retreat 2014! Woot woot!!

This year will be extra special (and slightly more stressful) because I am teaching at the Retreat. I am teaching ‘Further Adventures in Embroidery’ showing you how to do all those pretty stitches above (in just one and a half hours – I hope you all stitch fast!!).

Here I am at last year’s event (I have been at all of them so far). I’m on the far right and I look really rather over excited as I’d just scored this superstar group in the Sample Swap. That’s Di, Krista and Sonia beside me, all clasping our beautiful swag!

This year I have made 3 patchwork storage caddies for the Sample Swap, each one very different. I have been in a ‘using stuff up’ mode this month (see my last post), so all these were made out of different scraps. These strips above were from the Feather Quilt, they were cut to the wrong size and had to be discarded. They were perfect for a caddy though and then I thought I’d finish it off with some feather FMQ as a tribute to the original. I discovered it’s quite hard FMQing on a tiny piece of quilt!

This lovely strip of square patchwork was from a failed attempt to make a ‘too small’ patchwork doggie for my Stitch Gathering class this year. I decided to try one of the ‘fancy’ stitches my Pfaff does and stitched a row of leaves in variegated Aurifil above it. But you really can’t tell they are leaves even close up! That row of hand quilting hopefully makes up for it (as well as the gorgeous Maude Asbury ‘Maisie’ fabric inside and at the bottom!).

This last one is made from left over flying geese from one of my FMQ sewing machine cover workshops. This one looks particularly modern and minimal with just the 2 shades of Kona, so I put a lovely floral fabric inside to flounce it up a bit!
I hope there won’t be any fighting over who gets which one in my group!

Lastly here is the nametag that I made for my secret partner Birgit. She has received it now so it’s ok to show you the name.
More left over stuff used to make this too! Also I have a new Clover pompom maker and have been going slightly pompom crazy here!
I really like the composition with all the flowers, yo-yos and buttons just on one side, but of course the tag wouldn’t hang straight when I’d finished, so I had to sew a 2p piece into the opposite corner to balance it up!

I really hope we get to meet up again or for the first time on Friday/Saturday/Sunday. Please come up and say hello to me, I’m really nice and friendly, honest!!


  1. Have a wonderful time at the London FQ Retreat. It's on my bucket list, for sure! Good luck with your class. I'm certain it will be excellent! Is there a pattern to your adorable patchwork storage caddies? I love them!

  2. I am sure you will have a wonderful time, your swap buckets are fun and no doubt will be loved and filled with stitchy things very quickly.

    1. No I don't have a pattern for them but I adapted them from one by Mandy Munroe which appeard in Creative Bagmaking last year – this was a 'bookazine' and sometimes you can still buy these as they tend to sell for a whole year, so worth googling if you can't find anything similar.

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