I drafted this post some time ago (early July, just home from the Retreat) then published the post by Jess and never got around to expressing my own experience… Today I found this sitting in my drafts folder and thought I should just press publish – here are my thoughts, they are, raw, unedited and quite possibly not coherent! If you want to read another participants take on the retreat, Emma has given a wrap up here.
We had two absolutely amazing weekends and have some more coming up as well as plans for a more permanent space, I can’t wait to have you along for the ride!
Content below the line was written on 8 July 2016
Wow! The very first of The Creative Retreats have come and gone. I am just home and have a big, full cup. Community has been built, creativity has been fuelled and boy oh boy am I overflowing with gratitude for so much.
I’m grateful for the attendees, without them taking time away from family, work and caring commitments, believing in the unknown and committing to being present, we would not have had such a blast. A complete blast. At each location, the sewing room was full of encouragement, support and hilarity round the clock.
From the one who had never attempted making a quilt to the one who owns a quilt shop and the one who writes quilt patterns, books and designs fabric for a living and everyone in between, we had a large range of technical skill and experience. These wonderful participants placed their trust in me to bring them an untested experience, thank you all for coming and participating wholly.
To Cheryl, who put blind faith in me to bring her outside of North America for the first time, who gave her all and was an absolutely amazing tutor, thank you. I miss you already and can’t wait to have you back again!
And then there’s the team I worked with to pull this thing off. Bianca who created my website and provided small business advice and assistance, Sylvia who encouraged me for years to follow this dream, Claire who folded more fat quarters than anyone should ever have to fold and provided more support than I can possibly put into words.
Special mention must go to two ace ladies who worked tirelessly across the retreat weekends, these two women are generous, supportive, kind and so damn funny. Nomes and Cath you are both seriously amazing. You were right there the whole weekend and you worked like crazy town from dawn to dusk and beyond. I had so much fun with both of you, my dear kitchen slappers, and you know I could never have managed so much behind the scenes without the two of you. I’m so, so, so grateful for all that you did, all that you are and I hope your hands are starting to recover – I owe you both some hand cream! Love you both, thank you.
And while I’m on the train, there’s one last mention of gratitude I have to make, to my family. To the Mr who picks up the slack at home while I’m away and provides encouragement, support, reality checks and washing services and to our three smalls who have all helped this come about in their own special ways, our dreams only happen with the support of the people who love us and I can’t do what I do without my family.
I’m already planning the next retreat in November, can’t wait to tell you who the next tutor is!
The story of the seven year quilt!
Back in 2009, when Flickr was still where it was all happening (remember Flickr, sob), and there were modern quilting groups having quilt alongs and swaps and challenges, way back then, I belonged to a Munki Munki quilt along group. I started some log cabin blocks as part of a quilt along and wanted to use as many of the fabrics I had n my stash at the time as I could.
Then I stopped.
My process then was different, my confidence was non-existent and I just felt like my work would never live up to the beautiful work I was seeing in the Flickr group. I was yet to find my quilting bliss and realise that I did not need to be the same as others, I needed to work through that and find my own space. Trying to re-create the style of others was holding me back. So I put these blocks away.
I loved the little Munki Munki centres of these log cabins and the blocks told a story about the state of my fabric loves at the time so they got stashed away on the “to-do” shelves.
Then my baby sister was going to turn 18 in 2012 so I pulled them out. At that time, her favourite colour was yellow so I bought yardage of an Art Gallery Pure Elements solid, I think the colour is Canary, and started sashing the blocks. Her favourite colour is yellow. Mine, not so much. To be honest, I was not at all confident that I was making a good decision with the yellow. So I put it away.
Then she was turning 21 in 2015. I was determined to gift the quilt to her for her 21st so I sucked on the lemon and finished the quilt top. But I still wasn’t happy with it. And, you guessed it, I put it away. Again.
Then one day, earlier this year, I pulled it out while doing a studio re-organise and all of a sudden I loved that quilt. I loved how much it said about my quilting journey and I loved how much it made me think of my sister. The yellow now made me crazy happy and felt like a big whack of sunshine in the day. I had an overwhelming urge to finish it right away!
Seven years in the making, so much love and life has passed in that time, hope you (still) love yellow as much as I now do my dear, dear baby sister. XXOO
The quilt :: Improv Log Cabin
Size :: 73″ 73″
Fabrics :: A sampling of my stash from 2008-2015; Art Gallery Pure Elements (possibly Canary)
Backing :: Art Gallery print purchased circa 2012
Batting :: Matilda’s own 100% Cotton
Binding :: Cotton & Steel current print
Quilting :: by Heidi