I already know that I am going to have to break FQR2014 down into multiple posts, because I still haven't been able to get it all straight in my head; there was so much information to digest and ideas to ponder over, I don't want to forget anything.
So let's see how far I get!
Friday. It started with a 4am thunderstorm and power cut, meaning all sorts of re-setting phone alarms and worrying about the lack of hot water and straighteners in the morning! By 'wake up time' it was all good; and by 10am I was on the train, not quite sure what to expect.
I was checked into my hotel by midday, then strolled up in the ridiculous heat to BP House.
The welcome committee was in place, Lynne, Brioni, Tacha and Trash, plus the 2 Jacks; game on! A quick hello with Tammy, Betty and a few others, and by the time we decided to escape the heat and decamp to the terrace, more and more lovely people were arriving and we headed on into the wonderfully air-conditioned hall.
I have to admit, when the FQly ladies began the Intro, I was wondering where everyone else was! I don't know the exact numbers but compared to the manic squeeze at the beginning of the last couple of years, the hall was virtually empty.
I was so excited that I got to meet some of my long-time 'friends' for the first time, like Sarah-Fairyface, Joanne, and Blueberry Park Karen as well as old buddies like Cindy, Sonia, Sarah and Nicky and, of course, Brit Bee buds Troods and Di. So many more, so forgive me if you haven't been name-checked, but if I am not careful this will be playing out in real time like 24!
First class, quilting with Jen Kingwell - A-MAZING!!!!
I absolutely love Jen Kingwell, and I don't care who knows it - I think I may have told her anyway! Not only are her quilts the most beautiful things I have ever seen and touched, (oh there was lots of touching!), but she is the most engaging, interesting and down to earth funny lady I have ever had the pleasure of listening to!
I didn't stitch much, but, I was too busy having a wonderful time!
After an hour and a half, including a power cut, (pity the poor folks using sewing machines or in the windowless hall!), I had learned more than I have learnt years! All mostly simple and 'obvious when you know', but still 'new to me' tips and tricks. The real life Gipsy Wife and Green...Beans quilts are beyond stunning, I could gush for hours!!
Let's just say this short and intimate session, (I think there was only a dozen of us), set the tone for my weekend, and I didn't stop smiling!
My other class on Friday was embroidery with Jo-Bearpaw, more love!
I was not particularly good, there was some unpicking and a lot of squinting (oh my rubbish eyes!), but I learnt the wonders of the whip-backstitch and how not to do bullion knots!
I even stitched up a little more that night in bed, and have been slowly adding more since coming home; so hoping to have this one finished some time soon.
After classes, there was time for a trip to Waitrose, a freshen up and then off to dinner.
A typically raucous affair, so much laughing and chatting; I was next to Cindy and opposite Sarah, Jenny F-P, Love P&Q editor and Karen, and despite the heat, did I mention it was hot, we had a brilliant time. Good food and good company, the perfect end to the day.
Saturday was huge, but I will try my best to cram that into the one post tomorrow.
I haven't even mentioned the goody-bag received on arrival, that will need another post all to itself!