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Finish Along Q1 Redraw And A Finish For Me

Okay, so the first order of business for today is a redraw of 2 prizes that weren't claimed in the Q1 FAL last week, so here goes:

1. https://www.flickr.com/photos/allierae/  wins:

2. http://bumblebzs.blogspot.co.uk/ wins:

Please contact me to claim your prizes ladies.

Moving on, on Wednesday I had a couple of 'nearly finisheds' which I got done yesterday and took out for a photo shoot.  Today we'll look at the quilt, and on Monday I'll show off the bag :o)

We're lucky in Glasgow that quite a number of wealthy people in the past died and left everything to the city, so we have these random pockets of massive houses and country parks in the middle of the city.  One of them, Pollok Park, I'm rather fond of, so I decided it would be the perfect back drop for a little photo shoot yesterday evening.  We've had some glorious weather so far for the Easter weekend, so it seemed perfect.

Ideally I'd like to have got all the chimneys in this, but I think you can see the quilt was about to take off!  It probably wasn't helped by the curved railings.

One of the many random little follies and things around the house, just to the right of where the previous photo was:

3. Look at that blue sky!  It's been so long...

4. A little close up on the quilting - I wanted to keep it simple and in keeping with the pattern of the quilt.  (Oops, apparently I hung the quilt sideways in this!)

5. A fun wee rollup shot in the flowers:

6. You can't see the quilt that well in this, but I do love this row of trees.  It will be even prettier when all the flowers at the base of them come out.

I had a few firsts with this quilt - I've never done a border on one of my own patterns before, never worked with all retro prints before, and never used invisible thread for the machine binding before (absolute god send BTW, it's going to be the only way forward from now on!)

Final Stats:

Fabric:  American Jane - mostly School Days, with Punctuation and Multi Pezzy in the border, plus Klona cream backing
Thread:  Aurifil 2021 50 wt for both piecing and quilting
Batting:  EQS Sew Simple Supersoft 100% Cotton
Size:  90" square approx.
Piecing:  All done by me in one crazy night
Quilting:  Straight line on the diagonal through the squares
Quilted by:  Again by me, in one other crazy night
Pattern:  Out of my head, loosely based on the traditional Irish Chain pattern

Random Thursday

Okay peeps, before we kick off the randomness, there are still 2 unclaimed Q1 FAL prizes, you have until tomorrow to get in touch with me or I redraw!

And moving on to the usual madness...

1. So have you heard the pitter patter of tiny feet lately?  No?  Well think about the poor family in Sweden who found their pitter patter was caused by this (yep, that is a giant rat, just in case you were wondering):

2. Shifting a little across the species, did you know that flamingos can only eat when their heads are upside down?  It gives me a lump in my throat just thinking about it!

3. And from one bird to another, did you know that the governor of Wisconsin just had to set into law that rubber duck racing was legal?  Previously it fell under lottery laws, meaning that the village of Mishicot's annual rubber duck race was illegal.  Personally, I want this one at the next local race:

4. From one toy to another, workers in Scotland's sewer systems have cleared over 40,000 blockages in the last year, with the causes ranging from cooking oil, nappies, a bike, a fax machine and a giant Pooh...

5. Bringing us back full circle to Sweden, have you ever forgot you owned something?  I mean sure, the odd item of clothing that gets buried at the back of the wardrobe, but have you ever forgotten anything really big?  You know, like a luxury yacht?  Huh, yeah, me neither, but apparently a wealthy Swedish man forgot his in a harbour for 2 years!  That's some oversight...

Linking up with my fellow Randomeers:

Work In Progress Wednesday

It's that time of the week again where we all look round and say 'where did the last week go?!'  I'm not sure all of it was fun either, I know I definitely had to go to work for 5 of those days anyway ;o)  Anyway, in the time I had at home (when I wasn't out on jollies with friends) I got some quilt wrestling done, and the outside of a bag made, and got distracted by a few other things, both prospective projects and things in the photo studio *ahem*

Finishes This Week


In Progress This Week:

I got this quilted and trimmed, just need to bind it:

This, along with a couple of other panels, has turned into a bag outer.  I hope to get it all done by the weekend for a big reveal then :o)

To Be Worked On This Week:

Bag lining
Quilt binding
A few of the distraction projects...

Hope you've all had a great week, linking up, as ever, to:

Finish Along Sponsor Highlight - Fat Quarter Shop

Well, if it’s Tuesday it must be time to highlight one of our fabulous Finish Along Sponsors again, and this time it’s the Fat Quarter Shop:


As well as having a supply of fabric, patterns and notions that I suspect you could get lost in for days, FQS also has some great resources alongside their shop.

Take, for example, the Block Of The Months – there are several of these running at any one time, and one can pick up the pattern and fabrics for both the front and back if desired.  One recent example is the Park Bench Quilt by Julie Of Jaybird Quilts:

They also have quilt clubs, monthly clubs where fabrics in a range of cuts will drop through your door, from the Moda Hexagons to the Christmas Fat Quarters, there’s even a couple of pattern sets.

Each month there’s also a Notion Of The Month, designed to entice you into buying all the little tools to help make your life better, and with 20% off for the entire month.  This month’s offering, Appliglue, looks like it actually might be quite handy for glue basting bindings.  Hmmmm…

The blog keeps everything ticking along nicely, reminding you of all these features as well as interviewing designers at regular intervals so that you can win some of their products.  I don’t think I’ve ever got one of those ‘3 questions’ sets of answers right yet, mind you!

And finally, the most recent innovation has been their YouTube videos which has quite the range of topics, from simple techniques, to more complicated blocks and projects, it should keep you from being bored for a wee while!
Finish Along Q2 Opening Party Ends Tomorrow Night! - Updated, Sorry!

Don't forget folks, if you are intending to link up to the opening linky party for Q2 of the FAL, it closes at midnight tonight tomorrow night BST (clock at the bottom shows the current time BST)

Finish Along 2014

Also, if you won a prize from Q1, don't forget to contact me to tell me who you are, I still have 5 unclaimed prizes!
What Makes Your Retreat A Treat?

So I've been thinking recently, after chatting with a friend, and seeing the spring crop of retreats pop up around IG and blog land, what is it that would attract you to a sewing retreat?  I've been lucky enough to attend a number of retreats both in Europe and the US, with a variety of sizes, timeframes and formats, and whilst I enjoyed them all, some would attract me back again more than others.

I'm being totally nosy here, so I'll offer up some options for discussion, then there's a wee survey at the end.  Obviously all the FAL Q1 stats have got me addicted to number crunching ;o)

Let's Talk Size

Sometimes you want to meet a ton of new people, to absorb as many new things as you can, and sometimes it's nice to just meet up with a few people, old friends, or soon to be old friends, where you can get to know people much better.

Do you want a mass gathering like at Fat Quarterly Retreat, or Sewing Summit (now ended) with say 200 odd attendees?

goodbye FQR
Photo borrowed from Kerry on the FQR Flickr Group
Or do you want something smaller and more intimate, such as Patchwork In The Peaks with under 15 attendees?

Or maybe even something in the middle, like the Stitch Gathering, which had 60 attendees last year?

The Stitch Gathering Modern Quilt Retreat Edinburgh 2013
Borrowed from Jo on the SG Flickr Group

How Long Do You Want To Escape For?

Time matters, whether you have a full time job or a full time family, and your ability to escape can have many dependencies on it, from available holiday days at work, to child care cover.  If it's a once a year treat though, are you willing to work round these things, or is it frankly impossible to bend from the norm? (no judgements here BTW!)

Do you want to escape for a day, like the Stitch Gathering?  It ran from 9-5-ish

Or maybe a weekend, like the first FQR was?  That ran Friday night to Sunday afternoon

Perhaps you want to push the boat out for a long weekend, like Peaks, which ran from Thursday afternoon to Sunday lunchtime?

Does Location Matter?

I've drooled a bit over some of the locations that our North American cousins have been enjoying recently - islands, cabins in the mountains and more, but how remote would you like to be?

FQR, Sewing Summit, the Stitch Gathering, and the big MQG events take place in big cities, within hotels or conference facilities, so do you want to head off to the big smoke?

Or would you like the peace and tranquility of somewhere like Peaks, in a beautiful location? (bear optional)

Do You Want To Learn Things?

All the retreats I've attended have had a certain element of teaching, some formal, some not, but I know that there are retreats where people go to just sew whatever they like, uninterrupted, for a few days.

Would you like structured classes where you split up into groups and have to book into a timetable, like at FQR or Sewing Summit?

Or maybe you'd like to learn something all together, like at Peaks?

Perhaps you'd like a mixture of class time and 'own sew' time?

Maybe you'd like it to be entirely your own time?

What Kind Of Learning Would You Like?

I've attended retreats where there have been hands on classes only, and ones which were a mixture of hands on and lectures on things such as improving your blog, or how to choose colours which go together.  Some classes have been all about sewing, while others have covered working with fabrics in other ways, or even crochet and knitting.

Would you prefer hands on classes only?

A mixture of hands on and lectures?

Just a little quick learning thing dotted about during your own making?

Optional classes?

Class Subjects

The subject of classes has proved somewhat controversial at some events, where some have wanted sewing only, and others were happy to sit through colour theory and photography, so what would you prefer?

Would you want sewing only?

Possibly a mixture of techniques?

Maybe some theory would be okay?


This is another of the potentially thorny subjects, and of course in a way is dependent on the location of the retreat, but if the retreat lasts for longer than a day, you are going to have to stay somewhere.

Would you like to stay in the same building as your work area/classrooms?

Are you happy to find something for yourself, potentially cheaper and further away?

Food, Glorious Food

We all need to eat, but in days where dietary restrictions are growing, and the cost of food is growing too, how would you prefer to be fed while you're away?

Fully catered, breakfast, lunch and dinner?

Partial catering - say lunch and maybe an optional dinner?

Exclusively eating out?

Taking it in turns to cook?

And Finally, The Extras

Some of the best things about retreats are the goodie bags that are often supplied, but I've also seen retreats where massages, manicures, jacuzzis and more are offered as optional extras.  Do you consider a retreat to be a place to spoil yourself completely and indulge in the extras, or is the simple act of sewing reward enough for you?

Do you want goodie bags all the way?

Or maybe class supplies provided in favour of a slightly smaller goody bag?

Perhaps all of the above along with all the spa therapies that can be thrown in?

On To The Poll

All the questions will allow you to choose multiple answers, I'm curious to see what you pick :o)

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Now I will set some expectations here, I'm afraid I'm not about to announce next week that I'm running a retreat anywhere, and nor is my friend.  I'd love to be able to one day, but in the meantime I will just have to satisfy myself with visiting those run by others!  Thanks for playing along :o)
Finish Along Quarter 1 - And The Winners Are...

Spreadsheets were created, heads were scratched, plans were formed, and Mr RNG was press ganged into use, so I can finally announce the winners of Q1 of the Finish Along.  If you see your name here, please contact me to claim your prize, and I'll hook you up with your fabulous sponsor :o)

Finish Along 2014

1. http://negligentstylee.blogspot.cz/ wins:


2. http://sewnoworries.blogspot.co.uk/ wins:

3. http://www.domesticdeficitdisorder.blogspot.co.uk/ wins:

$30 gift certificate to Imagine Gnats

4. http://www.domesticlightandmagic.blogspot.co.uk/ wins:

Sew Sweetness

5. http://thatssojulie.blogspot.co.uk/ wins:

6. http://quiltmaybe.blogspot.co.uk/ wins:

7. http://quiltingismorefunthanhousework.blogspot.co.uk/ wins:

8. http://kwiltypleasures.blogspot.co.uk/ wins:

9. http://www.piecedwithlovexoxo.blogspot.co.at/ wins:

10. http://tinkingalong.wordpress.com/ wins:

11. http://blog.pennydog.com/ wins:

12. http://weekend-quilter.blogspot.co.uk/ wins:

13: http://heartofcharnwood.blogspot.co.uk/ wins:

Congratulations to all the winners, we had winners with as few as 1 entry, and as many as 11, so be assured that every entry counts!

Don't forget to hook up to the Q2 opening party before midnight on the 14th, and you could be in the running for next time :o)