Changes to this year’s Fat Quarterly Retreat 2014

This year we have made several changes to the format of the Fat Quarterly Retreat.  Brioni, Tacha and I are in the final stages of preparation for this year’s retreat with only two months to go before the weekend itself.  We took note of your feedback from last year’s retreat and made these changes:

1.   Crucially we are having smaller classes this year and we are filling all of your time so you will have four full sessions of teaching as well as the evening events.  Like last year we have a selection of workshops and table top classes and each session (Friday afternoon, Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning) will be made up of one workshop or 2 table top classes so every minute of you day can be filled if that’s what you want.

2.   For anyone who wants to take a breather we will also have sit and sew tables manned us and the teachers where you can just sit, chat and sew, share ideas and take advice if needed.  Anyone can sit anywhere and just join in – we don’t want anyone to feel there’s nowhere they can go to sit and meet new people.

3.   In previous years, we only had access to 20 machines but this year Janome are providing us with 50 wonderful machines which should make the whole event much easier, especially for those of you travelling further.  Of course to be 100% sure of having access to a machine for the whole of the retreat, we still suggest you bring your machine but having 50 will certainly ease the pressure!

4.   This year Trash is very kindly helping us with the social side of the whole event – organising mixers, having sign up boards for anyone who’d like to join a group of people for dinner as well as organising swaps for before and at the event details of which can be found over in the Flickr group.  The idea is that no-one should be left feeling alone.

5.   This year we are more determined than ever for there not to be any in-crowds or cliques that make anyone feel excluded.  The Fat Quarterly team itself will consist just of Brioni, Tacha and me and our helping team will consist of three teenage boys (two of my sons and one of their friends!) and they will be on call to cater to your every whim (within reason…!).

6.   And the most important change which the whole Fat Quarterly team agreed on after last year’s retreat is that we are keeping the event smaller – there are still tickets left but we have far fewer places than last year with a view to making the whole event more relaxed and enjoyable for the participants.

Modern Madness 2014 – FINAL!!!!

So here we are at the final of Modern Madness 2014! There have been a few surprises along the way but we think both the finalists are more than worthy contenders!

Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman



Koi by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cloud9


Register your vote below!!!

Modern Madness 2014 Semi Final Results

Charley Harper for Birch Fabrics – 47% (111 votes)
Koi by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cloud9 – 53% (127 votes)

Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman – 68% (127 votes)
Waterfront Park by Violet Craft for Michael Miller Fabrics – 32% (59 votes)

Modern Madness 2014 – Semi Finals Part 2

Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman



Waterfront Park by Violet Craft for Michael Miller Fabrics

waterfront park

Just click on the links to refresh your memory of the lines and register your vote on our form below!

And the winner is …

And the winner of our new book, Fat Quarterly Quilt Colour Workshop …

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 … picked by random number generator …

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 08.04.26 … is …

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From your social secretary Trash

And today this post is brought to you by the official social secretary of this year’s Fat Quarterly Retreat, Trash!

Yippee! Nearly time to start an official countdown to FQR 2014. Feeling quite chuffed, have got my roomies sorted, my transport identified and now it is time to let loose my inner Big Sister and throw open the swappages.

There are two sorts of swaps – sign up in advance/turn up on the day and we’ve got both kinds! The ever popular Nametag and Sample Swaps are in sign up in advance ones while things like the Fugly Fabric Swap and the Colour/Scrappage Pack Swap are turn up on the day kind of ones. So let’s start with the advance party shall we?

NAMETAG SWAPALOOZA – this is an upstream/downstream swap. The person you make for is not necessarily the person who makes for you, it is secret and it is posted out BEFORE the event so requires a little bit of time management.

The dimensions of nametags are set because no one wants to have to peer closely at a fellow sewist’s boobs to try and read the titchy stitchery OR have to take guesses at who is hiding behind the world’s bigggest nametag. It can be whatever shape you want but it ideally no bigger than 9 centimetres/3.5 inches in any direction. Lanyards seemed to be the most popular way of wearing tags so please include one, mostly because having to a balance a nametag on your forehead just looks really odd.

Sign ups are from now and can be done by looking at the FQR Flickr page, leaving a comment on this post expressing your interest or by emailing me at I need all the basic swap info – likes/dislikes, postal address, name to go on your tag.

SAMPLE SWAPSTRAVAGANZA – this one is a group swap. You make 3/4/5 of the same thing to swap in your group and come home with 3/4/5 individual things made by the others. Does it make sense? I always have trouble explaining this one but the upshot is you make stuff that you love/are good at/enjoy to share out and get back things that people love/are good at/enjoy sharing.

This one requires slightly more thinking to avoid the Zakka-based situation from 2012 so when you sign up I ask that you give me an idea of what you are making - soap, soft toy, knitted item, Queen size medallion quilt, whatever. I don't need full details, just an idea so there can be groups without overlaps.

Same as above, you can sign up on Flickr or send me an email to or leave a comment on this post so I can contact you.

ON THE DAY SWAPS - so then we have the turn up swaps. These are pretty straight forward and just involve bringing along whatever the swap dictates and sharing it out. I really enjoyed the way John managed the Fugly Fabric in 2012 so I forsee another round of 'Pass The Parcel' with those getting a layer unsure whether they are actually winners. *rolls eyes with evil genius glee*



I am also on the lookout for people who might be able to help with creating an extra blank nametag. It is way more fun to be able to join in so we wanted to have some lovely handcrafted tags available on the day for people who missed out on sign-ups for whatever reason. If you would like to, please mention it in the comments or email me; no pressure but there could well be some of my world famous BEST BROWNIES EVER in it for you.

Also while in asking mode - do you fancy being a best friend over the FQR weekend? There is nothing worse in the world than feeling alone in a big group of people and it would be ace to know that we had roving bands of sewists keeping an eye out for each other and making sure no one was left talking to the wall because she didn't feel able to break into a group. I am hoping we can get light-up hats for the BFFs but failing that you will have my undying gratitude and quite possibly access to the world famous BEST BROWNIES EVER . Contact me by all the normal channels.

- with thanks to Floh Stiche, Bianca Wood and Quiltova for letting me pilfer their pictures from Flickr

Modern Madness 2014 – Semi Finals Part 1

Charley Harper for Birch Fabrics

charley harper


Koi by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cloud9


Just click on the links to refresh your memory of the lines and register your vote on our form below!

Modern Madness 2014 – Quarter Final Results!

Charley Harper for Birch Fabrics – 53% (84 votes)
Sun Print by Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics – 47% (75 votes)

Simply Style by V and Co for Moda – 42% (67 votes)
Koi by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cloud9 – 58% (92 votes)

Glimma by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics – 28% (45 votes)
Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman – 72% (114 votes)

Bungalow by Joel Dewberry for Freespirit Fabrics – 27% (43 votes)
Waterfront Park by Violet Craft for Michael Miller Fabrics – 73% (116 votes)

Win a copy of Fat Quarterly’s new book

Our new book, Fat Quarterly Quilt Colour Workshop is now out and today you can be in with a chance of winning a copy by commenting on this post.

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In this book, we talk about colour theory and how to use it in your quilt designs.  There are big projects, small projects, new block designs and of course, plenty of talk about colour theory.  This quilt of John’s uses a complementary colour scheme based around blue.

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There is a chapter for each of the primary and secondary colours together with projects that demonstrate different colour theories.  Such as this green monochrome pillow by Tacha.

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There are also block designs made up in varieties of different solid and print colour combinations to demonstrate the different effects different colour schemes can create within the same basic design.  Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 06.16.48My Modern Vintage Wedding Ring quilt pushed me right out of my comfort zone into using purple (a colour I used to fear) in a split complementary colour scheme.  I used 1930s repros combined with low volume prints to create a modern version of a wedding ring quilt which was actually designed to look as though I’d found it in my grandmother’s attic.



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If you’d like to be in with a chance of winning a copy of the book, leave a comment on this post and we will pick a winner randomly a week from today.

Issue 17 Pre-cuts III

Issue 17 – Pre-cuts III is OUT NOW!!!!


We all love pre-cuts. They are the best way of getting an entire line of fabric into your projects. There are plenty of Patterns out there for using fat quarters, layer cakes or even jelly rolls so we thought this issue we would focus on the smallest of the pre-cuts – the Mini Charm Pack. These 2 1/2″ square packs are more versatile than you might think…

And of course, there are also a few patterns in this issue using other sized pre-cuts.

Go to the Issue 17 page to find out more.

By |April 30th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments