Community Retreat: London

Retreat Classes – Laura Taylor

Laura Laura Taylor
Laura @ Needles, Pins and Baking Tins on Flickr
@laurajane7789 on Twitter

Granny Square Crochet by Laura Taylor (Table Top session)

Fancy trying your hand at crochet? This class will cover the absolute basics for absolute beginners. We will look at the 3 stitches used to create crochet granny squares – chaining, slip stitch, and double crochet.

granny squares

Crochet Flower Pillow by Laura Taylor (3 hour Workshop without machine)

Fancy taking your basic crochet skills to the next level? This cute pillow is easy to achieve using some of the basic stitches. It’s striking, modern, quick to hook up and looks great in different colourways.

flower pillow

Retreat Classes – Trudi Wood

Trudi Trudi Wood
Trudi-quiltingprolifically on Flickr

Free Motion Quilting by Trudi Wood (3 hour Workshop)

Join Trudi in a hands on class to learn (or build on your) free motion quilting skills. Focusing on technique, will share tips she has picked up over the years, which will enable you to finish a project without unpicking or throwing it out of the window! We’ll also look at the choices you make for thread, needles, wadding and speed, and how they can affect your quilting.


Free Motion Quilting Design by Trudi Wood (Table Top session)

A happy hour of doodling! We will look more closely at quilting designs to identify how they are formed, learn how to execute/progress designs and also how to adapt existing designs to make them your own. Free motion quilting is very much like hand writing as basic shapes, once mastered, can be built on to create patterns and designs of your own.

fmq design

Retreat Classes – Lucie Summers

lucie Lucie Summers on Flickr
@lusummers on Twitter

Improv by Lucie Summers (3 hour Workshop with machines)

Get out of your comfort zone for a few hours with this really informal relaxed class where I will be teaching a few of my favourite improv techniques. The aim of the class is to create a mini (12 – 14 inches square) quilt ready for quilting and you’ll create a truly unique piece of patchwork art. Learn how to create chevrons and curves (*really* drunk drunkards path) done my way!


Portholes by Lucie Summers (3 hour Workshop with machines)

Portholes is a techniques/experimental based workshop rather than a taking-home-finished-item workshop, so expect to head home with 3-4 samples for finishing at a later date. If you want the pieces you make on the workshop to be the starting point for a new quilt, please bring fabrics that will work together. I shall be teaching the basic technique of a round porthole to begin with, then you can get fancy schmancy with the other shapes.


Hand Quilting by Lucie Summers (Table top session)

I am not an expert hand quilter, but I love to stitch my mini quilts using thicker thread than usual, mimicking the look of Indian Kantha quilting. This informal class is not aiming for perfection, it’s a more organic way of quilting using different coloured embroidery threads to create a striking mini quilt. If you have made a mini quilt in my improv class, you might like to join me for a relaxing chat and quilt!

hand quilt

Retreat Classes – Kerry Green

Kerry Kerry Green
verykerryberry on Flickr
@verykb on Twitter

Fantasy Fabric Shop by Kerry Green (Table Top session)

The ultimate fantasy for the fabric lover, imagine you have your own fabric store and you need to display a range of fabrics to tempt the eye, this workshop is all about fabric and colour. Annie from Village Haberdashery is providing a huge selection of fabrics for us to work with and we will be putting bundles together using a range of techniques from a colour wheel to story telling.

If you struggle bringing different fabrics together combining colours, prints or creating a ‘look’ this is the workshop for you. You can create your perfect bundle, bring fabrics from home that you struggle to work with and we can trouble shoot any specific requests. I will set a series of bundle challenges to bring a range of fabrics together in different ways. There will lots of opportunity to buy fabrics at the retreat including bundles that you make in this workshop.

fantasy fabric

P J Pants by Kerry Green (3 hour Workshop with machines)

If you have always wanted to sew a garment but were too nervous to try, this is the class for you. The pyjama bottoms are made with one main pattern piece. We will be using an easy Simplicity pattern with which is available free to download as a PDF or is widely available to buy as a tissue paper pattern. The pattern is sized XS to XL and is suitable for tween/teenage children, women and men.

I will be showing you how to follow a clothing pattern including alterations to leg length, the option to add contrast cuffs to the hem and an alternative waist finish with an elasticised back and a drawstring front. You can trace the pattern in your size and bring to class or do the whole process- trace, alter, cut and sew in class. The aim is to make PJs from start to finish in class!


Fat Quarterly Retreat Classes – Lynne Goldsworthy

Not long to the retreat now and I am sure all of you who are coming cannot wait to sign up for classes and get together all the bits and pieces you will need. We have been working hard behind the scenes to offer a mix of different classes whilst still trying to make sure that we all have time to chat and just hang

out over the retreat weekend.

Over the next couple of weeks we will be posting more information about each of the classes. Keep your eyes peeled since once we have posted all the class details we will send out a link to every retreat attendee to sign up for classes.

So without furthermore ado let us begin!


Lynne Goldsworthy
Lynne @ Lilys Quilts on Flickr

Touchdraw for iPad by Lynne Goldsworthy (Table Top session)

Learn how to use Touchdraw (a very reasonably priced vector graphics app for iPad) to make buttons, design quilts and blocks, calculate block measurements, re-size blocks and draw up quilt block templates.


Precision Piecing by Lynne Goldsworthy (3 hour Workshop with machines)

Learn how to improve the precision of your piecing. We will be making two class sample blocks and covering cutting, accurate seam allowances, 4-patches, 9-patches, half square triangles, quarter square triangles and economy patches as well as piecing this all together into the 2 sample blocks.

Precision Piecing

Fat Quarterly London Retreat linky party!

Did you buy a ticket? Are you going to London? We thought we’d have an early “eeep” blogpost linky party so we can all get to know each other early doors.   If you went last year, we’d love you to write a post telling us what your favourite moments were, what you made at or after the retreat, showing us your favourite photos, telling us what you’re looking forward to this year, what you’d like from us this year and anything else that comes to mind. Here’s a button to grab to add to your sidebar so other people know you’re going to London.


And if you didn’t go last year but are going this year, what are you looking forward to, are you going alone or with others, what made you want to go this year? Anything really so we know more about who’s coming and what you want from the weekend!  And of course don’t forget to join the Flickr group where you can chat to everyone else who’s going along, get hotel tips, sort accommodation etc.

the retreat special

retreat special

If you wish you had gone to the retreat why not treat yourself to the next best thing?

Our retreat special issue is out now, and only $5. It’s packed full of projects, many of which were taught over the weekend, as well as additional bonus patterns and features! Find it here.

Amy has offered up the amazing pillow (pictured below) she made from Thomas Knauer’s Flock fabric as a giveaway. Her pillow is featured in the designer challenge from this issue, and you could win it!

Leave a (single) comment on this post for your chance!

GIVEAWAY CLOSED – the winner is (drum roll….) Lisa at Cottage Nest congrats Lisa – look out for an email from us!

Flock Fat Quarterly Designer Challenger

Thank you, danke, merci…

As the dust settles on the Fat Quarterly London retreat, we need to take a moment to thank a few people.

The biggest thank you, by a country mile, goes to every single one of you who took the leap of faith and parted with your hard earned cash to buy a ticket for an event organised by a bunch of people with not even one hour of event organisation between them.  Your faith, enthusiasm and willingness to jump right on in and support us is the one thing that overwhelmed us all.  You were all so friendly, chatty, fun, sometimes even downright silly, hard working, hard talking and inclusive.  We didn’t want cliques and people being left out and, as far as we could see, everyone chatted to everyone else and mixed and moved and shared so that, even someone coming along who didn’t know a soul, did not feel left out.  The thought that you came, joined in and supported us for this weekend was what made us all cry like babies on Sunday night after you’d left.  OK well John and Brioni didn’t cry.  In fact they laughed at us for crying but you get my point.

Secondly we need to thank what I will call our big fat sponsors.  Most people organising an event like this will be trying to buy themselves a Ferrari at the end of it or at least a mini or perhaps a bicycle.  We were hoping to break even.  Nuts?  Well maybe.  We didn’t want to organise an event for the rich quilters.  We wanted to organise an event for the quilters.  Sponsorship from our six BIG FAT SPONSORS was the key to keeping our prices as low as possible.  And those BIG FAT SIX SPONSORS were:

The mighty Moda fabrics, producers of everyone’s favourite pre-cuts and fabric lines;

Aurifil threads (yes, they are the best threads and don’t you forget it);

Oakshott shot cottons (did you meet Michael and Julia Oakshott on Saturday as they strolled the floor?);

Sizzix die cutters (did you get a chance to try one out?);

Robert Kaufman (who filled our goodie bags with FQs); and

Pfaff (who drove into central London on Jubilee weekend with 20 machines for us and then drove right back in again on Jubilee weekend to collect them and what fabulous machines the Ambition 1.5 are).

We also had extras in our goodie bags from Korbond and Abakhan Fabrics as well as support from each of the advertisers you will see in the special London Retreat FQ issue coming out very soon.

The next thank you goes to the team / crew / gang at Baden Powell House, Maurice, Steph and Robin.  Attendees may or may not have noticed these three.  Setting up the rooms, cleaning the rooms, re arranging the rooms, re-organising our cabling, providing us with all their spare extension cables when we (somewhat naively, somewhat foolishly) had turned up with just five (yes, just five…!), teasing us mercilessly (you know it Maurice), laughing at and with us and just smiling and working tirelessly behind the scenes to mask our incompetence.  Yes, they made us look good and for that we will be eternally grateful.

We also need to thank our teachers.  Now there are the announced teachers – Kerry, Lu, Aneela and Claudia.  Each of whom taught the most wonderful classes and inspired so many of you to try something new.  But also some impromptu teachers – Trudi teaching FMQ over Sunday lunch for example.  Diane and Lizzie showing us how to make the most beautiful Liberty necklaces.  And then teachers within the lessons.  In each of my lessons, so many people helped each other, showed their methods and techniques, offered support and encouragement, lent pins, cutters, irons even sewing machines.  The event became so much more than just Katy, John, Tacha, Brioni and Lynne.

Getting ready for @verykerryberry freezer paper piecing class

And a last but for me not least thank you to Mandy and Lu.  Now Mandy is my (Lynne) real life friend.  She lives in my village, she sells solids and pre-cuts in my village (I mean not purely for my own convenience you understand but I’m sure not complaining) and she keeps me sane in my village (imagine talking pre-cuts on the school run and you will know just what I mean).  Now Mandy paid for her ticket.  Paid to have a nice lazy weekend learning new things and making new friends.  Did you see her sit down and relax, join all the lessons she signed up for?  No, Mandy spent the weekend pushing those huge blue trolleys up and down the corridors of the retreat, she got us coffees, helped in my lessons, shifted machines, set up cabling, fetched sellotape, hung quilts, moved furniture all just because she’s our friend and we love her.

And as for Lu.  She just came along as a teacher.  She came to teach two lessons and then relax.  But she also jumped right in as unofficial useful person.  Since Maurice from Baden Powell House was under the false impression that she was the boss of us, she became master of the keys, master of the lights, unofficial teacher in my class, mover of machines, setter upper of irons, cables and tables.  She bossed, she cajoled, she meddled.  And here’s a little secret.  Before I met Lu this weekend, I thought she was going to be an “artist”.  You know because she designed her line for Moda, Summersville, and I love it best of all Moda lines.  I thought she would waft about the place being superior and cool and smoking black sobrani cigarettes.  You know, like Cruella de Ville or Anna Wintour.  But boy was I suprised.  She is down to earth, side splittingly funny, very sweet and kind, happy to chat endlessly about the intricacies of fabric design and precision quilting and, along with Mandy, an integral part of the weekend and quite indispensible.  And by “quite” I mean “totally”.

Oh gosh just one more thank you from the member of the FQ team who joined the team after this event was conceived.  Thank you to each of Katy, Brioni, Tacha and John for having the vision to conceive of a quilting weekend in central London on Jubilee weekend.  Mad, everyone said.  Crazy.  That won’t work.  But let me tell you, it did work, we five had the best weekend ever and we hope you did too.  If you couldn’t make it this year…watch this space…

The Fat Quarterly Community Retreat: Tickets on Sale!

Do you enjoy sewing? Do you like hanging out with like minded people? Yes? Then the Fat Quarterly Sewing Retreat is for you!

We have planned a fun filled weekend of silly games, sewing challenges, tutorial workshops and more! Come and meet the Fat Quarterly team in their entirety (yes we will ALL be there!) and make lots of new friends in the quilting community.

Bring along your WIPs, or start something new! Take part in some of the tutorial workshops or hang with friends! The choice is yours! We can’t wait to meet you all.


Saturday 2 June, 9am to 11pm
Sunday 3 June, 9am to 5pm

Weekend Pass


Price includes tea and coffee and a working lunch on both Saturday and Sunday.
* $155 is equivalent to £100

One Day Pass

Not able to get away for the whole weekend but still want to join in the fun?
You can also purchase a 1 day pass!


Price includes tea and coffee and a working lunch.
* $115 is equivalent to £75


There are many possibilities for accomodation in London! But please be aware that it is the Jubilee Weekend and hotels are likely to get booked up pretty quickly. Baden Powell House is located in South Kensington.

The Meininger Hostel is a partner hostel to Baden Powell House but has VERY limited accomodation for 2-3 June.

Other hostels can be found at

Fat Quarterly has reserved a limited number of rooms at the Grange Strathmore hotel.
A single costs £99 plus VAT (B&B)
A double or twin costs £109 plus VAT (B&B)
(Looking for a room mate? Why not start a thread in our Flickr group!)

Please be sure to mention Fat Quarterly when making your booking.

Fat Quarterly Community Retreat: One Day Pass


Thank you so much for purchasing a one day pass to the Fat Quarterly Community Retreat. We can’t wait to meet you.

We would really appreciate it if you could fill out this form to help with scheduling for the weekend. And we will be in touch soon with more details of what to bring and what to expect!