Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The Stitch Gathering - Part Two

Yesterday I wrote about the Modern Quilt Exhibition in Edinburgh and The Stitch Gathering event (click on the link and see some videos and photos of the day).
Today I want to share the two classes I took and the Goody bag we received.

Morning Workshop

My morning class was with the talented and organiser-extraordinaire Jo Avery to learn how to hand sew a cathedral window pin cushion.  It was lovely to see the variety of fabrics people had chosen!  Some people started on the embroidery panel whilst others started on the fabric folding and ironing.  It was so nice to be in a room full of women of all ages, chatting as though they'd been friends for years - and all of us hand sewing.  I live in a rural part of Scotland and have no sewing friends nearby so this was a real treat for me, and I loved taking it all in.  The classroom was spread out really well with lots of irons and ironing boards and a stunning view of Edinburgh castle and the city.
I didn't finish my pin cushion on the day, but I got as far as stitching a few of the curved fabric lips and Jo came around to make sure everybody was confident with the final steps so that we could finish at home.

And here it is, all finished.
I had never used this kind of embroidery thread before = perle 8 and learnt a tip from Jo about choosing needles with a rounded eye.  She always uses Milward #4 sharps for a successful result.


We stopped for a delicious lunch of sandwiches, mini rolls, wraps, fruit and baked tasty treats.  Then some people took part in a Show and Tell.  It was lovely to see the handiwork of some of the ladies I had met that morning.  Seeing a person's creative work really helps you get to know them.  Sally (not a blogger) showed us some stunning hand stitching and Lynz spoke about a wonderful round-robin quilt.  I had heard of these Round Robin ideas before so was thrilled to actually see one in real life.  There was one young lady, Emily who showed her first ever WIP quilt - Beautiful english paper piecing hexagon flowers.
After the show and tell there was a Lucky Dip - I rummaged around the bottom of the mystery bin to score a roll of green washi tape.  Then we had a Fat Quarter swap - we brought along a fabric 1/4 and placed it onto a table.  Then upon the "ready set SWAP" call we grabbed one to take home.  Here's a pic.

Afternoon Workshop

The afternoon session was longer to include a tea and coffee break.  I went to Fiona Calvert's Quilt making with a Jelly roll class.  (click on the link to see her lovely example of the quilt we were starting)  She recently had her beginner-friendly pattern published in a magazine - I even met a friendly lady named Jane who works on this magazine in this class!  
I took along some chicken-themed fabric that I had collected that didn't have a project, but after seeing the amazing choices I wish I had chosen something new.  Catherine made hers out of some lovely green Kaffe Fassett fabrics, and JB chose a rainbow of plain strips by Robert Kaufmann.  I'll be keeping an eye on their blogs to see them when they're finished.
The beginnings of my quilt - pattern by Fiona Calvert
Fiona did a great job teaching us about sewing bias cut triangles together and there seemed to be two of her, she was so busy getting around to all of us with patient help and assistance.

The Goody Bag

Now this was just surprising!  The sponsors of Stitch Gathering were so generous - we were given a HUGE bag of goodies - and some brands I have never used before - so it is going to be fun to try new things.
Inside there was a bottle of Highland Spring water and 3 individually wrapped oat cakes from Nairn's - both of which I was very glad to have by 11am.  The bag itself was from Liberty and inside was a fat quarter of Liberty Lawn too - I got a floral blue one (seen below, top left) and I love it.
There was also a Frixon pen from Pilot that goes invisible when you iron it - and would you believe that if you want the pen lines back you just pop it into the freezer!  A box of ten threads from sewing machines direct, a spool of aurifil thread, an amazing thread snipper that hangs on a lanyard - this has already come in handy!  And a little fabric pack with perfectly cut out paper hexagons from webfabrics - and the owner of this shop Dolores came all the way over from America to join in the classes.
This group of goodies were from Coats Crafts.  Inside their tote bag was an Opti zip bow brooch, some red quilting thread, two bright fat quarters, some Anchor embroidery floss and Milward between needles and a pen!  This was so generous - the bag just kept going and going with goodies.
 In this photo you can see the water and the two remaining biscuits.  There was also a lovely empty button tin, some liberty scraps from Very Berry fabrics.  I recently read about Ali and her perfectly cut hexagons and papers kits so have purchased some - I shall share soon - but it was really quick service and although there were 70 hexagons in the little kit, NONE were repeats!  Amazing.  The thread and button collection at the back, left of the photo are from The Button Company and we received a bundle of bright fat quarters from Jo's shop Avery Homestore.  There was also a pamphlet reminding us of a place where you can have your patchwork quilted for you  OR they can teach you how to use a long-arm quilting machine and you can do it yourself!  After my last quilting dramas I will definitely be using Beechwood Quilting services in Stirling.

All the goodies!

Oh, and of course the Journey

Whilst we were all making our tickets and nametags there was a flickr group where we could share our creations.  On one of the discussion boards I was able to offer a lift to anyone attending from my area and the lovely Claire took me up on my offer!  We both come from different areas and so met up at a central spot in Perth then drove down together to Edinburgh.  Lucky for me Claire was very familiar with the beautiful residential streets of Edinburgh and we got there on time for all the good fun to start.
Claire and I went halves in petrol but she also very kindly gave me a sweet thank you gift for taking her.  I've never bought a charm pack before, so I am looking forward to lots of pattern researching and idea gathering.
A handmade sewing-themed card and
a pack of pretty 5" coordinating fabric squares!

Of course it was a pleasure and a joy to have company on the journey and to get to know a fellow stitcher.  Plus, it meant I had someone friendly to walk into the building with and to chat with - just in case I felt nervous or shy.

 Thank you to Jo and her wonderful team of teachers and helpers, and to the Sponsors for such generous goodies.
I had a great day out and met some very friendly and creative people.  Thanks to all who attended and made it such a warm and positive day!


  1. That sounds like such fun! And I simply ADORE your pin cushion!!

  2. I love the fabric you chose for your pincushion.

  3. What a lovely post, and many thanks to you for making luchtime so Mitch fun, I adore your pincushion

  4. Wait, Fiona gave you a coffee break? She's too nice, I stuffed mine full of cupcakes and made them keep going ;o)

    PS, Very Berry Fabrics is owned by Ali, not Kerry...

    1. oops - thanks for your help Katy, I shall fix that.

  5. I have just put two and two together - nice to meet you on Sunday and I wish I'd spent more time chatting during the class! Especially about who blogged. Thanks so much for the mention. My quilt is being put on the back burner while I start and finish something else, but I will get back to it! I've really enjoyed your posts about the day - it went so quickly!

  6. It all sounds just wonderful! And how lovely for you to be able to share it with so many other "kindred spirits", especially when you don't usually have that kind of company nearby. Looking forward to seeing what you make with all your new goodies! And I love your pincushion, by the way - it reminds me of a cathedral window quilt my mum and grandmother made years ago :)

  7. Thank you for the wonderful write-up Vanessa and for thanking all our sponsors. So pleased you had such a great time and thanks also for your lovely discussion thread on Flickr! It was really lovely to meet you.

  8. What fun! Love those quilts you showed (this post, the last one - I can't remember). I also think your attic window pincushion is fabulous! g

  9. I love your wee pincushion, I wish I could have done all the classes as Fiona's jelly roll class looks so good too. It was a great day, just passed too quickly, roll on next time :)

  10. I have a Japanese pattern book with a pincushion like this in amongst other gorgeous patterns that I keep drooling over ...looking at yours has motivated me into making one as it is so gorgeous!


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