I finished making my name tag for the Retreat that very morning! Nothing like last minute, eh? ;-) I got to the hotel pretty early, about half past 8 in the morning! It was going to be a hot day and I didn’t much fancy lugging my bags (back pack and small wheelie suitcase for my sewing machine!) on the Tube later in the day. Luckily I could check in straight away and relax for a little while and freshen up after my long journey from Essex. ;-)
I met with Nicole a bit later and we headed off to a talk at Liberty. There was a wee bit of confusion about where we were supposed to be, so we got to walk up and down the backstage stairs of Liberty a couple of times! At the talk they told us about how collections come to be, the different inspirations behind them. And about the extensive archive, from which they often re-use elements. It was fascinating and very inspiring!
They also had some examples of original art used in designs, by Grayson Perry and Lauren Child among others. I can’t show you any photos of the designs etc they showed us because they’re the copyright of Liberty of course. But they were beautiful!
After the Liberty talk, Nicole and I headed down to Whole Foods near Piccadilly Circus and bought some lunch which we brought back and ate at the hotel before heading to the Retreat venue.
We got a goodie bag with sewing bits and bobs and fabrics. Yay! And I was puzzled to see so many Woolworths things! I used to work there in the homewares/haberdashery department, before it went bust and I was laid off along with 27,000 other Woollies workers… But I digress!
My Friday afternoon class was English Paper Piecing. I will definitely try it again, but I think the particular design used for this class was way too complicated for a complete newbie like me. All curves and super pointy corners. My end result was *not* pretty and I doubt I’ll even attempt finishing the block. Oh well.
In the evening, Nicole and I had dinner together near the hotel before heading back to the Retreat venue where people were gathered on the rooftop terrace, sewing, chatting and having a few drinks. Quite lovely in the warm summer evening. But also slightly overwhelming for me, because I didn’t know anyone there (apart from Nicole), I’m not really part of the quilting ‘scene’ -if indeed there is such a thing!- and starting conversations with strangers doesn’t come naturally to me. But I did talk with a few people and admire their embroidery and crochet.
*Phew* – and this was only Friday!