This weekend - or today at least - I'm being a couch potato, treating my suddenly sore back with my homemade heat pack and watching Scotland beating the Wallabies in rugby. 24-19, in case you're interested. I was born in Scotland and raised in NZ so that's where my allegiances lie. Rugby is the only sport I follow - when you grow up in NZ you just can't get away from it. Must say I was impressed when my Aussie husband sang "Flower of Scotland" with me and the Scots in the crowd - and I have to say we were a whole lot more tuneful than the kilted singer.
Last weekend I was less of a lazybones. We're fortunate to have a small and beautiful fabric shop, Cotton Factory here in Ballarat and owner Alison organises some fun activities such as the weekend retreat I attended along with 70-something other craft enthusiasts and presenters from near and far. It was two days of hugging, chatting, laughing, eating and - oh yes, doing some stitching too. Not that I finished anything. No matter.
There was just so much talent in the room. One of the ladies at my table was working on the most magnificent fussy-cut EPP stars. The swap was a great hit on the first day. We'd all been sent some rather unpromising geography- themed fabrics and there was such a variety of amazing makes. I scored this bag, which I really really love (seen here with a few extras that were in our box of goodies plus a couple of things I won).
And this is what I made with my world map fabric (which I ended up liking - my swap partner was pretty pleased too.)
The presenters were all super-talented too. There was toymaker and fabric designer (and my favourite rude person) Jodie Carleton, quilters Kate Henderson from WA and Peta Peace from Queensland, EPP queen Sharon Burgess, longarm quilter Wendy Gleeson, Andi Herman, who produces patterns for pixellated quilts from photos and spent some time at my house finishing her fabric mosaic mini featuring Anh Do - what a brilliant technique! - and international quilt judge Jenny Bacon. Each was so lovely and so generous with telling their personal stories and providing beautiful, inspirational displays. It was a weekend none of us will forget in a hurry.