Bags of fun up a mountain

As I am now sewing up in the French mountains on a quilt retreat run by the wonderful Miss E of Busy Needle, we have all got seriously into our projects, sewing late into the evening. When our eyes lifted from our sewing machines this afternoon, a most inspiring view greeted us. Now it is pouring with rain. Who cares? We are having the best of fun.

Peaks 4c05Before I say more about this amazing retreat, here is what I actually FINISHED today (linking it up to Amanda Jean‘s linky party). This is rather confusingly called an “airplane bag”, designed by Sara of Sew Sweetness, but it cannot apparently fly by itself. Even if, at times, I was tempted to fling it out of the window…

Peaks 4c08

Our most wonderful and patient teacher for this class is the bubbly Katy Cameron of The Littlest Thistle. Katy flew in from Scotland yesterday to hold ten pairs of shaky but enthusiastic hands, helping us at every step, suggesting slight modifications to the long pattern. There are two zippered pockets inside that I am terribly proud of, but of course I totally forgot to take a picture of them.

I’ll have to do a photo of all ten bags when they are finished: it is about as much fun checking out everyone else’s fabric choices as it is actually making it. This was my first bag, with three different sorts of interfacing. To celebrate, I made two little ‘dumpling bags’ from the left-over scraps, as learned in the previous Patchwork in the Peaks retreat. Aren’t they just the sweetest? They would make ideal Christmas presents, if I could ever bear to part from them.

Peaks 4c07This is the fourth retreat that Miss E has organised, and the third in this lovely place. Miss L recently wrote up a lovely post that perfectly captures the flavour of the previous three events. Like her, I have been lucky enough to come to all of them (and she kindly lent me her camera for some of these shots. Thank you, Miss L!).

We are all sewing in the large dining room of this old wooden chalet. It was once a convent, full of nuns. Miss E sets us up all little tables, lights, and endless plugs. The ironing and cutting tables are in another room just off this one. It is the perfect creative space, with our dinner table in the back. A cozy fireside corner is close by for when we just need to flop on a sofa, and stitch, chat or just flick aimlessly through inspiring magazines.

Peaks 4c12Breaking the tradition of this blog of never showing people, I could not resist showing you a photo of the lovely Miss G (left) and Miss E, both looking gorgeous in the snug little sitting room, following the standard dress code for these retreats. These two lovely ladies do most of the teaching for the retreat, with different guest teachers each time, as needed.

Peaks 4c06One of the highlights of these retreats are the large boxes of Miss E’s scraps that we are allowed to play with at any time! This is such a huge treat, and I would be happy with several days of just doing that if I could. If only we didn’t have to sleep…

Peaks 4c01I have been sitting next to this amazing little shop-corner, with all sorts of lovely things that I feel like taking home. Beautiful thread, fabric, batting. Heaven, I tell you!Peaks 4c11My next project, in this my little sewing corner, is going to be a Kaffe Fassett-inspired squares quilt (squares, yes, again…). But it really is very very bright, and so far I really don’t like it much. But the super-bright fabrics we hand dyed at the last retreat did go so well with this little pile of Kaffe squares, so it seemed like a good opportunity to play with them. This is going faster than planned mostly due to Miss M, Miss E’s lovely mother, who is my most favourite “quilt-fairy” and silently picks up my blocks and presses them. I detest ironing, so it is the greatest treat to have someone do it for me.

Peaks 4c03

Peaks 4c04Bright, isn’t it? I had thought of putting these together is some sort of light to dark scheme, so we’ll see if that works out in the end.

Peaks 4c09To think that the weekend is only starting, and we can get up again tomorrow with renewed excitement, to keep enjoying this amazing event. And now, to bed! JJ

About pragmaticpatchwork

Academic and quilter
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6 Responses to Bags of fun up a mountain

  1. Pingback: Creative Tangents - Peaks 4 | Busy Needle Quilting

  2. Pingback: Sea and sand quilts | Pragmaticpatchwork

  3. Pingback: The ghosts of the mountain | Pragmaticpatchwork

  4. tubakk says:

    I love France, and I love your bag. I wish itwas mine.

  5. Dona Allen says:

    Love all the pictures, love the fabric and scrap pictures, love the story. Keep it going!! such inspiration.

  6. Marie says:

    How wonderful…lucky you sewing in Fance! Your bag and pouches are lovely. I love how your quilt is coming together. Have fun and enjoy!!

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