Meet Jan! She’s emailed me some feedback from our July retreat and is happy for me to share it with you. Jan has been machine quilting with a JUKI TL98-P sewing machine on a New English Quilter frame for a couple of years now. She’s recently started a City & Guilds course and came to the retreat hoping to improve her machine quilting skills."I have enjoyed my weekend with you, Trudi, Anne and Jan immensely. I am finding it rather difficult to put into words how I feel about the weekend, so my thoughts are a bit random....I came along not really knowing what to expect. Knowing that Trudi was going to be there, and being an avid reader of her blog, I had in the back of my mind, the hope that I could improve my quilting skills. I needed to move on from loop-the-loop, loops and daisies, stippling etc, into something a little more complex. Maybe not the 'famous feathers' that Trudi produces, but moving that way.
Finding Anne there with her artistic background was an unexpected bonus. Anne's art-quilt opened up new directions for me. It gave me ideas to progress for my City & Guilds course, and made me think about how I could use my frame in other ways. I enjoyed the amount of time I was able to play on the frame. And the paper roll is essential (imo), in order to make a start, and see where you are aiming. And equally essential is having a little piece of something to bring home. My husband was fascinated to see what we had been up to, so it was great being able to show him our slice of sampler.
I came along with very few expectations - as we all agreed, part of the treat was simply being away and being looked after. I hoped I would improve my quilting skills - I have. I now feel confident that I can get on and produce some quilting of a higher quality. I can also quilt right-to-left. I learnt how to roll the fabric whilst leaving the needle in position. I learnt how not to over-tighten the top. I learnt how to look after my Juki. And I learnt about the qualities of thread.I think that the amount of time on the frame was just right for me. If it had been less, I think that I may have got bored. As you know, I am very easy-going, but I do like to 'get on'. Maybe not in the same realm as Trudi and MadBird Anne, but my nick-name of Miss WhizzyKnickers is not for nothing! So, do I think I got VFM (value for money). Yes I do.Where to go from here? I think that if you are going to offer more Retreats, then maybe you should offer a similar retreat to the one's run so far as 'Stage One'. And then maybe you could develop a 'Stage Two' retreat, maybe tackling a small, simply pieced project that could be used as a sampler for a variety of quilting techniques. Anyway, I do think there is room to go forward. Hope all this rambling helps!"
Jan from East Yorkshire
We are planning to continue our retreats next fall. We're keen on offering a stage 2 retreat on feathering. Let us know if you have any other suggestions for retreat topics and we'll post some upcoming retreat dates when we get back from Birmingham.