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Hello again everyone!!

How can it be that ten months have passed since I last posted on this little blog of mine! A great deal has happened, including a hugely stressful restructure at work, which eventually led to my decision to resign just before Christmas. Sometimes you have to take stock of where you are in your life and consider what makes you happy. It took me several months to make a decision but I am convinced that it is the right one. I hope that the next role (whatever that may be!) might not lead to sleepless nights and perhaps I might even find a good balance between home and work again. I would, of course, love to spend my days sewing and quilting but I do need to earn money to purchase all of the fabric. Plus, as the cat reminded me, she still needs to eat…

As I mentioned in my last post, I  was finding it difficult to fit quilting into my normal life and was getting severe withdrawal symptoms. I therefore thought that I’d investigate a weekend quilt retreat and was delighted to discover the website for The Old Bakery. It looked so wonderfully relaxing and had such good reviews that I couldn’t resist booking a weekend quilt retreat there in the middle of May. And I had such a lovely time that I returned at the end of January this year!

I have considered quilting retreats several times over the past few years but have always been put off by both the price and the fact that you often have to share a bedroom with someone that you might not know. The majority of retreats usually involve a variety of organised classes too. A retreat at The Old Bakery, however, is a much more laid-back affair and you are free to sew as little or as much as you like. There is a beautiful (and wonderfully organised!) quilting studio in the garden with all the quilting accessories you could possibly need!

Alison and Mike (the owners of the B&B) were so welcoming and I don’t think that I have ever eaten so much food! In May (when the weather was quite beautiful) Mike even made pizzas in their pizza oven (the husband was very jealous!) for Sunday lunch.

It is utter bliss to have a whole weekend dedicated to sewing, to not have to worry about chores or cooking and to switch off completely from ‘normal’ life! In May, we also took a class with Alison (who is a very talented quilter) on the Saturday afternoon to learn how to make Seaside-themed wall-hangings. In January, however, we just got on with various projects, drank a lot of tea and enjoyed quantities of Alison’s delicious cooking! We also managed a trip out to the seaside at Wells. Here are a few pictures (including one of my good friend Emma, who accompanied me, thanks Em!)

I even managed to watch The Greatest Showman (pause for intake of breath by those who absolutely love it) which, for some reason, didn’t appeal at the time that it was released. That Hugh Jackman is quite talented really isn’t he?!

Enough of the rambling woman, what did you make I hear you ask? Well in May I spent some time working on a quilt which I finally finished and gifted to my very best friend just after Christmas. It was intended as a wedding gift. Let’s just say that I didn’t quite make that deadline. I was, however, still sewing on the binding whilst in the car on the way to see them…

There wasn’t a great deal of light when we took the pictures and, in case you can’t tell, the quilt is made with fabric from Liberty. I bought a bundle during a trip to Liberty in London and, when I saw it, I thought that the colours and patterns would work really well in a Dresden plate pattern. I added a grey background to make the quilt feel more contemporary. I was quite pleased with the end result and, as you can see, so was Albie the cat!

I also completed a quilt-as-you-go laptop case, which I was quite proud of:

I was trying to use up some of my scraps hence the eclectic mix of fabrics. It fits my laptop snuggly and I always get lots of comments when I am out and about!

I also worked on this EPP hexagon cushion, which I made for a friend. She chose the yellow and grey fabric to coordinate with her sofa. I added piping and I think that it really brought everything together 🙂

So, as you can see, my time in Norfolk was used very productively! It was just so blissful to take some time out, to eat, to sleep and to quilt! I definitely hope to return for another weekend this year, and I’m pretty certain that I’ll be able to persuade my friend Emma to join me!

I hope that I’ve inspired you a little bit this evening!

Happy sewing 🙂

April

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