Saturday, 9 June 2012

FQ Re(treats)

Well that was a bit of a blogging hiatus wasn`t it?

Firstly, thank you for all the kind comments and sympathy for my missing the FQ Retreat. It was bitter sweet reading everyone`s blog posts about it but I made the right decision - I felt truly awful until Monday/Tuesday but I`m fully recovered now. The lovely comments and emails made me feel a lot better and I`ve received some very happy mail but more of that tomorrow.

My gorgeous pouch from Susan stuffed full of goodies
I`m just back from a whirlwind tour of the Midlands where we relaxed and laughed with my uncle and aunt, had tea with an old family friend, dined with my bestie and her family and.....drumroll....met up with first blogging buddy and now real life friend Susan!

The tour started on Thursday. There was an inauspicious start to the day when I cut my head open on the car boot while loading the bags up.  Blood poured down my face and then stopped quickly. The hole to my head was tiny and despite feeling woozy from the sight of my own blood, the rest of the trip was fairly uneventful.

Susan and her lovely family live half an hour from my uncle and aunt`s in beautiful rural Northanptonshire.  It was absolutely bucketing down with rain but I found her and it was absolutely wonderful to spend an hour or so with her and her gorgeous girls, Helen and Emily - who were amazing at entertaining Zaki - thank you girls!

So what did we do during that hour or so you ask?

Well, while Helen and Emily played with Zaki, Susan and I sat in the engine room...where all that magic occurs and quite a lot of this happened...

there was a lot...I mean a lot of laughing

tea was drunk
chocolate chip cookies were eaten
a million questions were asked and answered (yes I did ask about the people!)
we laughed (again)

we chatted like old friends
we got on like a house on fire
we swapped pouches

Here`s the amazing one I received from Susan - I love the London fabric, the gorgeous embroidery and it was full of goodies!  Susan had split her FQR goodie bag, which was really beyond the call of duty and incredibly generous.  Thank you Susan!

I made Susan a linen and Liberty fabric pouch but completely failed to take a photo of it!

What else?

we took photos
we looked at quilts - Susan`s stained quilt is just a-mazing!
Emily showed her Houdinilike disappearing trick
Susan demonstrated Lu Summers` portholes` technique
and freezer paper techniques
and framed purses
sample swap items were delivered...thank you to everyone in my group!

and then there was the big surprise that Susan had been keeping from me....along with another Susan, who lives all the way away in Melbourne, Australia.  Let`s call her Susan No.2

Susan No.2 was my partner in the Modern Christmas Tablerunner Swap run by Susan No.1.  I made for my partner in Canada, and all was well. However, I never received my tablerunner from Susan arrived in Morocco and then went back to Melbourne.  In cahoots, the two Susan`s agreed that the tablerunner, by now a very tired runner, should be sent to Susan in England and she would hand deliver it to me at the retreat and meanwhile Susan would tell me that she was making me a substitute runner.  Only I scuppered their well meaning plans by not going. So when Susan handed me a package with a postcard from Melbourne, I was completely confused and I confess, had no idea what was going on.  It could have been the bang on the head...or it could just be service as normal...

I calculate that this stunner of a runner has travelled 32,183 miles and it is absolutely beautiful - thank you thank you Susan No.2, and Susan No.1 for your help in getting it safely to me.This runner isn`t just for Christmas!  If I can find a clear space I shall take a proper photo of it.  You can see some lovely photos of it with me looking ever so slightly confused (it was the bump) here.

So an hour and a half just wasn`t long enough and it was all over too quickly. Susan is as lovely as you would imagine - warm and fun and I feel like we`ve been friends for much longer than we have.

You didn`t know Susan had a little boy did you? Oops, he`s mine, and I did remember to take him him home with me although my arms were laden with goodies!

Thank you Susan, Helen and Emily!


susan said...

It was an absolute pleasure, Annabella. Now we know how close your aunt and I love to each other may e we can see each other every time you visit her. Yay!!

Prof. S said...

Nice to have you back -- and so glad to hear that you're having fun despite missing the retreat!!

Cindy said...

Glad you feel better, and that you got a tiny taste of the retreat.

Flying Blind... said...

You probably spent more time with Susan than I did in the whole weekend - so pleased you got to have a catch up xxx

Little Island Quilting said...

Lovely story with a happy ending!

Katy Cameron said...

Lots of laughing? With Susan? That sounds most unlike her... ;o) So sorry we missed you, but glad you got a taste of things at least! BTW, you don't happen to know what you're doing next October do you? No, not the one this year, the one next year...

Judith, Belfast said...

Aw lovely pics A! So glad you are feeling better! You will just have to stay fit and healthy for next year! Jxo

Rafael's Mum said...

Really glad you had some retreat stories and how nice of Susan to share her goodie bag. We missed you and the glimpse I had of Zaki in real life he is adorable! Keep in touch and we'll see you next year!

Charlotte said...

awww, that's fab! Susan is so lovely :-D

Nicky said...

Awww! love that Susan!

Anonymous said...

how brilliant you were able to meet up!

Strawberry Patch said...

Aw I love a happy story and this one is SO lovely! I am really glad you are feeling better, perhaps we'll meet next year!

Cherie said...

That's so awesome! looks like you didn't miss out at all =D

I'm having a giveaway on my blog. There is one extra day to enter =D

Catherine said...

what great photos. Its great that you managed to meet up. I only got to chat to Susan a little bit at the retreat, it was so manic. Glad that you are feeling better

diane said...

It sounds like you managed to use every single second to have fun and learn from Susan. ANd talk about made quite a haul just by going to Susan's. What an absolutely lovely day!

Kelly said...

So glad you are finally feeling better! Looks like you both had a great time at Susan's and such lovely goodies :)

Archie the wonder dog said...

I'm so glad you got to meet Susan (and get some of the retreat goodies! You seem to have covered an awful lot in 90 minutes! Glad you're feeling better x

Diary of a Flutter.Kat said...

Ack I don't know whether I'm pleased for you or just plain jealous Susan got to meet you & I didn't. Haha.
Perhaps both? ;)