I have just returned from a weekend of sewing in Derbyshire with 18 of my friends, some I have known for many years and others I have met more recently through a shared love of all things stitched.
The location was a charming, if not slightly mad country house where Florence Nightinghale spent her childhood years.
The soundtrack to our 3 days away was the whirring of sewing machines, the kettle boiling for endless rounds of Yorkshire tea and, most memorable of all, laughter. From 7am (when some of the hardcore ladies were up crafting) to 2am when the party animals finally gave in, there was always a lot of happy chuckling (or cackling in some cases) to be heard!
I have written before how important the social aspect of sewing is to me, and I also love to see people sharing skills and ideas.
Between us we made a whole host of handmade delights and I feel pretty chuffed that I started some of these people on their sewing journeys, even if I had to twist their arms to give it a go at first.
There were many 1 hour baskets in production, though how many came in on schedule is hard to say.
Quilting was also a big feature with plenty of amazing projects started and quite a few WIPs finally over the finishing line.
Annmarie was queen of the hand sewing as usual, relaxing in the sunshine.
I managed to finished off two dressmaking projects. Firstly, my By Hand London Victoria Blazer in a very sweet Japanese dobby matchstick print from Raystitch.
Secondly my Tilly and the Buttons Bettine Dress in soft double gauze which I partied in on Saturday night whilst drinking cocktails from our mobile bar tender.
Annette also stitched up her Liberty print dress.
Catherine made this sweet foxy dress for her little girl and a top.
Some joined in a handmade pincushion swap which we made at home before so we could have a souvenir from the trip.
Overall it was the perfect combination of time to crack on with projects without the interruptions of daily life and time to relax and have a laugh with like-minded people. Not forgetting Bertie the dog who coped very well with 19 excitable and noisy housemates.
Thank you to everyone who came xx