Peaks 7 Retreat Recap – Day 1, The Arrival

It’s hard to believe that this time last week I was settling in at the chalet Les 4 Vents in Morzine for the Peaks 7 retreat. I do not honestly know where that whole week has gone. I promised you a recap of my weekend at Peaks, but when I started pulling everything together it looked like I was going to end up writing an epic post. As a result I decided that I would write a series of shorter day by day recaps over this weekend. I’ll try to avoid reposting too many of the photos that I have already shared via Instagram, and so without further ado it’s on to day 1, the arrival.

Peaks71p9After a lovely relaxing train journey to Geneva airport with my good friend Elizabeth from Shark’s Dinner, we met up with a few fellow quilters and were then collected by Richard, one of the wonderful hosts from The Mountain Lodge Company who run the chalet Les 4 Vents. We worked out way through rush-hour traffic then out into the French countryside and on into the Alps and the village of Morzine where we were to spend the weekend surrounded by such stunning views as this one from our bedroom.

Peaks71p10After  with Elita from Busy Needle Quilting, who runs the retreat, and all the other quilters who had already arrived it was time for a quick unpack and then dinner. I’m not going to run through all the glorious dishes that were served up to us at the weekend but suffice to say the food was mouth-wateringly delicious.

Peaks71p3After dinner we all gathered together for show-and-tell and some general chit chat. Some brought minis;

Beaded Batik mini by Miss R. at the Peaks 7 retreat | Mud, Pies and Pins

Beaded Batik mini by Miss R.

Bear claw and praire points mini by Miss R. at the Peaks 7 retreat | Mud, Pies and Pins

Bear claw and praire points mini by Miss R.

others brought quilts;

Miss D. and her tea time quilt at the Peaks 7 Retreat | Mud, Pies and Pins

Miss D. and her tea time quilt

Nordika quilt by Miss B. at the Peaks 7 Retreat | Mud, Pies and Pins

Nordika quilt by Miss B.

there were works in progress to admire;

Economy block wip by Miss H. at the Peaks 7 REtreat | Mud, Pies and Pins

Economy block work in progress by Miss H.

while those who had flown in and were limited for luggage space made good use of ipads and modern technology for showing off their creations.

Show and tell digital style by Miss A. at the Peaks 7 Retreat | Mud, Pies and Pins

Show and tell digital style by Miss A

After that we headed off to the sewing room to give our machines a clean in preparation for the weekend of sewing ahead. As I was unpacking I discovered that Harvey the bear was tucked into my sewing bag so out he came to help me with that task.

Harvey the bear made by Wooly Topic | Mud, Pies and PinsThen the evening was our own. Once I had properly set my sewing table, and cut a few fabric strips in readiness for one of the side projects I had planned for the weekend, I was happy to spend the rest of the evening just chatting with friends, old and new alike, before retiring early, well early for me, so I would be ready for Day 2 and curved piecing.

Horizon fabrics by Kate Spain | Mud, Pies and PinsI hope to see you all again tomorrow when I will continue with my story of the Peaks 7 weekend and of all the fun that was had.

Painted Harmony – My Peaks 7 Quilt

I’m home and I’m tired, but I can honestly say that Peaks 7 has more than lived up to expectations and was yet another wonderful weekend of alpine quilting fun. If you’ve been following my blog then I am sure you may be wondering how much progress I made on all of the projects I had planned to work on over the weekend. I promise will give you a full run down on the weekend’s activities, but it’s going to take a couple more days for me to process through all of the photos and memories for that post so today I’m just going to share the quilt I made at the weekend.Painted Harmony Quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsEach Peaks there is a themed project and a quilt to make. This time it was the Peaks Harmony Quilt, an exercise in curved piecing.

Peaks Harmony Quilt sample by Busy Needle Quilting | Mud, Pies and PinsNot one to follow patterns exactly I went about changing it a little to make the design of my quilt more personal to me. A huge fan of Carrie Bloomston’s fabric lines I decided it was time to cut into my stash of Collage and Paint fabrics for this quilt and I am more than delighted that I did. Although my finished design, “Painted Harmony”, appears to be vastly different to the sample design above that Elita from Busy Needle Quilting had made to show us all, it is simply the different use of colour and the rotation of the four central blocks that has resulted in what looks, at first glance, to be a completely different design.

Painted Harmony Quilt | Mud, Pies and Pins

I added three border to my finsihed central blocks to bring the quilt up to a finished 54* square, which is perfect for it’s intended use as a throw quilt on my sofa. I used yardage of two Paint fabrics to create the backing, creating a simple framed central block that is every bit as usuable as a quilt top if needs be.

Painted Harmony Quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsFor quilting I choose a wavy preprogrammed stitch on my machine. It gives a lovely soft finish to the quilt and I can defintiely see me using this stitch a lot more in the future.

Painted Harmony Quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsAs soon as I came home this quilt came straight out of my bag and onto the sofa. I have wanted to use these fabric since first I bought them and I am so glad that I finally found the perfect project for them. I have plenty of leftovers so I think I am going to sit down this weekend and make myself a couple of pillows to match the quilt.

In the meantime I’m going to hop on over to link up with this weeks Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts and then I’m going to go and pull together all the wonderful memories I have from the weekend so that I can share them with you all later in the week. Looking forward to seeing you then!

Painted Harmony Quilt | Mud, Pies and Pins


Packing for Peaks7 – WiP Wednesday

It’s the end of April and for me that means it’s time to pack my bag and head off to Peaks7. Peaks is a biannual sewing retreat organised by the lovely Elita from Busy Needle Quilting that takes place in the French Alps. I attended my first Peaks retreat this time last year and it is now a firm fixture in my calender. Now I have to admit that even though I am travelling tomorrow I am still exceptionally disorganised and the reason for that is possibly this:Quilting|Mud, Pies and Pins

When I was at Peaks last April I made a quilt for my son. I loved the pattern so much that decided it would be the perfect choice for the quilt I had promised to make for my nephew/godson. The top came together quickly, bar the outer borders, and then it made it’s way into the WiP/UFO pile where it has languished ever since. As I started to think about the upcoming Peaks I knew I had to finish off this project before I went. Almost a year is much too long for a little boy to wait for a quilt, even if he doesn’t really know he is getting it, and so  I have been putting all my energies and focus into completing that one task so that I can move on to focussing on this Peaks.

Rolled quilt | Mud, Pies and PinsThere have been battles with thread, and tension and my poor old machine. There has been pulling and pushing and much heavy lifting as it’s a Minky backed quilt, but after all of that I can finally say I’m done. The big reveal will have to wait, there’s packing to be done after all!

We’ll be working on one big project at Peaks and for that I have pulled out my Paint and Collage collections and am finally going to cut into them.

Paint / Collage | Mud, Pies and PinsThere will be plenty of free sewing time, especially in the evenings, so I’ll be bringing along my latest EPP project, my Sun Prints quilt.

Sun Prints EPP | Mud, Pies and PinsI’ve also got plans for a fat eight bundle of Kate Spain’s Paradiso which involve this very detailed back of the envelope pattern!

Pattern| Mud, Pies and PinsAnd in between all of those projects I’m sure I’ll find some time to finally quilt the Liberty death star that I pieced last year. This is another project that has been far too long in the making and one that really is so very close to completion now that I have finally decided on a background fabric for the death star.

Deathstar| Mud, Pies and PinsHopefully when I’m back next week I’ll have plenty of new makes and/or finishes to share with you all. In the meantime you’ll be able to follow the fun of the Peaks weekend on Instagram where I’m sure I’ll be posting plenty of updates as the weekend progresses.

Linking up with Work in Progress Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

Ho, Ho, Ho and On We Sew – April

It’s that time of the month again, time to take stock of how your plans to be organised for the Christmas ahead are progressing and to link up your festive makes at the Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew link party.

Ho Ho Ho button photo | Mud, Pies and PinsThis month the party is being hosted by Benta over at SLIKstitches, and she is also sharing her tutorial for a very practical countdown to Christmas advent calender so even if you aren’t doing any festive sewing yourself this month be sure to pop on over and check out her great tutorial.

If you have been sewing be sure to join in with the link party, wihch remains open till the end of the month. Everyone who links up and shares their finishes is in with a chance to win this month’s giveaway prize, a pattern to make this beautiful alpine skier cushion, which has been sponsored by Helen over at Bustle and Sew.

Alpine Skier Pillow Cover, pattern from Bustle and SewBustle and SewI’ve not really been doing any festive sewing myself this month. We now do secret Santa at home which means I won’t find out till later in the year which family member I will be gifting and as a result I don’t need to prepare a stack of gifts over the year. That’s not to mean I’ve not been giving sewing related Christmas gifts some thought though. If you’ve been following my blog or my recent activities on Instagram or facebook then you’ll be aware that I’ve been doing a fair bit of sewing with my six year old son over the past couple of weeks.

Sewing with children | Mud, Pies and Pins

He really has a love of sewing at the moment, and I am hoping that will grow even more with time. We’ve already talked about him making a quilt of his own and while he is interested in doing this he also realises it will be a long term project and not one that gives instant results and this is, I think, a little (if not a lot) daunting to him. With that in mind I’ve started a Pinterest board that I am going to fill with fabric and project ideas that I think would be fun for him.

Sewing with boys Pinterest board | Mud, Pies and Pins

I’m not going to just limit myself to pinning simple ideas that he could make on his own, I am going to include plenty of projects that we could also make together. I think having a nice mix of short- and long-term projects will be important for him. Assuming that he still has the same love of sewing later this year I plan on putting together a sewing set for him for Chrismas: his own mini fabric stash, a project folder filled with ideas and patterns I’ve gathered over the year, and his own set of sewing notions. This will be very much a work in progress for the remainder of the year and one that I look very much to working on.

What about you? What have you been working on this month? Be sure to pop over to SLIKstitches and link up your makes before the month is out, and I look forward to reading all about them there.

Fun Sewing with Boys

Teddy is all ready for some good weather fun with a brand new sleeping bag.

Toy sleeping bag/Sewing with Children | Mud, Pies and Pins

Now I must admit that I can’t take any credit for this lovely creation. In this case all the credit goes to my 6 year old son who’s been working away at the sewing machine over the past few days.

First he asked to make a cushion. I let him loose on my fabric stash, helped him to cut out the requested fabrics and then supervised while he machine stitched the pieces together, turned them inside out, stuffed his little pillow and finally hand stitched it shut.

Sewing with Children | Mud, Pies and Pins

I can honestly say that he was more than delighted with his creation.Sewing with Children | Mud, Pies and Pins

Once the pillow was made he wanted to make a sleeping bag. So back to the fabric he went. I helped him with the design and cutting the fabric but the sewing was all his own.

Sewing with Children | Mud, Pies and Pins

He even did some trimming once the quilting was done, strictly supervised of course.Sewing with Children | Mud, Pies and Pins

I think one of the most difficult parts may have been turning the almost finished sleeping bag right way out, Sewing with Children | Mud, Pies and Pins

but he manged and it wasn’t long before all his old teddies had somewhere comfortable to lay their heads.

Toy sleeping bag/Sewing with Children | Mud, Pies and Pins

After these first creations he was eager to stitch some more so he went about creating a second sleeping bag for his little brother’s teddy.

Toy sleeping bag/Sewing with Children | Mud, Pies and Pins

It was definitely a big hit and a lovely gift for a poorly little man who was under the weather with chickenpox.

Toy sleeping bag/Sewing with Children | Mud, Pies and PinsNow that all of the teddies have somewhere comfortable to lay their heads he wants to move on to making a bag. One with buttonhole closures, because he wants to see how the buttonholer on the machine works!

Making these sleeping bags has actually been a good starting point for such a project because, as you can see by comparing the work in progress shot below with the finished sleeping bag above, they are simply my flap closed pouches with the flap section stuffed to form a pillow instead of a flap.


I find it wonderful to see how much he loves sewing and to watch the engineer in him trying to find out how all the different presser feet and stitches on the machine work. I will certainly be encouraging him to create as much as he wants, even it if means I get less sewing time for myself as a result. I will also enjoy the challenge of helping him design and create as much as he likes. Generally there appear to be very few resources out there aimed at sewing with boys but we certainly aren’t going to let that stop us!

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday over at Blossom Heart Quilts