Last weekend I attended Patchwork in the Peaks 16, which was, as ever, a fun a productive weekend of sewing in the French Alps. For those of you who are not familiar with Peaks, it is a biannual quilt retreat organised by the lovely Elita from Busy Needle Quilting. It takes place in the Spring and Autumn of each year and is held at The Mountain Loge Company’s Chalet 4 Vents, in Morzine, France (that’s in the French Alps).
The retreat starts on a Thursday evening and runs through till Sunday and for those of us who can’t manage to drive there, or are travelling from abroad, there is a very handy pickup organised from Geneva airport. While I could drive I always go with this option as it means the family have the car at home for their weekend tripping and traipsing and I get to enjoy a leisurely and scenic train journey to the airport where the weekend fun begins.
As usual this weekend there was a nice loose schedule, with plenty of time for personal projects as well as the planned weekend activities. I wasn’t able to bring a sewing machine with me this time, but that wasn’t a problem as one of the other ladies there had offered us the use of some of her featherweights and I was more than happy to take her up on her kindness. As a result I got to play with Felicity the featherweight, a real little beauty.
The main weekend projects were a mystery quilt project and a feathered star block. The mystery quilt turned out to be a disappearing pinwheel block so I opted to make that in some wintery fabric I had with me. I made four blocks so that I would have time to completely finish this project and by the end of the first day I had completed a table topper that will be perfect for the house in the mountains once the winter rolls around.
I opted out of making the feathered star block as I had some hand sewing projects with me I wanted to work on. I did, however, make sure to take note of all the instructions, tip and tricks that were passed around. All of the blocks made at Peaks by others turned out beautifully and I will definitely tackle this block in the future when I plan to make a nice large version, perfect for a single block quilt top.
Having so much hand-sewing time meant that I got my weekly Countdown Quilt blocks finished, something I had struggled to do during the week as a result of some work emergencies. The weekend finishes brought me up to the end of the yellow blocks and I now have a total of 40 blocks made. As ever all of the templates are free to download over on the templates page.
Other fun activities at Patchwork in the Peaks included our show and tell evening, a fun dice game where we swap fat quarters, a stash attack project and secret sisters. Our stash attach project, a practical and surprisingly quick to make mesh bag, had to be squeezed in last minute when a power cut curtailed our sewing activities for several hours on the Saturday afternoon and evening.
It didn’t stop play though as we simply retired to the terrace earlier than usual for gin and tonics in the sun, hot tub time, to work on hand-sewing or knitting or just generally chat and enjoy the great company. And the power did come back (to a cheer from us) after our delicious candlelit barbecued dinner so there was plenty of late night sewing that evening.
For my secret sister I made a went with a seasonal autumnal theme and made my secret sister a little sewing set that included a pop up thread catcher, a needle books, a woolen pumpkin pincushion, as well as some smaller EPP’ed acorn pincushions and a mug rug, for those cups of tea or coffee that are as important to sewing as any other notion. These gifts, and one or two other items, were left as little surprises over the course of the retreat.
I also received some wonderfully thoughtful gifts from my secret sister. Over the days I collected a beautiful bouquet of Liberty that I look forward to sewing with, along with a final gift of some homemade gin that I really look forward to trying. I was definitely spoilt.
All in all it was a truly memorable weekend, but I had expected no less and, as always, was not disappointed. I am already looking forward to heading back to Patchwork in the Peaks in Spring. Maybe I’ll see you there too?