May 11, 2012

5 reasons why not to fear a blogger conference or retreat

nametag fq retreat 2012
(this is the nametag i made for my secret fq retreat swap partner)

The Fat Quarterly 2012 retreat in London is coming nearer and some of my fellow attendees and yes, me too, are getting a bit anxious about the whole thing. Not in a really bad frightened way anxious, but still.

Last year i went to the first Sewing Summit in Salt Lake City. I was the only person coming from Europe and i knew nobody in person there. In preparation i bookmarked lots of blogs of attendees, read and commented on them for a while so that i had a bit of background info on some people. Other than that i just put a smile on my face and dove right into it.

And guess what: it was absolutely great!

I met several wonderful people who are now very dear to me. And everybody, really everybody was nice and friendly and easy to talk to.

That´s why i thought i´d list some good reasons as a reminder to me and maybe helpful info for newbies why not to be afraid of blogger conferences or retreats or the like.

1.) You will know what to talk about
Afraid of what to talk about? Repeat after me: we share the same hobby. Easiest thing is to compliment your fellow attendees on things they made or blogged about. If you can´t think of a compliment (really??), ask a question. You´ll get into talking really fast because you love the same craft!

2.) You can learn new stuff even outside of classes
What a great opportunity to learn about new techniques, share tips and tricks about sewing! I am totally selftaught and it was so much fun to sew together with others! One lady even taught me in a private session how to make Cathedral Windows - it was amazing!
Jot down questions you always wanted to ask some other sewist and just do it: ask around. People will be very generous with their knowledge.

3.) Your weight/size/clothes don´t matter

Trying to loose some pounds before the big event? Stop that right now (unless you are on a dietplan anyway, then proceed :-): no one will notice if you have some pounds more on than last year. Maybe someone will notice your pretty shirt but nobody will talk behind your back if you come in your old, comfy sewing clothes.
Though I guess this is different for fashion blogger meetings ... :-)
Trust me on that, we won´t care for "bad" looks - but will certainly find the time to compliment each other on our great looks!

4.) You won´t be a wallflower (unless you want to..)
You can wait around till somebody talks to you or you just can stroll around the rooms and talk to people. Most of us won´t know each other in person before the event so everybody will be happy to meet a new sewing friend. And as for conversation starters: go to point 1.

5.) Your sewing abilities will be perfectly fine
Even if you are a total newbie: that´s gonna be fine! We will be a group with so many skill levels there certainly will be one person with yours, too. And if not, just take your time, ask your questions (we sewists as a group tend to love to answer questions..) and work on your project. It´ll be fine!

In general: be friendly and outgoing. A smile on your face makes you less "frightening" - yes, you might "frighten" someone else, too. Ever thought about that?
We are all in this together (that sounds not at all like i wanted it to sound..), mostly share the same fears but, most importantly, share lots of dedication for sewing and quilting. We will get along perfectly fine, believe me!

Can´t wait to meet all of you in London, you´ll recognize me hopefully by the happy smile on my face :-)

my nametag fq2012 from Rachel!!
(this is the nametag Rachel from contented made for me - i absolutely love it, thanks so much!!!!!!)


  1. arrgh! I completely missed this one (as well...). I wonder if they still have room for one more, london would be really handy for me from here, probably easier than any place even on mainland italy...

  2. Lovely post - can't wait to meet you too x

  3. Such a well written post and of course I am very much looking forward to finally meet you. I guess and me will be the only Germans there !

  4. I love both name tags!
    How did you get the point so perfect/pointy on the one you made??

  5. wonderful post :o) made me grin... I was getting anxious about what to wear and another blogger said ohh I expect they'll be in trackie bottoms and no shoes... cos she can't sew in shoes :) lol

  6. Great post! I must admit that I'm a bit nervous - but not so much about meeting people. Moreso navigating London with a small toddler. Yikes that part is definitely making me nervous!
    Looking forward to meeting you & everybody :)

  7. Ok I feel a bit better now, I am nervous but you are so right!! Thank you :) Look forward to meeting you!

  8. Good post! I'm sure we'll have so much fun. See you there!!

  9. I look forward to meeting you, your post is all wonderful advice.

  10. Ladies, thank you so much, i am so happy that you like my musings.. :-) We will have loads of fun!

    Judith, oh, there will be at least 4 of us from Germany: Suleon and Floh are coming, too, yay!

    Gill, i poked the point out very carefully with a knitting needle, before that i cut of any extra fabric. It wasn´t that hard.

  11. Wilkommen!

    Looking forward to seeing you and everyone else!

  12. just what I needed to hear, although I've already paid for my gym membership, so will keep going!! Looking forward to meeting you Claudia x Mandy

  13. Nicky, that´s sweet, thanks :-)

    Mandy, have fun working out! So you will be the fit one to look out for..

  14. Great post thanks. I\m always a little anxious about travelling and meeting new people, so this was a great reminder not to be! Many of us will be in the same boat

  15. We'll all be alright, because, yes: we're in this together!
    Looking forward to meeting you (all)!

  16. Ha, Judith and Claudia, here's another German! Thank you Claudia for your nice words. Infact I only met ONE real person that loves quilting - so London will be a paradise for me :o) Can't wait to meet you two and all the other real quilters over there!!


  17. thanks ladies, see you soon, yay!!

  18. It really is a bit frightening. Thank you for the reassurance!

    I be at the FQ Retreat and try to say hello!

    (a.k.a. Sally)

  19. Hi ladies. See that gorgeous speech bubble name tag - well it dropped through my letterbox this morning!

    Thank you so much Claudia for such a beautiful and funky name tag. Thank you for spending time on making me such a cool name tag.

    I cannot wait to meet you in London. I am so looking forward to talking 'sewing' with other people who also love quilting.
    Di x

  20. oh I love your creative name tags! I wanna make on like the first.

  21. You are so right. I adore you and your attitude! I'm so glad we met in person, and I'm glad you're going to continue to spread that optimism in London! I wish I could be there to hang out with you!


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