Quilty travels

Time has flown again and it’s time to do a catch up on my recent quilty travels.  In late April I went down to Melbourne to the Australasian Quilt Convention.  It’s a four-day event which combines workshops, quilt exhibits and social events.  It’s the 2nd time I have attended and I think it might become an annual pilgrimage.

I did a one day Studio Practice workshop with Luke Haynes.  It was a delightful day which pushed my creativity to the limit which is just what I wanted.  There was also an exhibit of some of Luke’s quilts which are more stunning in “real life” than images on screen.  I also attended his lecture in the evening which was entertaining (he has a great sense of humour and cheeky grin) and insightful in terms of how far we can push our creative boundaries.IMG_5080.JPG

The quilt exhibit included some quilts  from Mexico, the best of Australia quilts from annual shows and quilts of Tula Pink and Elizabeth Hartman who was also over for the Convention.  All in all a thoroughly enjoyable visit.

I then took the train down to Geelong to visit a friend who has recently retired – trying to keep my envy in check!  We caught up on all our news and walked along the foreshore to a delicious seafood lunch. I loved the cheerful artworks along the promenade.IMG_5127

Then in the last week in April I went on a day a trip with quilty friends across the Blue Mountains west of Sydney to go to an exhibit of Brigitte Giblin’s quilts called Quilts in the Shearing Shed, which as the name says, was actually in a shearing shed. All funds raised by the event were donated the local Bush Fire Brigade.

There was a great turnout and some wonderful quilts as you can see below.  I loved all the colour and admired the skill in the piecing and fabric choices.IMG_5173

My EPP project of Brigitte’s Tessellations pattern is slowly progressing, although I keep dithering about fabric choices.  I seem fine until I get to the last round of pieces and then am struck by indecision.  I have decided to just press on and do the middle rounds of each block and then make some decisions when I place them all on my design wall.

On the way down the mountains we stopped in to see the annual Springwood Quilt Show.  The show is always a mixture of the quilts of semi-professionals and hobbists like myself.

My favourite in the show was this one by Michelle Shiels. The fussy cutting and use of colour were just superb.

All in all I think I must have seen over 500 hundred quilts in a 3 week period – tons of inspiration and ideas for future making.

The state NSW Quilt Show is on later this month and I think that will be the last show for me for the year.  It will be time to stop looking and to start stitching.

Apart from stitching my EPP project I enjoyed making this cushion for a young work colleague who is a dog-lover, but who also loves  seeing photos of my fluffy feline companions. I’m pleased to say she loved it and I learnt how to do a side zipper and pompom binding in the process.  As anyone else noticed how pompoms are suddenly back in vogue again?  Everything old becomes new again.IMG_5265

On a final note I treated myself to a present after recently suffering another bout of pneumonia and have booked in to a one day workshop later this month with British quilter/maker Janet Clare. I’m hoping to make a small collage of Cosmo and Pepe or at the very least improve my applique skills.

Til next time – be well, enjoy making and stay safe in this troubled world of ours.

 

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Quilty fun in Melbourne

I’m down in Melbourne for the Australasian Quilt Convention for the first time. I’m doing a 2 day workshop with Jenny Bowker on the week-end and spent today visiting fabric shops and stalls at the show.

imageI paid a visit this morning to Amitie Textiles, the home of Jen Kingwell designs, and they kindly let me take some pics of her quilts. They are not really my taste but I admire her skill, handwork and flair with colour and mixing fabrics.

After a leisurely lunch it was off to the Quilt Convention. Taking a cue from the above quilts and my recent foray into EPP  I bought a pattern  called Circle of Sisters by Karen Styles of Sommerset Designs. Karen was inspired by a vintage quilt from her private collection and created a design which can be hand or machine pieced.

imageKaren kindly agreed to me taking some photos of her version. I seem to be developing a thing for stars! This will need to be a future project while I finish my current WIPs. I won’t use reproduction fabrics but haven’t decided on colours yet.

Getting organised

I’ve decided to keep on with my goal of simplifying life this year following some moderate success in 2015.  I certainly have fewer books and less clothes that I did this time last year.

My focus words for 2016 are Waste Less – whether it be time, money, food or emotional energy – all in all to be more mindful of how I live.

Part of this involves being more organised.  For those of you who have been following me for a while know that I learnt how to do English Paper Piecing (EPP) last year and have found it to be quite addictive in a meditative way.  Yesterday I bought myself a small carry case to organise my EPP tools and supplies and spent a happy hour or so last night organising them.

My tool box.image

Inside layer containing clips, thimbles, needles, business cards, pin cushion, ruler etc.

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Next layer with Crazy Cat Lady pencil case (couldn’t resist it, especially as the cats look like patchwork) for pens and glue for basting and small hexie bag for various threads.

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The bottom layer for paper pieces and template plastic.  Now I’m good to go when the mood takes me.

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These are a couple of stars I did on Saturday night. I’m waiting for some fabric to test for the background before I do any more.

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I hope you are having a stress-free start to the year.