A Quilty Kind of Day

Tuesday, June 29, 2010
On Sunday I attended my very first quilt workshop. It had been a long anticipated event, and a whole day dedicated to the art of quilt design, embroidery and beautiful fabrics is an event I hope to repeat again some day.  Being naturally shy I am not usually one to go along to these things on my own (I tried to talk my relatives and quite a few of my friends into coming with me, but it is a strange phenomenon with me that most of my friends are non-sewers)! But the temptation of these two illustrious women in the quilting world, was too much, and I braved the workshop alone.

I will admit to being a leetle bit star-struck when I suddenly realised that the lady talking to me at my table about the pesky possums in Australia was none other than Rosalie Quinlan. And I learned that (incredibly) possums in Australia are protected, when her friend Leanne Beasley joined in the conversation.

Leanne took a class on quilt design which I enjoyed so much. From design elements to creative inspiration, right down to the math side of quilting, she made me feel that it's possible - even for this most math-phobic person - to design my own quilt. She talked about incorporating handwriting into the stitchery of a quilt - an idea that I loved.  I took a ton of notes, and when I saw a gap in the crowd of people around her, I asked her to help me pick out some fabric to go with a quilt that I want to design for my bedroom. I am so thrilled with what she chose, and am looking forward to getting into it soon.

Leanne is the designer of the quilt that I am working on at the moment. You can see the finished version here. I am only on block 5 at the moment.

I spent all day learning how to design quilts, and refining many embroidery and applique stitches as Leanne and Rosie demonstrated them to us. Chain stitch, satin stitch and needle-turn applique.  As Leanne said, needle-turn applique is used if you want our quilts to become heirlooms.

Rosie demonstrated her reverse redwork stitchery on canvas and we all were given red hanky linen in our goodie bags. I think this will look lovely on a wall when it is finished.

Here is Leanne demonstrating her needle-turn applique. I stood behind this lady with the dreadlocks and was almost as captivated by her hair as I was the needlework. I've never been so close to dreadlocks before and it might have made an interesting study.

I loved looking at all the quilts and little stitcheries that the two ladies brought with them from Australia.

We were fed very well too - such yummy food. I took a photo for Robin as I knew he'd ask me what we had to eat. There was a delcious minty pea and spinach salad with feta. I'd like to try and make that.

Both Leanne and Rosie were so generous with their patterns and I've come home with a folder full of ideas and inspiration. My favourite part of the day would have to have been the design part and having Leanne help me with my next quilt which I'll blog about some other time when I have something decent to show.


Justine said...

Wow that sounds like such an excellent day! I wish i could find something like that in the UK and guess what? I'd probably have to go alone as none of my friends are sewers either!! Looking forward to seeing your finished quilts.
Justine xx

Leanne said...

oh oh oh

I am soooo thrilled you went! Even if you had to go on your own - good on you!!!!

I would of come if I travel planes, boats & trains are not me!

It looks sooo fun!

I would like one of Leanne's kits - I really would.

Looking forward to seeing your progress & your next quilt project.

Love Leanne

Cate said...

Wow - how cool! I am a wanna-be sewer as you know, and very envious of such talented people.

And yes, when we first moved here from Australia, I found it very disturbing that Kiwis were always boasting about killing possums!

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