Thursday, January 30, 2014

Australian Quilting Cruise Update

We are now on the countdown to the 3rd Australian Quilting Cruise leaving Sydney on the 27th February.  This 'Retreat at Sea' is fully booked and I am looking forward to catching up with the ladies that have attended previous cruises.  Also to meeting all those 'first timers' including five lovely ladies who are coming from New Zealand this Retreat.  Plus we have some ladies from WA that will be travelling the furthest to join our ship in Sydney.

It has been very busy here packing kits and organising sewing machines.  I am taking 14 sewing machines with me.  Machines, kits and everything else we have to take with us are going in the station wagon and trailer. Tony has painted the trailer and revamped the sheep crate on the back.  He felt a bit out of place the last time  as he drove to Circular Quay with the sheep crate.  Not so this time. We won't be missed.

I was overwhelmed by the number of kits ordered for the Freezer Paper Workshop.  In all there are 15 Beach scenes and 14 Lavender scenes which have been embroidered on fabric.  It has been my first task each day to do one of the embroideries.  So it has taken me over a month to do them all with some days being missed.  Some ladies are bringing their own picture and fabrics and it will be interesting to see what they have chosen.

Last week I had my grandson staying and with his input I put together another sample of this workshop to show some different variations.  This has turned out to be a rather bright picture but that is what kids like. 

We are very organised this trip in that we have all the planning for our 2015 cruise well in advance to bring with us.  The conference rooms on the Voyager have been booked and  tutors selected.  Most of the workshops are organised and the flyers are available. 

There are two guest tutors on the 2015 'Retreat at Sea' which will be doing the north island of New Zealand, leaving Sydney on the 22nd February 2015.  Helen Godden will be presenting her wonderful and fun ‘Flying into Colours’ class.  Laraine and I have done this class with Helen and we enjoyed it immensely.  Helen has a wonderful array of patterns for this workshop and her presentation makes for a very enjoyable experience.  This is a picture of my quilt I did with her.  Of course it had to be of a cat.

I will doing a workshop using a traditional block to create a modern quilt.  I have been in contact with Lisa Smallridge, from Sunset Seams Victoria,  to make the templates for this class.  The sample ones will be here next week for me to test out. There will also be  a mystery class for 2015.

Due to many requests from our ladies our second guest tutor will be presenting two 2 day embroidery classes and a mystery class.  This talented lady is Jan Pilgrim.  Jan does wonderful surface stitchery and incorporates stump work in a new light.
We would love to have you join us on this Retreat at Sea - the 4th Australian Quilting and Embroidery Cruise to New Zealand February 2015.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Stash Busting Bag Making

For many years I have been collecting fabrics with animal themed fabrics. They have come from shops, craft fairs, patchwork trips with the patchwork group and flea markets. The pile has grown steadily over the years.  A lot of these being fatquarters but some are by the meter. About six months ago I thought it was time that I did something with some of these fabrics.  I had just acquired a bag pattern. 

Making bags is not really my thing but I decided to have ago using a fabric with metallic dragonflies on it.  The bag turned out better than I thought.  I then decided to make one with cheetahs on it and add a machine embroidery cheetah design that I have also had for many years.

Both these bags caused a bit of a sensation with some of my family and friends.  I was asked if I could do one with dogs.  I had a suitable dog print and made one.

Before I knew it family and friends were putting in orders for the bags.  The most popular one being the cheetah.  Luckily I had a couple of meters of that fabric.

 Not only have I been using my stash but I have also dug up buttons, covered button packs and cafĂ© curtain rings from many years ago and hiding in the back of my cupboard.  Keep things long enough and  they come in handy.

I have done butterflies, cats, dogs, frogs, lions, tigers, zebras, dragonflies and even one with flowers. 

These little bags have been very enjoyable to make. They have made a change from making a large quilt and have put to use fabric that I have had in my stash for many years.

This is my latest one.  It was requested by a friend for her granddaughter who is studying to be a vet.  She had the opportunity to go to India last year as part of her training and as a result got to interact with some tigers.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Thread Painted Pups

The New Year is well and truly upon us.  We had a lovely Christmas at Russellee. Since we have came back from our Bali Quilting Retreat I have been busy preparing for our upcoming Quilting Cruise on the 27th February.  Kits are being put together and classes finalised.  Laraine has put together a Mystery Class for the cruise and we have sourced all that is needed for this class.

I have managed to update Russellee’s Retreat Calendar for 2014.  We are having a workshop with Helen Godden on the 17 – 18th March.  This is a Monday and Tuesday and accommodation is available.  Contact me if you are interested in coming to Helen's wonderful class.

Thread Painting.  I love thread painting.  I used to do a lot of it 20 – 25 years ago.  Quilting and Scrapbooking have put it into the background for several years. However, after doing one of my dogs at the Craft Alive’s and Henty Field days last year and one for the NSW Quilters Guild challenge I have decided to concentrate on it again and have been doing some dogs for a couple of relatives.

Here are a couple.

Until next time.