Category Archives: quiltcon

So QuiltCon! I’m on my way, are you?

QuiltCon Because booking flights and accommodation wasn’t enough to convince me I was going, I need to pop a little button in this space to make it for reals!

And because registration is JUST TWO DAYS AWAY!!! I thought it was as good a time as any to remind myself of why it is I want to go again.

The people I met :: It’s the number one reason I’ll do this trip, meeting these incredible people who share this crazy quilty passion is worth every cent of the airfare.

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Lauren and me with our crazy eyes

Leanne and the LAMQG gals Lauren, Jennifer and Em were by far the “best country music dancers” on the floor that Saturday night (at least the beer had us believing so). Then there was Jenn and Lauren who I had been playing in words with friends for such a long time, it was great to use real words and hear real voices – even if mine was shouting “squirrel” in Starbucks…

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Anna Maria Horner and me in her “Composing a Quilt” class – total girl crush moment!

Classes with AWESOME tutors :: Even with the anticipated frenzy and the possibility of missing out on classes, I would go again (and again, and again). The classes I took were super fun and the lectures are inspiring, stimulating and thought provoking.

More people :: Class mates Lisa, AmandaCharlotte, Marianne, Ellen and all the others who contributed thoughts, ideas and fun to the time we spent learning from tutors who shared their knowledge.

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Malka working her magic

Food (with people) :: Beer and Barbecue with Carolyn, Cheryl and her champion of a husband, he was such a trooper all weekend!

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For the life of me I can’t remember the name of this place – all I know is it was THE BEST BARBECUE!!!

Volunteering :: This was by far the most rewarding aspect. I had the opportunity to assist in the hanging of the quilt show, work the MQG information stand in the show, assist on the registration desk and be a workshop assistant. So many good things came from volunteering, I would highly recommend it to anyone!

Food (without people) :: eating in a new country, city, suburb is my favourite way to discover a a place. I ate my breakfasts on my own in a different joint each day as a calm way of starting the day. Breakfast tacos in Austin? To. Die. For.

And have I mentioned people :: I can’t forget 80’s night dress up queens Felicity and Jaclyn. And bloggy and twitter and instagram mates who were just so lovely in person: EmHolly, Kim, Jen, Marci, Heather, GinaHeather, JacquieColleen, Amy, Catherine, Latifah, SusanneErin, Rossie and so, so many more.

So, back to the question that started this post. I’m going. Are you?

Faraway Fields :: A Finished Quilt

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So I had a finish! Some of you will have seen this quilt on Instagram and Facebook – I’ve been rather slow to getting it here!

This quilt feels like one giant material representation of my online experience, a place I’ve made incredible connections to inspiring, funny, kind and generous people. I am in love with it for its symbolic nature as much as for its beauty.

So, it’s a bit of wordy story but I’ll try my best to stay on track. I began making this quilt in a Denyse Schmidt class at QuiltCon in February 2013. The same class in which I met dear Charlotte. We were volunteering and it being the last day of QuiltCon, some participants left early to catch flights home. Fortunately for us, we were able to make a few quick blocks. I left thinking I might have just enough to make a lap quilt if I was careful about how I joined them. I was clearly overly optimistic about how much I’d done that day!
Procrasticraft_Improv_DSWhen I got home and tried to piece the blocks together, I discovered a mini-quilt, maybe a baby size, was all I would get if I was to make a top from blocks alone. Given that’s all I had, I popped the blocks on the design wall and pondered the placement. For many months, I fiddled around with it almost every time I went into my sewing room but I just could not commit to stitching it up, something was missing. As we were about to move house, I posted a picture of my (lack of) progress on Instagram:

That proved to be a fortuitous move on my part. The ever inspiring Cheryl Arkison (have you seen her gorgeous book, A Month of Sundays) saw that photo. Cheryl is one of the lovely friends I have made online who I met in person at QuiltCon. She was also in the DS class and had grabbed a couple of orphan blocks at the end of the day and she was willing to share her leftovers! They arrived along with the most generous parcel and sweet words I think I’ve ever received. When I opened the box, I was super thrilled to see that Cheryl had made some of the blocks into inset circles (check out her Craftsy class to see how to do these, it’s pretty clever). So, those circle blocks up there came to me via Calgary.

As soon as I had those extra pieces, I knew exactly how to make the quilt. I pulled out my Essex linen, laid out a king size piece on the deck and literally threw the blocks and fabric scraps into the air to see where on the quilt they landed. Of course, some landed on top of each other and some were either too far apart or not far enough so I played around with placement just a little and then stitched them up.

The impetus to finish was the Modern Quilt Show held on 3 & 4 May. Thankfully, another gorgeous friend I’ve made online (who I also now see regularly in person) is an AMAZING long-armer and she agreed to getting this one done in record time for me. Heidi has done the most incredible job with the quilting on this. My photos simply can not do it justice, it is spectacular

In the end, I have a king size quilt for our bed in our new home. It is spectacularly large, the biggest quilt I’ve ever made and I’m so damn proud of it!

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The Quilt
Blocks :: Scraps provided by Denyse Schmidt and Free Spirit, made by Julie McMahon with blocks contributed by Cheryl Arkison.
Background :: Essex Linen (purchased at QuiltCon from the lovely Tammy of Marmalade Fabrics who supplied me with a whole bolt to bring back to Oz)
Quilting :: quilted by the uber talented Heidi (Jeanette)
Binding :: Shot Cotton (from Addicted to Fabric)
The Name :: Started in Austin with fabrics from a studio in Connecticut (USA) and sewing time with a friend from London (England), blocks from Calgary (Canada), made in Canberra (Australia), quilted in Bombala (Australia) :: truly an effort from Faraway Fields.

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** I do not accept payment for any promotions in my posts, all opinions and recommendations are my own and are genuine. I am however an affiliate of both Amazon and Craftsy and I work for Addicted to Fabric **

 

Packing, moving, letting go…

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Tonight I’m sitting on the floor of the sewing room, eating dinner and reflecting on this space and all that has happened here.

This in progress quilt on the as yet unpacked design wall is the last project I will work on in this home. The home that had housed my husbands family for more than forty years, where his Mum crafted for all those years. Crochet, lacework, quilts, spinning, knitting, cross stitch, tatting, embroidery, dress making. There is a whole lot of creative energy here in this home and I’m finding myself wanting to hold on to it, to pack it up and take it on an adventure. Do you think I can find a way to bottle it?

The quilt :: improv blocks started in Denyse Schmidt’s improv piecing class at QuiltCon in February. I’ve finished all the blocks I had fabric for so am going to add yarn dyed Essex linen in natural (purchased from marmalade fabrics, also at QuiltCon) to make up to a queen size for our bed. I’m thinking I might spread the blocks out randomly to make them look almost like they’ve been thrown on the linen. Thoughts on layout gratefully accepted!