Quilt groups...the names change but the story is the same. We gather, we chat, we laugh. Someone takes notes, someone makes jokes...some are fussy perfectionists and some throw it all together on a whim. Some like reproduction and order, some like new and some everything in between! I have to say I enjoyed my weekend at Coonawara Farm Resort with the Riviera Quilters. It felt amazingly different and familiar at the same time.
The next morning it was up and at 'em time to get started on the projects. I admit that standing before a new group of quilters I was more aware of what I didn't know than what I did. What were their tastes? What fabric do they love? What style quilts do they make? What experiences do they have? For a second that overwhelmed me as I realized how much I know when in the shop surrounded by my favorite tools and people. Having said that but knowing that quilters are quilters we just dove in with confidence and got started. Soon the room was turned into a garden party!
Dresden Plate flowers were appearing in no time as we mixed and matched fabrics from a wide variety of fabric collections. No names mentioned but one gal was heard to mutter throughout the weekend, "this goes against everything I have ever been taught, I can't believe I am doing this!"
The second night was the night the tutors did show and tell. Esther Eliu was one of the other tutors. She showed us some of her quitls (once we were able to break into her suitcase!) and told us stories of meticulous attention to detail and a dogged determination to get the quilt exactly right even if it took up to the last minute of a deadline. Her quilts are stenciled designs onto fabric and then she does a beautiful job of machine quilting around the designs.
The quilts, each one prettier than the last are covered in roses and usually have a bird or two thrown into the picture.
Red Delicious, which didn't deplete Esther's red stash, features images of all the things she loves.
Chris was the other tutor for the weekend. She had a quilt filled with flowers representing memories of friends and events in her life. There was a bit of a flower theme happening all weekend.
They were hard acts to follow and more than once I imagined stepping backwards out of the room. However, I often imagine quitling/quilters as a long piece of string. There are endless points for all of us to sit and create what speaks from our own hearts. So I took a deep breath and help up Garden Party. This quilt was a co-op design project with the marvelous Anna Maria Horner when she released her Garden Party fabric range. Although a world apart, Anna Maria made the background (while preparing for Spring Market and writing a book and managing her then family of five children with loving ease!) while I made the flowers. This quilt is an explosion of color and maybe not for the weak hearted.
One can only imagine what that dork standing there is saying at that moment with those fists clenched like that... deary me.
We talked about the Material Obsession book for a while. At that point I heard an exclamation from the back of the room, "OH! Your that one!" Yep. That's me.
And here they all are just waiting for me to shut up so they can return to their sewing machines and get back to work on their projects. I can't help but smile when looking at this photo. It was such a nice experience meeting them all and seeing how the thread of quilting connects us all.
Day two dawned as it should to show us flowers that had bloomed over night!
The possibilities are endless.
Hilary had lots of options going.
As we started to pack up I had to snap this photo of the Rivieara Quilters Raffle Quilt.
It is a beautifully done version of Millie's Garden by the ladies of Piece O'Cake. Tickets are available for $2 each and I have some if you want some! And speaking to Piece O'Cake, stay tuned to this spot for some exciting news for Sydney quilters in August!
So, that is a whopper of a post with lots to see and think about. My brain feels lighter now. Thanks so much to all of the women on the weekend that made it happen from Coralie's hand caught prawns to the sheets on our beds! Good luck with your show and make sure you keep me updated with progress on your quilts.
Back to "work". kathy
Esther Eliu was teaching stenciling onto fabrics. I had never met Esther before and spent a good part of the weekend hearing the fascinating story of her life and quilts.