Monday, 6 August 2012

Quilting Heaven - Part 1

As I mentioned in my previous post, Mum and I spent 4 wonderful days at the Berrima Patchwork 'Quilting in the Highlands' Retreat last week. We had an absolute ball! 

After getting back into the swing of our regular lives and recovering a little from the time difference (and exhaustion of 4 intense days of stitching) I have finally found some time to share some of our memories and photos with you.

After a 4:30am start we flew to Sydney on the Friday with our 5 suitcases, 2 handbags and a camera bag (no, we don't travel light!). Both of us had to bring our sewing machines so 2 of the suitcases held these. We were a bit stressed about how they would travel but they travelled just fine (thank goodness). Unfortunately the taxi that was sent for us broke down on the way, so we had to wait an hour for another one. We then had an hour and a half drive to Mittagong RSL and the Springs Motel where we were staying. We arrived very tired but excited.

We had both booked in for 2 x 2 day workshops. The first one we were doing together - Diamond Delight with Carol Doak. Carol is a well-renowned US quilter who specialises in Foundation/Paper Piecing. Berrima Patchwork were extremely lucky to get her on board as a tutor as she is doing very little travelling these days. 

Carol Doak with her sample 'Diamond Delight' quilt.

Carol was a lovely, lovely lady, an absolute character with a fantastic sense of humour! She was an excellent tutor and shared a wealth of knowledge, hints and tips which made us feel that we could take on any paper piecing project and accomplish it with ease. 

Day 2 and hard at it!

Mum and I were pretty much the slowest in the class as we are fairly new to quilting and were complete novices at paper piecing. However, early on the 2nd day we had finally finished our centre blocks. Even though we were novices, Carol's instruction and support had us both completing perfect points!

My centre block

Carol with Mum holding her centre block against Carol's sample

Carol then had a great idea to lay all of the centre blocks created by the group on floor of the workshop room. Amazingly, even though there was a huge range of fabrics involved, you could have easily created a quilt just using the centre blocks, with a bit of tweaking. Carol commented that it just goes to show once you get more than 10 fabrics in a quilt, any colours will go together.

Centre block composite

At the end of day 2, several people had completed their quilt tops. Mum and I had finished placing and stitching all of our 'A' and 'B' sections so that all we need to do now is stitch it all together. We left Carol's workshop having made some lovely new friends and gained a huge amount of inspiration.

Group photo at the end of the workshop

After a lovely dinner at the RSL club we retired to our room to relax, relive the highlights of the workshop and start thinking about the next workshop. We took the opportunity to lay out our centre blocks, 'A' and 'B' sections, and remaining fabrics on the beds to see what our quilt tops will look like when they are finished. Can't wait to get stuck back into it when I get a free minute (ha ha)!

Preview of my quilt top

Preview of Mum's quilt top

We experienced so much at the retreat that it is not possible to fit it all into one post. So, that's it for now. Next time I will tell you all about my 2nd workshop, 'Opal Fever' with Sue Dennis. If you would like to find out more about Carol Doak you can check out her website here or her blog here.

Happy stitching,


Charlie and Wendy said...

Wow, your quilt tops look amazing!

Outback Craftaholic said...

Thanks so much ladies. We may be biased but we think so too :P Cheers, Tracy

Quilt Kitty said...

Your quilt tops are stunning Tracy. Thats a wonderful result for two days. Great photos of you too! Tracee xx

Anonymous said...

wow those quilt tops are stunning ,well done to you and your mum.xx