Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fine fabric, friends and food = FUN!

This weekend I attended the Quilters Gathering at Ulladulla. I first went to one a few years ago and had such a wonderful time I was keen to go again. Life often gets in the way of doing what we really want to do and then there’s the guilt of starting yet another patchwork project.

But an important lesson I took way from this weekend (apart from all the fabulous construction techniques) was that I enjoy focusing on the journey not the destination! I love learning new ways of doing things, playing with new fabric and making new friends. If I have a finished quilt at the end it’s a bonus that my family appreciates.

My workshop was the Hexagon Stars with Catherine Butterworth, a Marti Michelle educator. Catherine is a great teacher and lots of fun. Her instructions are clear and she’s so generous with all her tips and hints. I feel that after 2 days I have all the knowledge necessary to explore and construct my own beautiful blocks using the template set. As an aside I had purchased the book (Six is for Hexagons by Marti Michelle) and templates last summer but was a little overwhelmed to try it, the workshop definitely helped but I’m sure you could work it out if you can read the instructions from cover to cover. That’s all I needed to do - RTFM!

Ulladulla Stars & Hexagons

Her teaching quilt was gorgeous, full of fussy cut treasures, interlocked and leading the eye over the quilt surface, like a tapestry.

This is just a quick snapshot I took showing the different fabrics she chose to fussy cut.

Whilst the heavy dark tones didn’t really do it for me I could see that this technique leads to wonderful results. And it’s all machine pieced!! No piecing over papers, stitches all neatly tucked away. It’s pretty cool.


Here are my blocks:

LA # 1

I kept my first block simple, a big hexagon and radiating triangles set in with diamonds.

I used the Little Apples Layer Cake by Moda. I picked it up because it was such a bargain but had no idea what to do with it… the fabrics are so stinking CUTE!

I followed instructions and the whole block came together beautifully.


LA #2

This is the second one I did using the more complex construction technique of “inset Y seams”. Usually these would send chills down my spine and I’d revert to hand sewing but with accurate pieces and “engineered corners” it also went together beautifully.

Except for my picking up one Hula Hoop girl and stitching her in upside down, OOPS!


LA #3

I was getting pretty confident by block number 3.

I played around with different points on the radiating triangles.

Loving the Little Apples fabric by now… not loving the fabric stash I picked to coordinate.

Did I mention there’s a quilt shop down the road? 30% discount for attendants? Handy!


LA #4

Ok, this one was a bit of a stretch. Diamonds made from 4 pieces of fabric means I had to really look at the grain lines carefully. Lots of cutting, simple edge to edge sewing and carefully pressing.

I don’t want this quilt to be too cute so just used the Dotted Lines from the Little Apples fabric. I think it looks like stitching…


LA first blocks


This isn’t saying table runner or wall quilt to me… I think it’s gotta be another bed quilt.

Looking forward to receiving a little bit of yardage to play some more.



Other workshops were being taught by Beth and Trevor Reid, Lessa Siegele, Jane MacDonald, Michele Hill, Jenny Bowker, Gail Simpson and Bernie Varkevisser. At show and tell after dinner on Friday we saw all the stunning teaching quilts and last year’s finished projects. Very inspiring.

If you’d like to go to the Gathering next year, put it in your diary for August 17/ 18! If you love patchwork and quilting you wont regret it. The venue was outstanding, they kept us well fed and watered. The company was entertaining and the workshops all looked amazing. Can’t wait to go back!