Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Adventures in Houston

I've just got back from the International Quilt Festival where I had a wonderful time teaching and demonstrating. However the best part of Houston is catching up with friends and seeing amazing quilts and generally having a fabulous time.

The first major function is the Awards Ceremony held in the Ballroom and always an amazing affair with the prize winners announced and displayed around the walls as they are announced. Seeing them up close after the awards is usually a bit manic but the atmosphere is wonderful.

After the Ceremony the Jewel Pearce Patterson Scholarship winners always have dinner. This year there were many of us in town as we finally had our long awaited retrospective exhibition as part of the main show.

I had two quilts - my Orvieto Memory from my original exhibition and Japan Love which is a recent piece.

I did a class with Hollis Chatelaine on dye painting which was very interesting. I didn't really grasp the skill in one lesson (or the colour matching) but I think that with a little (or a lot) of stitching I could turn this into something. Or maybe not.

 I also did a class with Paula Nadelstern on angle piecing. I learnt quite a lot - including the fact that I have never actually done it right. So that was a definite bonus for me. These are the classrooms with enormous ceilings.

The teacher's room is the best room in the whole convention centre as you get to just sit and hang out with the absolute cream of quilting. I grabbed my moment with Hollis and Paula between classes.

 I ate far too much of course as you know I love my food. This selection of deserts was at a special teacher only function. No I didn't eat all these - I just grabbed them for a photo. The table cloth was included in the door prizes which we hotly contested.
Yes I did look at quilts at the show - this masterpieces was the centre of the 40th Anniversary Red & White quilt show. It was awe inspiring.
The 8 major prize winners are displayed along the main corridor and always had crowds in awe around them.  The best time to see them are early morning or late afternoon without so many people but they usually have the thrilled quilt makers there answering questions which is great.

 It was Halloween as usual during the show. I was going to wear a witches hat to class but decided against it but Jill - one of the hardest workers in the Education Team always dresses the part.
 My classroom was 361 F (I think I have finally worked out the numbering system after 4 years. It is always a thrill to see your name in Houston
 My class was on quilt design using construction paper and some really interesting designs were created. Their feedback was wonderful and made me feel very special

I did do some shopping but not much. There are 18 aisles each with about 50 booths and it is a major achievement to see them all but I think I managed.  However I spent more time chatting with friends as I found their booths than actual shopping.
Here I am with Shelley Stokes of Cedar Canyon

 Paula Nadelstern successfully sued the manufacturers of this carpet which used designs straight out of her book. She gets paid when they have to replace it due to wear and asked us to help scuff it so they will have to replace it again. I did my bit much to the amusement of the passing staff member who I asked to take the photo.
 I had a wonderful time as usual and was sad to go but could have been tempted by these boots and luggage sets at the airport. Very Texan.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Inspiration is Everywhere

Last week we were at a local market and I saw these lovely keys amongst other beautiful items. To my regret I didn't buy them so we decided to go back today.

Unfortunately I couldn't find them but as I was now on the lookout for keys I found a couple of likely replacements.

But I thought that $15 per key was a little outrageous. However the stall owner was happy for me to take a photo and knowing what I wanted to do with the image I tidied the box up a little.

So with a little tweaking with Photoshop I created this image and turned it into a Thermofax screen

A little test print worked well I think.

I have already adjusted the image into the three sizes that I produce for sale so if you want your own set of keys - here is the link to the WEBSITE

Monday, October 20, 2014

Teaching at the AQC 2015

Those of you in Australia know that the Australasian Quilt Convention is the premier Quilt Show in Australia.
Held at the amazingly beautiful  Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne, it is an absolute joy to be part of the excitement.

Dyed & Gone to Heaven have had a stand at every AQC since the beginning and it is by far our favourite show to meet and catch up with dedicated quilters from all over the world.

I am so honoured to be invited to teach at the 2015 AQC and have the best of both worlds as we will still have our stand but I can be part of the classes as well.

I am teaching my one day Fantastic Fusion class which is a lot of fun. We don't do any actual sewing in the workshop - just lots of cutting and fusing and creating really original and exciting patterns. This is one of my samples which I am quilting at the moment so hopefully a secondary design will start to appear soon.

I hope you will consider booking into this class which is on Friday 17th and join me in a really fun day.

Bookings open on the 28th October and I know they sell out fast so be quick

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

When Life Gives you Lemons...

A while ago I finished my second book. I was pretty pleased with the result of a year's work but for whatever reason my publisher decided not to publish it. I took a while to lick my wounds and then put it down to experience and tucked it all away where I couldn't see it or think about it (too much).

Many friends and people who I really respected, suggested I self publish but knowing nothing about it, I wasn't prepared to take that leap (yet). After about 6 months, fate stepped in and I met an ebook publisher and we started to talk.

I realised that there was a lot of good work just sitting there doing nothing so decided to give it a try. What's the worse thing that could happen I thought - another rejection? 

We decided that actually it would make a great series of eBooks so I started to work on Book #1 in my Creative Journeys Series. I realised that I could do much more than the original as I had more control so added more sections and lots more images and ideas.

So it is with great excitement and trepidation I announce the publication of 

It is full of ideas for Fabric Painting, 

Sun Printing,


 Thermofax Printing, 

and even some Felting.

It's perfect for anyone wanting to try simple and fun ways to create beautiful original fabrics and textures using inspiration found around you.

As this is a completely self published project I would be so grateful if you could help spread the word on your networks. 

So hopefully I have made Lemonade out of Lemons and you will enjoy it.

Click here to buy it on Amazon for US$8.95
I have priced it very reasonably to hopefully make your decision to purchase easier. 

Book 2 is already in the pipeline and it won't be long until it's launch.
Guess what it is about?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Weekend of Workshops

It's Monday today and I am resting a little as I ran two workshops here at my home studio in Sydney over the weekend. I love doing these as I don't have to travel and I know where everything is and at the end of the day I can collapse in a heap.

Saturday was my Dye Day and we did a 12 step rainbow, a 6 step value gradation, a 6 step colour run from one colour to another and some multicoloured pieces together with skeins of perle cotton.
First we had to rip up the fabric into fat quarters.
Careful measuring underway
Pretty soon there were little bags of colour scattered all over the garden.
The weather was perfect, if not a little too warm which was unexpected but it was a great day.

We always supply a nice lunch too and Peter is in charge of that and he never lets us down.  
I even made some chocolate brownies for morning tea but we didn't have enough for the next day as someone (who shall be nameless) scoffed the lot.

On Sunday we did my Print & Paint day which is a compressed version of my 2-3 day Permission to Play workshop.

Again the weather was perfect especially as there was no wind and lots of direct sun which made the sun prints and salt effects work perfectly.
We carved stamps and also made our own Thermofax screens from original artwork and had great fun learning the differences between different types of fabric paints.
This was Anne's stamp - simple leaf shape but so effective
 Tamara's stamp was a simple geometric design but looks great when repeated
Amanda's Japanese fan design was burned onto a Thermofax screen and looked great over her sun printed fabric

 Anne's thermofax screen was from some copyright free clip art and looked really great when overlapped.
Both days were very successful and I think everyone went home with a new found freedom and confidence to just give it a try.

My last home workshop for the year before I start travelling again is my popular Shibori and Indigo workshop next Saturday and there are still some places if you want to join in the fun. Click here for more details.