It was with excitement and a sense of freedom that I ventured off on my own to the Australian Quilt Convention (AQC) on Saturday. The slow train journey in to the City was wonderful. Following on from three days of continuous rain, the skies had turned blue, the sun made a debut and the suburbs I travelled through were littered with trees and fence palings that had transformed from a typical light brown, to a deep dark umber, due to the rain soaking in to their depths. It truly was beautiful. Of course, it wasn’t all trees and attractive fencing… there was a lot of graffiti and run-down buildings on the way too, but they’re all part of the charm from being on the tracks, aren’t they?!
I got off the train at Parliament station. The platforms are in the depths of the City where two steep escalator rides ascend you to the surface. The station reminded me of the London Underground, except it wasn’t anywhere near as cold.
Then a short walk to the Royal Exhibition Building where the AQC was being held… through the established Carlton Gardens to be greeted by this view:
It really is a stunning venue!
I hadn’t been inside for very long when I discovered this very talented lady… it’s Kathy Doughty from Material Obsession! She was really lovely, exuding a gentle confidence and chatting with the most delicate American accent, I was a bit star-struck to be honest!
Now let me introduce you to my sweet friend, Leanne Knell of Petals & Patches. She was guest designer over on the Blue Willow Cottage stand, we had time for a chat and I squealed with delight when I picked up a pattern I’d been coveting on Facebook only to realise that it is one of hers… so I embarrassed her and asked her to sign it for me!! I’ll show you the pattern shortly. Leanne has some beautiful block-of-the-months… I fell in love with her latest release and will share more about it in the near future, Leanne has promised to send me some photographs to share with you. Do you see the blue sign in the centre top of the photo? It reads: “Your husband called, he said buy ANYTHING you want”! Ha ha! Love it!
After a coffee it was time to wander around the Quilt exhibition. I took my IPhone but the battery was wearing down really fast so I had to be selective with the quilts I photographed. These are a few of my favourites:
This amazing work of art is by Jenny Bowker and is titled: Sandstorm over the White Desert. It won the Rajah award in 2013. It was inspired by a sandstorm Jenny encountered while living in Egypt. The gentleman depicted in this quilt was a friend and guide who was apparently, always very calm, and obviously well-liked. Jenny was particularly taken with the change in colour of the land and sky as the storm travelled over, and I simply love the movement she has captured in this piece. I also love the quilting in the sky and the pixelated piecing of the sand in the air. I attempted a close-up:
Isn’t it absolutely utterly and undeniably stunning?! In fact, there were quite a few of Jenny Bowker’s quilts on display and I fell in love with them all.
I’m sorry not to have taken the names for the next few of Jenny’s. This artist really has a gift for capturing the essence of a person, their warm and cheery expressions are, I’m sure, a reflection of her own disposition. Not that I’ve ever met her, but I don’t think anyone could convey such warmth without feeling it and ‘being’ it themselves.
This next quilt had a much larger area of the overall pattern, it was stunning and I’m so sorry I didn’t capture it as well as it deserves to be, in this photo:
This next quilt is by the ever-wonderful Pam Holland. Do you follow Pam on Facebook? I do and I can tell you, her photography is Amazing with a Capital A! She travels profusely and captures the most amazing moments… I’m hoping that one day she will produce a coffee table book full of her prints. But I’m also very happy to look at her quilts! This one is an older quilt of Pam’s from when she first started out on her quilting journey. It is called: “1776, Heartache, Heritage and Happiness”
The detail is incredible. It took 9558 hours to make and has won three Best of Show prizes.
This next quilt is the last for me to show you and is by Sue de Vanny and titled: “Tram Route no. 10”
Sue de Vanny created this quilt for this, the tenth anniversary of the AQC. The no. 10 tram used to travel through the city to the World Trade Centre which is formerly the home of the AQC. Although the tram no longer runs, it is a symbolic connection with the former and current venues of this exhibition. I love the perspective and the luminescence of the tram against its wintery passionate background. I attempted a close-up photo:
After being entranced by the exhibition I headed back to the stalls for some more eye-candy (as if I hadn’t had enough!!). I headed over to Faeries in my Garden and met the delightful Lesley McConnell.
I could have chatted to this lovely lady for hours! I discovered that Lesley’s designs are a personification of herself… gentle, sweet, unassuming and utterly charming. She really does love her craft with a passion! I follow Lesley on Facebook as well, and she is prolific with her work as well as with sharing her knowledge. There’s so much detail in her designs and if you are a romantic at heart - you are in for a treat!
As the exhibition came to a close I was still chatting away, and you’d think me a real names-dropper if I mentioned all the talented women I met and spoke to! But here is one lady whose talents I’ve been admiring for a few years… we walked past each other and I thought, I know that face! It was a very excited Paula Storm from Sew Little Fabric.
Excited, because Paula has just released her very first book, Sew a Little Fabric, at the show… and literally as everyone was packing up their stalls for the day, I got a quick flick-through and it’s fantastic! The photo of Paula and I (above) was a selfie taken on my phone and as you can guess, I need a bit more practice with selfie-taking!! So I borrowed a pic of Paula’s book from her Facebook page…
Paula is currently working on her second book, and that sounds fantastic too!! I love the cover photo don’t you? The colours and the simplicity marry so well.
So I literally walked out of the door of the Royal Exhibition building with everyone locking up behind me!! Through the parkland again I trotted, admiring two recently-wed couples being photographed… which is always a bonus! Then home for cuddles with my family… all good stuff!
Okay, so would you like to see my loot?! I know I would!! I love looking at people’s loot! (smile)
I bought some neutral fabrics with different textures, Osnaburg, Linen and hessian-coloured Hanky Linen. The cross-stitch ribbon and linen trim were purchased at the L”ucello stand, the online shop can be found here.
I bought these two patterns. The first is Pipkin’s Pincushion, featuring the cutest little mouse (which if you’ve been reading my blog recently, you will know I have a love of!) and it’s ‘the’ one I was telling you about, by Leanne of Petals & Patches.
The Other is a zipper pouch pattern by Helen Stubbings of Hugs n’ Kisses. It was one of a few patterns that belong to Helen’s ‘Hexie Club’ and it contains the zip and the half-inch dissolvable hexie papers to make the project. I also purchased a pack of 50 hexie papers for future projects and some Precencia threads to try out, also purchased from Helen’s stall.
This 5in charm pack had to come home with me too! I can’t remember the place I bought it now, but I do regret not making any more purchases from there. It was so cute and a really good price, it’s called Sweetcakes by Riley Blake Designs.
Ahhh well… it was such a great day out! I hope you enjoyed reading about the quilts?!
Till next time – happy stitching!