This year the Wollongong Modern Quilt Guild is presenting a Modern Quilt Show for the annual Berry Quilt Show. We’d love to see you there if you’re in travelling distance. Berry is a gorgeous little town with lots of fun shops, great cafes, and the markets will be help on Sunday just down the road. For more details visit the website.
Our committee has been working tirelessly to get everything ready. It’s our first ever show so we’re jumping in the deep end and there’s a lot to learn but considering we’ve only had a few months to pull everything together I think we’ve done a pretty good job. There’s a lot to learn and we have lots of ideas for improving things for next time.
I cannot wait to walk in and see all the hanging quilts tomorrow.
If you don’t know about the Sydney Craft & Quilt Fair, go check out my previous post, where I share how my interest and experience has changed over the last 4 years.
On top of the gorgeous quilts and great workshops & seminars, there are aisles and aisles and aisles of stalls selling just about everything for sewing, quilting, knitting & crochet, card marking, scrapbooking, beading and other crafty things, you’ll also find a lot of amazing gadgets and products you never knew existed.
Before heading to the show I put together a list of the things I was looking for and did a bit of research on some options before hand so that I was prepared. Included on the list were:
Some mini scissors & another thimble since I’ve lost mine somewhere…
It was a great show and very successful for me, I found almost everything I was after and of course, a few things not on the list as well. I didn’t manage to find the rulers, but did find a vendor and have since bought them online.
On to the loot! How pretty are these Perle 8 Cottons?
Perle Cottons by Valdani (top row) and Presencia (bottom row).
I got a great deal on the lamp from the Daylight Man stand, it’s perfect for my new sewing space (more on that soon). It’s a Daylight Slimline Table Lamp which clamps on to the back of my table and has a flexible arm so I can get it wherever I need it. It uses an energy efficient daylight bulb which is great for colour matching, easier on the eyes than normal lights and the bulb will last for ages. I love it so far and the difference in colour between the lamp and other lights is amazing.
I may have also found some fabric I just had to have from Material Obsession – an Alexander Henry print, Atzlen, from the same line as my first quilt back which I’ll be using to back the brother of my quilt.
Alexander Henry fabrics – Fiesta Firecracker as my quilt back (bottom) and Atzlen (top) for the back of another quilt to come.
Another favourite vendor is Kelani Fabric, every year they have amazing fabrics and patterns, this time I picked up some Echino bicycles, I’ve already used a piece of the green in a cushion back. It’s always lovely to chat to Saffron Craig at her stall and I can never resist her fabrics.
Left: Echino Nico Cycling in Chocolate, Fuscia and Green. Right: Valley View by Saffron Craig
I got a couple little presents for friends and decided to get a decent mini iron & rest. I have a cheap mini iron which is super handy, but it has a collapsing handle which is really annoying and it doesn’t get all that hot, but I know I’ll use it so figure it’s worth getting a decent one, especially since there won’t really be room for a full ironing board & big iron where I’ll be sewing from now on.
By far my favourite not-on-the-list finds was some awesome washi tape.
Super cute washi tape!
That’s it for another year of the Quilt & Craft Show. Maybe, just maybe, I might try to enter a quilt in next years show, and can continue to discover new aspects of the show.
Just over a week ago my feet hurt, my brain hurt, my wallet hurt a little bit to.
This is my fourth year making the pilgrimage to Sydney, which is about an hour and a half by train from where I live. The Sydney Craft & Quilt Fair combines a quilt show organised by the Quilters’ Guild of NSW, with over 400 quilts on display, as well as hands on workshops, seminars, textile displays, guest artists and 2 huge halls of stalls.
Check out this awesome timelapse video of the show setup, it’s so hard to imagine those halls as being empty!
The first year it was all about beads for me as that was my hobby at the time, and maybe a few costume trims. The second year I was getting into sewing but missed out on pretty much every workshop I wanted to try (didn’t get in early enough, silly girl).
Last year was all about trying new things, I’d planned out all the workshops I wanted to take and was there when the doors opened with a map of where I had to go to register. I learned English Paper Pieceing, Felt Appliqué and made a small mirror wallet on a Bernina sewing machine to try one out as I was considering upgrading.
My sample projects from the 2012 show.
This year I wanted to see the quilts. I’d wandered through the quilt show the year before but really just skimmed through a few aisles, maybe paused in front of a few quilts with bright colours but I couldn’t really appreciate them. This time I stopped, I looked at the overall quilt, I looked closely at the piecing and quilting, I read the makers story, and I could appreciate all the work that went into each quilt, whether it was to my taste or used my favourite techniques, or not.
Believe me when I say, the quilts were amazing! Some were ginormous (including this rainbow stunner by the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild), many had tiny, itty, bitty pieces, a few we’re blinged out with beads or Swarovski crystals. I saw at least 2 of the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt Easy Street and while the show is predominantly more traditional it was great to see some classic styles made in bright colours (Kaffe Fasset was popular) and a handful of more modern quilts as well.
I can’t share photos of all my favourite quilts, photography was only allowed for personal use and not to be put online without permission, so I’ll respect that. Luckily a day or two after the show I saw one of my favourite quilts pop up on twitter, I found the maker who has very graciously let me share it here, thanks Jenn! The colours, the quilting, the scrappy binding… this quilt was just a breath of fresh air.
Prism Perfect by Jenn, go check out some of her other awesome makes at pennypoppleton.com. Thank you to Sel who let me share her photo instead of my crap, indoor-lighting phone photo.
Honestly, after maybe 50-100 quilts I think my brain was so full of inspiration I don’t think I took much more in, I didn’t even get around to see all the quilts. I think next year I might split up my trip over 2 days so that I can take my time looking through the quilts and also get to some workshops and look around the stalls.
If you haven’t been before I’d highly recommend going, the Fair takes place in capitals around Australia throughout the year, though I’d assume the quilt show portion is put on by different local groups in each state. Take your time, enjoy the quilts, make a shopping list and try to stick to it. Check out my next post – Part 2: The Loot(coming soon) (finally here!) – to see what was on my list (and what wasn’t).
The Sydney Craft and Quilt Fair 2012 has come and gone, it was my third time visiting the show and each year I learn more ways to make the most out of a day there. There’s so much to see and do (and buy) it can be a bit overwhelming but you can only do so much, you just have to work out what you’ll get the most out of. This year I also went to the Craft and Sewing Show at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse, it’s a smaller show so I felt like I got all the way around quite comfortably. If you don’t love huge crowds and getting lost it might be a better alternative if you want to see what a craft show is all about.
For me, the most rewarding part of a show are the hands on workshops. Most go for 1 hour, cost around $15-$25 for a small kit or materials and you get to learn something new with an expert there to help and guide you. There’s plenty of inspiration on offer throughout the various talks, demonstrations and at the stalls, but I always find I’m much more likely to really give something a go when I’ve got someone there to help me through those first steps and I don’t have to think about getting all my bits and pieces organised. I’ve even finished off a few of the small projects that I’ve started at the shows!
Sashiko Sampler Scissor Pouch
The kit for this project came from a 1 hour sashiko workshop run by Indigo Niche at the Sydney Craft and Sewing Show back in March. Sashiko is basically a running stitch technique used for hand quilting and embroidery. It comes from Japan and traditionally uses white thread on Indigo fabric.
I enjoyed this workshop so much I also bought a couple of other samplers with the pattern already marked on the fabric, and a beautiful variegated thread to use. I’ll be sure to share some photos once the first piece has progressed a little further.
Felt Applique Needle Book
This little needle book was from a felt applique workshop with Marg Low of Marg Low Designs. She was absolutely lovely and gave us lots of great tips, by the end of the workshop I had the 3 flower pieces stitched on to the front, and I added the decorative stitches on the inside page on the train home. The next day I stitched on the inside fabric piece which also functioned as the binding, attached the inside felt page and voila!
There were a number of times while making this little needle book that I would pause while getting the next piece of thread ready and think, “Now where should I put my needle so I don’t lose it?” Duh… in the needle book perhaps? Handy little things they are, and super cute with a little felt applique.
English Paper Piecing
I’ve heard a lot about paper piecing so thought I’d find out how it works. This workshop by Blue Willow Cottage was a great introduction to hexagons, and the kit provided the fabric scraps and 7 pre-cut papers (enough to make a flower) as well as a template for cutting the fabric hexagons and the cutest little cutting mat (3″ square) and mini rotary cutter. As with all the workshops it was a great little taster to learn the basics and get me interested in trying some more.
I’m not sure what I’ll do with these when I’ve got all 6 petals on my flower finished but it will probably be appliqued onto a background fabric to then use.
So that’s my craft show catchup, there are actually more little demo projects from the Quilt and Craft Fair, but I’ll spare you for the time being and save those for another time. If you get the chance to go to a craft or sewing show be sure to check out the website or brochures before you go to see what demonstrations and workshops are on offer and GET IN EARLY to book as I’ve found the workshops fill up really quickly. You’ll have to race me though!