Thursday, August 21, 2014

Wonder Women

Some more quilty-bits on the blog today. For me, this creative outlet stirs up an eagerness and a tick-tick-ticking of ideas. As I work alone, patchwork has been an application of the hands and mind and heart in a multitasking effort to sew/think/pray.  And working collectively, it has placed me amongst beautiful women that freely offer friendship, inspiration, and connection, because of our shared interest. This particular post features some of these uber-talented ladies!

I have been a guest at 2 quilt retreats recently. Jacqui, my little treasure of a friend,
invited me to share her room at The Wine Tree's beautiful facility in Dwellingup. Even though a gate crasher, I received such a warm welcome from the women, all of whom I know from "Homespun", and with whom I enjoyed catching up. I left my work at the patchwork shop back in 2012, but women are so good at bridging the space of time and picking up from where we all last left off!

So, with busy schedules neatly organised in order to achieve a weekend's retreat, with minds full of ideas, fingers itching to begin, and the sun shining on us through a great wall of window, we all settled into a few days of creating.

Meet Sue. Sue wins the prize for discovering this gorgeous winery/retreat centre. She happened upon a cancellation and has since managed to secure a series of 2-3 night getaways throughout this year. She puts in all the effort behind the scenes liaising with both the owner of The Wine Tree and the chef at The Blue Wren cafe (who caters amazing meals and treats for us),and gets the entire weekend off the ground on our behalf!
Sue's creative talents are multi-faceted. She excels at the slow-burner projects that involve perfected hand work techniques as she meticulously embroiders and appliqués. However, all the way at the opposite end of the old-school/new-age stitching spectrum, we also find Sue, expertly manipulating the Rolls Royce of computerised sewing machines, generously sharing her knowledge of every kind of high tech machine skill imaginable!
Check out her attention to every imaginable detail -

Pat is a quiet achiever and a picture of industry as she balances her career with her passion for home, family, grandchildren and patchwork. For a few years now, Pat has set aside each Wednesday morning of her busy work week as her patchwork time, and as a regular student at Homespun, we have had the pleasure of seeing her sew one gorgeous project after another. She is prolific! This photo shows Pat with one of her appliqué block sets - each fabric carefully chosen and fussy-cut for a lovely finish! 

Marg is celebrating the arrival of a grandbaby with a labour of love that is stitched-to-perfection! Imagine the joy and anticipation that is represented in each stitch of little Eamon's handmade treasure.

Even though I do very little of it myself, I can appreciate the work and time and technique that is applied to some people's hand stitching! How do some, like Lois, achieve that kind of exquisite work that looks as neat on the reverse as it does on the front? From where does their patience come? Some talented person lovingly passed on their skill of traditional handwork and I believe they would be proud to see such results!

Pip is another marvel with a needle. She designs and executes with great skill. I loved her vintage style Aussie botanical quilt. The gum leaves and native flowers are perfectly set against the blue sky. Well done! 

Lizzie. She brings so much joy to our workroom! She adds colour with her fabric choices and more colour with her wit and cheeky humour. Something very good would simply be missing if Lizzie wasn't in attendance! Surely Liz must get the prize for the sheer volume of what she achieves in a sewing day! 
Happy brights or subtle reproductions - Liz will give everything a go and always gets the job done.

Janette! When I think of Janette, the phrase "rock solid" comes to mind. As a friend, she can simply be counted upon. She is a beautiful combination of speaking her mind and listening, of knowing her mind and a generous tolerance for other mind sets, of walking the talk, and so on. Her generous spirit extends to the patchwork world where she continues to give... give aid, give ideas, give gorgeous finished quilts to friends and family. 

Jacqui devotes her days as owner of the Patchwork shop to extending into the community a passion for quilting. Her teaching style is kind, patient and inclusive. Her skills are honed and well communicated. Here she is, inspiring us with her keen eye for fabric choices and colour.
Jacqui is beautifully re-working one of my patterns, "Mod Scallops" and giving it a vintage theme.
(Here is my original, below...) I love to see what others create with my patterns!
Jacqui's talents span vintage to modern without any trouble. Here on the design wall is another of her creations, eclectic, contemporary, this one also showcasing her flair for colour.
She will kill me for including this photo, but I have to. Yes, these weekends are for productivity and inspiration, but they are also for relaxing, for catching up, for sharing meals or enjoying a walk or a movie together, and quite simply, for the jokes and the pure fun of a good old belly laugh!

Marg is a quilter in the true meaning of the word in that she actually owns and operates a long arm industrial quilting machine. To some, the 'quilt sandwich' that must follow the piecing, can be quite a disagreeable aspect of the process.  Marg comes to the rescue, layering, stitching and indeed transforming someone's piecing into an actual quilt. God bless Marg and all the quilters out there! I have hand quilted a bed sized quilt once, so I can say that I have done it, but I have no desire to do it again. 
There were more ladies in attendance but I must iron out some technical difficulties I am experiencing with Blogger before I can continue this post. It's quite long as it stands anyway, so I will showcase these other ladies in a 'Wonder Women Part 2' post. Thank you for reading!

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