Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sensational Symposium - Where do I begin?

I've been having such fun visiting quilts on Amy's Quilt Festival that its taken me a while to get back onto posting my own news. There are so many marvellous things to tell about the 2009 NZ Quilt Symposium, which we have just hosted here in Wellington over Easter - infact there are so many marvellous things that it has taken me a couple of weeks to recover from the excitement, the sensory overload, the people to catch up with, the great classes to attend, the wonderful exhibitions, and the odd glass of wine or two with friends at happy hour. In short it was great - and also exhausting.

We had over 1200 women here in Wellington for classes which were held over 5 days, with tutors from all over NZ, Australia, the UK, USA and even from Africa. There was 200 days of teaching done by our tutors. There was, literally, something for everyone.

I volunteered to assist for two days in classes, in the role of "Angel" - as I said to the classes I assisted with I was somewhat misnamed! On my first day I helped out in a class with Sandi Cummings - and I was delighted to be assigned to her as I have previously made two quilts from her book "Thinking Outside the Block" which this class was also named. I had great fun making those quilts for my sons and it was great to see her demonstrate her techniques of cutting and inserting fabrics into blocks to create something unexpected.Several of the samples that she showed used fabrics which changed in colour and tone across the face of the fabric which bought real interest to the blocks that she created. I know I have a number of these type of fabrics up in the stash which I have always tended to use them by cutting out the particular colour or tone I am looking for at the time. These gave me some great ideas for experimenting and playing with. I spent a lot of the day tearing around sorting out sewing machines, food and other things that can sometimes cause teething problems on the first day of the big event. Obviously I did enough to keep both the tutor and students happy as I was instructed to try and get myself reallocated to them the next day.
The Angel who was allocated to them on day two told me that when she arrived they all looked at her and gave out very disappointed sounds - she didn't seem so pleased when she met me, but on the up side she said I had them so well trained that they hardly needed a thing done for them. I snuck back into the class to see Sandi's slide show of her work (I'd spent quite a lot of time getting the projector set up and ready to go so figured I had earned the show). It was so worth it - her work was just stunning. If you aren't familiar with it you can see lots on her website.
My tutor on day two was Ineke Berlyn, from the UK. She was teaching a one day class on making recylced jeans bags and other bags. It was a very small class so it was quite the opposite from the day before with not so much for me to do. It really had my fingers itching for the piles of old denim that I still have stacked up in the sewing room, left over from all those curtains that I made for the boys last winter.The denim bags were great and the other bags she made, such as the next two photos, offered up a ton of ideas for trying. The fabrics on these were fused onto a heavy canvas to create pictures and then sewn over to secure and embellish them.Ineke is Dutch, but has lived in the UK for many years, so the bag with tulips was an obvious one for her to try out. I particularly loved this one and want to give something similar a try. I can see myself carrying it to work through the Botanical Gardens come next spring when the tulips and magnolias bloom - and the time frame might even be achievable!Come the end of the class Ineke told me I'd been such a good girl that she gave me a full set of her notes and patterns from the class so I could try some out myself. Maybe the name of Angel wasn't so inappropriate after all (ha ha)! You should also check out Ineke's work if you don't know it. She makes beautiful stylised landscapes and also does lots of work with sheer fabrics.

Probably the highlight from the day for me was the thermofax screen I bought from Ineke. She demonstrated it with one student in the class using it to print doiley like patterns onto denim for the bag she made. You won't be surprised to hear I found this completely irresitable. Stay posted for the pictures once I start the experiments. I'm thinking my old jeans will shortly be in for a major make-over!

Stay tuned - next time I'll post about the classes I did and what I made.

1 comment:

Jacky said...

I love the sound of that thermofax screen (what is it by the way and where would I get one????).
Really enjoyed this post and all your news from the Quilt Symposium...sounds like you were quite the angel.
Love those bags and I can just picture you strolling through the botanical gardens next spring with your tulip bag a la Ineke!

Also...couldnt find your email address so thought I would leave mine here for you.
look forward to hearing from you soon...Klimt...you've got me interested.