Things are still crazy here so I spent last week busting to get things done so I could have a couple of days in Sydney and attend the Sydney Craft & Quilt Fair. It was totally worth it. I had such a great time and met so many amazing people. I was lucky enough to have my quilty twin Lisa (from Sweet Little Pretties) and the ying to my quilting yang Raylee (of Sunflower Quilting) keep me company (which was handy because my usual travel buddy couldn’t attend this year!) throughout the day. On the dock waiting for the free ferry to the venue we ran into Bec (of Skyberries Handmade) and her lovely Mother. It was such a great coincidence because we got time to talk on the ferry over and meant that when I got so distracted chatting with people at the venue and missed Bec’s last text to say she was going and I didn’t get to say goodbye we’d already had a good chat. (Although a good chat is never enough time – I need to get to Sydney more often!)
I knew it was going to be a good day when the second booth I walked past was Amitie Textiles and Jen Kingwell was there! Talk about the heart rate ratcheting up a notch or two! My love for Jen knows no bounds; she’s one of the most generous and happy people on the planet. She just oozes calm and creativity and she’s not the type of person to keep her knowledge to herself (which is handy for me as I have so much to learn!). Her booth was decked out in a great selection of her quilts and she had fabrics on sale which meant my plan of “don’t spend any money” was screwed straight away. I ended up buying a couple of fat quarters and the handiest little needle threader (click here to check it out) which is going to save me a butt load of time because I can no longer thread a needle like I used to!
We left Amitie and headed to check out the quilts. We didn’t get to see many as we kept running into people and then it was time to go and see Tula Pink’s trunk show. Yep, I just said Tula Pink! Tula was the special guest of the show this year and she was UH-MAZING! She spoke for 2 hours and covered how she got into quilting and fabric designing. I was spellbound. She spoke with passion and it was obvious that she loves what she does. She seemed to get lost in telling the stories behind her fabric and it was totally captivating. It’s so rare to come into contact with someone so driven and focused on what they love and I just adored it.
She was funny and entertaining and just so wonderful. I loved hearing about her journey, seeing her quilts, seeing that she has a great relationship with her Mother (who was travelling with her) and just having a little piece of the American quilting industry standing in front of us. I don’t know how she did it. She has been working non-stop (and I mean non-stop) since she touched down in Australia and she’s still being so lovely and friendly. (Even though some low-life dragged Australia through the mud by stealing Tula’s personal EPP kit on Thursday at the event!) I admired her a lot before I heard her speak and got to met her, but now I’m well and truly smitten.
We left Tula’s trunk show and headed back into the stallholders section. I was on a mission, I wanted to see Robyn from The Strawberry Thief. We’d met Robyn the year before and it was one of the best things of our trip. She’s hilarious and just so full of life. I adore her. We were lucky enough to met her husband Graham as well and he was just as fabulous as his wife. Now, you’ll have heard me say before (or even read about it in Love Patchwork & Quilting) that I don’t like Liberty, but things are changing. I wouldn’t say I’m head-over-heels in love but slowly and surely I’m adding more and more Liberty to my collection and I’m enjoying fondling it more and more.
With Robyn’s stand being swamped her and Graham needed to get back to work so we headed to the Brother stand. I needed to get some more bobbins for my machine (I always buy bobbins from a Brother dealer – that way I know I’m getting exactly what my machine needs and I’m not paying ridiculously high prices as I would if I bought them through a large craft chain) and I wanted to see (and play with) the latest machine on offer, Brother’s Persona PRS100. Not only does it embroider it allows you to do free motion quilting! Yep! You read that right! You can now get a Brother machine that will allow you to quilt just like you would on a Sweet 16 – only better because it not only quilts it embroiders which means you’re getting two functionalities for the price of one! (The fact that the RRP is $7,999 also means that it’s really competitively priced given you’re getting two major abilities in the one machine!) The other great thing, it allows you to embroider pockets, sleeves, singlets, etc. without the need to unpick the item so that you don’t embroider through all the layers and render it unwearable. The machine is built to allow you to put the item on and embroider it straight away. It’s really amazing! (And yes I was totally going nuts while having a play and thinking about all the possibilities!)
We begrudgingly left the Brother stand (only because I’m going to go back and have another play with it in a month!) and headed to meet Tula. It was great to be able to say hello, thank her for all she does to support the quilting industry and talk scissor tattoos. Still on the Tula high we headed to the Material Obsession stand to take in the amazing lushness that is the quilts, fabrics and ladies that make Material Obsession one of the best quilt stores in Australia. I was so lucky to be able to have a chat with Kathy Doughty (if you’ve not heard of Kathy then you need to click here and listen to this Crafty Planner podcast and you need to click here to check out her latest book) and hear about the amazing things she’s doing. I also got to say a very low key hello to Wendy Williams (unlike last year when I totally fan girled and made all the people stop and look at us). I am head over heels in love with Wendy’s style and work and I’m determined that I will get to one of her classes very soon! (Click here to see some of the kits of Wendy’s you can purchase to get an idea of how amazing she is!)
With all that done the show was ending and I hadn’t even seen all the quilts. Like seriously, I didn’t see all the quilts! Next year I’m going for two days! We left the show and headed straight back into Darling Harbour to attend the Instagram dinner that Kristy (of Quietplay), Keera (of Live Love Sew) and Molli Sparkles had organised. I was totally flipping out because I got to meet some amazing people that I’d only ever had fun with on Instagram and I was catching up with people I’d met before but don’t see often enough. I feel like I could write a whole post on just how awesome they all were, but I’ll spare you the gory love filled details and just say this; Quilty people are the best people! Seriously, I laughed so much. I got to talk about my passion with people who understand it and I got to eat some unexpectedly good Mexican food. I also got the most AH-MAZE-BALLS gift from Kristy; a unicorn horn headband. (Click here to see it!) I was so seriously over-the-moon happy to have my own unicorn horn I wore it all night! I will now wear it whenever I’m sewing and try and channel some of Kristy’s magical creativity.
It was the best day I’ve had in so long and it was worth everything to me. I hadn’t realised just how much I needed to connect with people who “get it”, spend time with people who are generous of spirit and time, see some amazing quilts, share some time with beautiful happy people and just have my cup of creativity refilled.
I wish I could send you all a little bit of my excitement and happiness through the internet and share this amazing feeling with you. I might not be able to do that just yet (technology is moving rapidly though!) however I can wish you a fabulous day and hope that you have a creative filled week!
FUN THINGS TO CLICK ON
- I’m a bit late to the party, but I’m crushing hard on bunting at the moment. I love this version from Nadra at Ellis & Higgs because it’s an unusual shape, uses trim and looks so fabulous in her fabrics. Click here for the tutorial.
- I’m loving winter, but I really want it to be summer. So this watermelon quilt from Suzy Quilts is ticking all the boxes for me at the moment. Click here for the tutorial.
- I’m a sucker for triangles at the best of times and I’m loving this mini from Kitty at Night Quilter. Click here for the tutorial.
- I’m looking for some little things I can make for a little girl and I just love these Mary Jane Baby Shoes from The Cottage Mama. Click here for the tutorial.
- I’m just putting this link here from One Little Momma for me for later – I’m addicted to infinity scarves and I think it’s time to make my own. Click here for the tutorial.
COMMUNITY CORK BOARD
- The Berry Quilting Retreat is happening on 27 & 28 August 2016 and the line up looks amazing. Jen Kingwell will be teaching there and for her wisdom only it’s worth attending. You can find out more by clicking here.
- Liz, a lovely lady I worked with, travels to Vietnam to volunteer and work with Helping Hands. Helping Hands is a non profit organisation set up by an Australian Terry Donnelly to work within the most needy and vulnerable people of Vietnam. Helping hands is funded in part by the Vietnam International Volunteer Placement Scheme (VIVPS). VIVPS staff provide care for the children through rehabilitation, education and nutrition to name a few of the services they provide. This improves the quality of life of the residents by providing them opportunities that would not normally be afforded to them.Funding these employees is achieved through international donations and there is currently a need to fund Nang as the Rehabilitation Assistant. The total annual cost of a position is US$4600. Liz is currently raising funds to raise the annual salary for Nang who is a single mother working hard to provide for her family and the children of Helping Hands. You can find out more and donate by clicking here.
- Trixie at Coloured Buttons is hosting the Sew-a-Softie Day this July 16 to help get adults and kids excited about sewing. From July 1 until July 16 sewists from around the world will be sharing tutorials, tips and tricks and encouraging everyone to make a softie. You can find out more information by clicking here.
- The lovely and fabulous Kerry Goulder of Kid Giddy has some exciting news about an upcoming teaching event. If you’ve ever wanted to master the art of doll making and you’re able to get to the Missouri Star Quilt Co Retreat then you’re in luck. Find out more by clicking here.
- If you’re like me and you like to dabble in more than just sewing and quilting creative work then check out these free downloadable papers from Sizzix. Great to use in any graphics work you might be doing (like blog banners)! Click here to get your free papers.
- Fat Quarter Shop have released their new monthly subscription service: Sew Sampler. It looks amazing and I love that unlike other subscriptions this one comes with all the information you need to make a quilt. Each month contains a quilt block recipe card that you can use to make a full 12 block quilt. Genius! You can find out more by clicking here.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase those items through my links I will earn a very small commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link, in fact in some cases I can offer you a better price via an affiliate link. I will not recommend something that I do not use myself. These commissions help me keep being able to provide you with great content for free. Thank you, in advance for your support!
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