Just what is possible in five creative quilting days

Posted by Anita Ellis on

Well, what a week that was. The tutored retreat without the sleep for five days here in the studio in Warrandyte.

Folks came from far and wide, four quilters able to sleep here. Some went to lovely local b and b's. Some even went home at night. But everyone was there bright and breezy first thing in the morning to do what we all love best, create and learn.

As always, there was a mixed bunch of quilters at different stages of the journey.

One student was frantically finishing off a first grandchild's quilt which was needed any day now. A beautiful yellow bee quilt that had been pieced with hexagons and quilted entirely with the Straight Away template.

straight away quilting template and caroles bee quilt

Next up was Robyn with her painted feather wall hanging. This is an original design of mine that I asked Robyn to help me out to complete the fabric painting on before the retreat. A week later it was completed, beautifully painted and Robyn was able to share her peeper techniques with everyone.

There is a workbook in the making and kits for the painting so watch this space. This used the hearts templates.

painted feathers panel with template heart quilting

Jan continued on her piece, painted and thread painted gum leaf table runner.  It really is so amazing, I wouldn't want to be the first to spill red wine on it.

 painted gum leaves


Judy finished off an amazing Cracker Jack design, but it is a secret as it is going into a show. Judy being the prolific quilter she is also painted her house for a group quilt and a feather painting with miniature baptist fan quilting on it.  Can't keep a good woman down. Dianne was keeping up the pace too by finishing her free motion frolic project as well as getting going on a painted feather work.

painted feathers and free motion frolics

Jane enjoyed her time at retreat working on her gift quilt with the most lovely soft green background. Much fun was had sorting through all the Glide threads to match all the colours on the quilt. Jane stayed locally with her hubby and made the most of her holiday week. Hubby even came for tea a couple of times. No pics as it wasn't quite finished, although if you look at the group picture you can see a little glimpse. 

And then there were the Cracker Jackers. For those that do not know, Cracker Jack is a quilt design of mine that is completed in separate blocks and joined together with my technique Secret Seams. It is a game changer as the quilting can be far more intricate and once finished you could not tell it was done as quilt as you go.

so much cracker jack colour

 Lynette, Janet and Judy were all at the closing stages of the project and Margaret, Robyn, Judy, Marie and Rita were starting.

cracker jack pattern

The piecing is done with the precision adjustable rulers from Westalee Design which make for exact points and matched seams. Everyone was delighted with their piecing, even if it was a bit of a journey to get there.

Now for the quilting designs. We will be working our way through these over the next few months. The idea is to develop your own style with the help of the group and myself. This will be done with regular zoom sessions. I am currently working on bringing this to many more quilters through an online program.

 retreat cracker jack

I have to thank Jan and Janice for their work before, during and after the retreat. I couldn't do it without you. Oh and also Dave, my hubby who takes up the role of chief cook and bottle washer, along with everything else I throw at him. Much love, we make a great team.

Maybe you could join in at one of the future retreats. It would be lovely to have you here.

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