Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Houston Quilt Show

Houston Quilt Show

The quilts at the latest International Quilt Festival held in Houston at the beginning of November were just fantastic.  There was such a variety in style, colour and technique it was mind boggling.

Because I was there for Quilt Market I was able to view the quilts before it was open to the general public - a real bonus as it gets very crowded.  I have just learnt that there were more than 60,000 visitors to the Festival!

As this is a juried show, the quality of all the quilts was extremely high and even if a particular quilt was not in your favourite style they all had to be admired for their workmanship and the time taken to make every single one.

I particularly liked the way the quilts were displayed in their categories so that you could compare the quilts entered in each category.  This also meant that if a particular category is your favourite you could spend heaps of time gazing at all the beauties hanging together.  Mine of course was the hand applique section.
A lot of the applique was very Baltimore in style and the hand quilting on some was breath taking.  Here are a few photos.

The first quilt is called "Sam's Owl (A Mary Brown Album)" by Barbara Korengold of Chevy Chase, Maryland.  The quilt is based on a couple of antique quilts made by Mary Brown in the 1850's.  Loved it!

Of course I loved any quilt made from my favourite hexagons.  There was a modern looking quilt made of 12,256 half inch hexagons forming a magnificent colour washed star.  This quilt was called "Star Struck" by Cheryl See of Ashburn, Virginia.  It looked sensational from a distance and it was not until you got up close that you realised it was made of hexagons.  Imagine how many different fabrics were used! Cheryl also appliqued many circles on this quilt.   Here it is:

Another hexagon beauty was in very soft traditional Japanese taupes and was a real blockbuster for me.  The quilt is called "Bolero 21609" by Isako Wada of Japan.  The quilt won second place in the Handmade category.

Here are a couple of close ups:

Isn't it magnificent?

Another quilt called "Me and My Shadow" by Gail Stepanek and Ronda K Beyer of New Lenox, Illinois was a pieced beauty featuring feathered star blocks.  The ones in the centre were bolder colours and the outside ones were the "shadows".  Gorgeous.

There were many more that I loved.  Will show you more later.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas!  Hope Santa is good to you.

Love from Katrina x

Sunday, 18 December 2011

More News from Houston

Classes at the Houston International Quilt Festival

Thank you for the messages I have received from readers here and overseas.  As promised, here is more on my trip to Houston.

I was privileged to be able to attend several fabulous classes at the recent Houston Quilt Festival.

The venue is the huge and well set out George R Bush Convention Centre.  I believe that many massive conventions are held there at Houston every year.

Here is a look at the third floor where the labyrinth of class rooms branch out.

I spent a day in a workshop with Paula Nadelstern from New York.  She makes those fabulous kaleidoscope quilts which you think are printed on one piece of fabric until you realise that she has pieced them from hundreds of tiny pieces of fabric.  Each slice of the kaleidoscope is made from many different fabrics, each meticulously "fussy cut" to feature a particular motif. 

We worked on a quilt called "Needlestars" using her brand new fabric range called Patternista.  The main fabric from this range is called "dragon feathers" - totally wild with amazing colours.

I was in awe as to the amount of work Paula does to prepare the templates and cut out the pieces of fabric for this stunning quilts.

Ingrid and I also attended a one day workshop with Elly Sienkiewicz of Baltimore applique fame.  It was wonderful to meet the lady that has done so much research into this unique and fabulous part of American quilt history.  We were able to purchase her book "Beloved Baltimore Album Quilts" which she autographed for us.  A real treasure. 

We were delighted to use the ultra suede we had heard about and hope to get it into Pioneer Patchwork in the future.  It is a lovely suede-like fabric which you cut to shape and applique in place without having to turn the seam allowance under.  We bought some samples in beautiful colours.  I hope to have a further play with this soon.

I also attended a one day class with Caryl Bryer Fallert making a quilt she calls "Illusion".  Caryl is a very lovely and clever lady.  Her presentations were so professional and she designs amazing and colourful quilts from strip piecing and cross cutting in different ways.  Thoroughly enjoyed the day.

Caryl won first place in her category in the Quilt Show with her amazing quilt with gymnasts and figures doing yoga.

Here is a photo that I took of it.  Of course the photo does not do it justice.  The quilting was incredible with quilted figures in the spaces between the appliqued figures and all in Caryl's characteristic style of brilliant luminous colours:

Another class I attended was taught by Cindy Blackberg. Cindy's love is for reproduction fabrics and old fashioned block quilts and designs - just what I love!!!

We used her unique system of stamping templates onto the wrong side of fabrics with a rubber stamp and ink and then cutting out on the outside line and hand piecing.  We worked on the beautiful "Seven Sisters" block.  This class was a delight as Cindy is a gorgeous lady and it was lovely to be with others who love what I love the most.  Had a ball!

Next time I will tell you more about the quilt show itself.


Katrina x 

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Houston News

News from Houston

I have been home a week and am finally coming back to the real world!

My trip to Houston was FANTASTIC!  I loved every minute and would go again tomorrow if I could.  Everyone was so friendly, the quilt show was amazing and the shopping so tempting.

Ingrid Krapez from Pioneer Patchwork and I attended the Trade Market for three days.  On the first day we attended "Schoolhouse", a series of lectures especially for shop owners, teachers and others in the patchwork industry.

We had a choice of 22 different lectures and show and tells every 30 minutes.  It took us nearly an hour just to read through the day's program and make a time table of which events sounded the most helpful for the business.  Of course some we could not imagaine missing just because we wanted to meet the people giving the talk.

We met quilters Jinny Beyer, Eleanor Burns, Marti Michell. the girls behine Blackbird Designs, Debbie Caffrey, Cheryl Phillips and the Curator of the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum to name a few.  It was a fascinating and inspiring day.  We laughed a lot and were delighted with the information we received, not to mention the freebies!

Over the next two days we spent eight hours a day walking up and down the aisles of the stalls at the Trade Market.  There were over 2000 stalls!  On the first day we only did a few aisles and realised we would need to pick up the pace on the second day!  We found lots of contacts for great tools and wonderful patterns to bring to the shop at Pioneer.  Again, everyone was very friendly and so generous with information.

Before we left on our trip I said if I found an antique 1880s quilt with hexagons I might be tempted.  And I found one!!!!  And I was tempted.  I purchased from Cindy's Antique Quilts of Clinton, Oklahoma, the most glorious hexagon quilt top.

The quilt consists of many hexagons hand pieced (not over papers) in vertical rows.  The fabrics are from the 1860s and 1870s.  It is like a charm quilt with many different fabrics in blues, browns, pinks, reds and shirtings.  The hand stitching on the back is beautifully small and even.  A lot of the patches are joined to make a piece of fabric large enough for the hexagon.

The lady who made it was a beautiful sewer and finished the edges of the quilt with the half hexagons very neatly.  The overall look of the quilt is quite masculine and dark, which is what I love about it.  It is in perfect condition.  I do not think it has been washed.  It looks like she finished the quilt top and put it away.  How wonderful to speculate on why she made the quilt and why she did not use it.  It is 140 years old.

I plan to have Veronica Appleyard custom quilt it for me and use it on my bed.  Gorgeous!

Here is a photo of one section of the quilt.

Here is a closeup of the stitching.  I hope you can see it.

I will tell you more about my trip another time.


Katrina x

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Back from Houston

Just arrived back from International Quilt Market and Festival in Houston, Texas, USA.

Had a fabulous time but it is a very LONG way from home!

The travelling door to door was approximately 30 hours.  On the way there I had no sleep at all but on the way home I slept for a few hours on the plane from LA.

I attended lots of classes and met lots of lovely people.  I am filled with inspiration and incentive to keep learning and striving to make my sewing better and my teaching methods more enjoyable.

Will post lots more in the coming days and weeks when I get some more sleep.

Regards to all,

Katrina x

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Countdown to Houston


I have finally had the time to pack my bags for the trip to Houston in Texas!  Only three more sleeps to go.

I have listed some of the classes for 2012 that still have places left.

Click on the Page icon to the right labelled "Classes for 2012" to see photographs and dates for the classes.  You can phone the relevant shop or let me know.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

It's Official!

The details for the Australasian Quilt Convention to be held in Melbourne in April 2012 have just been released and I will be teaching there!  I am so excited!

This will be a wonderful opportunity for me to be able to teach my quilts further afield.

I will be teaching "Pemberley" over a two day workshop and "Longbourne" over a second two day workshop.  Even better, two of my quilting buddies will also be teaching there: Deborah Louie and Kim Bradley.  I am looking forward to it already.

Check out the website via this link:

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Pemberley Beauties

Had a great class at Pioneer Patchwork yesterday, the last in a series of five to teach "Pemberley".

The girls have done extremely well. The quilt is a lot of hand work and it is a big job to keep up with the homework!

Here are some of the results, just to show the quilt in various colourways.

This is Denise's "Pemberley".  She has worked very hard and she loves purple.

The next one belongs to Ingrid Krapez.  She is the lovely owner of Pioneer Patchwork.  Her "Pemberley" is very pretty.

This one belongs to Claudine.  It is very striking with some fabrics with flowers on a black background.

This one is being made by Pat.  Her version looks soft and lacy.

This one belongs to Anne.  Very dramatic.

This belongs to my beautiful friend, Julie.  Way to go!  Love that turquoise!

This gorgeous "Pemberley" is being made by Kelly.  The colours are gorgy!

This "Pemberley" belongs to Mariette who, despite a hand injury, has done a beautiful job.  Congratulations!

This is Lesley's centre oval.  Lesley, don't worry - you will get there and I love your infectious laugh.

I hope you have enjoyed looking at these versions of "Pemberley".  Class was a lot of fun.  Thank you girls!  Happy sewing!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Thursday, 6 October, 2011

Welcome to my blog and my first post!

I have spent the day completing a project to be taught at the Country Pickin's Quilt Camp to be held at Katoomba in July 2012.  It is a large foundation pieced compass block with machine applique and piecing surrounding it.  I have made it in beautiful batik fabrics in colours of turquoise and orange - very unusual for me.  Yes, I can do colours other than repro!

I have also completed notes for a new table runner project to be published in Quilters' Companion magazine.  It is called "Kentucky" table runner and has been hand appliqued and quilted in lovely pinks and browns - more my usual palette.

Quite a productive day!

Back to work tomorrow at the gorgeous Pioneer Patchwork and a last lesson for girls making "Pemberley" there on Saturday.

Less than 3 weeks to go until I make the journey to Houston, Texas for the 2011 Quilt Market and Festival.   I am just a bit excited.

Hope to hear from you soon.