See me in Australian Patchwork and Quilting.

5 08 2013

It has been a long time since I have had a quilt published in a magazine.  As a general rule, I don’t have time to make, write up and submit magazine articles.  However, I have set some new goals, one of which is about increasing my contributions here and overseas.  This is the first.  Australian Patchwork and Quilting Vol 22 No 11, page 106.

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What do you think?





Today we dye Cocoons

3 08 2013

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I love taking raw materials and turning them into something extra ordinary.  What colours shall I dye these today?  I am thinking pinks and purples and blues.  Why?  Because I can.  Also because I am ready for a taste of spring.  The wattle has started blooming and yesterday, on my walk, I passed a bank of Jonquils that had popped open over night.





Three days of Workshops in Canberra September 2013 – Judy Coates Perez, Sue Dennis and Cecile Whatman

12 07 2013

Judy Coates Perez, Sue Dennis, Cecile Whatman

3 Days of classes

don’t miss out

Canberra September 20-22, 2013

This little retreat will be jam packed with fun, ideas and inspiration. Tutors have been hand picked for their sharing, inclusive and enjoyable approach, guaranteeing that you will not only learn heaps, you will have a ball doing it. Classes will be held in Belconnen in the ACT.
Judy Coates Perez will be coming from the US and Sue Dennis from Queensland. Both teachers have taught extensively and have numerous awards to their names. For more detail on all the tutors, see the Retreat Page at http://tinyurl.com/m6knmvk or on the menu at the left called Retreat Tutor and Class Descriptions.


Each tutor will offer three one day classes, giving you a smorgasboard of nine workshops to choose from. Class sizes will be small and intimate – numbers will be strictly limited – book early to secure your position. You can book for individual days or for the full three. A discount of 15% will be applied to all three day bookings. A 50% deposit can be paid to hold your places up until 30 August. After that date, full payment will be due prior to the classes. To pay the deposit only, use Deposit as the Discount Code at the point of Checkout. There is information on using a Discount Code online. Three day participants will get priority over classes as they fill.
To Book go to http://tinyurl.com/pnlhs2s.

I hope to see you there.




July News from Unique Stitching

3 07 2013

Hello!

well it is a cold, foggy, damp week in Canberra but there is a lot coming up that I want to share with you. We continue to have a range of new products every week, I usually forget to tell you about them and some never make it onto the website, so you can keep up with me on Facebook or see what is new at a Craft Show near you. The facebook page is www.facebook.com/uniquestitching


The first half of this year has gone by in a flash. We have done more shows this year than in many, many years and it has been great to see so many people all around Australia. Amidst constant negativity from our Government and the media about the perilous state of the world economy, it is lovely to see people face to face and talk to them about what they are doing, what they need and what they are buying. Retail is hard at the moment, but I continue to strive to provide fresh, interesting, entertaining workshops and classes to excite, engage and tempt you. So far this approach is working. So far this year, I have brought two International teachers to Australia – Judy Coates Perez and Jane Davila. This has been a heap of fun and I know those of you that have engaged with these two lovely ladies have had a ball. There is more on the cards and I am in negotiations with several amazing people for the remainder of this year and the beginning of next.


One set of new products I have created and launched at the Darling Harbour Show was the hand dyed wool felts. Oh my goodness, did these go OFF. I have now loaded these onto the website, but here is a sneak peak to tempt you. There are 30 colour ways in this range.

There are a number of reasons for Canberra people to be reaching for their calendars and for those of you interstate to plan a trip to your national capital (truely!). In chronological order:
Saturday 6 July 2013, 10.00 to 4.00 Unique Stitching Open Day / Garage Sale. Come by and browse. This is a rare occurrence when both the stock and I are at home. I don’t have everything, but I have most of it and I will have a heap of specials and demonstrations running all day.
August 3rd and September 20 to 22 2013. I have booked space in the Belconnen Art Centre to run some classes. On the September dates, I will have at least one International Guest teaching here. Keep an eye on this newsletter or Facebook for details as I confirm them.
May 2nd to 4th 2014. The Creative Fibre Festival. This is the old Textiles Show that was run in Brisbane and cancelled. It is back with a vengence and should be a fantastic, fabulous event. Again, I am currently negotiating with some awesome international teachers for this and AQC, but this will be an event not to be missed. It will also see me returning to doing a local Canberra Show, I still won’t be returning to the August Quilt and Craft Shows.
I hope that I see some of you on Saturday. If the event is a success, I will try to schedule two to four open days each calendar year.
On the issue of shows, I have a few coming up this quarter: Melbourne Craft and Quilt Fair – July 25th to 29th at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre on Southbank. My Pop Up class schedule is now available to book on the website here: http://tinyurl.com/n9olmmn For more information on the show itself and others attending please go to: http://tinyurl.com/m4d5e3j
After that, I have the Newcastle Stitches and Craft Show August 15th to 18th and the Hamilton New Zealand Craft and Quilt Fair September 5th to 8th. We will finish the year with the Townsville Stitches and Craft Show (3-6 October); Brisbane Craft and Quilt Show (16-20 October) and a return to the Adelaid Craft and Quilt Show (7-10 November). I hope to see you at one of these shows, near you.
In 2014, the calendar is a mess and I want to just highlight a few bigger changes.
AQC in Melbourne will be early next year, pushed to the 10th to 13th April but a very late Easter; The new Textiles Show will be in Canberra from 2nd to 4th May; International Events such as G8s or G20s or something are messing with the Melbourne Craft and Quilt Show, resulting in it being VERY early from 26th to 29th of June. YES JUNE! And what about Darling Harbour then?? Well, as all Sydney siders will now, the Exhibition Centre will be a demolished building site by then and the show will be at the new Glebe Island event from 9th to 13th of July. YES, JULY!
Confused? me too, but together we will work through it. 2015 apparently returns to something closer to what we have had for the past 15 or so years.
That will probably do from me for now. If you have someone you would like me to bring out to Australia for an event or classes, let me know. I will see some of you on Saturday and most of the rest, I hope at the shows or my classes over the next six months.
Bye for now
Cecile
PS OOH, I nearly forgot! My first attempt to import on a ridiculous scale – pallets of Gelli Plates – has almost come to fruition. The Gelli Plates are clearing Customs right now. This includes a huge number of the new big 12 by 14 inch ones. I hope to have them for the weekend, but it might be early next week. HOORAY!




looking for a team

2 06 2013

Otherwise known as I want more friends.  LOL.

I am seeking people to join participate in one of two groups or options.  First I am looking for a group of people who want to use different materials in a monthly challenge.  If you nominate for this, you don’t have to participate every month and the participants can change, but I would like to develop a core group to ‘test drive’ products in your own style.  Each month will have a themed product which I will send to you.  You will then have a month to put it into something: a small quilt, art quilt, mixed media, papercraft, felt, embroidery, you name it I am open to seeing what you do with it.  On a set date each month, probably the first or thereabouts, I need images of your challenge piece.  These will all be published on Facebook and the most popular will result in a prize.  Some of these projects may flow through to the second thing I am looking for which are Guest Bloggers.

Guest Bloggers will be a paid gig.  I want a monthly guest artist to talk a bit about what they do and share a project in your own style.  Fees will be discussed privately.  Guest bloggers can use the platform to promote online classes, workshops or new release products, but the project must be original.  It does not however have to be a one off idea.  I would expect that guest bloggers would incorporate versions of their signature techniques so the development of the project should not be enormous or cumbersome.  It can also be something you have already made, but have not published.  Good quality images plus a tutorial on the project and/or associated techniques will be required.

If you are interested in either role or both, please email me on cecile@uniquestitching.com.au

 





Darling Harbour Pop Up Classes

9 05 2013

Jane Davila will be attending the Darling Harbour Craft and Quilt Fair as my guest artist.  She will have a lovely little Guest Artist space at the front near the entry and will be running some classes.  I will also have Jocelyne Leath and me running classes.

The Darling Harbour Craft Fair Friend is not up yet, but I can share the most important bit – my pages!

Click on the link below to download the details of what we are all teaching and please join me.  It will be fun!  You can book now at http://tinyurl.com/cqtaf2y

Darling Harbour Pop Up Classes Unique Stitching

 





A Patchwork Economy should be a strength, not a weakness

4 05 2013

Those of you who follow my Unique Stitching Facebook page will have seen that I took exception to the continued reference by members of our Government to patchwork as a negative and problematic part of our economy, our health and education systems and the delivery of disability care and so on.  That comment and this post does not reflect a position on the Government, positive or negative.  I don’t agree that ‘patchwork’ is the term to be used to describe difference, diversity, inconsistency or the requirement to make do.  Yet then again that is exactly what it is.

The Oxford University Press defines patchwork as:

noun [mass noun]

  • needlework in which small pieces of cloth in different designs, colours, or textures are sewn together:a piece of patchwork [as  modifier]:a patchwork bedspread

  • [count noun] a thing composed of many different elements so as to appear variegated:a patchwork of stone walls and green fields

Your Dictionary dot com defines it as:

noun

  1. anything formed of irregular, incongruous, odd, or miscellaneous parts; jumble
  2. a quilt or other covering made of patches of cloth, etc. sewn together at their edges
  3. any design or surface like this

Interesting that both dictionaries state it is a noun, yet our Government uses it as an adjective.

My view is that being patchwork, whether a noun or an adjective should be something seen as a positive.  If we go back to the very reasons behind patchwork, it was about making do with what was available.  Fabrics were recycled and sewn together to make utilitarian, functional items.  At the same time, fabric was put together in patterns so that the utilitarian items also were visually pleasing and beautiful as well as functional.  In times of poverty, such as the great depression, patchwork became both popular and essential.  Patchwork was about saving money and reuse of what we had. Doesn’t that sound like something to be venerated, not condemned, particularly in the wake of the Global Economic Crisis?

To illustrate what I am talking about, I went to the scrappiest quilt I have ever made.  I like scrap quilts because they have this order out of chaos thing going on.  I like that.  In this case, I used a pack of 50 six inch floral charm squares.  This pack was one of those what on earth was I thinking packs.  There were, in my mind, some truely hideous fabrics in that pack.  My challenge was to make it work, so I divided the pack into value - light and dark – completely ignoring colour or pattern.  It got a bit dodgy around the middle and calls had to be made on just how dark the mediums could be and still be classified as lights.  Compromise had to be made and the groupings worked because when viewing the quilt, the pattern dominates the individual parts.  The process of making the patchwork caught up the weaker areas and bought it together in harmony.

Although I hate half the fabrics in here, I love the quilt.  It works because of the compromise and the integration and the harmony that is then created.

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In some cases, the pattern over rode fabrics that were just not nice:

scrap 2

Or just did not belong:

scrap 4

But overall the sense of balance and coherency wins.

scrap 3

So, with some reflection and thought, I think it is good that we have a patchwork economy and health system etc.  It is the very diversity of all the disparite parts that make us strong.  We just have to find the unifying pattern.

Patterns for this and seven other scrap quilts can be found in my Stashbuster Book:  http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/p/1025033/stashbuster-quilts-by-cecile-whatman.html








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