We are lucky to have a pretty vibrant quilting group, and one of our ‘charters’ for want of a better word is to try and get top level tutors to come and teach us. Our guild is really proactive in supplying grants to cover these tutors and it turns what would be an expensive exercise into something very achievable.
The biggest killer is paying someone’s travel costs. We live in country SA, and Australia is a pretty big space. So having someone travel from Sydney or Melbourne or the like can be cost prohibitive.
But sometimes we are lucky enough to have a very good tutor living in our own back yard, and that is the case with Rachel Denneny. She’s an award winning quilter, and if you haven’t heard her name before, I’m sure you’ve seen her Houston winning quilt Royal Amethyst
and it was Rachel who came to visit us this weekend.
We were making a design called Water Lilies, which is based on her Reflections class. In a nutshell, we were taught the technique to make a quilt that had a main design reflected in the lower part. This is Rachel’s quilt sample:
which is turned edge appliqued onto the top and bottom which some extra twists in the bottom part to make it look all reflecty. And I won’t share that technique with you because that would be wrong. But it was clever.
And here are mine:
And that’s as far as I got. I didn’t end up using my background fabrics because I really didn’t like them in the end, so I have to have a shopping expedition to find more. What a shame.
The big angels singing, beam of light shining on me moment that I spoke about last entry was the way Rachel does her turned edge applique. She uses a wooden tool, and Stitch A Fuse, and again I won’t share it with you because it’s her technique, not mine – but I think it has changed my quilting world. So many of my projects look terrible with the way I do my needleturn applique, because I can’t do it nicely. My petals this workshop looked so amazing, I nearly cried. I tell you, it’s a life changing quilting moment for me that occurred this weekend.
Rachel’s technique is one that seems to be out there in a similar vein everywhere on the net and it involves using a glue stick, stitch and fuse and a small turning tool – do a search and I’m sure you’ll find something similar. It’s so amazing, I was thrilled to bits.
So that’s my incredibly long update. I’ll leave you with some of Rachel’s amazing quilts – all the quilting is done on her domestic machine. Fantastic.