Life is a series of lists at the moment. When I feel overwhelmed I make a list. Somehow writing it down makes the task(s) seem less burdensome. Each day starts with a look at the list. (sometimes the list wakes me up at night as well!) I set out to accomplish a few things then happily go back to the list to tick a few things off...if I can find it. In the search for the list I most likely get distracted by items not on the list and do them anyway wondering why they weren't on the list. At this point I might make a new list. Add to it to find the first list. In the meanwhile, it helps to type it up so I can read it. You get the picture? It is like running on a treadmill...you feel like you are going somewhere but in fact you are stuck in the same place!! Anyone else out there have this problem?
Soon my lists at the moment are mostly about our impending trip to the USA for workshops, lectures and Spring market in Salt Lake City. It is always fun to go on the road, meet new people and play with their stashes. However, until I get on the plane the pressure is intense. Speak to anyone who travels for work. Normally, in my past life the hard part would be the clothes. What to take...hmmm...delightful hours imagining what I might want to wear. These days it is all about what not to take so that I can take more quilts!
For those of you on the west coast of the USA here is a LIST of where I will be:
Yes, this will be a fun workshop with wedges, applique and hexagons...a nice mixture of quilt techniques!
Fresh stripes and a twist on working the wedge will be the order of the day there followed by a lecture.
3. From there we head over to San Diego to do a Modern Wedge (30 April/May 1st)with the San Diego Modern Quilt Guild...you know the drill we'll wedge in colorful mixes of fabrics all day!...then I'll do a Trunk Show! While we are there I'll also get a minute to visit my number two son Noah who is doing a semester abroad at San Diego State! We'll have burritos and a walk on the beach and visit our old neighborhood! FUN!
4. Then we head a short distance up the road to Sew Modern in LA for a Modern Wedge workshop on Saturday 7 May followed by a Trunk Show with the LA Modern Quilt Guild on Monday. I have at least 3 suitcases full of quilts which means lots to talk about. While we are in LA we'll also visit our number one son who has been living there for the last 18 months. Who wouldn't miss this guy?!
5. Lets see...where was I? Oh yes, the list...then we go to Las Vegas for the weekend of 13-15 May to visit Quiltique for two workshops. First we'll explore the wedges and then dive into 60 degree shapes. I have fallen in love with these shapes since discovering the 60 degree templates and rulers out there. We have some new patterns to explore as well as really talking color and fabric design. For starters...here is one I can't wait to see people work on...
The idea of these workshops is to " Take a Shape" and a stack of fabrics we can make something original and exciting.
6. Then we head to Salt Lake City for a few days mid week with Broadbents working wedges and 60 degrees as well as a trunk show. Should be lots of fun!
This next book is all about mixing up techniques and trying new things...exploring the changing landscape of our quilting life. I have considered that there are lots of ways to do the same thing and that there are ways of mixing techniques that help us to create projects that are personal, expressive and above all else...FUN...really really FUN! Explore color, style and design in a casual, relaxed way in the pages of this book...due out in April!
and there might be another new surprise coming up at market as well...if you are a shop and going to market be sure to look for my two school house presentations!!! just a whisper...folk art revolution...you didn't hear it from me! So, looking forward to moving through this list!!! Enjoy!!! Kathy
So I am wondering what is happening with Flock Together out there. Has it inspired you to make something? If so can you show me? Things just happen so fast and there is always something new on the horizon. But last week my yoga teacher suggested that we take time to transition from one activity to the next. The suggestion has stayed with me all week. I am in fact busy making samples with the next range due out in July. It makes me a bit sad not to have time to savour this current range. I did however get a chance to make up lots of kits so far. This one is for Gypsy Kisses. The contemporary version of chatting birds makes a vibrant feature print.
I am prompted to write from kind messages! The Material Obsession camp has been fast paced. The start of the year his always full of experiences we want to share...quilting is our obsessive passion!
However, life has pulled me away a bit as well. A few months back, a good friend rang to tell me her son had cancer...a rare and frightening kind of cancer. He fought hard and she held his hand to the end but the end did come. Henrietta, my beautiful friend, proved herself to be the kind of person that makes us glad to be alive. She shared her experience through a blog, Smush, Pray, Love. We went with her and Elliot to chemo, radiation, the hospital and home. We were together every day as we worried together, celebrated milestones and hoped, prayed and loved together. Their days were our days. The end came too fast. Although all that knew Elliot were trying to hold the door to his future open the beast slammed it shut. A life over so young which had been so full of youth filled promises. Such terribly permanent loss.
Elliot spent his last few weeks in the Chris O'Brien Lifehouse. Visiting there is a stunning experience as I immediately noted that the community of those suffering from the effects of living with cancer are vast. Not a day goes by without a thought for those touched by this universal loss. He was a human...perfectly imperfect.
So what is the lesson? We can't always stop the end but we can enjoy the day. Being present is important. Being aware of our relationships is for me the lasting lesson. Take time. Enjoy the transitions of life. Reach out and share what you feel. It is hard to move out of the feeling of grief and yet, that is what life requires.
So, in the spirit of living and not rushing, stressing, or panicking about to do lists....I went to the Quilt NSW away meeting in Moss Vale last Saturday with my friends.
We had a lovely day out (after yoga of course!). There was a big crowd of quilters from near and farther. Megan organised the bingo which is a spot of fun.
The season at Material Obsession is off to a flying start. I am starting to calm down after the departure of Kaffe and Brandon. Wendy described me as the child after the Christmas presents are all open the day they left and that was pretty accurate. The mind is expanded.
We have some fun things coming up now in our workshop schedule. At the end of this month we will have Cath Derksma from Prints Charming bringing along some exciting opportunities to customize our work. Prints Charming made their name screen printing fun designs onto fabric that can be used for quilts, home decor and clothing. We thought it would be fun to bring Cath to MO for a day of Screen Printing.
This workshop will be really fun and I think I might have to take it myself! All the details and on line sign up are available here: Screen Printing Workshop
The next day I'll be doing a one day workshop on all things 60 degrees. This is my new passion! I have always loved diamonds and triangles and have sampled most of the rulers available on the market to make a day of cutting these shapes fun. In each of my books there is at least one quilt using this shape and over the holidays I made three more quilts. Come along for a day of cutting and using the design wall to make my designs. OR if you like, I can help you design your own quilt using our huge design walls.
This is just one of the designs available to explore using any kind of fabric you would like. We'll discuss cutting from strips, fussy cutting as well as how to piece with or without inset seams. Should be loads of fun...I was making cutting samples and ended up starting a quilt myself and had to redo the cutting samples!
THEN, Cath Derksma returns for a day of Shibori.
Now this is not to be missed. The MO team has been loving this workshop and now we all have to worry about when we wear our dyed clothes. This is my favourite shirt from one session.
Three days in a row of fun creative expression at Material Obsession!
Mid April I am heading overseas to do some workshops in the USA. Here is my schedule if you are in any of these areas:
15-20 April I'll be with Empty Spools/Asilomar - five day workshop ...looking forward to teaching Love Birds from my new book.
24-26 April I'll be in Phoenix with the Bernina Connection for Log Cabin Wedges and a lecture.
29-30 April I'll be with the San Diego Modern Quilt Guild ... Modern Wedge style!
4-10 LA, CA and have been talking to Sew Modern.
12-14 May I'll be in Las Vegas with Quiltique doing Modern Wedge and Color Works from my new book.
Then heading to Utah for market. If you see dates in between and want me to pop in for a book signing or workshop with your shop or guild just email me. If I can fit it in I will!! We are driving around from spot to spot so that I can do some hand sewing and John can take photos so if you are on the route give me a shout out so we can get together!!
That should get you started thinking!
Material Obsession has hosted Kaffe and Brandon for color workshops many times. Each time I am left feeling out of control. My mind is a mash up of things I don't want to forget seeing, combinations I want to remember, and directions I want to explore. Each time I learn more by an osmosis of the experience dictating that the only way to understand colour process is to keep an open mind to what you see working as well as to what isn't without bias or preconception.
It also helps to use your clothes as a color palette. Here we have Sandra reflecting her quilt in the passionate colors we associate with Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics.
Kaffe and Brandon travel the world looking, seeing and sharing their ultimate level of experience with the people in the workshops.
This workshop started out as a room of tabula rosa vistas but ended up a sea of glorious color. It was a delight to be a part of it and to watch the process of get it up quick then fine tune to perfection. It isn't always easy and some struggle with the concept but there is no doubt that these guys see color in a magnificent and varied way.
It is hard to go back to normal life when they go. I was really grumpy for a day but am now turning my eye to the road ahead which is filled with God things like...Flock Together! Visit us in the shop and ask to see what we have done with my new range then go do someone marvellous with it yourself!!!
Always something happening at Material Obsession!
What a week! Australia Day is always fun at our house with a free for all celebration of our favourite music event, the triple j top 100! I have to admit I get out there with the mad dancing crowd and let it all go for the top 10. They had it all going on with backyard cricket under a brilliant blue sky. Cheeky was the fielder and caught nearly every ball. She is particularly handy when the ball goes behind the bushes.
Check out the website and if you want to talk about how to get involved with your own process in our intimate classes just let us know. Places are filling fast but we'd love to chat through your needs...and until then enjoy! K
We are still finding the relaxed pace of summer intoxicating with every opportunity to slip away to the beach or into a book still having sway. However, to be realistic, it is also time to get all our ducks in a row for the upcoming quilting season here in sunny Sydney.
As we slowly turn our eyes to our 2016 Workshops
Immediately the heart starts to pound because we all know places in Wendy William's classes are rare opportunities to play with our imagination in shapes, color and fun techniques using wool and fabrics to great effect. Wendy has designed this quilt called Birdsville which is an option in her first workshop of 2016 but the idea is to play with trees...birds...flowers and life to creatie an image. It's a two day workshop here in the shop and will be a great start to a year of creativity.
New in 2016 is the ability to sign up for workshops on line in our MO Shop. Simply browse through the options and when you can narrow down your choice to one just sign up!
Our next big event will be with Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably as we work on Mediterranean Hexagons. This workshop is all about diving into the deep end of color and seeing fabric, pattern and hue through the eyes of the masters.
The workshops sold out but we do have one cancellation on Saturday if you missed out and can come. If you are lucky enough to be coming along for this day of eye popping delight think about making a color inspiration layout. Look through your magazines, fabric collection and even clothes for ideas of how you want to bring this quilt to life in your own way. Use entirely Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics or bring in your fabrics from other designers, the choice is yours! Contact us for more information if you are interested. We are also having a lecture with Kaffe on Friday night but there are only a few seats left. All the information is here: Kaffe Fassett/Brandon Mably Workshops
Personally, I am in love with this quilt. It simply brings the garden into the world of textiles. The fun border gives it a whirl of excitement. Irene visits us from Victoria and is a special guest always at Material Obsession. We love her gentle nature and ability to guide her students through their choices combining their own taste with her experience. Birds Eye View information is available at this link...don't miss it!
Then later in the month we have Cath Dersksma from Prints Charming bringing her screen printing class to MO. Think of your own design or use one of Cath's to screen print your own fabric. Details here: Prints Charming Screen Printing
Special workshops are great if you are working during the week or otherwise unavailable during the week. However, if you are interested in ongoing creative advice, interaction and skill building our class program is intimate and supportive. Sue's award winning quilts bring the magic of modern tradition to life. In this special Sunday class Sue brings a collection of ideas and you are free to compose your quilt under her watchful eye. Personally, I have learned my favourite techniques from Sue. She is a master in the true sense of the word and her class openings are are rare as hens teeth so if you want to make a special quilt this year this is a class to consider...
Sweet Surrender is just one of her popular designs you can choose from or start a unique project.
Be sure to have a look at all the colorful and creative options for growing your skills at Material Obsession. Hope to see you soon.
More info to come...k
It is the day...after three gloriously relaxing weeks the shop reopens today and I am ready! Are there still things old like to do in holiday mode? Of course but the feeling of relaxation, the clearness of thought, the brain space is here and I am finally reconnected to my creative energy. So with eyes to a fun 2016 here we go!
Soon I am doing a workshop using 60 degre shapes so that was the theme of some projects this summer. My favourite tool, Hex N More (http://www.materialobsession.com.au/epages/mama12093.sf/en_AU/?ObjectPath=/Shops/mama12093/Products/JBQ201) and the companion tools are my ultimate favourites. They make cutting the 60 degree shapes from strips easy and accurate. Not to brag but I noticed as I went along that my points were almost all perfect.
I attribute the result to using the templates and also to placing a 1/4" marker tape on my Bernina. I would encourage anyone quilting to have a go without worrying about perfection but it is satisfying to learn how to do something properly. The ultimate result is that the fabrics and pattern are the hero and the workmanship sits quietly in the background. I say this because over the years I have learned it th hard way.
Holiday lesson #1: time doing it right is more relaxing than pushing through the process in a hurry.
Once the festivities were over I sank into my studio. The first few days were spent finding my feet. After years of working full time in the shop I sometimes loose my sense of process. I have a sense of dread that there wouldn't be enough time. So, I took a deep breath, connected with my creative energy and got busy. Funny part is that the fear and worry disappeared into the process. Time didn't matter when I was lost in making decisions and forging a path through my stash.
Holiday lesson # 2: apply yoga to my creative process and connect to the energy and go with the flow.
Does that sound weird? Well, I have learned that it is worth investing in my own energy. I talk a lot about being able to tell my story...that means making choices that define my style. Sometimes that means making choices about fabric that no one else would make and then, well, owning that. There is a little voice in all our heads that says, "yes" or "no". When you hear it the next question should be, "do I like this?" That makes the path clear.
Instagram is interesting. Short bursts of process can be shown and the resulting comments fascinate me. The most common comment is about my fabric choices. Here's a bit of how I do it...um...not sure! What I do know is that the choices make me happy. Like friends playing together I look for a mood and gather prints. The more pattern and extensions of pure color the better. I like a few links of color from one fabric to another and I like to fully exercise each color. What does that mean? Matching isn't as important as cooperating. Being the same hasn't got as much merit as being complimentary. Science? Not really just fun.
Holiday lesson #3: have no fear...it's only patchwork.ae
I also took time to prepare work for when things get busy (which will be in about 1 hour!) as Sue Cody wisely says, Applique begins with the first step. When I had time to go slow I traced all my shapes onto the background so that when I am feeling pressure to get it done I don't mess it up!
Holiday lesson #4: preparation is part of the process...do it right for the best results.
So with all that in mind I welcome 2016. I am anxious to get back together with my team and hear how the break has added to their lives. We have an incredible year planned at Material Obession. For starters:
- Kaffe and Brandon will be here soon and we'll...that is always exciting.
-Flock Together will be arriving soon! Yeah! Look forward to new patterns and projects with my not range...
- Mixing Quilt Elements will be out in April soo finish up your projects because that is going to be stimulating project inspiration!!!!!
We have new classes and workshops planned and well...lets just plan to let the creative juices flow all year!
More...more...more...later! Looking forward to seeing you all soon....