First up, last weekend I made this super cool leather tote at a workshop with Riley at Lonsdale Leather in Vancouver. It was a 3-hour evening workshop with 7 students and everyone had a completed bag in well under 3 hours. We were able to choose pretty much whatever leather we wanted from the warehouse, so I went with this distressed grey that is rather unique. I love the neon waxed poly thread for the hand-stitching! Patterns were provided by Riley. We learned how to cut out with an x-acto knife, glue our seams, mark our stitch lines and holes with a perforating roller, punch the holes, stitch the seams and rivet the handles on. I love my new tote!
The weekend before, I was very fortunate to be a teacher at the Denman Island Creative Threads Conspiracy. I re-connected with several women I hadn't seen in a long time, several of whom I had no idea would even be there! How fun. We did my Structural Improv workshop with gorgeous results. I always enjoy introducing traditional quilters to the concept of improv and designing-as-you-go with pieced units.
There were about 5 or 6 concurrent workshops all running in the community hall within "classroom" spaces created with hanging quilts as walls. I wasn't sure how all that was going to work out, but it was super inspiring and fun to see what everyone else was teaching and making. I was especially thrilled to see two older gentlemen in the beginning sewing class, sitting together in the back, consulting their machine manuals. A couple of my friends took a 2-day indigo dying & shibori workshop with gorgeous results (see one of Rossie's pieces below)!
I thoroughly enjoyed my 4 days on this small island, surrounded by a caring, creative community. I was well-fed with local organic produce and hosted in a super cosy island home by the Conspiracy co-ordinator and her ceramic artist partner. We were treated to a presentation by the Llama Lady one night and learned all about her herd of Llamas and Alpacas and the gorgeous fibre they produce.
Here are the fantastic women from my class with their works in progress!
I managed to complete a second class sample for my new Speed Date with Improv workshop coming to several modern guilds this winter/spring. This one is called Mojito; for now you just get a glimpse of one corner and the facing. A full frontal pic will have to wait for some natural light.
I also finished up this special table runner for days that my stitch group, the Gathered Threads, come over! I used the same pattern as my Variegated Threads quilt (available in my Craftsy shop here) except that I sewed 7 spools side by side. I love it on my rustic pine dining table; the Oakshott fabrics are so vibrant. I'll be teaching this as a workshop this coming weekend for the Blue Mountain Quilter's Guild and I can't wait to see how the students like working with their custom Oakshott kits!
Kathleen Riggins was in town recently and did a trunk show of beautiful quilts and longarm quilting at the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild. The next morning, I took a 1/2 day "marking for free-motion quilting" class with her at Stitch and Bobbin, my LQS. I learned a couple of cool infill and grid marking ideas that may or may not make it onto a quilt at some point. I enjoy practising on small sandwiches, but am a little intimidated to try ideas like this out on a big quilt.
This afternoon I covered a wooden TV table tray to make a portable ironing surface for retreat. I might not have given my choice of cover enough consideration...the not-to-subliminal messaging could prove hazardous to my bottom line! I think the word CHOCOLATE is visible no fewer than 8 times!
My final tidbit of news is that I'm knitting!! I just finished a Boneyard Shall and I absolutely love it knit up in Malabrigo yarn that I purchased on sale at Knotty by Nature in Victoria last spring. I know that I will make more of these because it was super enjoyable to do and very fast, too. Photo if the sun ever comes out again....