Where has the time gone?
The skies unleashed on the South Island today with torrents pouring down, flooding the countryside. Happily nothing could dampened the quilting enthusiasm.
All snug in our rooms we stitched and created away. The ladies in today's Tricks of the Trade class made lovely creations. Pictures posted under gallery/candid section.
Seems impossible that it's already time to pack up and head home. Hats off to the organisers, this has been a wonderful event!
Some of the tutors and committee enjoyed a last evening meal together.
So, what is a quilt symposium?
Glad you asked. In New Zealand a quilt symposium is a collection of all things that make a quilter happy.
There are classes, quilt supply shops, food and sewing machines. Honestly, what else does a quilter need???
This is how it works in a 'nut shell'. Kinda a long nut shell, but you'll get the idea.
First - someone puts their hand up and volunteers to host this event. Volunteers. Not a paid position. Usually a shop or club. Once every two years a main symposium is held, and often has over a thousand registrants. The larger event can afford to bring in international tutors as well as local, and has multiple exhibitions with several prizes.
On the alternate years the mini-symposium hosts New Zealand tutors and is home-town small. There are still classes, exhibitions and a merchants mall, just on a reduced scale.
At some point there is a call for registrations of interest. Usually there are forms available in the quilt magazines, some shops and online. Registrations show the number of interested parties and gives seed money to print the catalogues and put deposits on venues etc.
Tutors send CVs to the organisers and then hold their breath. With so many talented tutors in this country, it must be a very difficult to decide who receives the letters saying "sorry" or "congratulations". Most organisers strive to have a wide variety of classes appealing to a broad range of quilters.
Once tutors are chosen and classes selected, a catalogue is sent to those attending to make some choices. Tutors know that a minimum number must sign up for their classes in order to pay for their fare, wage and lodging.
A high percentage of classes do go through and students are assigned their choices, or if a class is over full, their back up choices. Tutors are notified which classes will be full and make arrangements accordingly.
The committee works hard keeping everyone informed as they court sponsors, organise speakers, venues, merchants, contracts and queries. The pace becomes frenetic for them leading up to the day as more and more details have to come together.
Registered attendees arrive and receive their 'goodie bag', which contains a mug, coupons and a selection of small donations from shops and sponsors. Sometimes there is even chocolate!
The first night a formal 'opening' ceremony introduces the committee, sponsors and tutors. Prizes are often awarded for the Hoffman challenge, and any other challenges or exhibitions.
The Bernina crew go through and set up the machines they rent to those that need them(so quilters don't have to lug their precious machines on airplanes etc.) Students and tutors get ready for the next day and the work begins!
Classes last about six hours, with a nice lunch break in the middle to wander through the merchant's mall and visit with friends. This is a wonderful time to meet new people, discover innovative items on the market or just take time to have a look at the great quilts on display.
During class breaks tea, coffee and biscuits appear. When machines rebel Bernina guys come in and create minor miracles. All in all it's a pretty reliable set up. The inevitable quirks never really stop the momentum of the event.
The after class 'happy hour' (called this because it is usually hilarious) is nice touch at the end of the day where friends meet up. Spot prizes are given for often ridiculous reasons and the classes have a chance to show and tell about their hard work. Friends meet to share the day's news.
One night a gala is on offer where quilters can dress up for a first-class meal. A speaker of some import is on hand and some entertainment. The type of entertainment varies greatly between events with shows such as singers, magicians and fashion runways.
The closing night really winds up the week with the committee re-capping the events, sharing special happenings of the time and thanking everyone. It's then farewell to friends until the next show!
If you are interested in checking out the next event it's in Palmerston North January 2015...poke the button below.
MARINER'S BLISS CLASS
Have I felt as if I've been on holiday or what??? Teaching and quilting. Two of my favourite things wrapped into one. Besides being spoiled and fed brilliantly, the committee has once again been gifted with hard working and wonderful women.
Once this show is over (teaching tomorrow,) I hope to write a great description of all the fun and frolics from perusing the quilter's retail area, talking to the vendors, visiting with Kevin the Bernina guy and finding out upcoming trade secrets ....the fashion show, purchasing real bling lanyards with a generous extra, and just spending quality time with my terrific friends!
The quilts are all so different and all just lovely.
Okay, it's Ashburton and the name of the show is still Braided Ribbons. No disrespect meant at all Paula. Will be arriving early to do some judging with Juliet Fitness....
My extra lounge table is full of the goodies that will be travelling up with me. Bought chocolate fish for my attendees, what more could we need?
The last job of tomorrow is to knuckle down and change my website over to the web address that appears on all the business cards etc. Deep breath....here goes!
The quilt room has been slowly been getting a face lift, and today -joy of joys- I found little bookcases on sale. Have I mentioned we live in an A-frame?
Not many flat walls in this house for standing teetering tall bookshelves, so these wee shelves found today are just PERFECT! I bought a ah..um...few.
My girls decided to assemble them, and now my lounge reminds me of a little Stonehenge. Soon the shelves will be carried upstairs but at least they're assembled right??
Having a sort through bags of scraps from a previous project I have found some amazing things. Things that had disappeared into that abyss...the place where seam rippers, rotary cutters and needle packets go when one stops for a cup of tea.
(Hating to admit how many items I've rediscovered so far. Embarrassing really). If Timaru was suddenly buried under volcanic ash my sewing room would become one of those caches archeologists' dream of finding.
Imagine the confusion of looking at this sewing room from the view of a future fellow - trying to explain the existence of all these implements of the trade. As inexplicable as Easter Island I can picture it now...
*Man in a funny hat is bent over my rotary cutter , magnifying glass in one hand, gently brushing ash back from the handle while muttering. "Look! There are several of these sharp implements here, with odd round blades, probably used for ritual sacrifice. And all these fibres, this must have been a home industry where the people made cloth to sell at the village market".
(He mops his brow with a dusty handkerchief and squints at the audience) "It looks as though they had a special platform with a strange gridded green mat to perform the sacrifices on...and those long plastic gridded plates. Probably part of the offerings..."* (He'd have no idea how close he had gotten to the truth)
Although this thought is more fun than deciding which scraps to keep or toss, it's time to go back to the room of sacrificial fabric industry to finish fishing in the abyss for more long lost needle packets.
Less than three weeks until the Ashburton symposium and I don't have new business cards made yet! AGHHHH
So... today was awesome. Pulled out a huge double wedding ring and had my girls hold it over the balcony so it could be photographed. This house is an A frame and the balcony is SO going to be useful for future quilt photos! That part was cool... (will need to pull out the proper rod to hang it from in future.)
Okay, I'm going back to the fabric slave!!!!
Letting you into the inner sanctum of a quilter's thoughts and activities.