JOY – the quilt

Jan
2016
25

posted by on JOY the quilt

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I’ve just finished working on JOY – my latest quilt.  I had seen a quilt on the Sturbridge Museum website and wanted to use it as inspiration.  Of course when I finished JOY it was nothing at all like the original quilt – but that happens all the time when I design.  What i start off with is never what I finish with!  I’m working on the pattern – my least favourite part with designing  – and it should be ready probably end of February/early March.

JOY - not the best photo

JOY – not the best photo

Now onto my next 2 quilts!!

posted by on Birds Eye View, Classes at Material Obsession, Joy Quilt

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I will be teaching Birds Eye View at Material Obsession, 72 Roseby Street, Drummoyne on the weekend of 13 and 14 February.  You can book your spot online at: www.materialobsession.com.au

Birds Eye View

Birds Eye View

I have also been working on some new quilts. I decided to go with something bright and cheerful – and came up with this. It was supposed to be an interpretation of an antique quilt from the Sturbridge Museum, but of course by the time I finished it, it was completely different. I still have to sew all the pieces together but so far this is what I’ve done – I’m calling it Joy because its so bright and beautiful!

Joy

Joy

I love December/January as my day job slows down which gives me the opportunity of designing new quilts and catching up on those not yet completed. I am in the process of completing another new one and have my “newest” one down on paper – and I’m very excited about this one. It may be a block of the month – it has that potential… but we’ll see how it turns out. Oh yes, I forgot that I’ve also designed a hexagon quilt using 3/8 inch hexagons – which will be a carry-along project. That should take me to June – lol….

Hope you’ve had lots of sewing time during the holidays.

posted by on Auntie Greens Garden, Choc Mint Sundae, Confetti, Eva Grace, Melon Lime and Bitters, Uncategorized, Workshops - USA

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Next stop – Manchester, New Hampshire

I was invited by The Quilters Gathering to run three workshops – two one day classes – Eva Grace and Melon, Lime and Bitters and a two day class – Confetti.

I expected it to be cold in Manchester after Houston – but was pleasantly surprised to find the sun shining and we were able to walk around without coats!

My first class was Melon, Lime and Bitters.  I was appalled  surprised to hear that there were no breaks for morning and afternoon tea!!!  So I explained to my class how we do this in Australia – morning tea break around 10:30am with tea/coffee/scones/cakes, then lunch, then afternoon tea break at around 3:30am with, again, tea/coffee/cakes/slices.  I must have whinged enough because I had the same women in my third class and guess what?  Yes, they brought cakes, slices, teas, coffees, and even a kettle for morning and afternoon tea – civilised again!!

Morning Tea

Morning Tea

 

Melon Lime and Bitters workshop

Melon Lime and Bitters workshop

My second class was a very large group doing Eva Grace.  We were so privileged to be visited by Marjorie Lydecker.  Marjorie is in her 90s and still sews every day.  She wanted to meet me and I have to say I was mighty impressed with her work and so honoured to get to meet her too.

Marjorie and myself

Marjorie Lydecker

Day 2 - Eva Grace

Day 2 – Eva Grace

The last two days were spent working on Confetti – and of course morning and afternoon tea!  It was sad to say goodbye to the good friends that I’d made whilst I was there – but you never know – I may be back some time…..

From there I spent time with Gayle.  This was almost like “internet dating”!  I met Gayle on Instagram – she and a group of quilters were working on Auntie Green.  Gayle knew I would be in her area (Vermont) and invited me to stay with them – or did I invite myself?  I knew from Gayle’s IG posts that she would be gorgeous – and she was lovely.  I was so well looked after – even having my own little “apartment” for the two nights that I was there.  I met with a group of her friends and we did a mini clamshell class.

Gayle

Gayle

Peggy with her Auntie Greens Garden

Peggy with her Auntie Greens Garden

Then it was on to Tampa for a trunk show and two day workshop with the Feather Princesses.  They are one of the BEST run applique groups I have ever had the privilege of working with.  Dorothy and her friend Laura loved applique and decided to sew together.  Pretty soon they had friends asking if they could join and that group is now made up of 100+ quilters!!  I felt that I was “preaching to the converted” as most of the members do beautiful work.  But we managed to share lots of techniques together – new and old.  Thank you Janet and Dorothy for looking after me so well – and thanks to everyone who attended my trunk show and workshops and for making my time with you so special.

The awesome Dorothy, President of the Feather Princesses

The awesome Dorothy, President of the Feather Princesses

Choc Mint Sundae workshop - it was really hard to get everyone in the frame!

Choc Mint Sundae workshop – it was really hard to get everyone in the frame!

Trunk Show with the Feather Princesses

Trunk Show with the Feather Princesses

Next stop – Charlottesville………..

posted by on Botanika, Houston Quilt market and festival

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And what a fabulous trip that was – one whole month (and a tad more) travelling around the US, teaching, having fun, with some relaxation along the way.

My first stop was Houston for market and festival. Houston is always fun… a time to make new connections and catch up with old friends.

The embassy suites is the best hotel to stay at…. Happy hour every evening…. Margaritas being my drink of choice…. Everyone is off for the day and this is the chance to unwind and make preparations for dinner… And I was so glad I had friends who I could hang out with and who included me in their dinner invitations.

Rogues gallery - me and Jess; Angie, Lucia and Julia; Julia and Betsy

Rogues gallery – me and Jess; Angie, Lucia and Julia; Julia and Betsy

Max and Louise aka Lisa and Louise had a booth at Houston and they let me hang out with them. I know they had a fabulous time but you have to check their blog for that.

Max and louise

I also met Mona and I know that this meeting is going to be very beneficial for both of us… Let’s say that she is going to be my “assistant” in the US. We are planning lots of exciting adventures for 2016 so keep checking this blog. Mona made me promise to do at least one blog a month… And I’ve promised I will – so fingers crossed! Somehow we didn’t take any photos.

Here are some more photos of Quilt Market.

Schoolhouse - Kathy Doughty; Kaffe Fassett with Brandon Mabley and Lisa Prior Lucy

Schoolhouse – Kathy Doughty; Kaffe Fassett with Brandon Mabley and Lisa Prior Lucy

Schoolhouse presentation by Paper Pieces

Schoolhouse presentation by Paper Pieces

With Guy from Quiltmania; Jess and Joanne of Paper Pieces; Betsy Chutchian; Jodie Charleton

With Guy from Quiltmania; Jess and Joanne of Paper Pieces; Betsy Chutchian; Jodie Charleton

Some booths at Market

houston market houston market 1

Sample Spree is always fun!

Sample Spree is always fun!

Sherri from The Painted Pony and the gorgeous Patty Harants!

Sherri from The Painted Pony and the gorgeous Patty Harants!

My first workshop was in Houston during festival…a class of 20 with Patty Harants as my teachers pet… What an honour! I also got to spend time with her and her cousin Karyn.

My class in Houston - with Patty next to me and Florence with us

My class in Houston – with Patty (my teacher’s pet) next to me and Florence with us

and in case you’re wondering who I’m holding? That’s Florence – she’s the mascot for the Sunshine Hospice, of which I’m a volunteer.  She goes with staff members and volunteers on most holidays and has been everywhere in the world except South America.

Florence knows how to make friends - Laurie Simpson and Carrie Nelson

Florence knows how to make friends – Laurie Simpson and Carrie Nelson

Next stop – Manchester, New Hampshire.

posted by on Botanika, Choc Mint Sundae, Confetti, Eva Grace, Houston Quilt Festival, Melon Lime and Bitters, Workshops - USA

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I will be in the US in October and November 2015 running needleturn applique workshops.  All classes will include preparing your blocks using a light box – NO templates – as well as various methods of needleturn applique.

I have now finalised my US teaching schedule and here it is:

Houston Quilt Festival

 Friday 30 October 2015 I’ll be teaching a block from Botanika.  Check out the on-line class catalogue:

http://www.quilts.com/home/shows/viewer.php?page=../../fqm15/catalogue

My class is No. 513 so email me (blanckirene@gmail.com)  for requirements/supply list and come join me for a fun one day class.

Botanika

Botanika

The Quilt Gathering

 I’ll be teaching at A Quilters Gathering in Manchester NH on Thursday 5th, Friday 6th, Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th November 2015.

On Thursday 5th November we will work on Melon, Lime and Bitters

Melon Lime & Bitters

Melon Lime & Bitters

On Friday 6th November we will work on Eva Grace

image of eva grace quilt by irene blanck

Eva Grace

On Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th we will work on Confetti – a two day class learning how to do hexagons using the English paper piecing method, as well as needleturn applique.

image of confetti quilt

Confetti

Check out the details on their website.

The Feather Princesses – Florida

 Wednesday 11th November – trunk show – all welcome.

Thursday 12th November and Friday 13th November – 2 day class on Chocolate Mint Sundae.

 image of choc mint sundae quilt by irene blanck

Check out their website for details.

Charlottesville Quilters Guild

Saturday 14th November 2015 – Trunk show – 2 full suitcases of quilts!

Check out their website for more details.

The Quilt Merchant – Winfield, IL

 Friday 20th November – trunk show – 2 suitcases full of quilts!

Saturday 21st November – one day class – quilt yet to be decided.

Contact Val at her website for more details.

I hope to see many of you at my workshops.  Come say Hi!

Irene

A Paradise of Birds

Jul
2015
03

posted by on A Paradise of Birds, Patch n Quilt

28 comments

I finally managed to get my act together and complete Month 1 of this Block of the Month.  I started this quilt last year – had all the birds stuck down – took it to the US when I had my “sabbatical” there – but never got around to completing it.  I did however finish it very quickly once I returned home.  I received lots of fabric advice from Mary Kelly (and had to listen to her this time!!) and here it is.

A Paradise of Birds

A Paradise of Birds

We have decided to do a “limited” block of the month as a lot of the fabric is now not available.  When I design and make my quilts I use fabric from my stash, some of which may be many years old – this is the only way I can do it.  So if you are interested please get in touch with Mary at Patch n Quilt.

Here are the blocks for Month 1.

Month 1 - block 1 and 2

Month 1 – block 1 and 2

I’ve also just completed my other latest quilt – made up of octagons and squares.  I’ll get a decent photo taken and post here soon.  Maybe I’ll ask for help with a name for it.

posted by on Focus on Applique

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I had a fabulous time in Sydney for the quilt show – went with Margaret and Jennifer and did the road trip thing!!  Lots of happy hours spent with friends as well as lots of socialising with Sydney friends.  We left on Thursday last week by car and it rained ALL THE WAY!!  And they say Melbourne’s weather is weird!

So… I brought back a boot load of books.  If you are interested I can mail them out to you.  The book costs $70 plus $12 postage in Australia.  If you live in the US there are a few shops that are selling these books – Quilt Merchant and Mt Creek Quilt Shop.  If you live in Europe you can get the books directly from Quiltmania.

My book

My book

posted by on Houston Quilt market and festival, Irene Blanck trunk show, Workshops

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As most of you are aware – I’m sure I’ve mentioned it many many times!!! – I will be teaching in Houston this year.  I was very lucky to be accepted in the “faculty” of tutors this year.  I’ll be teaching a reverse applique workshop using one of the blocks from my quilt – Botanika.

Whilst in the US I am also hoping to be able to teach at a few shops or guilds.  So far I have been accepted by 3 shops and 1 guild to do a trunk show and workshop – I will be travelling with excess-excess baggage – 2 suitcases full of quilts plus another one for my clothes and patterns etc.

So if you would like to do a workshop/trunk show with me, please get in touch with your favourite quilt shop or guild and email me.  I would like to finalise my plans by the end of June.

Hope to see you somewhere in the US…..

Calendar Update

May
2015
29

posted by on Botanika, Clamshells, Classes @ Patch n Quilt, Classes @ Treehouse Textiles, Eva Grace, Flowering Snowball, Houston Quilt Festival, Irene Blanck trunk show, Message in a bottle, Miz Kelly, The Applique Guild of Australia, Workshops for 2015

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I get asked quite often where I’m teaching.  So here’s my teaching schedule for this year.  Of course I still have some gaps in my calendar that I’d love to fill with workshops.  So let your quilt shops and guilds know that I am available!!

So here are some calendar notes.

Saturday 27 June 2015:

First cab off the rank is a book signing at Patch n Quilt on Saturday 27 June 2015.  So come take a peak at my new book – Focus on Applique – and get your book signed.  Meet up with your quilting buddies and have lunch at the gorgeous café down the road from Patch n Quilt.

Details on my calendar and Patch n Quilt website.

*********************************************************************

Monday 6 July 2015 

 Trunk show at the Australian Quilters Association

I will have all my quilts with me – 2 suitcases full – and books as well.  AQA meets in the Uniting Church Hall at 679 Canterbury Road, Surry Hills.  I will be speaking at 1pm.

Details on my calendar and AQA website.

*********************************************************************

Saturday 15 August 2015

 One day workshop with The Australian Quilters Association.

If you want to learn needleturn applique with lots of short cuts, then join me for this one day class.  We will focus on one block from Message in a Bottle.

Details on my calendar and AQA website.

Message in a Bottle

Message in a Bottle

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Saturday 22 August 2015

 One day workshop at Patch n Quilt.  Choose any of my quilts and join me for this one day class.  I will help you with all aspects of needleturn applique.

Details on my calendar and Patch n Quilt website.

********************************************************************

Friday 4 and Saturday 5 September 2015

I recently spoke with Trudy Johns and I have been invited to teach  at Pot Pourri Cottage in Newcastle on Saturday 5 September 2015.  So come and join me for a fun day of needleturn applique (now no groaning….).  You can choose between Eva Grace or Miz Kelly.

I will also be doing a trunk show and book signing on the Friday before the workshop – 4 September 2015.  Please check the website for details.  So come along and say Hi.

Details on my calendar and Pot Pourri Cottage website.

Miz Kelly

Miz Kelly

image of eva grace quilt by irene blanck

Eva Grace

*********************************************************************

Friday 11 September 2015 

 Trunk show and book signing at the Beaconsfield Quilt Guild.  Meeting will be at  Beaconsfield Neighbourhood Centre, 8 O’Neil Rd, Beaconsfield.

Details on my calendar

********************************************************************

Saturday 12 September 2015

Emma from Treehouse Textiles in Mornington  has also invited me to teach – so I’ll be doing two classes there one in September and the other in October.

Clamshells on Saturday 12 September 2015.

Clamshells is a easy peasy fun class – really!  Its all in the prepping of the clamshells, but once that’s done it’s a joy to sew.

Details on my calendar and Treehouse Textiles website.

Clamshells

Clamshells

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Saturday 19 September 2015

 Guest speaker at the Cranbourne Quilters first quilt-in. So come support them and see all my quilts and perhaps get your book signed.

Quilt-in will be held at St John’s Anglican Church, 21 Childers Street, Cranbourne.

Details on my calendar.

***********************************************************************

Saturday 26 September 2015

 One day workshop for beginner needleturn applique at Patchworks Unlimited in Pascoe Vale.

I will provide a block with a vase and flowers.  You will learn most techniques of needleturn applique including reverse applique, perfect points, circles and making easy peasy stems using a Clover bias maker.

Details on my website.

**********************************************************************

Friday, Saturday, Sunday 2, 3, 4 October 2015

 Join me and 4 other tutors for a weekend of sewing, eating, laughter and hanging out with your quilting buds!  Tutors include Margaret Mew, Julie Adamson, Chris Serong and Michelle Hill.

This weekend is run by the Applique Guild of Australia.  I have given details previously but check out my calendar again and TAGAs website.  I will be teaching Botanika.

*********************************************************************

Saturday 10 October 2015 

 One day workshop at Treehouse Textiles – Flowering Snowball.

For the Flowering Snowball you will need your machines – yes… even I have surprised myself with how much I enjoyed sewing this on the machine.  Again, easy curved piecing.

Details on my calendar and Treehouse Textiles website.

Flowering Snowball

Flowering Snowball

*******************************************************************

Friday, Saturday, Sunday 16, 17 and 18 October 2015 

 Weekend Retreat at Galong, NSW run by the Galong Patchworkers.  I will be teaching Message in a Bottle.

Details on my calendar and their website.

****************************************************************

Friday 30 October 2015

 One day workshop at the Houston Quilt Festival.  I am so thrilled to be able to offer this one day class in Houston teaching Botanika.

Whilst I’m in the US I’m currently trying to work out a schedule of teaching at shops around the US.  If you have a shop in your area that you would like me to teach at please get that shop to contact me.

*********************************************************************************

So if you’ve been wanting to do a workshop with me you can see that I am teaching all over the place – so come see me and say Hi.

 

 

posted by on Botanika, Teaching in Trondheim

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Trondheim was my last stop in Europe before I returned home.  Siw from Quiltegarden in Trondheim invited me to teach at her beautiful shop.  I was quite excited about this having never been to Norway before – but I was also going to catch up with my favourite roomie – Randi who shared a room with me in Houston.  I arrived on a cold freezing night and was so thankful that Siw was there to pick me up.  My hotel was in the heart of the city – small and compact and very comfortable.  The breakfasts were to die for – sorry no photos of breakfasts!

Streets in the city centre

Streets in the city centre

The first day was spent catching up with Randi and Ellen for lunch and then a quick visit to the shop so that we’d know where it was (yeah right…..)  I was surprised to see lots of quilters there already, waiting for the trunk show that evening at 6pm – and it was only 3pm!  They certainly are enthusiastic here in Trondheim.

Randi and me

Randi and me

The trunk show that night was great for me – with 43 quilters turning up to see my quilts – unfortunately I didn’t have any quilts from the book but had more than enough other quilts to make up for this.  Siw very generously had lots of little gifts and giveaways on the night.

Welcome to the trunk show!

Welcome to the trunk show!

Siw has a beautiful shop and there was a LOT of shopping done.

shop 3 shop 2

shop 1

My first class the next morning was a block from Botanika.  22 enthusiastic quilters turned up – some from over 700km way – wow!  Thanks girls.  Needless to say we had a lot of fun and I hope they all learnt new and different techniques.

botanika

full class

Dinner that night was at a great Italian restaurant.

The workshop on the next day was clamshells – always an easy class where I get to play all day long.  We had 23 for this class – some from the previous class and some newbies.

clamshells

class

After dinner that night Siw took us for a walk around the city and also through an older part of the city – such amazing sights.  I was sorry that I didn’t get much sightseeing time, but there’s always next year.

Nidaros Cathedral.  According to Wiki it was built from 1070 to 1300

Nidaros Cathedral. According to Wiki it was built from 1070 to 1300

old city

A bicycle lift?  Only in Trondheim!!

A bicycle lift? Only in Trondheim!!

Thanks Siw for such a wonderful 3 days in Trondheim – and I most certainly will be back.

With Siw and one of her wonderful helpers during the weekend

With Siw and one of her wonderful helpers during the weekend

I left Trondheim on the following morning – Monday 3pm and arrived back in Melbourne on Wednesday at 6am- via Oslo, Paris, Dubai ………. a loooooooong flight indeed!

 

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