WOW . . . . . .what a whirlwind. With months of work now behind me in the lead up to the 2017 Australasian Quilt Convention (AQC) and in a blink of an eye the 4 day event is over for another year. And may I say the beautiful Exhibition Centre was alive and as grand as ever. It felt just awesome to be within her majestic space again.
Quilters and textile workers came and went, acquaintances gathered, (some for their 13th year), new friendships were forged, delegates were wined, dined and shopped until they dropped and traders spruiked their wares. Magnificent textile work was on display everywhere the eye could see and the array of colour ways, textures and designs was mind boggling to say the least. Tutors taught in the upper gallery and students listened and worked new skills and knowledge into their repertoire of talents. From 10 til 4.30 every day a cacophony of sound rang around the building. . . . . sales pitches happening everywhere, the hum of machinery, excited chatter, announcements, music and the clatter of catering in the background.
With the good fortunate to be invited to teach along with the other amazing tutors, we started our AQC adventure on Wednesday 19th. We were oriented to our roles and our classrooms and given our packs and attended a fabulous Cocktail Party in the evening where each of us were introduced to the large group of AQC Delegates. It was a great occasion to meet other tutors and some of the delegates up close and personal.
On inspection our classrooms were set up, equipped for 20 students, with new Bernina sewing machines and welcome packs. I discovered I was to have a classroom angel to assist me all day and a Bernina Rep. to help out with any issues with the machines.
I felt very humbled to be able to display my two latest quilts ‘Floral Delight’ and Tinellen Farm’ in the tutors ‘Teach Me’ section of the quilt gallery with some exquisite work produced by the team of AQC tutors. I was blown away with the talent on display this year.I worked a busy couple of days with Jane McDonald on her BeBeBold Stall and it was great to catch up with friends and regular customers who visited to buy their annual dose of Japanese fabrics, Sashiko needles and threads and be inspired by the array of patterns and designs on show. My classes commenced on the Saturday 22nd with ‘A Floral Bouquet’ followed by the Sunday class ‘A Vintage Keepsake’ on the 23rd.
My groups were not to capacity however the extra space to spread out was a Godsend and it saved my voice, competing with the noise coming from the ground floor. I had a very enjoyable time teaching in the atmosphere of ACQ, with a great group of students who worked well to absorb my guidance and experiment with the techniques I had to demonstrate. The ‘Vintage Keepsake’ class proved to be a perfect wind down day after the excitement over the previous four days. Students were reflective as they shared stories about the treasured relationships they had with the family and friends and the heirlooms they were working into their pieces.The verbal feedback from both groups was overall very positive and I was chuffed that some even finished their pieces ready for framing.
In one of my classes I had the privilege of meeting a lovely woman by the name of Mary. The other students and I lovingly adopted her as our token senior citizen. She was happy to tell us she was 91 years old and had been attending AQC since its inception and does not intend missing the next one. It was a joy to have her with us, a stitching enthusiast for many years, who still loves to learn new things, had stories to tell and loved the idea of preserving old textiles.
On that note I think my AQC reminiscing is done for another year. It was a great experience to teach at this years event and I wish to sincerely thank Judy Newman from Expertise Events (EE) in Sydney for the invitation to attend and the incredible amount of work it takes by the EE Team to make an event of this size happen. I hope i get to do it again some time. I also wish to acknowledge the privilege of working alongside some great teachers and displaying my work among some of the ‘quilting greats’! Now that has to be a good thing? Cxx