Friday 4 April 2014

Lace Motif...

After my relaxing beach holiday, I was lucky enough to attend the three day Autumn Quilting Triple Treat at Blackheath, in the Blue Mountains, NSW. Run by Anne Sommerlad Designs, the event ran seamlessly, with 65 ladies from all over Australia attending. My good friend, Robyn, and I drove up each day, giving us a chance to catch up and chat on the way.

Each day was a new workshop with a different instructor. As part of the Patching With Petal workshop, we made a lace motif, using sewing thread, soluble fabric (soluble laundry bags), an embroidery hoop and a sewing machine with the free motion foot attached.

Some time ago, I was intrigued when I saw a scarf made with water soluble stabiliser. Marisa and I had both entered the Ring Your Neck ~ Scarf Challenge. Marisa deservedly won the challenge. I pinned Marisa's scarf, hoping to one day make a scarf using this method myself. So when Petal said we'd be using the same method to make our lace motif, I was quite excited!

This was my first time using the free motion foot and I must say I enjoyed it immensely. It does, however, require a lot of concentration. As you can see, my concentration lapsed at the end, hence the long thread only attached by two points.

Part of attending such a sewing event, is meeting new people and with ladies from all over Australia, there was much to talk about during breaks. Sharon described my lace, as a doily that looks like it's been chewed by a dog... LOL!!! Very accurate, I'd say. It'll require a lot of practice, time and concentration to make a scarf, but it's still on my To Do list. Petal has actually given us notes on how to make a shawl, so my goal is becoming more attainable.

Robyn had previously been to one of Petal's classes, so she was a step ahead of the rest of us. We were all impressed with her lace making. Isn't it fabulous!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed my three days of sewing. This was only my second time attending a sewing workshop. The first was a day spent learning to make a Mariner's Compass. In the main, I tend to learn by teaching myself and combined with the good grounding in sewing I had at school, this method works for me. There is a wealth of information online, not to mention books and patterns. 

However, nothing beats learning with an experienced teacher to fill in all the little gaps that might be missing. I learnt SO, SO many new things from the instructors. There were techniques that were totally new to me, but, funnily enough, the skills I was most excited about, were little things, such as how to tie a quilter's knot and how to stop and start with a sewing machine without a knot or backstitching. Maybe Google could help me find those techniques, but I'd have to know they existed in the first place to search for them.

As well as the learning side of the retreat, it was also a lot of fun. You can see photos of the three days on the Anne Sommerlad Designs Facebook page. I've already put my name down for next year's three day retreat.

Have you ever been to a sewing retreat? How do you like to learn new sewing skills?

... Pam


  1. Nope, I've never been to a retreat. I like to learn new sewing skills by having someone show me how to do them - usually it's my sewy friend up the street :D

    That lace motif technique is pretty cool - I've never seen such a thing! I imagine that with practice you could do specific shapes - and even change thread colours - the possibilities are endless :D

    Enquiring minds want to know ... how to stop and start with a sewing machine without a knot or backstitching :D Is the answer to pull the thread to the back and knot it, or is there some magic trick I'm unfamiliar with?

  2. Sounds like you had a wonderful time Pam, a quilting retreat is high up on my wish list :)

  3. I've never been on a sewing retreat but hearing the recap of your experience makes me want to go on one!

  4. Like you I am mainly self taught and I'd love to go on a quilting retreat to meet other quilters and learn new techniques - one day!
    Your lace looks great.

  5. I'd love to try this someday.
    When these girls of mine get a bit older I'm definitely doing a sewing retreat! I've been dying to go to one for so long now.


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