For the last seven years, my sister and I have been going to the Brisbane Craft and Quilt Show, held annually in October at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. The show runs for five days (although next year it’s been reduced to four), and for the first few years we focused solely on looking at the quilts. As you can imagine, with over 600 on display, we were very happily occupied for a whole day 🙂
After a few years we decided to go for two days, and take in some of the free workshops which are offered. As you will see from the programme below, these are many and varied, covering all sorts of crafts; they also include some Make and Take classes which you have to book in for, and pay a fee for materials, etc.
This year we carefully studied the programme, and selected these workshops:
- Unique Quilts with Just One Fabric
- Quilt as You Go, Reversible Scrap Quilts
- Magic Half and Quarter Squares
- Versatile Scrap Crazy Template Projects
- Quilting with Templates at Home
- Australian & Indigenous Designs;
- Quilt as You Go; and
- Easy Applique (not listed on the programme shown).
Of all the workshops we attended, only one was a disappointment (and I won’t embarrass anyone by naming which one); all the others were very informative, with plenty of tips, advice, ideas and suggestions, time for questions, and hands-on samples passed around or pinned up for closer inspection. Most of the presenters were excellent, knew their stuff, and knew how to communicate to and connect with their audience.
In order to accommodate so many workshops, and see all of the 600+ quilts on display, we figured we would need to purchase a 2-day pass. Pfft! By the end of day 1, we had done 5 workshops, but only managed to get round maybe a third of the quilt show. By the end of day 2 we had done another 3 workshops, but had still only seen approximately half of the quilt display. So a third day was deemed necessary, in which we focused almost solely on the quilts, managing to see them all – and to puzzle, again and again, just why this fabulous quilt had received no prize, but that so-so quilt had won a third, second or even first place ticket (What?? Are you kidding me??!). Neither of us has any intention of ever entering any competitive quilt show, but we both felt very strongly that it would have been helpful to have had some indication or comment alongside the prize winners as to why they were chosen.
Not only that, but we’d also love to see the quilts unobscured by any entry number, information sheet, or prize ribbon. We adhere very carefully to the instructions not to touch any of the quilts, but we love taking photos as we go round, so we can look back on them when we get home and discuss what we like about this or that quilt, how we might attempt such a project, what we might do differently, what fabrics or colour schemes we might use, etc.
There were some fabulous quilts on show, and I’d love to share some photos with you, but there was a big sign to say photos of the quilts were not to be posted on the internet or other places without the artists’ permission. (I have posted some in previous years, I know, but now try to respect artists’ rights when requested.)
So instead, I thought I’d just share a few photos of some of the goodies I picked up over the three days – after the first two days we were determined the third day would be purchase-free, but … well, you know what can happen to good intentions! 🙂
Goodie bag from the Scissorman stall – with many pairs of scissors, naturally! 🙂
Half-metre fabric swatches, reduced to from AU$7 to AU$6 each if you bought 6 or more
Applique mat and 2 patterns, bought after our applique workshop
Purchases after our Versatile Scrap Crazy Template Projects workshop
Jelly rolls and Fat Quarters from East Coast Fabrics stall
More East Coast fabrics, plus purchases following our second Quilt as You Go workshop
We came away at the end of the third day well satisfied with what we’d learned and seen (not to mention what we’d bought …), and already looking forward to next year! 🙂