2020 started off with a bang I started my year in January with a 4 day workshop Sewing Connection in Pakenham VIC like I have for the past 13 years and then onto Kate Hansen in Melbourne for another 3 days of workshops and it was great to be out and sharing in class again after a break away late last year.
March saw Sandra Mollon come from the California to teach her amazing Elephants and were we in for a treat....Sandra was an absolute delight to host and the class was truly inspiring!
We will get her back one day I hope when the world starts again...
Sandra's in Urunga was held in the venue in town and the dinner was a special Paint and Dine event with artist Marci Arnold facilitating the Sister painting experience....it was a beautiful night together at the local award winning restaurant Anchors Wharf on the Kalang river.
Some images of the March Workshop Event.
And Now its time to Isolate.....
It took me awhile to get settle into this time of isolation, I think the shock of how massive this was globally that certainly took me back a few steps....I felt each day the sadness of what I was seeing happen to families all over and then hearing the economic stresses on people was hard to take in as well.....
Unheard of times and its Happening....Now!
Of course the calendar fell apart pretty quickly as did everyone's I suspect, but dates, events, flights and work will come back..it will look different I imagine...
Not saying that is a bad thing either.
As Long as we are all okay! is the New Moto....
Keeping motivated and creative through the emotional roller-coaster was the best medicine, and turning off the news worked well too....just checking in occasionally to try and keep up.
I found my shed sanctuary and a new found boost to start...and I have accomplished a few things, pushed my comfort levels and shared moments that I am proud of.
I know that having to step off the fast forward I was on has given me time to stop and think more about whats to come and how to approach it with a grateful heart.
Understanding we are truly All in this Together!
Free Tutorial videos
I made some tutorial videos to share how I make textured surfaces using confetti fabrics. The Videos are in 3 parts...learning as I go in Isolation!
The Sharkey Shed
While I have been home in Isolation, I have had time to spend in my Shed Studio!
'The Sharkey Shed' has been getting a work out with some projects, some videos and making some stock. I have been sorting out boxes of fabrics and rearranging shelving and supplies.
So I did this short quick look around where I create...
This is my Shed!
New Print Range available Now
Well now looking into The New Year I have been thinking about the year that it was....
I can honestly say for me that this year I was a great year spending more time with family and friends, and being at home cuddling my grand babes. I had some time moving into my new studio shed and hope to finally get back into some serious sewing in there soon.
This year ticking some long term planned goals and of course the awesome work related opportunities that happened again this year.
As I say in my classes I am a visual learner and mostly visual teacher as well....so here is a snap shot mixed view of some of my year and events...
The Digital Cloth Emagazine...
I am happy to say that Mel and I enjoyed bringing this new venture to life and I could not do it without her awesome creative input, each article has Mel's design stamp on them and I couldn't be more proud how it is all looking.
The idea of an Emag featuring Art Textiles/Creators and also sharing other art mediums has been on my mind for awhile, as I wrote in my intro letter in the first Emag the idea behind it... Everyday I am inspired by what is around me, every time I walk into a classroom to teach or an event I am inspired by those around me, watching people champion their own styles and art practices is so exciting and if we can help facilitate and share some of their stories through this magazine to pay forward all the opportunities this industry has given me.
Helping the textile, fabric, quilting, art, creators, creative lifestyle, sewing and teaching industries to do well is our aim, So creating this Emagazine is my way of being able to share and champion this industry as best I can.
The Digital Cloth was launched in June this year and we now have 3 Issues in the website shop filled with stories about wonderful creative artists, there is free textile art workshops to download with your purchase and much much more...
The Holiday Issue is now out as a free gift to everyone. We are working on the next issue of The Digital Cloth out in January 2020. Filled with awesome stories and images about textile artists, quilters and mixed media artisans and their creations.
Check out the website shop page for these issues...and don't forget about the free Holiday Issue yours as a gift free to download today and share as well!
Houston Quilt Festival
I was so happy to finally tick this off my bucket list and attend the 2019 quilt Festival in Houston it was the 45th Festival year and it was great fun....everyone told me it was huge! well I agree it was a massive quilt show on steroids covering football field size venues...a sight to be seen for sure. I went with friends Mandy Gowers, Susan de Vanny and Susan Auden Wood and we had a ball, setting up house for 10 days in a great Air bnb close to the town centre, the Houston Festival was held in the George Brown Centre Conference Centre....I actually went to do some interviews for the Digital Cloth Emagazine but lost my voice on the second day! a combo of travel and laughter hanging out with these crazy girls....never mind I had a few quiet days and gathered information, then had some meetings for future articles to come.
I also caught up with the awesome talent Sandra Mollon about her trip to Australia in March and then Andrea Brokenshire and Lorraine Turner as these wonderful ladies will be teaching at the 2020 Uluru Retreat they are very excited to be traveling to Australia for the first time. Andrea will also be in Perth with Michelle Pearson at Handcrafters House and Lorraine will also be in Mildura with Mandy at Lesley Mays Quilt Shop. It is so great to have these 2 awesome artists/teachers coming here next year...There are still spots left in their workshops so be quick...https://www.textileretreats.com.au/retreats.html
Mandy and I also had exciting talks with Paula Nadelstern and Claudia Pfeil to come in 2021 to teach workshops for us both in Mildura and Urunga so stay tuned get on the data base for information when its ready to go.
While at Houston Festival we did a fun 1 day workshop with Judy Coates Perez and it was a great day...Judy will be in Australia next year teaching, If you can catch up with her for a workshop Judy is a wonderful tutor...and I hope to bring her to Urunga in the future as well.
Connecting with Aussie Textile Artist Denise Burkitt in Houston and seeing her new designer fabric range with the "Free Spirit" fabric company was a highlights and I have booked Denise to teach in May 2021at The Urunga Coastal Retreat with Susan de Vanny....now that's exciting news!
Uluru Retreat 2020
The Uluru Sewing Up a Storm in the Desert is shaping up to be another awesome experience...with 3 days of classes in the main event and 2 extra days workshops as a special ending to the week.....its going to be fabulous and you can see all the images and information on tutors and the program we have planned on the Retreat page of the website...
My 2020 Workshops
My teaching schedule is now updated and will be the place to find out whats happening with me this year....Thank you for everyone that supports my workshops I love teaching and appreciate all the hosts that invite me to come teach in their shops or events....It is very exciting to be able to come to class with so many of you and connect annually also meeting new people to create with...how truly blessed I feel!
The Urunga Retreat is over for another year and It was another huge success!
Michelle Mischkulnig, Anne Kelly and myself Caroline Sharkey had a great time with delegates from all over as well as the New Zealand ladies attending this years event.
Michelle's classroom was filled with a feast for the eyes of silk, velvet and delicious threads as the delegates created stunning scarves and handbags in this exciting fun
'Glorious Wearable Art' workshop.
Anne Kelly's workshop tables were filled with beautiful mementos and delicate pieces all being recreated into the most perfect new heirlooms for future adornment, The ladies cut, stamped and stitched their way through piles of laces, ribbons, doileys and the treasures they had brought for this very special occasion to work with the master.
Caroline takes a small group for this Retreat as being organizer and tutor is challenging but rewarding (lucky Deb Rose is on hand to event manage while Caroline teaches).
The Coastal Creations workshop allowed the delegates the freedom to design and create their own projects (another benefit of a smaller class) Seascapes, wetlands and coral reefs were made with beautiful fabrics, fibres and threads chopped to recreate the new surfaces, so that 3D techniques could enhance the desired finish...
And I am sure you will agree the results are amazing with all the projects made!
Thank you to Anne and Michelle for coming to teach this year...
Both wonderful ladies and extremely talented artists and tutors.
We are very fortunate in Urunga to have a supportive network of people that are willing to help promote our town and Rob Canning a Gumbayniirr man came and did the Welcome to Country for our event, It was a very special way to start the 3 wonderful days....thank you Rob. Also Thank you to Jules Clyde for dropping in over the 3 days to take shots of progress and then finished the projects plus group photos Jules you are a champion and we are so blessed to have you helping us.
Everyone that attended this event knows the amount of gratitude to Deb Rose who goes above and beyond managing everything from set up to decorations and catering to all the delegates needs throughout the event....Thank you Bestie! Jenny and Jeannette and my family all chipped in as well....we are blessed in so many ways.
The 2019 Coastal Threads Art Prize winners were announced at the Urunga Retreat and they were all on display. Congratulations to all entries they are stunning and special congratulations to the winners below and all enteries.
We are now getting ready for Kathryn Harmer Fox 23-25August and Elizabeth Dubbelde24-25 August both teaching in Urunga that is going to be another awesome weekend here and we cannot wait
Sophie Standing well known Textile Artist from Kenya came in March and taught this fantastic Kookaburra Textile collage workshop to ladies in Urunga NSW...
This is the second time Sophie has visited to teach her wonderful workshops here for me in Urunga NSW as part of a co-hosting with Michelle Pearson in Perth at Handcrafters House WA and Tracy Zinn at Heights Sewing Centre in Werribee VIC. The results of this workshop are so stunning each time we saw the next days results the room buzzed with excitement, everyone worked so hard and stitched away each day on each part of the bird in a structured fashion that created a flow of ease that was awesome to watch. Congratulations everyone that attended this years class and huge congrats to Sophie and my team Deb and Jenny that made this event run smoothly and fun to be at....even as the organizer I enjoyed it all!
We have invited Sophie back to Urunga for another workshop visit in 2021 and she has agreed thus far so keep fingers crossed and an eye out for details about that coming out over the next 12 months. www.textileretreats.com.au
Sophie takes these wonderful progress photos each day and sends them to the delegates so they can see their progress....here are the fabulous results!
Thank you to Sophie, Deb and Jenny for another wonderful event....and Ruby part of our cheer squad!
And bookings are now open for May and August
We will soon welcome Anne Kelly and Michelle Mischkulnig for the annual
Sewing Up a Coastal Storm Retreat this year 10-11-12th May
Kathryn Harmer Fox in Urunga August 23-24-25 and Elizabeth Dubbelde will teach in
Urunga August 24-25
Hi Everyone hope this finds you well...
This year I decided that I would have a go at entering the AQC Challenge at the Australian Quilt Convention in April in Melbourne and hoped I would be lucky enough to have it selected.
I decided also that it was time to finally make the Angel Wings quilt I had wanted to make for along time...
The inspiration came from all the walls I have seen over the years with huge Angel Wings painted on them to stand in front for photo opportunities, I just think this is a fabulous idea and wanted to make a quilt to share that same experience at a show somewhere. I have been planning to make the quilt for years and the theme Magic a 90cm x 90cm quilt could be the right fit with my 'Magical Angel' quilt well I think so anyway!
I have to say I am not very good at entering competitions as there seems to always be something more important getting in the way like writing and designing workshops, packing kits, traveling to teach workshops and hosting events as well as my number one reason
That is cuddling and minding grand babies.
So 2019 is the year and I did make the Angel Wing quilt starting in late 2018...and here are some images to show how it happen...
I collected lots of white fabrics including bits of tulle, lace, organza, and satin fabrics, I chopped them all up and mixed them together. I then stabilized the wrong side of a 100cm x 100cm piece of white fabric with a white stiff iron-on Vilene Stabilizer.
Once I had made enough of the chopped fabric mix I then started to sprinkle it over the right side of the white background fabric till I had mostly covered the surface and then sprinkled some gold and silver sequins onto the surface.
I pinned a water soluble Vilene over the sandwich of background and chopped fabric mix and pinned it all together with lots of pins to hold it while I stitched the surface. I then stipple stitched the whole surface and when it was completely covered I washed the piece out in warm water to dissolve the water soluble fabric surface away, I set it out to dry ready to use this new white fluffy fabric.
I sketched up some wing patterns and set about tracing the pattern shapes onto the back of the wing fabric so I could cut all the 3 layered shapes out for each wing, being careful to keep them an opposite pair or a mirror image of each other. Once I had all the wing shapes cut out I did trim some back to reshape them a little and pinned them onto some coloured fabric to audition the shape and size and I couldn't wait to see what they looked like standing in front of them I then pinned the shapes all individually onto 2 layers of heavy white craft tulle to allow me to do all the stitching on the edges of each wing section
I also cut an extra wing for each side in the craft tulle to give another layer effect on the textured surfaces of the wing.
I added some basis lines for feather sections on all layers then I was brave enough to stitch the feathers onto the wings with white thread first, I cut the tulle away from the edges then gradually using darker threads when I realized it needed to be more defined, I also slightly touched up the stitching at the end with a black fine Artline texter, each wing layer was starting to take shape and I was finally starting to appreciate that this might actually look like a set of wings.
I continued to stitch and stitch between trips away to teach and also prepared the background with the three layers sandwiched together and quilted, I have not done a lot of decorative quilting and I tell the ladies in class all the time that I don't consider myself a quilter because my landscapes and textured surfaces really doesn't highlight decorative quilting its usually just about holding the quilt together and having it hang flat.
Anyway this time I did some and its not too bad....I used a similar thread and tried to keep the momentum up and similar design throughout the quilting on the top. I then did facings and finished the edges, made the Velcro hanging sleeve with the instructions that accompanied the entry form (which was as hard for me as making the quilt itself lol).
I then stitched the three layers of the wings together making sure they were as close a pair as I could, I stitched through the wing layers on the stitched thread lines and then positioned the wings on the quilted background and finally stitched the wings onto the quilt! Phew!
Okay now I am thinking that it needs something in between the wings to connect them.
I made the heart with a stabilized piece of dyed pink fabric and traced off some words I printed on the computer using a decorative funky script, I traced the reverse of the words onto the paper side of the fusible web and ironed them to the wrong side of the purple fabric and cut the letters out then I removed the paper backing off all the letters to reveal the sticky backing ready to iron into place. I arranged the words onto the centre front of the heart and pressed them into place with the iron, I covered the heart with a sheer clear organza to trap the letters underneath and stitched around the heart edge to add it to the quilt adding some decorative free motion stitching around the edges as well.
I filled out the entry form online and Yahoo Done I am DONE!
Now you would think I was finished as did I...
Well think again!
Finally relieved to be finished I added a photo to my Facebook page and went to bed by morning I was told that I had spelt Magical wrong....
"Where I asked because I could not find it in any of the text...
ON THE QUILT I was told!
Yep I DID!!!!!!!!!
OMGoodness! How silly can you be....and all I could do was laugh at myself I have learnt to do that over the years it saves me a lot of stressing lol!
So the next day I got up and fixed it and Now I am finished well all except the label so I will work on that soon.
Thank you for all the lovely comments and I hope you get to one day have a photo in front of these Magical Wings and the photo makes you feel SPECIAL!
Happy Stitching and Creating!
Happy New Year Everyone,
I hope you all had a safe and enjoyable time over the season, The year is already flying by I have been cuddling grandchildren as much as possible while home over Christmas and planning my trips away around family events for the year is always challenging, I am getting better at the schedule and time management...but time will tell how that continues!
All I need to do is try and schedule more time at the machine to create more on my BERNINA Q20, I have so many things going round in my head and lots of work in progress I need to get back to, I am sure you can relate to this as well, it seems part of the creatives mind!
Its nearly time to hit the road again with my first workshop trip coming up, I will be teaching at Kate Sewing Centre with host Kate Hansen in Melbourne near Bundoora 22-23 Jan and then at The Sewing Connection in Pakenham with Sue and Sandy 26-29 Jan, it's lovely to connect each year with these girls and I think this is my 11 year teaching for them down south.
For more information on these workshops check out my workshop schedule. Some of the images below are what will be themes for these classes...I love all of them so I cannot wait to get started back to inspire and be inspired as I watch ladies enjoy the process of creating and style their individual projects!
I am looking forward to connecting and getting Creative with everyone that comes to classes this year, We will have lots of fun chopping up fabrics and stitching new surfaces.
There is lots of exciting plans for 2019 and into 2020 and I have started with this new website and my first Blog its exciting and scary learning new ways to do things...and I am on a steep learning curve atm which is getting me enthusiastic about whats to come.
We have had a major project going for awhile now & I will hopefully move into my new studio space soon, a place where I can develop new ideas with classes, connecting with everyone more from this new space and getting creative with so many ideas... I have been learning to be very patience these past few months with it all being so close to completion, Its nearly there! so watch out for the celebrations when I get in!
Caroline There is so much more to come this year and I hope to share as much of it with you as possible:
*Hosting International Tutors in Urunga Sophie Standing from Kenya, Anne Kelly from the UK and Kathryn Harmer Fox from South Africa as well as Michelle Mischkulnig from Victoria and myself teaching at the Coastal Storm Retreat in May.
*Curate and host the 2019 Coastal Threads Art Prize 'Coastal Wetlands' this year,the Registration Form is available so check it out and start planning.
*Traveling to teach in Auckland at 2019Symposium and The Festival of Quilts in Birmingham UK as well as many lovely Australian destinations.
*More online workshops and live video!
*Planning already started for the 2020 Uluru Retreat next year so later in the year I will launch that so delegates can get planning ahead to August 2020.
Thank you for dropping in and ..........WATCH THIS SPACE!....For MORE SOON!