We drove up to the Atherton Tablelands to do a class for Ruth Bloomfield and her intrepid quilting buddies. It was great to spend a couple of nights with Ruth. I met her first at Toowoomba QLD quilt festival, and again standing in front of her award-winning jigsaw puzzle quilt at Houston a couple of years ago. I had never been to the Tablelands, up from Cairns, and I was very excited to be staying in her studio! SLEEPING WITH THE STASH!!!
Ruth is a world-class quilter. She specializes in confetti-style quilts – using tiny bits of fabric to make a scene. It reminds me of what the Impressionist artists did, and it’s a very exciting way to quilt. The result is a somewhat fuzzy, deeply dimensional quilt with a lot of fabric bits attached with quilting. No fusible, or anything else. It’s a lovely way to quilt.
Of course, when you use so much fabric in a quilt, you need a lot to choose from. Don’t think of it as a stash, think of it as paint.
And this is what you get when you cut pieces of fabric into tiny pieces: This is a closeup of one of Ruth’s landscapes.
I love staying with and visiting with art quilters. They seem to collect all kinds of cool stuff. Ruth is no different, and she took great delight showing us around her crammed corners of cool collections!
Ruth has lots of beads, too. She uses them to adorn bags, purses, and TEAPOTS!
Ruth also has a licence plate that reflects her passion. I must say that I looked for quilty plates while we were in Townsville at the SCQuilters’ retreat, and I didn’t see a one! Ruth has it right:
The property where she lives has a spring-fed swimming hole next to it, where nurses during WWII used to spend their relaxation time. It is filled with history. The area is mountainous, beautiful, and supports lots of agriculture like peanuts, bananas, sugar cane and fruit.
We did the class at Narelle’s house – a wonderful open concept (tropical) home with a huge lounge area for 17 students to set up their machines and try their hands at Mock Mola. It was relaxing, and I felt really welcomed.
Thank you, Ruth, for a wonderful introduction to your area. I wish I lived closer – I would love to stay and play in your studio and learn how you do your confetti quilting!
If you’d like to learn more about Ruth’s work, check this site out. http://quiltersworld.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/01/behind-the-scenes-with-ruth-bloomfield.html
I must add that we were not the only visitors at Ruth’s – we also met Kay and John Kammermann. They travel around Australia in one of their two caravans (house trailers), visiting people. They make themselves useful by entertaining the locals, taking them for rides on their motorcycle, and taking photographs of the area. John makes art photograph cards, and when he found out I love Australian birds, he gave us a few with my favourite bird: the rainbow bee-eater. Check out the link: is this not one of the most beautiful birds alive?
After we left the Tablelands, we spent a few days in Mossman, and then headed south. Onward!