My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Symposium Woes

The biennial national quilt symposium of New Zealand is the biggest deal in the quilting world down here and it's next happening in Christchurch October 2017.  They are calling themselves Creative Construction this time around - a nod to the immense rebuilding that has taken place in the city after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.

I'm planning to go.  I've been to four other symposiums and I wouldn't miss it.  It's such a buzz for anyone who loves quilts!  Five intense days of classes, lectures, exhibitions, get togethers - just lots and lots of fun.

I'm making the trip with a friend of mine who's never been before.  I did that last time too, and enjoyed introducing someone to the delights of symposium.  We've just booked our accommodation, so even though it's almost a year away, we're getting prepared.  If you've never been before, I wrote a post with tips and advice for attending - you might like to check it out for a few ideas.

My prizewinning quilt 'Tui at Dawn'.  I REALLY enjoyed symposium that year!

But now, here's my problem - the registration book comes out soon and I've been looking at the tutors online, thinking about who I'd like to study with and what sort of classes I'd like to take.  And I'm blown away by the choice.  It seems like someone picked my brain for all the people I'd love to study with and invited them to attend.  It's going to be too hard to choose!

There are two five-day masterclasses this year.  One that particularly interests me is Lisa Call's 'Working in a Series'.  Lisa was my amazing SAQA mentor and I'd love to extend the learning I did under her guidance and I've always looked at this class thinking I'd like to do it.  But that's five whole days, and one of my own tips is to leave a day or two to see the exhibitions, rest and catch up with friends.  Arrghh!

My friend Shirley catching up at the Symposium Dinner.  Shirley is one of the most wonderful supportive quilters I know.

Then there are the international tutors who I might never get another chance to study with:
Jane Dunnewold - yes, I said JANE DUNNEWOLD, the queen of complex cloth is coming!
Luke Haynes - who I follow on Instagram and am intrigued by his work in series;
Jacquie Gering, whose walking foot quilting class on Craftsy really changed the way I use a walking foot;
Lyric Kinard, whose book 'Art + Quilt' was one of the first art quilting books I ever read;
Charlotte Yde - her work is just stunning, and thoughtful and intriguing;
Sherri Lyn Wood, I love her book (that I reviewed recently) and the thoughts behind her process.

And that's just the international tutors that interest me (there's more too) - there's exciting Australian (funny that they don't count as international, but I get the distinction!) and New Zealand tutors too.

It's too much!  How am I ever going to decide?

So tell me, are you going to symposium next year?  What tutors are you interested in?  And how are you going to decide what classes to take?


  1. Yeah so much choice is a problem. They have some amazing tutors lined up. And for once I have a low registration number so I'm really excited. I don't know where to start though. It's always such a complex process choosing classes. What a terrible problem to have LOL

  2. I booked my accommodation and even my flights last week. I have only been to one symposium so am looking forward to this one and oh my what a choice of classes for us!

  3. I've been wondering the same thing Charlotte. I'll have to see what the tutors are teaching before I make my decisions, but Luke Haynes does seem like a fun guy, and Jen Kingwell is high on my list too. Decisions, decisions.

  4. I enrolled in Lisa Calls masterclass as soon as it hit the website, and now I have buyers remorse. Given that I am number 1600 ish, my chances of getting into anybody like Jacqui Gering is pretty slim though. I think I will just have to attend every lunchtime event, and the evening ones too, just to see my heroes in the flesh.

  5. Email me about Sherri Lyn Wood. I'd go with Lisa Call. She has been in the biz for longer than most of tne otners. She knows her stuff and has worked really hard and thoughtfully to be a full-time artist. Would you make time to work with her another time? She does live in NZ, so it is possible. My second choice would be Jane Dunnewold. I don't dye etc but friends have taken classes with her and say she is wonderful. I loved her lecture abiut her new book.

  6. I'm disappointed this will be another symposium I'll have to miss....CALVING!!! Maybe next time.... Looks like a great lineup of tutors though, it will be a great event.

  7. Isn't that a great photo of Shirley and you! I agree that the class choice might end up coming down to the actual class project or content. And there are always other opportunities to soak up all that quilting knowledge. We can't complain about having too much available.


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