Coast?s creative texture

By UTE SCHULENBERG

IT was while house-sitting in Vancouver that Wendy Martin and fellow 'Creative By the Sea' co-ordinator Chris Timmins, came up the idea of a quilting expo in Australia.

"We went to a quilting expo in Oregon and I just decided we could do it better here," Ms Martin said.

This year, 250 women came from all over Australia to attend the nine-day retreat and glean as much creative knowledge and inspiration as possible from the 16 talented tutors, each other, and the setting.

Spread throughout conference spaces at Aanuka Beach Resort, every workroom looks out on to treelined coastline, sand and waves.

"The surroundings here are so conducive to creativity," Ms Martin said. "It is both inspiring and intimate, which is perfect for us."

Everyone from beginners to long-time textile artists can learn something new.

There are workshops in different quilting styles, how to paint and print on fabric, how to do beading, dying, felting and all manner of other shades of the art too numerous to list.

Raleigh resident, Carol Boyle, first attended the gathering two years ago.

"I had done some quilting with my mum before, but coming here really got me going creatively," Ms Boyle said.

"I'm into wearable art and freehand embroidery now.

"I work four days a week and I am sewing every night - I love it."

Carol is the winner of this year's quilting challenge, which saw entrants given a particular fabric from which to create something.

"Members of the public are invited to come by and look at all the creations and put in their silent bids until 4pm on Saturday."



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