Sunset - June 2, 2020

Sunset - June 2, 2020

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Di Ford Hall Workshop...Part 1

What an adventure...I have just returned from the Shipshewana Quilt Retreat in Indiana. Along with 3 quilting friends, I drove down to Shipshewana on Thursday and on Friday we attended a day long workshop with Di Ford Hall as our instructor. I met Di back in 1994 while on a quilting tour with Doreen Speckman (she passed away in 1999). Di owned a quilt shop in Melbourne and I had mine in Wisconsin. We shared a picnic lunch and I took photos, never dreaming 23 years later I would see this now famous Australian designer of quilts and fabrics. She is my most favorite quilter ever!

Our project was this...

We were instructed to bring a few backgrounds and assorted fabrics to work on the center medallion.
(I packed waaayyyy too many fabrics worrying that I would not have “just the right one.”) Silly girl! 
The focus of this class was to understand how to make your fabric work for you. 
We would start with the bird and leafy wreath.

 Incredibly, Di took the entire morning to visit each student’s work station (there were about 36 of us) 
and examine everyone’s fabrics...What an education as we listened and watched. Many of us had laid out a possible arrangement for the bird and others were not quite sure. I knew my bird would be red to honor my Mom’s love of cardinals and I hoped to use a particular paisley for the wing.
 I was delighted to be told it was a wonderful arrangement & I kind of floated from there! But I was nervous about the 3 background choices brought from home.  When Di saw the Elly Sienkiewicz  roses she was very excited as this is quite “precious.” This term is so sweet and she used it when questioning if we really
wanted to cut into it! So the roses background is the leafy wreath fabric had me kind of 
stumped and Di suggested this green and red print would work well giving the wreath movement.

We broke for lunch and the afternoon was all about sharing tips on achieving perfect points on a leaf;
 improved stitching when working with EPP hexies and 60 degree diamonds, broderie perse 
application and finishing details on the overall quilt. At this point I am holding off as to how to finish the rest of the quilt thinking about a different arrangment around the medallion hurry! The 
center will take awhile and I can dream along the way.  

I have more “teaser” images to share from the class of Di’s other project - will try to add those in Part 2...and the Amish dinner, shopping at Lolly’s, show and tell...

(having major issues using blogger since the huge update with IOS a month ago so am only able to add a few photos for each post that I do on my iPad Pro- my apologies for the chopped up text)


  1. Oh, Wow! I'm so envious! What a wonderful opportunity to listen and learn from Di. I, like many, find her designs so incredible. I'll be looking forward to see where your medallion heads. The fabric choices look awesome. So lucky....sigh

  2. What a gorgeous quilt and I love the fabrics you have chosen so far. This quilt looks like quite an undertaking. I will be anxious to see its progress. Shipshewana! Have you ever been there before. I was there a couple a years ago and I am still talking about Lolly's. Wow....that fabric. Lucky you.

  3. What a fabulous opportunity, both to take the class with Di Ford, and to spend time in Shipshewana. I've admired Di Ford's work for a long time, knowing I wouldn't have the patience to complete a project as complex as any of hers. Your fabric choices look amazing to me, and I'll look forward to seeing your progress.

  4. You are the envy of quilters everywhere, Pat! To have such an opportunity to be taught by Di--and it is so cool that you know her from way back when!
    Such a gorgeous quilt, and so ambitious. I like where you are going with your fabric, and look forward to watching your progress.

  5. With your enthusiastic post about your workshop with Di, I really revive mine from a couple of weeks ago... I read you had at least as much fun as I did, and learned a lot too. Your project is wonderful, and in fact my favourite (we had a different one), but most of all I adore your fabric choices, especially the one you are going to use for the center panel; precious indeed! Cannot wait to see your progress!

  6. How fun you met Di when you were both Shop owners. I love the special meaning your quilt will have the the red cardinal and precious background fabric. Sweet!!

  7. Your bird is going to be wonderful using those reds. And the rose print background fabric is a treasure for sure!

  8. Your retreat sounds like it was amazing! How wonderful to come full circle again in reacquainting yourself with Di Ford! LOVE the project you worked on and look forward to seeing & hearing more from your time in Shipshewana!

  9. Love, love, love Di Ford. I would be so excited to have a class with her. It would be like meeting the Beatles. I love that Elly fabric, and I have it in green, red, and pink. I am using them in my Sarah Morrel quilt, designed by Di Ford, of course!


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