It was our great privilege to host over 260 passionate stitchers from around the world, including 20 of today’s most talented tutors, as we gathered for ‘Beating Around The Bush 2016’ in Adelaide, Australia.
There is always a special energy, a rare type of ‘needle and thread’ electricity that is generated when stitchers congregate, and BATB certainly enjoyed it’s fair share of magic across the 8 days and nights.
Registration day kicked off with the opening of the BATB Shop, filled with all kinds of needlework goodies to entice and allure. Gift bags were handed out to all the students and beautiful Inspirations lanyards and name tags, featuring the Susan Porter Project ‘Sweet Violets’, adorned everyone’s necks as we enjoyed a cocktail party flowing with champagne, while the tutors gathered together and were introduced to the eagerly awaiting crowd.
First up was the two-day class which began with gusto as students and tutors launched themselves into the exquisite projects at hand. The Quiz Night featured International Quiz Master Queen herself, Hazel Blomkamp as the Master of Ceremonies, and highlights included the ‘Team Stitch Relay’ and the ‘Spring Bonnet Challenge’ which saw 95-year-old Telka Williams stealing the show with her team’s wonderful hat creation and rocking dance moves during the fashion parade.
Market Day saw traders from around Australia and many BATB tutors offer a superb range of threads, notions, kits, gifts, designs etc. all of whom enjoyed a brisk trade with over 450 people attending.
The One Day class provided an excellent opportunity for everyone to dabble in some smaller projects and try out new and different techniques, before the more serious and intensive three day classes began the following day. A movie night provided some welcome entertainment as the Australian flick ‘The Dressmaker’ was screened.
Once the three-day classes were in session, it was game on. With more substantial and more challenging projects now in play, there was no time to rest on one’s laurels. Needles were worked long and hard, some well into the night after a few tutors had given their students homework to be completed before the next day!
Some of us escaped that night on a bus trip to the local store ‘Hettie’s Patch’ where we were treated to a private shopping experience with cupcakes and champagne and enjoyed the most gorgeous range of fabrics and accessories.
By the time the final day of stitching was upon us, all the tutors were unanimous in their wonderment at how much progress the students had made and it seemed the class of BATB 2016 were all well pleased with the results achieved.
The final formality, and the icing on the cake, was the BATB Gala Dinner. A wonderful tradition where students and tutors gather for an evening of fine food and wine, relax while listening to some live jazz music and then celebrate together as the winners of the Stitch Your Heart Out competition are announced.
This year we were all treated to a marvellous presentation by the brilliant Jane Nicholas who graciously agreed to be the key note speaker. While many of us had always admired and held Jane’s work in the highest of regard, none of us knew the true depth and breadth of her talent until that night. Suffice to say her needlework and her projects in general are the work of a true genius.
And so it was, another successful Beating Around The Bush. Many familiar faces returning for their second, third… sixth or more, BATB, many coming for the very first time. It was a true delight to meet and host you all.
A HUGE THANK YOU to all our sponsors – without your generosity and support, BATB would not be possible and we are truly grateful for your involvement.
Dates for BATB 2018, which will in fact be the 10th Beating Around The Bush creating a special occasion to celebrate, will be released soon. We look forward to seeing you there!