Thursday, May 27, 2010

May 13, 2010 - Karen McTavish and Sue Patton

Me and Karen McTavish

8:30 am - 10:30 am - Thursday started with another class with Karen McTavish.  Victorian Feathers!!  She worked with a white board and a longarm.  She had a camerman there so what she drew or quilted was shown on a screen.  I like to think I'm proficient in quilting feathers and it was fun to see another way to make them unique.  It was a packed 2 hours with quilting and drawing!  As Karen would draw, so would we, and then she would quilt the feathers out.  I have pages of drawings to continue practicing on.  Soon I will be making time on the longarm  to play with these fun feathers! 

11-12:30 - Luncheon and fashion show.  The theme for MQS this year was South Of The Border.  So lunch was taco salads.  Dawn Cavanaugh was the MC for the fashion show and it was a fun event.  Kim, Betty and I met up for the luncheon.  Then it was off to the next class...

Me and Sue Patton

1 pm - 3 pm - Sue Patton Edge to Edge quilting designs.  Again it was a fast paced 2 hours.  Two women left after 40 minutes and that is a shame.  Granted, not everything Sue does is for everyone, but the second hour she also discussed how to keep quilts square on the frame.  For a longarmer, that is very important!!  Sue's free motion technique is one I will have to practice more on fabric than paper to get then swing of it.  She was also a fun teacher!  A voice that carries throughout the room without the need of  a microphone.  She says she is banned from using them.  LOL  She also demonstrate on a white board as we followed along with our handouts and drew along with her. 

Since we had a little time, we went in search of the mall we didn't find on Tuesday.  We managed to go to Penney's and that was all.  LOL  But, Kim, Betty and I managed to find a few things there we couldn't live without.  Then we saw a Burger King and stopped for burgers.  Nothing fancy but it worked for us.  :-)

Now it was time for the evenings event, the Audacious Quilt Auction. The money from this auction is where the grant money comes from.  IMQA offers grants to those that apply and are awarded one.  When one applies for a grant, they agree to  make a quilt for this auction, either the year they receive it or the following year.  I am a lucky recipient of a grant this year and I wanted to make something that would hopefully garnish a fair amount of money to help this very worthwhile program. 

Kool Kaleidoscope front

I designed this Kool Kaleidoscope from the directions from Ricky Tims Kool Kaleidoscope DVD.  It is all made in batiks except for the blue background.  I hadn't planned on doing much for custom quilting on it but when I got started on it, I knew it needed to have special quilting done to it.

Kool Kaleidoscope back

The back turned out just about as pretty as the front did!  It was very difficult for me to give this away, but I made it for the auction and that is where it went.  I sat with Karen McTavish during the auction, but she has to leave mid way through.  I asked if she would mind looking at my quilt and give me her opinion on it sometime.  She left and then came right back.  She had taken photos of the quilt and had a couple questions for me.  One was, why didn't I stitch in the ditch on one section.  I told her I didn't now I was supposed to.  Then she asked me why I was giving it away.  I told her about the grant I received.  She told me this was a show piece and couldn't understand why I was giving it away.  Ok, so these few minutes with Karen validate (to me) that my quilting is good!  I am good at what I do!  She could not have been more gracious to me then she was at that moment.  I mean, honestly, Karen critiqued my quilt!!  At that moment, I was so pleased to have made this quilt for the auction.  After she left, a young lady I had met wanted to see the quilt, so we went over to see it.  I bought my Nolting from the company and had been to their factory 6 years ago and met the owner, Dan, at that time.  The men of MQS (the vendors) were all involved in the auction in one way or another, mostly holding a quilt as it was being auctioned.  I saw that Dan had mine and when I told him it was mine, he told me he knew that when he saw the label and that is why he was going to carry mine.  I was so pleased with that!  The quilt sold for $400 and I was brought to tears with it.  I don't know who bought the quilt.  I hope they enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.

The end of the 3rd day was amazing!!  I was on a high that I can't put into words.  And there was one more day to go!!  Until tomorrow, Happy Quilting.

My Wholecloth

It's hard to get a good picture, but this is the wholecloth I designed in Karen's class.  I still have the crosshatching to do.  I'm thinking between the rope and feather borders to give a break between all the curves.

This is the bottom center.  Each side has a center and this is the part I didn't do right.  You shouldn't have fathers "kissing" as these are.  What I am thinking of doing is putting in a medallion in this section, maybe a small heart.  It is marked and the marking can be removed, so I will be working on this to get it the way I want it.
More later this evening.  Every day at MQS just got better and better!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May 12, 2010 - Karen McTavish

8 am - 3 pm - 7 hours with Karen McTavish marking a wholecloth quilt!!  Who knew there was so much to learn about making a wholecloth quilt?  Not me!  I have her book, I have read through it (tho it has been a whlie ago) and now things make more sense.  I'm a visual person.  I can read an instruction book and sort of understand the how-to's, but when I am in a class and am being taught the how-to's, then they make more sense.  :-)  Karen explained the process of choosing your stencils, specifics on the borders, and we were on our way then to go through the stencils spread out on the floor.  (and why didn't I take a picture of them?)  Several of us took our fabrics out to the hallway (again no pics) to lay them out and start marking.  Ok, so I didn't totally understand at the time what to do for the border, and of course, I picked a stencil that wasn't exactly "right".  Karen came out and we talked about it, I realized what was wrong before she came out.  I told her what I was going to do and she told me to keep marking.  At the end I think it is going to work.  I was able to get my outer border, center medallion and center border marked in before the end of class.  We took breaks so Karen could show us different techniques.  Some people took a lunch break but many of us stayed to keep marking our quilts.  Even with a 7 hour class, there wasn't enough time to get it completely marked.  And when you make a wholecloth, you have to have it completely marked, including the crosshatching.  So, a crosshatching stencil is next on my shopping list.  :-)

Karen's website -

Karen has authored 4 books (of which I own) including her Wholecloth quilt book which  has been put back into publication due to popular demand.  She is an award winning quilter and is the sweetest person.  I have known about her for years (as anyone in the quilting/longarm business does) and I first "met" her on facebook a few months ago.  It was so good to meet her in person and to chat with her. 

My wholecloth is still folded up but I will put it up and get photos taken in the next day or two.  I'll show  you where I made my mistake with the outer border.  When I get back to it, I won't think of it as a mistake, I will think of it as a design challenge.  :-)  Next will be to work in the time to start quilting on it.

From 3-7 it was Shopping Frenzy with the vendors.  Oh my!!  It was the first hours the vendors were open and it definitely was a wild frenzy!  It was so much fun.  LOL  I bought a few things that afternoon and continued shopping on Friday.  Between rulers and backing, that was where I spent most of my money.  A big purchase was a Quiltazoid.  Yes, you read that right.  LOL  They are made to order so mine should be here in about 2 weeks.  I can hardly wait to get it and start playing with it!  Imagine a large spirograph mechanism that can make 600+ designs.  PLUS you can get other templates to use.  The ideas are endless.  It just dawned on me that I didn't even test drive it, just ordered it.  LOL  I knew I wanted one and just watched in awe as it was being demonstrated.  Many say that the difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.  Well, I think when it comes to quilters, the saying is the same.  :-)

More tomorrow.  Happy Quilting!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

May 11 2010 - classes with Judy Allen/Ronda Beyer and DeLoa Jones

8 am - noon - My first class at MQS was with Judy Allen and Ronda Beyer  The first half of the class was with Judy, lecture style, the second half was with Ronda Beyer using the Judalator rules for curve cross hatching.  We were using Gammill longarm machines.  I don't for certain, but I have a feeling the one I was using was new because it was like driving a Mac truck, very hard to maneuver.  Then again, I own a Nolting so it was a very different machine.  But, I did learn a lot and had a blast!!  Both ladies were great to take a class from.  Now to finish my class sampler!!

Me and Ronda

1 pm - 5 pm - My second class was with DeLoa Jones.  For my birthday Glen got me a set (6) of her longerm rulers.  Three of them are made for curved crosshatching but I also found them VERY useful for quilting continuous curves!!  What I like about them is that the curves are the same on either side of the rulers so they can be flipped.  I emailed DeLoa in March and told her how much I loved these rulers and wished she would make them in smaller sizes.  We emailed a couple of times, she telling me that she would see what she could do.  Imagine my excitement when I walked into her classroom and on her merchandise table were 2 smaller rulers!!  Of course I had to buy them immediately!  In fact, she sold out the next afternoon when the opened up the vender mall, she had to have more shipped in for Friday.  Now to find the time to work with them!!  Her class was also hands on.  This time we used an A-1 machine.  It ran nice and smooth, I was having more fun with this machine.  But, I didn't like that the rollers sat on top of the rails because I moved the machine once and it came off the track and sat sideways on the table.  LOL  DeLoa would draw out how to do a feather technique and then we would go to the machines and stitch them out.  Then we would sit down and she would draw out another feather technique...  It was great!!  I love doing feathers and am always looking for new ways to use them.

Me and DeLoa

My days started at 5:45 am.  (I'm not the best morning person normally)  My first morning was getting my registration pack and then sitting and having a few small pastries and meeting a few ladies.  With the hour lunch break, I met up with Kim and Betty and we had sandwiches at the convention center.  They were ok, nothing to write home about.  When I left DeLoa's class, I met Karen McTavish in the walkway between the convention center and the hotel.  We had become facebook friends a couple of months earlier.  She recognized me right away and gave me a big hug.  She is so sweet!!  She was setting up for classes so I told her I would see her the next morning.  For dinner we found a Panera Bread close by, tried to find the mall but didn't (found out a few days later we were going the wrong direction) and then settled in for the night.

My first day at MQS was amazing!! My classes rocked!!  Next up, 7 hours with Karen McTavish....

Monday, May 17, 2010

MQS 2010

I spent 4 days last week taking classes from AWESOME longarm quilters!!  Judy Allen, Ronda Beyer, DeLoa Jones, Karen McTavish, Sue Patton and Dawn Cavanaugh.  These are ladies that are top in their field and I came out of each class with my head reeling and buzzing with all the different techniques I learned.  I have a number of customer quilts to do so practicing what I learned will be on hold for a while.  BUT, in the meantime I will practice on paper.  In the quilting world there is the PPP factor, Practice, Practice, Practice.  It's the way we work on the muscle memory.  I didn't really understand muscle memory until one of the teachers said it's like our signature.  Our signature is uniform because of muscle memory.  We don't think about it when we sign our signature, it comes naturally.  The same happens with anything you do with repetition.  I never thought of why my quilted feathers were getting easier to make, now I understand it.

And, of course, I am sitting at the shop with no pictures here to upload.  But, as I update this week, I will be adding some photos.

So, do you have a passion?  Mine used to be crocheting.  My great grandmother taught me to crochet when I was 14.  She came over to the states from Germany when she was 16.  She was a wonderful woman!!  For everything I make, I send up a special thank you to her.  I still enjoy crocheting, but quilting on the longarm is much easier on my wrist and arms.  I also feel privileged to now be able to quilt for others and make an earning from it.

I feel as if I am still trying to catch up on rest from last week.  It's probably good that I'm at the shop this afternoon or I would crawl into bed and take a nap.  LOL  Hopefully photos will follow in the next couple of days. 

Happy Quilting!!