Cons: Exhaustion. Sore feet. A 12-hour headache. Mean women in quilted jackets with big buttons.
Pros: Beautifully crafted quilts on display. Here’s a fav:
Illuminated Alphabet by Zena Thorpe. Seriously beautiful applique. Basically, I came away from the quilt show more determined than ever to learn how to applique.
I got to meet EllynAnne Geisel, author of The Apron Book. She was signing her book and curating an apron exhibit. Very cool. I took some crappy cellphone pictures – they’re on my flickr.
Luckily for me, I got a last minute ticket to the Roundabout – a sort of speed-dating meets quilt class, where you rotate teachers every 10 minutes. My two favorite teachers were Jane Hall and Cathy Van Bruggen.
Jane Hall showed a bunch of different foundation piecing techniques, and her book, The Experts Guide to Foundation Piecing, compiles the tips and techniques of 14 different teachers. Awesome information, and she was precious.
Cathy Van Bruggen designs applique patterns, and she showed the basics of needle-turn applique. Since I can’t see myself seriously doing any other method, I was super excited to listen to her. She told us that on her website, she offers a mailing list that sends a new mini-applique pattern each month! Yes! Where there’s free – there’s me! I bought her cool little set of thread in a bobbin-holder, a great selection of Superior Bottom Line colors for most applique needs.
I also took a class from Eleanor Burns, and she couldn’t have been sweeter or more energized, but I think I’d like to get away from the super-fast, crank-em-out quilts.
I’m so inspired by hand-pieced and hand-quilted things. That’s not to say I’m putting my Singer away, I just want to put a little more of myself into my quilts.
Mark had a great article in the current Quilter’s Home about McQuilters…using kits and pre-arranged fabric collections. My friend Stephanie and I agreed that these new trends make quilting more accessible than ever, which is awesome, but I think I’m reaching the point where I’d like to move past that thinking.
As I walked around the quilt show, admiring these works of art that people clearly invested their hearts in, I was suprised by the amount of comments around me that were basically, “man, I would never make that.” One lady said, “yeah, that’s how I want to spend my life, cutting out a million tiny pieces of fabric.” That’s exactly how I want to spend my life! I am in awe of these artists, and I don’t want to be lazy or in a hurry about my craft.
My problem is that I’ve been selecting patterns because they were fast. I don’t necessarily love them, I just know I can do them fast. Then I rush through them. From here on out, I’m only choosing patterns that I LOVE – that I WANT to work on, not throw together. Lord knows, there’s a million of them out there.
I don’t know where all that came from.
Anyway, a couple other highlights from the quilt show were Cherrywood fabrics – beautiful hand-dyed cotton that looks like suede. I don’t know how they do it, but it’s awesome. I also picked up an Aunt Becky’s finger protector from Jean’s Impressions. The proprietor, Jean Brown was awesome. She demonstrated the finger protector and a very cool lap quilt frame, and she was as sweet as can be. I tried hand-quilting with it last night and it really helped! I’m still not very good at it, but it went much faster than my two-thimble method.
I think that’s it for now.
Oh, one other thing. I was so impressed with all the entrepreneurs at the quilt show – these dedicated quilt-makers who put their best ideas and life lessons into books and DVDs and travel around to these shows to share them with the world.