When you take classes on a quilting cruise, you not only have a very pleasant working environment, you are also learning from the best. At least, that has been my experience.
This cruise had 4 teachers; each teaching a variety of classes. I could only pick 3.
Class #1: Building a Visual Vocabulary by Pat Delaney
Pat has won many awards and has been published in different magazines. She quilts on a domestic sewing machine and has written several books on Free Motion Quilting. This class was about developing a portfolio of stitch designs. With the help of Open Sew time, I came home with these swatches.
I totally agree with this concept. The middle of a project is not the time you want to file through the index pages of your mind for an appropriate stitching pattern. It is so much easier to reference a visual library. Plus – if you previously stitched it in a sampler, you will already have some muscle memory built in to assist you.
It did remind me, however, why it is I prefer ruler quilting. Less time spent marking…more precise lines…better end product (by my definition only). Combining the two will give you the most flexibility a sewing machine can offer, and will be the most efficient. The best of both worlds.
Class #2: Building a Nuthouse by Laura Wasilowski
Laura is an art quilter who dyes her own fabrics and threads. She uses them to create whimsical pieces, filled with improv hand and machine stitching. She is also the Dean of Corrections, Chicago School of Fusing (ha. read more here).
To be honest, my expectations going into the class were low. I have done a lot of hand stitching in my life and most classes start with the beginning stitches – chain, stem, daisy, fly, french knots, etc. None of that in this class.
I also have extensive experience with most of the fusible products out there – Misty Fuse, Wonder Under, Steam-A-Seam, and Heat & Bond. I thought I knew how to apply them and when to use which product.
I was so very wrong. I could not have been more surprised at how much I learned and how much fun this class was. Here was my Nuthouse by the end of the day, apparently in the middle of a windstorm. Hand stitching will definitely improve it, but … when?
Class #3: Attic Window by Cindy Walter
Cindy is an author of more than 10 books, a TV host and instructor. One of the books she co-authored with Diana Leone was on Attic Windows (2000). In this class, we looked at the wide variety of panels each person brought and we discussed a variety of options they had for turning them into ‘window’ quilts. She showed us fast ways of working, including how to get the 45 degree miter right, every time.
My panel was the New York skyline. One wrong cut and it ended up a little shorter than it should be.
The next day, I used Open Sew time to put together a challenge quilt top in a similar style. You will see more of this one when it is done, as it will be auctioned at our local Quilt Show (Manitoba Prairie Quilters) in April.
So, those were my 3 classes.
The teacher I did not take any classes from was Karen Combs. The reason? All of her classes were full. Some people signed up for her classes two years ago. Now that is dedication!
My first (brief) exposure was during Teacher Demo’s, where she showed us how to get accurate measurements for odd-shaped tumbling blocks. A useful technique I will store for use in the future.
Karen also has a beautiful line of fabrics coming out in December with BayanBatiks.
Finally, she shared a family recipe for these Rolls. They are by far the easiest and best of any I have made. If you want the recipe, you will have to sign up for her newsletter. She tells me that it will be in her December or January issue.
For the Demo’s, Pat talked about Colour Theory using Joen Wolfrom’s 3-in-1 Color Tool. I agree that her tool can be very useful. I used it in Amazon Star.
Laura entertained us with a song about the use of different needles and threads.
Cindy showed us a examples of Huck embroidery, aka Swedish Weaving.
Isn’t it pretty? This is another technique that I will have to highlight and file in my memory bank for a future project. She is working on a new book with patterns. Watch for it in the years to come.
That is it for my Quilting Cruise. Memories to treasure. Techniques to apply. Next week we will get back to some more Ruler Quilting.