Monday, September 28, 2009

Two Weeks Post-Innovations

I can’t even believe it’s been almost two weeks since Innovations!    The quilting was amazing and inspiring, and so much has happened, and so much to talk about, I can’t even remember everything!

I came back from Innovations all fired up to quilt!  Would you believe that some of the best instruction happens between classes?  I was introduced to Ione Whitney by Sue R. from American Hero Quilts as Ione was getting ready to teach a class.  I’ve seen her name in the catalog before, but had not taken any of her classes.  I told her that I have the darndest time trying to figure out the continuous lines in a design.  I spend more time trying to be efficient than I do quilting!

One simple question from Ione put me on a new path.  She asked me “do you think you can’t cross over, or double back on, a line of stitching?”  The answer was a thoughtful “yes”.  She proceeded to show me how to quilt a 9-patch with a traditional X placed in the middle of each square.  It was so easy!  When I got home, I put that very design to work on my American Hero Quilt with the set in blocks and 9-patches, and it only took 2 hours to get two rows of 5 blocks done.  I still have to quilt the setting blocks, but I was able to stabilize it enough to take the quilt off so I could show my machine to a potential new Innova owner!

I also came back with a sampler pack of 20” squares of batting from Pellon to quilt up and see how they work out.  They have a new variety of battings that will not be available in the chain stores.  If I sign up to be a distributor, I can sell it to my local quilt shops, if they decided to carry other types of batting, which is a big IF!

The three most intriguing to me are the soy batting, bamboo and cotton blend, and the wool and polyester blend.  They feel really soft and I can’t wait to feel how they feel inside of a real for real quilt.  I was thinking the other day that I should have bought two of those sample packs so I could quilt one with a flannel back and one with regular cotton.  I’m thinking of using a great big feathered wreath, some wonderful King Tut thread, and stitching the name of the batting into the quilt.

Of course, I got together with some of my friends from last year, Edie Ellison and Marion Drain from Cuddle Time Quilts, and Marion Carmickle, and we all met up with some new friends!

The night we had dinner together was not only fun, it was hilarious!  The poor waitress dumped a tray full of salad, salad dressing, water, and other beverages and food all over the heads and backs of Marian and Linda Rech, from Finely Finished Quilts.  Linda and Marian got their dinners comped, including dessert, which was a chocolate mousse cake!

And, with all that enthusiasm for quilting stirring around, I came back to lots of homework, and an even bigger realization that I have a mid term coming up in two weeks, and I’m very behind on that reading!  EEEKK!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Innovations class - live!

I am co-teaching a class with Sally Terry, right now, and it is fun!
This is Sally's picture of Vicki's quilt. Isn't it beautiful??

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Innovations 2009

Innovations, the machine quilting conference in Tacoma, WA is starting today!

This is not just a quilt show, it is a place to take classes on machine quilting.  Short arm, mid arm, and long arm, it all applies.  This year there are classes specific to short arm machines that I did not see last year.  Of course, vendors are setup, and you can try out just about any machine in which you are interested.

I will be attending several classes, as well as helping Sally Terry with her class about creating or improving your web presence.  I am really looking forward to the experience!

Cindy Roth, the organizer of the conference, is teaching a class on how to use templates, and I am very excited about that class.  I don’t have a lot of template rulers, but I want to know which ones I’m most likely to use, and then buy them.  Cindy has her own line of  circle rulers, which I can’t wait to see put into action.

The Innova dealer, Cindi Rang, will also be here, and I’m hoping to see the ruler attachment that ABM has come out with.  From what I’ve read, it frees up your hands so you can concentrate on your work.  I’m interested to see how it might also help with curved arcs, if it does.  I’m also interested in seeing if they have a solution for doing pantos from the front of the machine.  If they do (I know there’s a laser light that can go up front) then I can push the machine against the back wall and free up another 2 feet of space!

There are so many classes I wanted to take, I just had to pare them down to allow time to enjoy the quilt show that is also part of this conference.

And, I can’t wait to meet up with the friends I met from last year!  They are a pack of talented ladies, all very accomplished quilters, and they are loads of fun.

I am pretty lucky, because a friend I’ve known for 20 years lives in Tacoma, and she graciously allows me to stay with her while the conference is going on, and I can take the bus to the Convention Center.

Classes start this morning, and the show opens in the afternoon.  People can still come to take classes, so if you suddenly get a bug, and you are in the Tacoma area, stop by!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day weekend

The plans I had. Oh, the plans I HAD!

I was going to quilt, I was going to piece my Pass the Bag blocks, I was going to try out my ideas for re-arranging my quilting room. Catch up on my reading, write out the answers to my end-of-chapter questions, walk the dog, balance the checkbooks, go shopping, visit friends, and spend time with my husband.

No, that didn’t happen. I devoted my time, instead, to another worthy cause: completing a document that will be used with Sally Terry at Innovations!

Sally is teaching several classes at Innovations. The one we are working on together on Friday, Sept 18th at 8am is called Creating and Improving Your Website. I’m very excited about being involved with Sally, and getting to present some of the information to the class, as it goes right along with my Master’s program, Adult and Organizational Learning.

I’m really glad I had a long weekend to finish working on the classroom document. While I didn't get to sew, I did manage to walk the dogs and spend time with my husband. I even manged to work in a bit of homework last night!

Innovations, here I come!

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