Sunday, October 30, 2011

MQX West 2011–Summary

Overall, I had a great time at MQX West!

I got to catch up with friends, and made some new ones!  Candi from Washington, who’s been quilting for customers for a year and has done over 200 quilts, and Mari Lee Seei, from Off The Edge Quilting, who sells those wonderful pink long arm rulers!  She was so delightful, informative, and inspiring with the versatility and amazing designs she’s come up with for her rulers!  I bought the new Frill ‘em Up set, which is a  baptist fan variation, the Gimme Frills line ruler,  the 4” Chain O’ Hearts template… and now I want them all!

I took one hands-on class from Judy Woodworth, and had a wonderful time.   Here’s the practice piece I brought home with me:

My class background fill piece with Judy Woodworth

It was a real confidence booster, especially when Judy told me I was doing a good job!  I’m going to put the piece back on my machine and keep practicing until it’s all filled up.

I took a feather class from Linda McCuean, and while the technique wasn’t new to me, I got inspired to make a whole cloth quilt!  And, of course, it can’t be a small lap quilt, like the sample she showed us in class, it has to be a king sized quilt!  I bought a bolt of 108” wide fabric, batting and thread to go with it, and have been working on a design, mostly in my head at this point.  When I got home, I decided that it should have a flannel back, rather than cotton, which I had originally intended.  So, I need to get some flannel, but I don’t have to hurry at this point, I can keep my eye out for the right piece while I design and practice!

Today, I’ll be working on a comfort quilt with my lunchtime quilter group, and then back to finish my customer quilt.  Oh, what a short weekend!

Monday, October 24, 2011

New Thread!

I got 4 cones of Aurifil longarm thread at MQX West in Portland last week!  I’ve been wanting to try it for a long time, especially since I use it exclusively for piecing.

Aurifil-2395One of them is a new color, a beautiful autumn, rusty orange!  I got it specifically to do a wholecloth that I was inspired to make while taking a feathering class from Linda McCuen.

I saw the technique she presented about 3 years ago, so the class itself wasn’t new information, and I’m very comfortable with the technique.  She showed a sample in her class, of course, DSCF4468and it’s just beautiful!  It got me to thinking about how I could do the same thing.

While I was visiting a wholesale store in Portland, I purchased a bolt of 108” wide cotton and a couple layers of batting to make a king sized whole cloth!  I’m really excited about it, and I can hardly wait to start!  After I got home, I started thinking I should back it in flannel, so I need to find an appropriate wide backing.

I was lucky enough to come back to have 4 customer quilts to do, so while I’m working on those I’ll be modifying the design we saw in class to work with a king sized quilt.  Since I’ve never done one before, I’m wondering if I should pre-wash the fabric?  I always do on my pieced tops.  And I’m wondering if I should pre-mark before I load?  That seemed to be the consensus in one of my other classes, but they were talking about the chalk marks (I can’t believe chalk wouldn’t come off during the loading process!)

If anyone has experience making a whole cloth, I’d love your input!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

MQX West - First Half of Day 1

I've had my first class at MQX West 2011, the first time this machine quilting expo has been held on the west coast.  My class was called Lions and Tigers and Templates, Oh, My! taught by Kimmy Brunner.

First let me say, Kim Brunner is a really good teacher, and I would encourage anyone to take a class from her.  She is patient and clearly repeats her information when she's asked and I liked her very much.  The class is very well organized and the flow of information worked really well.  Kim obviously enjoys teaching.  I've been reading her column in Machine Quilting Unlimited, and she touched on the subject of using templates in that article, so I was familiar with some of what she covered, but it was good to have that reinforced, and then hear new materialo in conjunction with it.

The room, though, was not  setup properly for this presentation.  There were 2 rows of tables for students, holding approximately 12 people, but there were at least 60 people in the class.  That meant that everyone else had to try to work on the drawing handouts on their lap, using the notepad that they were supposed to bring to class.  To say the least, this was not a good first impression for the organization of the show.

The Awards Ceremony and "sneak peak" of the vendor mall will be tonight.  I'm a little disappointed that the vendor mall isn't open during the day because I was planning on using this time to go shopping, especially since my friends are taking classes. 

So, while I was waiting to take my first hands-on class since I first touched a longarm, I went to a local burger place, Burgerville, for lunch.  Blackberry shake was absolutely wonderful, the half salad, while flavorful, was too small, and so I had to order a sandwich to complete my meal.  I got the crispy chicken sandwich and ended up taking off the breading (I didn't realize it came with that) which included a smattering of barbeque sauce....which also needed removing.  I think I've experienced all that Burgerville has to offer me.

I'm really looking forward to the hands on class...Exploding Texture and Background Fill, with Judy Woodworth.  I really want to expand my free motion repertoire and think this class will help.  I'll let you know!

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