Sunday, October 26, 2014

There's nothing like an on-site quilting class at YLS

Over the last several days I was surrounded by walls of colorful fabrics and threads, beautifully stitched and quilted fabric pieces, the hum of sewing machines, and above all, convivial and inquisitive quilters eager to hang out with like-minded stitching enthusiasts and add a new tip or technique to their quilting repertoire.
Intro to Free-motion Quilting class at MidSouth Sewing, Knoxville, TN.
Yes, you can peruse books, watch YouTube videos, and post questions to on-line message boards, but there's nothing like the experience of attending on-site quilting classes at YLS [your local quilt shop]!

  • You get questions answered on the spot. 
  • Someone is there to troubleshoot and help you. 
  • Fabrics, notions, tools are readily accessible if you need or have forgotten something. 
  • You learn from the teacher as well as other students in class—in addition to making new friends who share your passion.

Free-motion quilting students at MidSouth Sewing, Knoxville, TN.
Your local quilt shop owners and staff are knowledgeable, supportive, encouraging and dedicated to helping YOU be successful in your quilting, sewing and embroidery projects. They seek out fabrics, equipment, supplies and educational opportunities so their customers can learn, grow and continue to enjoy quilting, sewing and embroidery.

This week I was fortunate to be part of the educational offerings at both MidSouth Sewing in Knoxville, TN, and Pins and Needles Quilt Shop in Chattanooga, TN.
Student free-motion work. 
Karen, the owner of MidSouth Sewing in Knoxville, TN, invited me to teach my Intro to Free-motion Quilting and Paper Piecing the Celebration Tree classes at her shop.
Piece by Numbers: the Celebration Tree class at MidSouth Sewing, Knoxville, TN.
Thank you to Karen, Carolyn, Kathy, Kathy (there are two Kathys) and the rest of the staff at MidSouth for coordinating the class logistics, classroom set-up and for being lovely and gracious hostesses during my visit!
Paper piecing examples and patterns were on hand in the classroom.
Karen also hosted a Fabric Party at her shop that featured the newest fabric collections from Blank Quilting Corp. and StudioE Fabrics.
A preview of upcoming fabric collections from Blank Quilting Corp
and StudioE Fabrics at MidSouth Sewing.
MidSouth customers previewed the new fabric lines and filled out their "Fabric Wish Lists" with choices from upcoming fabric collections, Fabrications pre-cut 2.5" strips, 5"charm collections, as well as popular blender fabrics and 108" wide backings.
Store customers previewed upcoming fabric lines.
Sample quilt tops, wearable art, tote bags and patterns showcased the fabrics and provided inspiration.
Sample quilt tops, tote bags and garments showcase current Blank Quilting Corp fabric lines
and popular pre-cut 2.5" fabric strips and 5" charm squares.
On Saturday, Pins and Needles Quilt Shop in Chattanooga was near capacity with two quilting classes—my Intro to Free-motion Quilting as well as a hand quilting class. 
Free-motion quilting students at Pins and Needles Quilt Shop, Chattanooga, TN.
Thank you to Stacy, the shop owner at Pins and Needles, for inviting me to teach Intro to Free-Motion Quilting—one of my favorite classes. Stacy always goes these extra mile for her customers. This time we were treated to a plate of delicious cookie bars… pecans, almonds, chocolate chips and other chewy morsels on a Oreo cookie crust. A perfect complement to free-motion, wouldn't you say??
Students working on free-motion designs.
Student samplers from my Intro to Free-motion Quilting class.
Along with having the opportunity to share my passion for quiltmaking, I meet a lot of quilters and make many new friends through teaching my classes. Here are some of my new quilting friends from this past week.
Class attendees from Intro to Free-motion Quilting, MidSouth Sewing, Knoxville, TN.
Class attendees Intro to Paper Piecing: the Celebration Tree
MidSouth Sewing, Knoxville, TN.
Many students comment on the take-aways they get from my classes. Here are a few of them:

  • I didn't know I could combine different quilting designs on one quilt. Now I have some ideas.
  • The explanation of thread and needle sizes was very helpful.
  • I now have more ideas/designs I can use for meander quilting.
  • I picked up some new tips for paper piecing.
  • I'm glad you covered the other steps in the quiltmaking process. This was very informative and helpful.
  • Great handouts!
A bonus for me when teaching out of town is sampling the local restaurant fare that my hostesses recommend. To accompany my pork Tacos Mexicanos (be sure to get the homemade, fresh guacamole), I didn't dare buck the "Wednesday night tradition" [per Kathy at MidSouth] of having a margarita at El Charro's in Knoxville.
The Tomato Head restaurant, The Gallery Shopping Center, Knoxville.
I also enjoyed revisiting The Tomato Head restaurant—this time at The Gallery Shopping Center location. The enticing homemade cupcakes in the glass case at the entrance where swirled high with lush frosting. The pasta salad I had for dinner had lots of fresh vegetables. However, even the small size of the salad was very filling, so my dinner companion and I passed on dessert this time. The whimsical fish-themed bottle-cap artwork on the walls was an added delight.

Thanks again to all my new friends who came out to join me in class! Visit your local quilt shop (YLS) and let the owner and staff know what classes and topics are of interest to you. And, leave a comment for me as well! We will connect and I hope to see you again very soon.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Intro to Free-motion Quilting classes

Good morning, Glories! This is a close-up of my quilt, "Sidewalk Surprise." It's free-motion quilted. Did you know YOU CAN DO THIS on your HOME SEWING MACHINE? Yep, you absolutely can!
Intro to Free-Motion Quilting class.
You can do this on your home sewing machine!
When I show people this quilt, they are amazed that the quilting was done on a home sewing machine and not a big, long-arm, computerized quilting machine. Believe it. It was. Really… on a domestic sewing machine. [I use a Janome 6500.]

Wanna learn how? I've got three "Intro to Free-motion Quilting" classes [using your home sewing machine] coming up in October and November.
Dimensional appliqué and free-motion quilting: leaves and background fills
October 23-24, I'll be in Knoxville, TN at MidSouth Sewing. The "Intro to Free-motion Quilting on your home sewing machine" is on Thursday and on Friday, we'll be working on the Celebration Tree in my "Intro to Paper Piecing" class. Call [865] 249-6381 to register for these classes.

On Saturday, October 25, I'll be teaching "Intro to Free-motion Quilting on your home sewing machine" at Pins and Needles Quilt Shop in Chattanooga, TN. Call [423] 668-8734.

On Saturday, November 1, I'll be at Chattanooga Sewing for an "Intro to Free-motion Quilting on your home sewing machine" class. Call [423] 899-3664.


Below (left) is a close-up of the free-motion quilting on the back of Sidewalk Surprise. On the right is the Celebration Tree, the project in the Intro to Paper Piecing class. 

Both of these classes are geared for the BEGINNER! No prior free-motion quilting experience or paper piecing experience is necessary. In the free-motion class, I take you from Step 1 down this exciting and liberating path to getting your quilt tops quilted using your home sewing machine. I know you have a holiday project or two you need to get finished. 
Left: detail of free-motion quilting
Right: "Celebration Tree," Intro to Paper Piecing class
Please join me! I would like to meet you, spend time with you in class, and inspire you to finish those holiday projects and gifts. Call one of these great shops TODAY and sign up for a class.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Art at the RISD Museum

Another facet of our September Rhode Island trip was time spent (though not enough) at the RISD Museum. Works of awe-inspiring art from ancient times to the contemporaries of the 20th and 21st centuries were on exhibit. Students, teachers, scholars, and visitors can get practically nose-to-nose with these pieces… to examine and admire. Here is a small sampling of what this museum has to offer.
A Corner of the Park at Bellevue, Autumn Sunset
Henri Rousseau, oil on canvas
The Basin at Argenteuil
Claude Monet, oil on canvas
The Acrobat
Marc Chagall, etching and drypoint on paper
Dale Chihuly chandelier
Pair of colorless and stained glass windows
from Darwin D. Martin house, Buffalo
Frank Lloyd Wright
At the Circus: Bareback
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
crayon, ink and pastel on paper
Eva Stricker, glazed earthenware breakfast set
Top: "The Fifth Anniversary of the Red Army" plate,
Mikhail Mikhailovich Adamovich; porcelain with overglaze decoration
Bottom: Suprematist platter, Kazimir Malevich;
porcelain with overglaze decoration
Babylonia, Lion Relief
terracotta brick, glazed
Rafting on the Missouri
Roy De Forest, pastel, colored pencil and graphite on paper
Oh, had we the time to sit, study and while away the hours with these artists… if only.
Spending time with Pablo Picasso's "The Diners"
oil on cardboard
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