Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Milwaukee Show

I hope all is back to normal soon for those that have suffered the ravages of hurricane Irene.

The Milwaukee Machine Quilting Show was weeks ago, but it has been a hectic month for August. Finally, here is my belated report. I Really enjoyed the Show.  Besides the class I taught, I took 5 classes.  I also helped  in one of the booths on several different days.

One class I  took was taught by Karen McTavish. We were each to bring two quilt tops to get different custom quilting ideas. I like deciding the design to quilt on a top and I was looking forward to hearing Karen's ideas. I brought this old quilt top.  I've recently added the border after using it for many years to demonstrate in classes how to finish the background of these large stars. This top (about 40" x 48")  is one of maybe 7 different tops I still have to quilt from my Infinite Stars series all based on the concepts in my 1st book by the same name. 

Not surprisingly Karen suggested feathers in the background and after my permission drew some feathers on a section of the quilt top with a disappearing ink pen. As pretty as they are, I'm not convinced that the background area of this quilt should be smothered in feathers.  One of the questions she asked us to consider to help us decide on the quilting design was how was the quilt going to be used? Good question.  I really don't have any plans for this quilt, but after I said I had used it for a class sample for years, I liked how she suggested  that I might just keep it as part of my legacy.  I really liked that and now I feel like I have a whole new reason to get those quilt tops finished. I was thinking that the quilt tops would be my legacy. It will be interesting to watch what influence that one little word will have on me.

One of the other classes I took was with Claudia Pfeil from Germany.  Oh my goodness!  I liked her quilts in the show the best and she was a really fun teacher, I'm sure in part because she was from Germany. Claudia's class was on  decorative feather quilting for competition.  Even though I never plan to quilt competitively I thought it would be a fascinating class.  Again I was looking for ideas for the Infinite Star quilts. I am not sure I want to use many of her ideas for this quilt, but I might on one of the other stars. Claudia is a fast quilter and she quilted this sample in less than 25 minutes with many distractions. She ran out of time, otherwise she would have liked to fill in some of the areas with micro quilting. She covered everything she had intended in class, this was just a bonus sample that I got to keep. Be sure to double click to get a good look at this.

With the show so close to home it was easy to take classes. I'm glad I did.  As a teacher I have learned there are many reasons to take a quilting class.  Did I learn lots I can use besides that I need to practice? Probably.  And it sure was inspiring, I'll have to do it again.

I have always been about the patchwork more than the quilting and it's the patchwork ideas that I want to continue to teach and sell. I want the focus to be on the patchwork more than the quilting. So for now I think I will keep my quilting on the light side while I continue to build skills with my long arm. Maybe someday...

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