Saturday, February 28, 2015

I learned stuff at QuiltCon

QuiltCon began for me on Wednesday at 3 am so that I could leave for the airport at 4 am. I go through US customs before I get on a plane - most larger Canadian cities have this service - but it means getting to the airport quite early for your early flight. 

I went to QuiltCon for a number of reasons: the quilts, the classes, the people and the MQG. On Thursday, I told you about my quilts, so today it will be the classes, with the rest to follow.

It appears that internet registration systems and I have good karma. I had no difficulty registering for 4 full day classes. Despite feeling guilty as others had trouble getting into classes, I decided that I really wanted to learn so I kept all the classes I am so glad I did. It is a long way for me to go to a quilt show and the total price tag was high, but I sure learned a lot.

On Thursday I learned a lot about quilting negative space and also modern quilts overall. Krista Withers is a fantastic teacher, and her compositional quilting class was the best quilting class I have taken so far.  The day was a delight and I am eager to put what I learned into practice.

Quilting from Krista Withers Compositional Quilting class

 Here is my practice piece. Krista's approach to teaching quilting was different from any other class I had taken - at the end I had this nice completed panel, not a bunch of messy starts and stops, to take home. She made a panel too, while the class did, so one could watch and ask questions and at the end she gave that away to one of the students.

On Friday I spent the day with Sherri Lynn Wood, learning how to use bias strips to outline curved shapes in a fun improv way. Sherri Lynn is a lovely teacher and shared a wealth of really great tips and tricks for dealing with the bubbles and waves that often arise when piecing large curved bias edges. Flatter, or a similar product is your friend when using this technique.

That photo shows the creations of the entire class!

Bias Strip blocks from Sherri Lynn Wood's workshop

And there are my blocks. I also bought Sherri Lynn's book, Improv Handbook for Quilters, so I can explore more of her techniques.

Saturday was a day with my friend Victoria Findlay Wolfe. Victoria is one of my favourite overall teachers for quilting - I come away from her classes having learned a lot and very inspired to be creative with the techniques she has shared.

The workshop was one of the projects from her book, Double Wedding Ring Quilts, which I also bought. I am really loving these huge blocks, and hope to finish this quilt soon.

I totally recommend a class with Luke Haynes if you get the chance. I love his work and signed up for this Sunday class mostly just to see what he was like. He asked us to work on something different from what we have been doing a lot of lately, to explore scale and shapes, whatever we felt like doing.  The class met as a group several times to work together to share ideas and tips on each person's progress. Luke shared many art and design concepts and was really nice to chat and work with.

Blocks from Luke Haynes Workshop

I played around with triangles and curves, working on a small scale. I have to say it was a relaxing and lovely day where I learned a great deal.

I finally started unpacking my QuiltCon stuff, and I think that I am ready to get back to sewing today too. I'll share more tomorrow.