Classes at Quilting with Machines 2011

October 12, 2011 at 12:04 pm 2 comments

I’m back from a whirlwind trip to Quilting with Machines in Huron, Ohio, and the quilting center of my brain is just vibrating with new ideas, skills, and motivation. Finishing Ronan’s Minkee Dragons quilt was a real confidence booster going into it, and I’ve got four quilt tops basted and ready to quilt while I’ve got some good momentum going. We’ll see how it all shakes out!

"I'm on vacation!"

"I'm on vacation!"

Dan and Ronan came to Ohio with me, and at first that seemed like a mistake. We left Wednesday evening after I got home from work, planning to spend the night in a motel in Hermitage, PA, which would get us most of the way to the resort and leave us just two hours yet to drive in the morning to get me to my 11:00 am Thursday class. Easy, right? As you faithful readers know, I tend not to do so well with the whole “best laid plans” concept, and adding a 10-month-old baby into the mix doesn’t exactly improve my batting average. We left a little later than we’d planned, but still thought we were doing OK until Ronan decided he wasn’t going to sleep. Ever. I got about 3 hours of very intermittent sleep, with Dan doing a little better (he was driving in the morning) but we managed to get me to class with 20 minutes to spare.

Fortunately, it was Sue Patten’s class, and anyone who could sleep through one of her classes probably needs to have a physical. The class was “Zen-Sue-dled in Fabric and Thread,” Sue’s version of the ZenTangles idea. I’ve been a fan of her Three Textures concept for quilting ever since I first heard it in one of her classes two years ago, namely that every quilt needs to contain Puffy, Medium, and Stipple-ish textures of quilting the same way the quilt top needs to contain light, medium, and dark values in order to have depth. In this class, she extends the concept to an idea for designing a wholecloth quilt in a very randomized, artistic, no-rules manner to create a framework for creative play. “Put your favorite part of quilting into this,” is what she told us.

A Zen-Sue-dle wholecloth in progress

A Zen-Sue-dle wholecloth in progress

I think I could use a piece like this as an opportunity to try some threads, filler patterns, and techniques without the stress that comes from worrying about “ruining” a pieced top, while still finishing something I could call a quilt rather than just creating yet another doodle cloth. Plus, it’s always worth the price of admission to watch her quilt, and she always makes me laugh. After all, this is the banner she had up in her booth:

Patten That Quilt!

Next up was Dawn Cavanaugh’s “Quilting Feathers When You’re a Chicken.” Dawn writes the machine quilting column for Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine, and I had taken her continuous curve class at last year’s QwM. I unfortunately missed the first half-hour of class because my poor sleepless brain somehow thought there was an hour between my 11-1 class and my 1-5 class! Hopefully I didn’t miss anything life-altering, but Dawn graciously welcomed my apologetic breathless disoriented self into class, and I spent the next 3 1/2 hours happily drawing feathers on a whiteboard as she talked us through different feather styles and techniques. I definitely understand Kim Brunner’s “Twirly Whirly Feathers” better now, and I think I know how I’m going to quilt the setting triangles on my Shop Hop sampler quilt.

My favorite of my whiteboard designs

My favorite of my whiteboard designs

Thank heaven (and more locally, Dan,) Ronan took a good afternoon nap and then slept well Thursday night, so Friday morning I felt like a human being again and was prepared for class. My morning class was initially a letdown through no one’s fault but my own:  I had accidentally registered for the exact same Pam Clarke class, “Fabulous Block to Block Custom Quilting,” that I had taken from her 2 years ago! My heart sank when I flipped through the all-too-familiar handout. But not only was this a great topic for review, but Pam emphasized slightly different aspects of the material, especially as she responded to class questions. Also, since Matt and Alyssa’s wedding quilt and the double pinwheel table runner, two of the only projects I’ve finished in the last year, relied almost exclusively on her concepts and designs, it would have seemed wrong not to take a class from her when attending a seminar where she was teaching, even if it was review.

I had a three-hour break until my next class, and while I did go see the quilt show (future post) and shop at the vendors (future post), my top priority was to go swimming with my family. So I did, and it was great! The Sawmill Creek Resort has this crazy pool:

Ronan pool

Yes, Dan is holding Ronan up, but he didn't want to be in the picture so is underwater.

We had a lovely time swimming before my next class, which loosened up my back and neck before sitting at my machine all afternoon, and completely justified the decision to make this a family vacation. At only ten months since Ronan’s birth, I would not have been ready to go away for four days, nearly 400 miles away,  for “just” a hobby trip. I’m already feeling some pangs over my desire to attend the guild retreat in December. But thanks to Dan’s generosity of spirit, we managed to make it work together. He may not be a quilter, but he totally gets it.

And this post got really long, so the second half of classes will be in Part II!


Entry filed under: Quilt Shows, Travel. Tags: , , .

I’m Down with EPP (English Paper Piecing) The Rest of My Classes at QwM 2011

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Finished! Spumoni Spring « Sarah Loves Fabric  |  May 17, 2012 at 10:02 am

    […] dense quilting design. I’ve mentioned before how I like Sue Patten‘s principle that a quilt should have three densities of quilting to create depth and contrast, the same way the top should have three values of fabric. Since this […]

  • 2. Kathy  |  July 13, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    So glad you enjoyed your classes.. and the pool! We hope you’ll return in 2012 to QwM!


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