So now you have heard all about the Expo itself. Well, one of my main reasons for going was not just to shop…as much as I enjoy it. No, it was to take classes and further my skills while learning new techniques and getting to be hands on. Be prepared…this is kind of a long post. 🙂
Julie and I headed up Wednesday evening because we each had a class around 8:30-9 on Thursday morning. Julie went her way for her first class and I headed my way for mine. I was in Machine Quilting: Basics and Beyond, taught by Debby Kratovil. This was a terrific class. I wish I had been able to take this when I was first learning to machine quilt. Alas, I taught myself with the help of the internet and You Tube. Since I don’t consider myself to be at the basics level anymore, I used the time and the teachers knowledge to try to build upon what I already knew how to do. I used some templates and also tried some free-hand designs that I have been too intimidated by to try at home. These are the samples that I came home with. They aren’t the best but it was great to get out of my comfort zone of the stipple. I can’t wait to practice some more now.
This was the back of my wreath sample. It was white thread on muslin so it isn’t easy to see in the picture but I was so excited to turn this over and see the wreath taking shape.
That was a 3 hour class and then it was off for a quick-lunch in the room and back down for the afternoon session.
The afternoon one was a class that I was a bit anxious to take because I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was Tumbling Blocks, taught by Nelly Vileikis. I have always admired the tumbling block quilts but they are a complicated pattern. Well, the way that she had us do these blocks was not complicated at all! Towards the end of the class, there was a small group of people beside me getting instructions and I think I got turned around because instead of making a full column (which consists of a section 1 & a section 2) I made 2 of section 1. So, I didn’t get a complete column done to show you because I was not going to unpick everything to make it right. BUT…JULIE DID GET HER’S DONE!! Go check hers out here so you can see what it looked like. The only difference is that mine is done in pinks.
That was the end of Day 1. Whew! Busy, Busy!!
Day two started at about the same time. This time, it was All About Zippers, taught by Darlene Guillory. She was a great teacher. She was so patient with everyone while we were absorbing all of this new information. We were able to sew up out own zipper samples. She gave us lots more to do on our own at home but because of the amount of people in the class, we only did 3. She had samples of everything which was great also. I am not horrible with zippers now, but this was nice to have an expert helping you and answering your questions.
After lunch, it was on to the class that I was most excited about, The Good Luck Quilt, taught (again) by Debby Katovil. This was the class that I bought the batiks for. The quilt that we were making looked like it was full of bias seams, triangles, and cuts done with templates. None of which are my best friends. Turns out, she has a technique for making these out of simple strips. It’s all in her book Supersize ‘Em!. I ended up not putting any finished blocks together. Once you started sewing the finished blocks you really needed to iron in between and there were only 4 irons for all 20 of us and there were always people waiting. So, I just continued to sew strips, cut, and pin. I started sewing them all together later that evening in the hotel room instead. Julie and I enjoyed some Netflix and had a night in with our machines. This is a picture of what a block will look like when all 4 quadrants are sewn together.
This quilt is going to fabulous in all those gorgeous batiks that I showed you in this post.
That was supposed to be the end of my classes. Julie still had one on Sat morning and then we would both be done. Well, turns out that since we were both new to the Expo, we each had gotten a free class session coupon. So, I snapped mine & hers up (Thanks Julie!!) and signed up for a Sat morning class too. Sugarloaf Jewels, taught (AGAIN!) by Debby Kratovil. (Can you tell that I really enjoyed having her as a teacher…hehe) This block turned out to be, quite possibly, one of my all-time favorites. You used freezer paper and cut and pieced in a particular way. It was so simple and turns out a really complicated looking block. There was no fabric waste, no bias edges. The 3 hours FLEW by. This one was a great way to end my classes.
Warm & Natural (a batting company) was one of the sponsors of the show. Because of that, I picked up a craft size batting in each class…look at this haul! I wont have to buy batting for a while hopefully. I just zigzag pieces together if I need them to be bigger.
After the last class, it was more shopping at the Expo before we said goodbye. It was hard to do, going up that escalator one last time. A million percent, I will be back next year. If you have an Expo around you, go check it out. You won’t be sorry.
Now that I am home, I plan on prioritizing my projects and slowly work on getting them finished. Slow and steady wins the race right? Thank heavens…HAHA!