One of my favorite parts of Quilt Festival has got to be the classes. I have to admit: I’m a bit of a make-it-up-as-I-go, do-it-myselfer. But the chance to take a class with someone who’s good at what they do and can explain it well is simply something I can’t pass up. And that was definitely the case this year…
I was lucky enough to get into a class with Jean Wells Keenan called Intuitive Color and Design (which is the title of her first book). I was familiar with her work, and I was excited to put some energy into thinking about color. The class started with everyone grabbing five strips of fabric from a table. We then went around the room and discussed the selections… talking about theory, how the colors worked together and played off one another… and we each got a chance to add a sixth strip of color based on what we had learned (enter the nice, bright coral orange). I learned so much! Though I did cheat a little: I snuck some solid dark teal in with me.;)
On to the piecing! Jean showed us some tips for easy pieced curves and then we moved on to a bit of free piecing (which may be headed for pincushion-dom).
Working with some size parameters, we built the centers and then added outer borders, going as scrappy, wonky, or piecey as we liked. I happen to love little pieced bits in my patchwork, so I felt right at home. The idea was to create a certain number of blocks with lighter interiors, darker interiors, and then some where the outer and interior sections were similar… and so working with value a bit. I can’t wait to turn these guys into a little mini quilt. Needless to say, the class was phenomenal!
I also took a Hand Quilting class with Kathy Kansier. I’m a big fan of adding hand-stitched elements to most things I make, so I was curious what it would be like to try something like this, on a larger scale. As you can see, I still have a ways to go but the process was utterly calming and peaceful. When I’m done with this panel, I’ll wash it and the blue lines will disappear, leaving only the stitches. And the class did inspire some key purchases at festival, namely a newer, better thimble! That and lots of fabric… just what I needed!
All in all, Quilt Market and Festival was just what I expected this year: a lightning fast, connection-making, awe-inducing, sleep-deprived, blistered-feet, overwhelming experience that left me inspired and happy to be a part of it all!