I am happy to report I survived teaching at Houston IQF. I was there only 3 weeks ago but feels like a lifetime. In fact the experience was tiring but wonderful at the same time.Read More
Earlier this month I got to present to my own guild the Foothill Quilters Guild and teach a class the following day. It was nice as I just had to load up my car, take a short drive and speak to familiar faces. No packing of suitcases, trips to the airport , flights etc it was all quite relaxed! In 2014 I did my first ever presentation to the afore mentioned guild and I just remember my dry mouth, heart in my chest and a feeling I might pass out! I am happy to say things have come along way since that day.
My lecture was titled Journey to Creativity and was a combo lecture of my Journey in Art Quilting and my Living a Creative Life. I was able to tell my story of how I came to be a quilter whilst at the same time encourage my audience to be more creative by taking away the fears and limitations we set on ourselves by stepping out of their comfort zone.
The following day I taught my Love of Pets Class that is an all day class where my students will bring in an enlarged photo of their pet, learn to turn this into a pattern to use for their fabric collage project. It really is my most popular class and I think this is because we all love our pets and being able to make something so personal, not just the same pattern as the person next to you, is really special.
Usually most people work from dog photos either their own or a family members, we had a couple of cat photos and one monkey, not a pet I assure you. Students are open to make quilts of animals, birds, fish or their pet.
Once the pattern is made, which can feel intimidating, I am happy when everyone comes out with a unique, really workable pattern. Then work starts on the eyes. This is probably the most time consuming part of the process, has the smallest and most pieces and is the part that has to be right. Working on your collage after that is fun as the animal or pets personality will keep you going. Also I am there for advice, tips and support.
I always try to get work in progress photos with the original color photo of the pet. But sometimes students pack before I get a chance. I also encourage them to email me pictures of their finished work.
Quite often previous students will email me for advice on finishing the collage or choosing backgrounds as they continue to work on these projects at home.
Students work at their own pace in class so end the day with a varying amount complete. I have to remind them that apart from drawing up their own pattern to begin with, they are learning a new technique and also working those eyes.
Part of my lecture about stepping of your comfort zone and trying something new in your quilting I talk about not expecting perfection. When learning a new technique things might not go perfectly but you will have learned something and by repeating the process you will feel more comfortable and get better.
Now here are a couple of finished works. I am always happy to see and hear that students have carried on with the process. I get totally addicted when working on a collage and set up a folding table at the back of my family room so I can carry on in the evenings.
Scroll through these to see a couple of examples of finished student work from my workshop at InBetween Stitches quilt shop in Livermore
Love of Pets Workshop, this really is my most popular class and is usually 1 day, which suits quilt guilds, but could easily be extended to 2 or 3 day. I am teaching it at InBetween Stitches in Livermore in November and hope to set up some classes locally soon. If you are ever looking for a class look up my teaching schedule and I have them all listed there. Now I’m a week away from heading to Houston to teach 4 classes so my next week will be an update on my experience there.
September has been a month of travel for me and also a month of firsts. Artistic Alchemy held their fifth annual retreat at Zephyr Point at Lake Tahoe and it was my first year as one of the teachers. I then traveled to Cleveland, Ohio to record three segments for Quilting Arts TV with Susan Brubaker Knapp. As a long time subscriber to the Quilting Arts magazine it was amazing to be hanging out with the staff and other quilt artists.
The Artistic Alchemy Retreat started on Labor Day. As all the traffic was heading home from Lake Tahoe we were driving east which was perfect. About 40 students attended the four classes, and the open studio option, spread fairly equally between the four teachers. Sandra Bruce had very eager students learning her Material Matrix technique, Mary Boalt inspired us all with the wonderful painted and stamped canvases her students made and Heidi Emmett encouraged her ladies to make numerous wearables in the upcycling part of the workshop. I was teaching Fabric Collage Addiction and my students created a varied collection of collages from patterns they made from their own photographs they brought to class.
Having three and a half days was the perfect amount of time to work on one project continuously. I did a couple of demos each day, shared a selection of my work, answered many questions and encouraged students to try free motion quilting. After dinner every evening students gathered to hear the teachers spotlight whilst sharing of some of their work, student show and tell and raffle prizes. Luckily this year I was able to collect some giveaways from various individuals and companies that generously donated fabric etc for us to share.
I want to thank…. Windham Fabrics, Marcia Derse, Uppercase magazine, Moda fabrics, Turtle Hand Batiks, The Warm Company, Terial Magic, Dharma Trading, Nancy’s Notions for generously sending gifts for our lucky attendees.
One of my favorite parts of this retreat was the location and the perfect weather. Early in the morning I would take a stroll to the dock to enjoy the lake and give myself a chance to wake up. Then a walk before dinner was a good opportunity to get some fresh air and stretch my legs after a day in class. The fact that all your meals were provided, food was good, plentiful and varied and you did not have to worry about washing up, was a great boost.
My workshop this year was Fabric Collage Addiction and I just want to share some of the work of my eight students. At the retreat we can have up to 12 students, so these small class numbers allow for plenty of one-on-one time.
We arrived at the studio on Tuesday to get the lay of the land and meet the quilt artists recording that day. I took the opportunity to work with Jeanine from Bernina and set up the sewing machine for my 3 segments the following day. I was first on the line-up and so organized my first project, making upcycled tote bags from food wrappers, in the studio.
Working with Susan Brubaker Knapp was like a dream come true and I surprised myself by not feeling nervous when recording began. I think figuring out the timing was the hardest thing but plenty of practicing at home helped me out there. I was pleasantly surprised when the segment filming wound up and I had covered everything I intended to.
After my first taping I had a short break while Enid Gjelten Weichselbaum recorded her two segments, then I was back on. My second project was making travel journal quilts and finally fabric collage pet portraits. Having plenty of samples to talk about helped fill the time after I demonstrated my collage and did some free motion quilting. Finally it was lunchtime and I was able to relax. I throughly enjoyed my time and experience at QATV. What an amazing oppurtunity.