My get away to take Freemotion Longarm Quilting Classes were very successful. I learned a ton and am very anxious to apply some of that new found knowledge to my quilts.
I arrived last Wednesday in Janesville. This was a solo trip for me. I didn’t know another soul taking the class. I got off the elevator on my way out to grab some dinner, and a woman stopped me. She asked if I was with the quilting group. Whew, a person with a like interest to dine with!! We enjoyed a nice dinner and even some quilt show and tell that evening.
Our first day of learning was with an enthusiastic woman named Cathy Franks . Cathy taught a plethora of techniques for use in free motion. We practiced on Gammill machines that were set up for our use. We learned some no math methods of learning how to mark a quilt, from stencil to pens, paint etc. She said if we made a mistake that it was God’s way of telling us to be more creative! A very informative and freeing kind of class. She was happy to share her knowledge and gave great advice, not only on the machine, but with design ideas. Can I just say that the class went very quickly??
Dinner out with a few of the other attendees, and then it was back to the convention center for show and tell. It was great fun to view all the great works of others. Some were their customer quilts and others, their own. From simple to artsy.
Day two was a focused day of drawing. Building muscle memory is important before jumping into the quilt. That alone is a valuable lesson for me. The teacher for this class was Sue Heinz. She has designed and published some great books, and developed amazing tools for use in quilting your designs. While I got so much out of her class, I left almost equally as frustrated by her style of teaching. She was very intent on our getting to work, because she had so much to teach us in so little time. Yet, she herself could not remain focused on the topic, and there was a lot of wasted time and learning opportunity!! She was most easily distracted by over eager class participants and many times things were way off track. Again, her work was amazing, but I would most likely not choose to take a class from her in the future.
The group came from neighboring states of Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota. There was also one participant from Manitoba. There wasn’t much time to visit, but certainly enjoyed meeting new people and talking about our work, whether it is done for personal use or for a business venture.
Since returning home, I am taking some time to do some drawing and doodling. I am looking at my Collaboration Quilt to see how I might want to quilt it up! Anxious and nervous to put my skills to use! Improved skills and better tools to make this all happen.
Keep being curious, and find ways to learn new things!