This is the first year I attended Wednesday night preview, open to class registrants. Fellow guild members said this is a great time to check out the quilts and vendors. I was a bit skeptical at first as the line started to form, but once the doors opened, we quickly filed into the showroom and fanned out. It was very relaxing and enjoyable experience as I could shop without having to fight crowds, and photograph quilts without having to wait for people to move away!
|Frieda's hand dye fabric|
|My Fused Background|
|My first two fused mums|
After lunch we were ready to start creating our autumn mums and Frieda demonstrated creating the petals, leaves and stems.
Despite everyone starting with the same fabulous fabric kit, it was amazing to see how many different variations were created in class! I came home and continued fusing/trimming my various components and have since started the quilting process.
I am proud to share that I am now a graduate of the Chicago School of Fusing and have a badge to prove it! This is such a fast and fun process, so I bought some more of her gorgeous hand dyed fabric, her "Fabric to Dye For" book and a two more kits! And I now have a basket of fused scraps for even more future fusing fun!
|Marjan Kluepfel's Butterflies in Free Motion sample|
We spent the morning creating a fused butterfly from just one yard of her specially hand dyed fabric. The class kit fee included just one yard of her fabric to create one butterfly, but I had such a hard time choosing which butterfly to create, so I ended up buying more yardage to create two more butterflies and her blue glowing background.
|My first fused Butterfly and yardage to complete project|
And then after lunch, she did a quick presentation on free motion quilting and incorporating some fun techniques such as couching and bobbin work. I was a bit nervous as I took my Brother sewing machine which did not have the Bernina Stitch Regulator. But even without my BSR training wheels, I was pleasantly surprised with my FMQing using the exercises she gave us to work on.
|Free Motion Sandwich Sampler|
And she had some fun ombre yarns for us to try bobbin work. I borrowed some and wound up my bobbin and used my previous stitching as a guidelines and did some echoing in bobbin work--which you can see below around my spirals and pathetic feathers, and then some free form spirals below! I will admit that I have since visited Joanns to pick up some of this yarn for future bobbin work!
And with over 300 vendor booths, I already forewarned Doug that I might do some damage! Each day I went with a mostly empty backpack to carry my camera and wallet, which would inevitably fill up as I wound my way through the vendor aisles!
Thursday, I was able to check out the show during lunch and after my workshop. This day, I focused mostly on fabric, including several bundles of hand dyed fabric. I am afraid they are so gosh darn pretty--that I may never cut into them! I may just keep them to paw at!
Friday, I swear the same vendors I had already checked out on Wednesday and Thursday, were pulling out new fabrics, which I could not resist.
Last but not least, I visited several booths with Long Arm quilting machines conducting some important research. After watching Angela Walters and other long arm quilters--it looks like so much fun! So I figured I would take this opportunity to test drive several different manufacturers and models. There were several models that felt super awkward and did not produce pretty quilting. And there were a few models that glided beautifully and created really nice stitching from the start. I realize that regardless of model, I will need to invest considerable time and practice to consistently produce beautiful hand guided quilting. One of the vendors of the models I did like, shared that they are planning on opening a store in northern California about 30 minutes north of me...so that would provide for education on setting it up, using the various features and maintenance=A huge bonus. We shall see...
I certainly have plenty to keep me a busy little quilting bee until next year's PIQF!