I am so totally hopeless when it comes to taking pictures of my activities! We started our day Saturday at the John C. Campbell Folk School Festival. The school is set among beautiful rolling hills in a mountain valley. A jewel of a setting.
We thought we were getting there early, right when it was starting at 10 AM. HA! I’ve never seen so much traffic on those winding mountain roads, but it didn’t take very long for the festival pros to get us into their hilly parking areas. Picture? Uh, no…
The vendor booths were set up all along the paths through the woods. Felt like I imagine a Middle Ages Faire would be, with all the little tents and demos of things like wood carving and blacksmithing. The school’s workshops and studios were open with demos going on and there was music on a couple of stages. There were pony rides and live alpacas and spinning and weaving…it was just a great festival, dedicated to the art of the handcrafter. Picture? Uh, no…
We were able to purchase some things like hand forged marshmallow roasting forks and beautifully dyed fleece and roving. Beautiful, beautiful items throughout the festival, in a beautiful setting. Pictures? Uh, no…!!!
But I can highly recommend attending this festival if you can be anywhere in the area on the first weekend of October.
And check out all the classes taught at this school…wonderful! I’m hoping to be one of the instructors in 2014, too. I’ll keep you informed if that becomes a reality–I’ll probably shout it from the rooftops. In the meantime, I’ll try to develop better picture habits!
Lynda was one of my students in Saturday’s Pattern Free Quilting class. She sent me a picture tonight of her finished quilt top! Hooray!
This is a picture of her first set of elements.
She added more elements and sliced and cut and arranged—
She assembled all her pieces, made them fit and here is her result! Look at those curves!
A wonderful, free form, unique quilt top! Fabulous and she says she is ready to try more rule-breaking quilts.
I love it, Lynda. Thanks for sharing!
Improv piecing–free form piecing–liberated quilting—whatever name you call it by, I love teaching others how to do it. Because it’s been my way of life as a quilter for quite a while now, it feels very natural to me. I have read the books by other authors and studied up on the methods and thought processes behind their styles. While I teach my own favorite way of working, this study gives me a wealth of ways in which to present ideas to my students so that they can become comfortable working outside the box.
My class yesterday was small, just the way I like it. Only 3 students, but they were all eager to learn the free form process. And oh, my—they did SO well! We really did get all the basics covered quickly.
Cheryl’s first set of elements
Lynda used larger pieces when she began making her elements
Karen had a great blend of florals and solids
They were all so happy to find out how easy it was to sew curves.
Everyone got their elements onto the design wall with plenty of time to talk about the finishing part of the process.
Lynda was quick to slice larger elements into mix-and-match pieces that really worked to add sparkle all through her piece
A quick look at Karen’s elements–after that first curved seam!
Cheryl ended up with a lot of curved seam pieces, but even her first group of elements on the design wall gave a feeling of serenity
We had such a great time slicing and whacking and arranging and re-arranging. It’s a lot to absorb in one session when you are looking at a whole new way of making and assembling quilts. But it’s also a process in which it’s extremely hard to make a mistake, so it’s a lot of fun.
I know I had a great time teaching it and I think my students had a good time enlarging their skill set and becoming designers of unique quilts!
Aren’t these cute little motifs?
That’s what we are using for the Basic Beading on Quilts class I’ll be teaching at Quilting Season in Saline in November. They weren’t finished when I took the pictures, but I got them done today. There are 9 different little motifs and they make adorable ornaments. Check it out if you are close and want to learn to bead. I’m also going to be teaching Quick Start Quilting there in Oct.
And even sooner than that is a class at the Quilt Patch, here in Tecumseh. (Web site being renovated, but all the info is here.) Sept. 15–all day workshop learning about free form piecing. No more patterns needed! I’ll have lots of examples, a step-by-step plan for you, and a firm reminder that no two pieces will be the same at the end of the day. Jump out of the box and join me.
And my secret project has a beginning, but I can’t show you more than this! I am not skilled at drawing, but I could manage a tree.
I’m happy with what I have done so far and as soon as I finish the secret project, I’ll show you everything! Promise!
Every little bitty bit done makes me feel like I’m getting somewhere and not just being lazy. In reality, I know that I am really procrastinating getting the BIG projects done by playing with the little ones! Sometimes I try to fool myself, but deep down I know when I’m goofing off a bit…just a bitty bit!!!
I’ve been teaching Quick Start Quilting for a little while now, so you’ve probably seen these samples before.
There’s nothing wrong with them, but I’m teaching the class in a new spot for me. The Quilting Season wanted some new samples and they provided the fabric, so no problem.
These are the fabrics and for each sample I just take a small piece, fuse it to the background and start the quilting.
I can’t wait to see what I do with the Halloween fabric. And, no, I have no idea where the design will take my quilting until I start on it.
Looking forward to some fun quilting time!
That’s where I’m teaching this week. And Kansas has not been what the Wizard of Oz has portrayed it to be. First of all, and most disappointing, there has been no sign of any yellow brick road. I have not even seen fields of sunflowers–but maybe they have burned up in the heat of this summer. On the plus side, no forest of mean trees to negotiate and NO flying monkeys! I am totally positive that the people of Kansas get tired of Oz talk!
What I have seen of Wichita is very nice and the people I have encountered are as friendly and open as the great prairie on which they live. The city has some very nice public art, which you know I love to see. This has been a delightful trip and I’m awfully glad we were able to come.
Teaching today will be my Up and Away class and I will try very hard to remember to take pictures! I know I love seeing what the same set of instructions will produce when filtered through each individual’s fabrics and colors and instincts. Always unique work and that is my goal…to make each student confident in producing one of a kind art! Now, I’m bad at names and hate it if I leave someone out, so I just include a slide show of all the lovely work (to cover my shortcomings!). There is work in progress, work almost finished, ladies getting ready to work, and a lot of ‘almost dones’!
Got to meet Tracy Huskamp of The Red Door Studio. Her nature inspired painting is awesome, she designs fabric, she has a book out and a beautiful calendar every year. You might just want to check out her blog and etsy shop to enjoy the work she does. I love it when I get to meet people I have “known” through the internet. It’s so wonderful to actually put a face with a name, especially when it’s such a delightful person! Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I like personal connections to go along with electronic connections! Tracy brought me a little gift pack with her fabric in it…love it! I feel really bad that I didn’t have anything to give to her…but I’ll try to do something when I get home.
Don’t know if there will be much touristing around on the way home…home…home…home…I hear it calling my name very strongly! Sleeping in my own bed holds a lot of appeal for me right now. Looking forward to the ending, but not the long hours in the car!
NOT ready for any other adventures right away, so I hope the Wizard is too busy to notice me while I’m still in his state!
Teaching quilting is one of my dearest loves. Sharing what I have learned over 40 years of textile work brings me such joy. I’d love to be teaching a workshop every single day.
Leaving home, packing up tons of stuff, driving for hours or days or flying with too much luggage–not so much.
People who have to do that for a living have my great admiration. And maybe it’s just a function of my age…I don’t want to be away from home and family for any longer than necessary. An overnight…a long weekend…a trip with my husband…visiting family in other states…all good things.
Missing time with my grandson…missing family dinner on Tuesday night…missing everyday chit-chat with my family and friends…not so good.
I’m coming to the conclusion that I’m not going to try and pursue “distance” teaching much any more. Anything within a day’s drive of home will be perfect, but huge distances are unlikely…unless, of course, I can set something up in a place to which I’m traveling anyway!
I haven’t seen some of the most beautiful parts of my own state so I think I need to see them and possibly teach at local shops. Speaking to local guilds would thrill me…just ’cause I love to talk about myself and what I do! NOT vanity…just a passion for textile work.
This photo of Michigan is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Another function of my age is that I have the luxury of choice. I don’t have to travel for a living. I don’t envy those who have to, and many people do thrive on the constant go-go-go. I’m not one of them. As I head out on another 1000 mile trip–each way!–I’m already longing to be back in my own bed!
My studio is calling me louder than ever—louder than the call of the open road, for sure. Is this going to be real retirement? Maybe it is! But I’ll never stop making art and I’ll never stop talking about it and I’ll never say no if someone wants me to speak to their group. Retired, maybe, but not defunct!
The suitcase looks so big when it’s empty. I start to think everything I want to bring will fit in sooooooo easily.
Then I look at the stack of quilts from which I am choosing. This lecture chronicles my early days to present work….that’s a long, long time and a huge lot of quilts.
There are quite a few quilts that will definitely not see the light of day again. But for an historical perspective on my journey, some of the stuff I no longer love must be shown. And the older I get, the more history there is to show!!!
I’ve tried so many things and have so many pieces still sitting here…
They need to find new homes. If there’s anything you’ve seen that you like, believe me, it’s for sale.
Oh, wait…a little too hasty again. My daughter has claimed a piece or two and a couple have new designated owners already, and some pieces are committed to shows…well, if you love it, talk to me. We’ll see what we can do!
In the meantime, that suitcase is full to the brim again, heavier than gravity and ready to roll again. Off for more guild fun. I really do love doing this!
My students today had a lot of work to do when they came to class, and they had to be very creative. They each made similar elements to learn a couple of different techniques and then they had to put the elements together into a small wall hanging. They worked so hard I felt like a harsh taskmaster, but they sure seemed to be enjoying the process.
Here are some of their projects in various stages of the designing process.
And of course I learned from them, too, since every design idea they have is one more inspiration for me. Students combinations and curves and placement and spacing ideas always open my mind to new possibilities and I thank them all!!!
The name of this class is Curve Queen and we learn everything we can pack in about curved piecing. We start with very traditional, move on to precise and exact and finish with free form. Fun and free form seem to go together and we really enjoyed ourselves. I did not get a picture of everything nor everyone, but I think you can get a good idea of how we played with this little slideshow.
Two lectures and then headed for home…it’s been a grand trip!