Friday, July 16, 2010

Back from the Knoxville Show....

Where to start - roadtrip with a quilting buddy through the Carolina Countryside, the contemporary solids class with Gwen Marston, the quilts in the show, quilting designs with Alex Anderson, the vendors....all so good it is hard to pick!
Since there are so many liberated quilting fans out there I will start with the Gwen's class. As expected it was wonderful. It was a small group and we had all day to pick Gwen's brain and to get up close to all the wonderful quilts she brought for the trunk show.Permission to play was the phrase I heard most often from the other students in class.Most of the morning we went through the trunk show and got some "theory" then Gwen did several demos on some of the techniques she used. After lunch we were free to try out the techniques ourselves with Gwen wandering the room to help out as needed. (We stitched on the new Janome provided by the local dealer...they are really nice. The bright light and the thread cutter make them really tempting....) My only complaint is the day went too fast and it was 4:00 long before I was ready to pack up my stuff and leave. I came away with lots of inspiration and confidence to try to get out of my comfort zone more.The photo above is me with Alex Anderson, Eleanor Burns, and my friend Paula. One of the great things about going to the larger shows is getting to meet quilt instructors from all over the country. Isnt' it great when you meet an author or "celebrity and they are even nicer than you expected! That was the case with Alex, Eleanor and Gwen. (I just reread that and realize I sound a bit like a quilt groupie...ah, well....)

Unfortunately I cannot post photos of the quilts in the show but a few of my own personal observations (above and beyond there were lots of wonderful quilts...)

1. It is amazing how far machine quilting has come in the past few years. Ten years ago when I tried machine quilting the thread recommended was so heavy when I was finished it looked like a crayon had been dragged across the top of the quilt. I quickly gave up and went back to hand-stitching or "quilt by checkbook." As much as my machine may intimidate me looking at the amazing workmanship on some of the quilts in the show gives me the kick to sit back down with some of the new wonderfully thin and strong threads I bought at the show and give it another try....

2. Bling-bling...as anyone who has watched and episode of "Jersey Girls" or "What not to Wear" knows there is a time and place for accessories and bling. There sure was a lot of it at the show and I'm talking on the quilts not the quilters! Now don't misunderstand me - I like sparkly stuff as much as the next gal but.....I don't wear everything in my jewelery box with every outfit or at the same time. (I think that is a rule most of us can live by....) There were some quilts that the glittery stuff really added to the quilt (for example one that used crystals to make the windows of the buildings glitter like a night scene) but there were others that the shiny stuff made me think of old-time used car salesman's hair gel.

3. Kudos to the city of Knoxville and the convention center folks. What a great venue for a show! Beautiful building, friendly people, great transportation around town....it isn't often I spend so much time looking at the public art as I did at the convention center.
This photo shows an artpiece in the hallway near the eating area...the "quilts" are made from metal or found objects. Below is a close-up. The artist is David Arms from Tenneseee. They are building a new convention center here in Augusta and I hope they go to Knoxville and check this one out.
More on the show later...Macbeth (my scottie dog) is demanding attention. Tomorrow I will write about Alex's class and the vendors!

ps. The grey cat we have adopted (or adopted us?) is still here and now is named Greybeard. He was the first to great me at the door when I got home...

15 comments:

judith lockhart said...

How fun is that! Sounds like a wonderful trip and I know the classes must have been great.

Marj said...

Glad you are back. Looking forward to reading about your adventures and classes.

Brenda said...

lucky you! what was the class you took with Gwen Marston?

Clare said...

Oh that quilt - the red square one!

I hear what you say about the bling. I've seen it on my blog travels and can't say I'm enamoured.

I'm staying tuned for the next episode.

True Blue Nana said...

How cool!! I am sure you enjoyed Gwen. I am envious!!

Ali Honey said...

Lucky You. That all sounds wonderful. I know all the quilters you mentioned by way of TV shows or their books so you were in "Quilting Royality," company.
The metal quilts are a different slant aren't they, but very effective.
I noted some of the quilts in Gwen's trunk were less liberated and better colour co ordinated than in her book.(Those square in square, I might like to make.)
Looking forward to tomorrow's post.

sewprimitive karen said...

So glad you had a good time at Knoxville. You are so important to Greybeard!

*karendianne. said...

How completely cool, Sio. Love the group shot, too. Interesting to read your observations. Especially about the way machine quilting has evolved over the years. One last thing. The artist David Arms - from Tenneseee - Wow! Be still my heart. Super thank you for bringing that back to share with us, friend.

Kathie said...

oh Lucky you I love the pictures from Gwen's class, hope you will post more.
looking forward to your next post about Alex's class...
sounds like you had a wonderful time
Kathie

Victoria @ BUMBLE BEANS said...

wow! looks like a fantastic time!!! That is a whole lot of great experiences!

Karen said...

Too bad you couldn't take pictures of the quilts at the show. Would have loved to see them.
Looks like you had a good time. And good that you took the opportunity to have a learning experience while there.

Bonnie K Hunter said...

I'm so glad you had a great time! It looks like it was a wonderful show!

Bonnie

Loris said...

What a wonderful experience! I loved those metal quilts too!
Glad Greybeard is settling in :-)

Mary said...

How fun!

I have to agree with you on the bling on quilts although I'm biased because I prefer quilts that are meant to be used rather than ones that are meant hand on walls....although the doll/small quilt movement is appealing to me.

Purple Pam said...

Glad you had a great time at the show. Cannot wait to see what you made in class.