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...