Monday, February 26, 2018

Fun at MAQF

Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival has been on my short list of shows I have wanted to attend for some time. Though I have entered it many times, I have never attended. This is the second year that they have offered longarm classes, and as luck would have it, they invited me to teach! I was delighted to jump at the chance, even though it adds to my crazy winter.

I taught six 4-hr hand's on long arm classes over 3 days. I knew it would be an exhausting week, which it was. Three of my classes were 12-person classes, and three were 24-person classes. It's the latter ones that keep you moving the entire class. Twelve students is busy, but in a controlled manner. Twenty-four just leaves you needing a nap when the class is done!

I taught my two favorite fills classes - Dense & Dainty (the freehand fills) and Beautiful Backgrounds (grid based fills) on Thursday. Here are my students hard at work in the well-cared-for Innova room. Matt and Keith keep the machines humming right along.
 I don't usually take a full-class staged photo at the end of class, but I did manage to catch a few of my students showing off their lovely samplers of gridded fillers.   Both classes are freehand, but this one utilizes a marked grid on the fabrics.
Dense & Dainty had 24 students (the other 12 non quilters were busy drawing when I snapped this photo). When I split the class into groups, I send 12 to the longarms, and keep the other 12 at the desks. A timer is started to keep things fair. Then I continue to present designs and concepts for about 1/2 of the session. During the other half, the sitters get to draw while I go around to each machine helping each quilter. It seems to work well.
 Here's a better look at one of my samples that was quilted for this class.
On Friday, I had a beginner Feathers class as well as Templates 101. These are both intended for those who are truly newer to quilting feathers (or templates). The feathers class is the 24-quilter class, which works well because there is a good amount of drawing.

Here are two of my Templates 101 quilters working with a straight template, a 12" diameter arc and a 4" circle. Patterns are relatively simple at this level, but are the foundation for all more complicated designs to come. The ladies did wonderfully.
I used to teach a templates class called Ruler the Roost which was a good class, but the true beginners struggled a bit. Splitting the class into two distinct levels worked much better. 

My classes Saturday were Narrow Borders and the Creative Templates 2. Narrow Borders, the large group, quilted about 24 borders suited nicely to borders 3-4" wide or less. These start simpler and get progressively more complex as borders get wider. Most quilters did great with them.

Creative Templates 2 is the second templates class intended for those who already do basic template designs like line work or crosshatching. I was so worried that the sampler I had planned for this class would be way too complicated, but the students rocked it.  I taught them how to make mandalas, and how this design may be altered with small changes. We did cathedral windows, as well as a couple of fun background designs that are implemented with a stencil and a template.
 Here is the other background design quilted with a 4" circle.
 This quilter had the cursed blue thread which hides nowhere, but she still did a great job!
It was a good teaching experience. The staff has been well-coordinated and excellent to work with from the first communication. I am definitely impressed. Thanks to my 108 all did a fantastic job too. Keep me posted on how you use what you learned!

No comments: