Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Head is Saturated With Ideas!

What a great week I had last week! A quilting friend and I traveled to the HMQS in Salt Lake City for three days of quilts, quilts, quilts.  It being my first large show, my brain was instantly overwhelmed with all the colors, designs, options and possibilities. Oh my goodness! It was like inspiration overkill!!!

Now that I have returned home and the reality of my Day Job has set in, I have had to put all those thoughts of quilting patterns and techniques aside. For a wee bit anyway. But once I get caught up with the Day Job, my sewing room needs some serious attention.

Since I am a new long arm quilter and had to travel a fair distance to attend the show, I decided to take full advantage of the variety of classes offered with the high quality of teaching staff. So I signed up for four classes in three days. Am I insane? Probably.

The first class was a hands-on free motion quilting class for beginners taught by Linda Taylor.

What a neat lady to meet in person! Knowledgeable, patient, knows her stuff. And can even teach an old dog new tricks - that's me. Her four-hour class flew by and before I knew it, I had learned to stitch 16 basic designs with my Gammill. I learned so much about how to 'think' about the stitching strokes to create the design I'm intending.
Here is a sampler that Linda made which included all the designs we learned. Of course, my sampler didn't look a thing like this gorgeous butterfly, but it shows what can be accomplished with a lot of practice!

I took another hands-on class by Suzanne Michelle Hyland. Unbeknownst to me, Suzanne is the creator of Machingers - how many pairs of those have you gone through with your machine quilting?  In her class I learned how to put on a perfect machine stitched binding. This is something I have been struggling with for the past year, and after this two-hour class, viola! Magic! I can use my sewing machine to sew down the binding without it looking all wonky on the back. Amazing!!! (I'm sorry I don't have any photos for this. After Linda's class, I totally forgot about my camera.)

The other two classes I took were presented by Sally Terry of Paducha, Kentucky.  She was so awesome, she received the Teacher of the Year Award from HMQS and IMQA. While Sally is known for her fantastic quilting classes, she also gives a mean class on marketing your quilting business. And one on using social media to propel your business into the limelight. If you ever, ever get a chance to take a class from Sally Terry, by all means do so. Applying just half of her tips will change your business immensely.

Between all these classes and the limited hours the HMQS was open, I only had four hours to browse the quilts and purchase a few things from the vendors. My quilting friend, Ellen, was a good sport and entertained herself with all this browsing while I was in class. See that smile on her face? She was A-OK with browsing.
I also was fortunate to meet up with one of my favorite bloggers - any of you know Annie's Ruby Slipperz?  I had lunch with her and what a gem she is!  It's great to put a face with the woman behind the blog.  All in all, it was a great week - a road trip to be remembered.

Now it's time to get down to some quilting!


  1. Beautiful, I'm going to look the Gammill up!

  2. Sounds like you had a wonderful time. I can imagine the brain overload you probably had. I would have been in heaven with all the quilts. Glad you had a good time. :)

  3. You sound like you had the best time! What great teachers you had! It's sad we have our day jobs to think of. I feel the same way!

  4. Oh gosh; I would so totally do what you did! Sounds like a little slice of heaven to me! I picked up a Sally Terry book a couple years ago, and I can see why she was teacher of the year. Very fun Barb! Can't wait to see what you will do when you get some time in the sewing studio!

  5. Sounds like you had a wonderful time and great classes! I bet your mind is just spinning! How neat to be able to meet Annie too!

  6. I have enjoyed reading your site so I've nominated you for the Illuminating Blogger Award for illuminating, informative blog content. You can check out the details at my site ... http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/ ... Hope you're having a great Memorial Day weekend!

  7. It seems there are more quilt show opportunities in the mid and north west than there are here in the Southeast. We have our own local quilt retreat but not with major workshop leaders too much. You are fortunate. Lets hook up to expand our blogs. I note that you are doing that as well. I have a learning curve with photos but I guess I'll get there.


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