Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Quilter's Gathering

  Every year for the past 5 years my Mom and I have met in Nashua and attended A Quilter's Gathering.  If you live in New England and enjoy quilting or looking at quilts this is a great conference to go to.  Everyone is SO friendly and the teachers are top notch and it is very reasonably priced.  If you don't want to take a class just go and admire the lovely quilts in the exhibit and shop the many vendors.
  We took two all day classes. We've taken all sorts here - fabric painting, embellishments, machine quilting, pictorial, design -  you name it.  This year we went for traditional.  I lean more towards modern quilting or art quilting but Mom is a scientist by nature and likes the precision of the traditional styles more.  Both of the classes we took this year were with long-time experts in the fields of machine applique and machine free motion quilting.  Interestingly their class topics over the three days were fairly similar but their styles very different.
    Our first class was with Sue Nickels on Feathers and Machine Quilting.  We both want to be more comfortable with free motion quilting.  We spent our day practicing stitching different quilting stitches:
 And then feathers:
And then combining the two:
  She gave us all sorts of tips and good takeaways.  I was very pleased and surprised with how small I could stipple.  The best tip though was using the cut-off fingers of dish gloves on your first two fingers to manipulate the quilt.  Loved it!  This could have easily been a two day class - at the end of the day I just wanted to keep on sewing.
   Yesterday's class was with Harriet Hargrave.  People wait for years to get into one of her classes - we got in on our first try.  This class was on invisible machine applique.  We spent the morning preparing the applique and prepping for sewing.  The first part of the afternoon was balancing the tension and practicing staying on the edge with the tiny tiny stitches we needed to use.  Then we stitched.
  Here is my flower and a leaf close up:

  You can't see stitches.
  I have to admit that normally I use fusible applique - quicker and less fussy but it was good to learn a new technique and to better understand how to manipulate my sewing machine.  And, the opportunity to learn from a master was too good to pass up.  I will finish this block and will try at least a few more so I solidly know how to use this method in the future.
    Mom and I had a good two days together learning and sewing.  We saw some amazing quilts and spent too much money with the vendors.  Next year A Quilters Gathering will be moving to Manchester, NH. and we will be there!

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