I got up bright and early Friday morning and headed out to Hampton, Virginia for the 20th annual Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival. I’ve been going every year for the past several (ok I did miss one year) but this was the first time I took a class. Usually, I don’t think about it until after Christmas and all the good ones are filled and closed. This time I lucked out and got a slot in one of Laura Wasilowski’s fusing classes. I’ve seen her on Simply Quilts and The Quilt Show and she is just so much fun, what with her Chicago School of Fusing (she’s the Dean of Corrections). She writes funny little songs, too, like the school’s fight song. We sang her graduation song at the end of class.
My class was working on Laura’s series of Bad Dog and Bad Cat patterns. Before we got into actually working on our pattern, she had us free-cut some flowers. These are mine:
It’s a wonder I got out of Kindergarten. Most of these look more like amoebas than flowers. Thank goodness I don’t have to free-cut stuff when I do this at home, I’ll have better luck drawing things and then cutting them out (not that I’m much of a draw-er either).
I’m not going to show you my class project yet, it’s not finished. I didn’t follow the rules of cutting your biggest pieces from your fabric first and I didn’t have enough of the kit fabric in long enough strips for my binding. Truth is, we were so cramped in these skinny little tables (4 to a table) that I wasn’t comfortable enough to think straight. I was just trying to keep up with everyone else.
The day went by really quickly. I ran into one of my co-workers, Missy, down on the show floor during the lunch break. I don’t know her all that well and I didn’t know she’s a quilter. But she and I will talk about that when we get back to the office tomorrow.
One of the women in class lives here in Richmond and is a professional photographer. Lynda Richardson has done work for National Geographic, Smithsonian and other magazines. She also teaches at the local colleges and holds workshops. Don’t you know I stopped her on the way out to talk photography. I will be following her schedule and see if I can’t get into one of her lectures someday.
I went to Erin’s after the class to spend the night. We had a nice dinner in Virginia Beach and then tried to stay awake and watch a movie (P.S. I Love You) but at 11:30 I had to call it quits. That was waaaay past my bedtime. I’ll have to see that movie some other time.
On Saturday I went back to the quilt show to see the exhibits and shop at the vendors. This year, I joked that I was going to stimulate the economy, but in reality I didn’t have that many wants. I stopped at the Superior Thread booth and bought a couple of spools of Alex Anderson’s Masterpiece line for piecing plus I bought Laura’s first book. Now had I been thinking correctly, I would have bought the book on Friday when I could have had her autograph it for me. The only other thing I saw at the show that I might have bought had it been within my range of impulse-buy pricing was one of those portable design walls. I’ve been looking at them every year and I’m glad I didn’t buy one before because they keep improving them. This year’s models have stabilizers. That’s one thing that struck me about previous models is that they looked a little flimsy. Maybe next year they’ll be even better. Of course, I’d have to buy the largest one because who wants to buy a small one to save money and then curse yourself all the time when it’s not big enough?
Here are a few of the quilts that caught my eye. There are always so many excellent ones and I don’t try and photograph every one of them, it’s too overwhelming.
This quilt was done by one of the women who sat across from me in class, Christy Proost, who is from Mechanicsville. I didn’t even read the show program until I got home and then I found out she had 2 or 3 others in the show that I didn’t see (or didn’t get close enough to realize they were hers).
One of the exhibits was from a guild who had a challenge called “Punchline.” The quilters were to illustrate the punchline of a joke. Some of them were hilarious and a tip of my hat to them, as I have no imagination.
This one has tiny telescopes at the bottom pointing to the picture of Russian buildings at the top:
I thought this one was imaginative. Didn’t you just love these puzzles in Highlights Magazine when we were kids? It had everyone stopping to try and figure it out:
I’ve always been fascinated by these dahlia patterns, but I doubt that I’ll ever make one. The title of this one says it all: Another Year Down the Drain.
I snapped this one because I love feathered stars and this one had such beautiful quilting:
All in all, a very inspiring weekend.