Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Classes in Des Moines

As I still can't get my photos off my camera due to a battery issue, I can't show photos.  But I can tell you that we had a blast.  I went with two quilting friends from work and we ate, drank a little, quilted a lot, took classes and saw incredible  inspiration.  In fact, we had such a good time, that at dinner the last day, we made hotel reservations for the Grand Rapids AQS show for next year.

I had 2 classes, the first a hand applique class with Sandra Leichner.  She was a very good teacher, was very sharing with her techniques and has wonderful patterns with lots of traditional songbirds and flowers in natural settings.  This series of patterns is called the Naturalist's Notebook, so of course, I have to do them.  (She did decline to put a crow in the songbird quilt though, I love crows!)  The class was the wren pattern with some leaves and branches.  It is a lovely applique and her embroidery stitches really bring it to life.  The wren is part of a mystery quilt of sorts, she has laid out the quilt pattern, but the individual blocks are being released as she completes them.  Check it out here...   http://sandraleichner.com/wordpress/2012/06/05/back-from-asilomar-and-layout-update/
As you can see, the wren is by far the easiest of the patterns, but I am going to try out the goldfinch next.  I have done quite a bit of applique now, but not difficult appliqué, layering with very small pieces, so we'll see how it goes.  I am very pleased with how the wren has turned out, so I think this will be possible and I do love to hand appliqué...   I'll post a photo of my wren tomorrow.

My second class was a long arm quilting class with Pam Clarke.  She was also a very good instructor.  I learned many things, but the most important thing I learned was that I just need to START!  It turns out that I could do every stitch that we covered in class, several of them I was fairly proficient with, and even pretty good at a couple.  But I still see blank space when I look at a quilt loaded on the longarm, not stitches.  Pam said that I should look at the book of stitches and just start quilting instead of fussing that it wouldn't be good enough...  I am only quilting my quilts anyway at this stage, and since having a crisis of confidence would be out of character for me, I don't think I should start now.  So on to longarm quilting.


  1. Sue, I was in the same class of Sandra's. Funny, I forgot my camera at home, ended up with a disposable one. My photos didn't turn out great but I did get a few.

    1. Thanks for the note. I'll try to get photos on tomorrow. It turns out that my camera battery had died and I took them with my phone, so I needed a cord to get them on my computer. I finally got the cord today. Sue