Tag Archives: learning


I’m back from MQS & Quilt Market!

I’m so tired I think I could sleep for a week, but my brain is full of ideas & is running 100mph!

Besides the wonderful classes I took (more on those later) & the beautiful quilts that inspired me (also more on those later), the best part was meeting everyone!
I got to meet the scientific quilter & SewExcitedQuilts.  We had a great time (but way too short!) & you know you’ve found a quilting friend for life when you mention the seating at Chick-fil-A is a great quilt pattern & Sew Excited Quilts shows you a picture of said seating on her phone!

I took classes from DeLoa Jones & Shirley Stutz, and “angeled” for Cathy Wiggins & Mindy Wylie.

At Quilt Market I met Alex from Threadbias & found great scrappy patterns to teach!

I bought all sorts of goodies- books, templates, stencils, fabric & patterns, visited new to me quilt shops & some familiar ones too!

More on all this later because now I’m home regrouping!
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Pick the Path with Pansies

Last year at AQS Des Moines, I took a piecing class.

I know.
What, Robin took a piecing class??
Yes, & I think it was my first piecing class in about 4 years!

But this class wasn’t like most piecing classes.  Kathryn Schmidt was teaching “Rule-Breaking Quilts” based on her book.

I purchased this book a year or so before & couldn’t quite bring myself to work through her steps.  It was a letting go issue.  It was an “oh no, I’m going to cut fabric & mess it up & ruin it” issue.  You know, basic fear.

So when I saw she was teaching this class, I decided to jump for it & force myself to work outside the box.

I grabbed a set of fat quarters from my mom’s stash that I didn’t care about:

And was determined to conquer my fear.

Well the class was amazing.  Kathryn is an fantastic teacher- if you ever get the chance to learn from her, I say jump at the chance!  She brought an amazing display of quilts based on her “rule-breaking” method & everyone was jaw droppingly inspiring!

By the time the class ended I felt confident in my ability to cut, slash, chop & sew back together without fear & yet, still have a cohesive/balanced quilt in the end.

I went home & finished project.

Here is the end result:

Overall I’m very pleased with it, I even challenged myself to try some new free motion quilting designs!

Now I just have to add a hanging sleeve so I can have this on my wall in my studio, always reminding myself to try something new, challenge myself, and not to be afraid of a new path.

AQS Classes & Shopping

I took 3 classes this year at AQS & they were each amazing!

From Kathryn Schmidt I took “Up and Away”. Here I learned improvisational quilting! She showed some basic elements & then from there we created our own piece & she showed us how to accomplish what was in our head. I didn’t quite finish the top that day & of course I somehow have not taken a pic of it- but it looks great & it was lots of fun!

Then I took 2 longarm classes from Sue Patten. How I’ve never discovered this woman until now, I’m not quite sure! She’s a great instructor! The first class was “Plunk and Play” which took allover patterns to the next level using strategically placed motifs. I’d seen this in several quilts but didn’t quite understand how it came together- now I can’t wait to try it! The second class was “Thread Art”. This is where you use all those awesome threads & “paint” on your longarm! Every time I take classes I try to take 1 slightly below the level I’m at to gather any tips & reassure myself I cab go to the next level. I also always try to take 1 class that’s slightly above where I’m at. Thread art was that class for me! Not quite sure if I can pull off what I learned, but it will be fun trying!

And what’s the vest part of going to a show???

The shopping!

Here’s a pic of my haul:

Threads from Superior & YLI; patterns from Jaybird Quilts; rulers from Lazy Girl; and various longarm tools that I’ve been needing.

Oh! And a kit!

I’ve been eyeing this Batik Block of the Month from Stitchin Tree Quilts out of Harlan, Iowa & finally picked it up! And since I couldn’t resist starting it- I already have 2 months done!

So that was AQS! A fine time was had by all & I can’t wait for next year! Hope you all enjoyed the pics!

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

MQS- What I Learned

Once a year, the International Machine Quilters Association (IMQA) hosts a huge quilt show. Why do I care about this so much more than other quilt shows? While other shows are great, machine quilting is usually just a small portion. Here, pretty much every vendor, class and quilt displayed was somehow related to machine quilting!

This year I decided to focus on taking classes. I took some fabulous classes by Kimmy Brunner, Pam Clarke, Linda Taylor, Mindy Wylie and Carla Barrett.

What I learned:
– From Kimmy Brunner: that I actually knew more about the long arm than I thought! There were several points she gave as tips that I actually figured out on my own!

– From Pam Clarke: Quilting designs don’t have to be difficult & complicated- nice & simple is beautiful and works well on many quilts. It’s also important to make the machine work for me. Ever since I got this machine, I’ve been frustrated by the fact that I’ve had to make things work & figure out “get-bys.” Pam’s been in this business since the beginning & pointed out to me that when she started- there were no tools, classes- anything! (Her frame wasn’t even adjustable & her husband had to make a long box for her to stand on.) They had to make things work. So I put aside my desire for a machine that had all the specific tools made correctly & went to work on figuring out what I needed to do to get my machine where I wanted it. The next few months are going to be a bit of an adventure- but hey- hopefully some of these paths I’m pursuing will be helpful to not only me!

– From Linda Taylor: I’m better at freehand than I thought & I actually like my machine (Tin Lizzie 18LS) more than the new Gammill Visions. (Which is something b/c I can tell you there were some days when I wanted to throw that machine in the snow!) It’s also good to step back & breath- it’s not the end of the world if something doesn’t turn out the way I want it to- life’s too short to get upset by those things. Also- these freehand designs are for owning! Of course my freehand isn’t going to look like someone else’s– the point is to become familiar enough with the design that I put my own twist on it & make it work for me.

– From Mindy Wylie: While I’m not the most talented quilter (my freehand is severely in need of improvement), if I focus on what I AM good at, I can make just as good designs as those that are fabulous freehanders. I also accepted the fact that I’m not a frufru quilter. While I think feathers and swags & flowers are beautiful- they don’t necessarily belong on every quilt I make 🙂 She also stirred my creativity & I began seeing the quilt blocks in a whole new light- I stopped thinking like a piecer (the person that assembles the quilt top) & more like a quilter.

– From Carla Barrett: I took her class on doodling not to improve my drawing (although, that wouldn’t hurt) but to kick start my creativity. I can’t tell you how many times I stare at quilts & have no idea what to do. White space (on paper or a quilt) frightens me. In the class she had us make a general design to fill our white space & then fill it in. While she & many other students make these awesome “simple” designs to fill in, it came to me that I don’t “see” geometric shapes like that. I see landscapes. Bam! As soon as I did that it was like the light had been turned on in my head & my creativity was bursting! I can’t wait to put some of the small pieces I have designed in my head on fabric!

So that was my week. Yep, I’m still processing it all & probably will be for a while.

And since I don’t have any photos related to what I learned, let me show you what inspired me:
Renae Haddadin’s miniature quilt.

Yes, that’s right- it’s a miniature. See the ribbon on the side? You have to click on the picture to see the full detail- but wow! Isn’t that amazing????