Monday, August 17, 2009

Free Motion Boot Camp at Quiltique

Today's post will be a bit long, because before we got busy with class I did a slow walk around of the shop. One of the reasons was the number of machine embroidered quilts on display. My first exposure to machine embroidery in quiltmaking was the Latte Quilt that was done by Bernina of Australia with Kerrie Hay and resulted in a book/CD combo that was published in 2001 by Quilters' Resource publications. Several of my friends have either made this quilt or some of the blocks and it looked like a lot of fun and the quilts were gorgeous.

I've decided to at least learn the basics of machine embroidery, so looking at all these beautiful quilts was certainly inspiring!

Loved the colors in this quilt and you can really see the quilting in the closeup shot of one of the beautiful flowers.

This quilt was displayed in the front of the store, prettily draped to show off all that embroidery.

The closeup is one of several repeated blocks and really shows off the beautiful background fabric as well as the heavily embroidered design.

An interesting way to combine pieced blocks with machine embroidery.

A beautiful black and brights quilt by Kay McCain. An abundance of leaves, flowers and animals are embroidered in the vertical columns. As with almost all the quilts in the shop, there are classes available; kits are ready to go home with you for a lot of them as well.

Another embroidered floral quilt; this time combined with a lot of half-square triangle piecing. The embroidery in the border is just as spectacular and well executed as it is in the individual blocks, but I just had to lean in and get that block shot to show the colors and intricacy of the embroidery.

I've seen quite a few redwork embroidery quilts done by hand; this one, which was hanging in the classroom, was done by machine. The closeup is of one of the embroidered blocks. There were several different flower embroideries repeated in the blocks.

* * * * * * *

When I finally wandered into class, almost everybody was there setting up their machines. There were 22 people in this workshop, so it's a good thing that Quiltique has a BIG classroom.

I lectured about needles and threads and then gave a demonstration of free motion quilting. Pretty soon everybody got down to work.

Sherlene takes a minute to look up and smile, but Connie keeps her nose to the grindstone. I took the pictures of the workshop participants from a little bit of a distance so that you could see all of the beautiful quilts on the classroom walls.

Bobbie is the lady on the left who looks like she is really concentrating on her free motion project! She had heard about the BSR (the Bernina Stitch Regulator feature that produces even stitching based on the movement of the fabric under the special presser foot) so toward the middle of the day, she tried free motion quilting on the Bernina 830 machine that I had been doing the class demonstrations on. It was all threaded up and ready to go -- she liked the BSR so much that she bought a BSR-equipped 630 immediately after class!

Patti also recently bought a 630 and was taking the class to get some good "seat time" with her new machine. She took both days of classes and just really buckled down and spent as much time sewing as possible. Not much chatting for her!

I think maybe there was a conference going on in this corner....

Work a little, chat a little -- isn't that what taking a class is all about?

Jan and Bob Tibesar are the owners of Quiltique; their two daughters are also a big part of this family owned shop, although I didn't get to meet them as they were both still on maternity leave after presenting their parents with brand new granddaughters! Here are the three of us standing in the very empty, very quiet classroom after a fun-filled day.....

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