Ready for part two of the retreat round up? I promise there is no part three (whew!) and if you make it all the way through this post you'll find a prize at the bottom. Bonus!
Let's start with photos from not only one, but TWO classes with Jen Kingwell. Oh. Yeah. My first class was hand quilting with Jen (sure, we're BFFs now....) where we were each to bring a 20 inch quilt sandwich to practice our hand stitching.
It was a pretty super class for three reasons. First, there were only about 12 of us in the class so it was like having a one on one conversation. You could ask any question you had and she was very relaxed chatting away. Second, Jen demonstrated her technique for hand quilting using a clear plastic sheet. You could see where her needle was going, what angle it was at and what her hand under the "quilt" was doing. Such a simple idea and it made all the difference. Finally, she took a good bit of time to discuss notions - what thread you can use, what needles she likes and why, how to use a thimble, etc. Brilliant.
She discussed stitching while travelling. As you know, I stitch on every flight I take, on all buses going by and when ever I am in my camper. Apparently she does too! Jen made for each and every one of us a little travel pin cushion that is shaped like a ring. It just slips on your finger and holds all you need without it rolling off your seat. I'm sure you look less like a psycho using that on a flight vs. leaving pins in the back of the seat in front of you. Just sayin'.
AND we had a cheeky show and tell. Jen Kingwell...yes, THE Jen Kingwell, pulls out Green Tea and Sweet Beans and Gypsy Wife from a small suitcase like they were random scraps she stitched together watching TV reruns of Friends the week before the retreat. You should have seen us - the quilt junkies with our cameras flashing. Hilarious. There was no dignity.
She discussed her fabric choices, her quilting style,etc. What an amazing learning experience.
After class, she draped her quilts over the table in the hall so we could closely look at each of the blocks. She let us flip them over, re-arrange them for photos and ooo to our hearts delight.
|Green Tea - the flower block in the center is my favorite!|
|Nicky and Jen, chatting away....|
My second class with Jen was Green Tea & Sweet Beans where we were to learn tracing templates, hand piecing and needle turn appliqué. Now, these techniques were not part of my repertoire going to the retreat and I dare say they will remain absent moving forward. This is not my happiness. But I wanted to give hand piecing and appliqué a try...who better to learn from then the master herself?
Jen gave each of us a copy of her pattern and a quilter's wheel (what a fab invention!), gave us hints and tips on tracing a template, using sand paper to secure our fabric/templates, marking fabric and chatted about the possibility of using her pattern with machine piecing (now that's interesting!). Jen stitched along with us, giving us plenty of opportunity to ask questions and observe up close.
Together we were to make this block that would require us to trace templates, cut our fabric, use hand piecing and appliqué the stems. Right.
After a three hour long class (I think it was three...) I made this:
One flower head. Now, that said, I learned a tremendous amount and I will continue on with this quilt using my machine and raw edge appliqué. It will be a long term project.
But what, you want to know, am I giving away? To share the retreat with those of you who could not attend, I wanted to give away the contents of my retreat goodie bag! That's right - a fat quarter of apples, solids from both Kona and Riley Blake, two mini charm packs, a pack of Makower Nautical prints, swatch buddies AND a COPY OF GREEN TEA AND SWEET BEANS. Yes, it's all yours.
This giveaway is open to anyone who did not attend the retreat. Just leave a comment below telling me what your favorite thing is about stitching with friends and I will draw one winner on Sunday night (3 Aug) by random number generator. Please be sure you are not a no-reply commenter - if you are and have not included your email in your comment, I am deleting your entry.
Good luck, everyone!