Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Class

When Jill and I first decided that my trip to the International Quilt Festival was really going to happen, we decided that taking a class would be a great experience.  The biggest question was which one to choose - there were so many and they all sounded so good in different ways.

We finally settled on our class based on three things... it was on Thursday before the rest of our group was to arrive, it was all day, and it was a process/techniques class that would lend itself well to many kinds of quilting, including the scrappiness that I seem to be working with most of late.  We were online texting each other and registering the very first day that class registration was open - we were NOT going to miss this opportunity!

Our class was "Savor the Scraps" and was being taught by Gayle Bong. This was the picture of the quilt that we were shown in the catalog and on Gayle's website - but rather than being an exact project - Gayle taught us how to make the different elements in this quilt -namely the 30 degree angled blocks - plus some bonus elements that we could combine to make lots and lots of different blocks and quilts.

These are the blocks that came out of my little pile of scraps.  I had most of them finished before we broke for lunch - about 3 hours - and that included the introductions, show and tell, and cutting time, as well as sewing.  This is a great little block for using up those bits and pieces of 2.5" strips - I was even able to 'recycle' some leftover binding strips to cut the dark triangles from!  I was getting excited with the possibilities just with these stars alone!

Then I started playing with laying them out in different ways.  This diagonal layout was only one of the versions I came up with.  Of course Gayle's examples were all GORGEOUS and gave me even more wonderful wonderful ideas.

After lunch we worked on the larger rectangular blocks -these had even more layout possibilities and I just kept turning them and going "ooh" and then turning them again and going "ah-ha!!"  I was having battery issues in the camera and had yet to hit the show floor - so I did not take pictures of all my different variations.

Jill has two of her books (now BOTH signed) - and it was fun to look through them back at the house and just marvel at how complex the designs looked and all from just changing the layout on some simple elements.

Jill was a great sewing buddy - even though she ribbed me about not giving her enough table space during setup.  Jill was "Teacher's Pet" so responsible for taking attendance and collecting evaluation forms, so she was a bit distracted while I set up our work spaces.  I did skooch over a bit later and give her more room!  The class had 19 of a possible 25, so we had some extra open spaces to spread out a bit.

Here is the "Teacher's Pet" doing a bit of sewing for Gayle as she demonstrated assembly of the rectangular blocks with the equilateral triangles in them. There were gals from all over the country (and Canada) in the group - including some that came on a bus from my area (and that like to shop at my favorite local quilt shop).  Meeting the other people was great fun, too.

And if you ever ever ever have the opportunity to take a class or workshop with Gayle - I highly recommend it!  She was EXCELLENT!!!

Here are some examples that Gayle shared with us:

And given the 11:45 PM pickup from the airport, the 2:00 AM bedtime, and the 6:00 AM wake up call and subsequent rush-hour drive to the Convention Center - the "Teacher's Pet" needed a little noon siesta.  They gave us 2 hours for lunch - and since the vendors were not yet open, we finished our lunches quickly and came back to the room for some extra sewing (and a bit of shut-eye).

We hit the afternoon refreshed, re-energized, and ready to enjoy the rest of class - all the while anticipating the arrival of Lazy Sister Sue and the South Carolina contingent (Sue, Marj and Carolyn) - and the opening of the quilt show and vendors for Preview Night.

Next up ... the Show!!!


Jennifer said...

Love all the pics from class - can't wait to see what you wind up making with what you learned!

Marj said...

Glad to see what your class was like. I am now wanting to check out Gayle's web site. Can hardly wait to see what you make first.

Barb said...

What fun....enjoyed seeing the projects...

jillquilts said...

It was an awesome class! And a fantastic nap! I think that I am going to make a wall hanging for my office from the pieces I worked with in class. :)