Recently I had the pleasure of traveling to Ft Lauderdale and taught at a retreat with Angie Steveson and Carol Ann Waugh. Wow, I had a blast! Let’s begin by saying this always freezing cold girl was headed somewhere warm! Oh yeah! The only downside was that it was the perfect weather for doing my favorites thing in the world, besides quilting, which is playing golf. The mild temperatures and the bright shining sun teased me with their amazing golfing conditions. I made a silent pact with weather gods of Ft Lauderdale that I would return, in the not so far off future, with golf clubs and a tee time calling my name.
The hub of where I taught was “One Upon A Quilt”. This fabulous store is owned by Lisa Stevens. If you are ever in Ft Lauderdale and have any interest in quilting you MUST visit her shop! I’ve included a quick video so that anyone that might be traveling her way can see what they are missing. Trust me you don’t want to miss an opportunity to see what her establishment has to offer, I’m hoping that she invites me back very soon!
What does 60 fabulous quilters plus 3 days equal? An extraordinary amount of incredible quilting! Angie Stevenson was the embroidery guru, Carol Ann Waugh was the stitching queen, and me; the quilting goddess… lol.
Each day we were presented with 20 new fresh quilters. The three of us taught our specialty. I’ll admit not everyone was thrilled to learn quilting with use of rulers. Many stated that they quilt by check, but I eventually brought 99.99999% of them to the ruler side of quilting. Moreover, now having learned this process they have obtained an appreciation for what their quilters must accomplish. At the retreats conclusion it appeared everyone was leaving with a lot of useful information and techniques. I may have actually created some quilting monsters, or at least I hope I did! It was very impressive to witness how talented these individuals were; even the ones who quilted by check…
My second class was by far my rowdiest group. And I mean that in the best of ways. Note the picture below.
Did I drive them all to drink? Is that picture a good thing or a bad thing?
I wonder what are your thoughts on that, please share!
A Silver Lining, the quilt pictured above, was a computer aided quilt. Perhaps you’re asking ” What does that mean?” For different quilts it could mean different things. The main motifs of this project were created a while ago, so they were my own design. I did, however, use the computer to stitch out those and then the rest was freehand. Why do I bring this up?
Some people think that using a computer means just pressing a button and letting the machine take over. In essence, the work done by the quilter isn’t as imperative. Believe it or not some give my “Silver Lining” a raised eyebrow and the “OMG how beautiful” thoughts are immediately dismissed once the fact that this piece was created with the aid of a computer. Seriously? Is it really any less beautiful because it was computer aided? I think critics quickly overlook the fact that I spent hours determining where to place the designs or days doing the delicate hand beading that went into the binding.
I recall when the stitch regulators were new to the quilting arena, and we heard the same kerfuffle stuff about them. Funny how they have since become the norm. Some folks need to come to reality and realize that there definitely skill required when producing a computer aided design.
Now that I’m on a roll let’s take note of a few more “aides”.
The electronic cutting machines. Should we consider that cheating, or less than when observing a quilt that has utilized that tool? There is skill involved in cutting fabric.
Lastly how about the amazing embroidery machines? I would love to see a show of hands of artists that willingly would love to go back to hand embroidery. My hand will not be raised!
I would love for quilters to embrace ALL types of quilting. Especially as we witness the craft of quilting moving into the future. There is room for all of us, those that love traditional techniques of quilting, those that are comfortable with present tools, and machines and finally those whose minds are filled with curiosity as they experiment with ground breaking products. No one should be judged for how they achieved their goals and success. If the design is considered “OMG look how beautiful”, let’s just leave it at that…”OMG it’s beautiful”.