Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Seeds that were planted at EMQE

Well, Maria has finished one of her workshop projects from the European Machine Quilters' Exposition!

Her whole-cloth trapunto threadpainting is really fun and just full of new techniques. This little wholecloth has lots of movement in the outside areas and lots of detail in the center. And it was really, really fun to do!

My favorite item from the expo was a little gift from one of my favorite people, Ilke Rave. She has made these little bags from a wonderful felted material and this one is absolutely perfect for me - how did she know?

Happy quilting, Marybeth

Linda Taylor in Castletownbere

After a long day's work it was really great to go into town and find a place to sit and eat. We ate early and late, alone and with friends. But we did eat well and slept well so that we could start each day fresh and eager.

Marybeth and Maria were only able to attend the long-arm workshops but Leslie was lucky enough to do the workshops and all of the classes. Tracey Pereira, Robin Fahy, and Ilke Rave all taught day-long classes.

At the end of the second week a raffle ticket was drawn and the winner was . . . Andreas Wolf! Andreas was luck enough to take home one of Linda Taylor's in-class samplers!

Linda told us that when she first got her machine from the factory it was not stitch regulated and the motor speed was set on 70%. Now, I know this doesn't mean much to many of you, but let me tell you, I don't think I can DRIVE that fast! She was able to finish parts of these quilts in the time it would take me just to decide what to stitch there!

At the end of the week we stuffed all of our new thread and work pieces into our little bags and came on home. We will try to finish some of the things we started and start new things based on ideas we got at the workshops. Some we will post later as we decide we like them. Some will just not see the light of day. But the fun of these workshops is the ideas that grow from the little seeds planted. Sometimes they come up immediately, and sometimes they take a little while. And they all come up differently for each and every participant. Stay tuned!

Happy quilting, Marybeth

European Machine Quilters Exposition

We are home from a fabulous workshop held yearly in Castletownbere, Ireland. Beryl Cadman organizes the European Machine Quilters Exposition to further the training of Gammill owners in Europe. Castletownbere is a hamlet on the southwestern coast of Ireland and it is remote ... no telephone coverage, no interruptions. Fabulous!

This year Linda Taylor taught the longarm workshops. Linda has received many awards, the most recent one being the Quilters' Newsletter Magazine Teacher of the Year Award, which is quite justly deserved! This may look like good fun, but let me tell you, it can be hard work! And Linda really gave us a lot to do in a very short period of time!

Linda is well known for being one of the pioneers of long-arm quilting. She has been quilting on a Gammill for 16 years and she makes it look like breathing. We didn't manage to make it look so easy or elegant. But just give us a couple of weeks!

With Linda came Rick Taylor, who taught us all about machine maintenance and American country music, and Todd Fletcher, who gave Leslie a few new pointers on the Statler Stitcher. We ate well and slept like babies.

The long-arm classes were all full and the participants came from all over Europe, including Great Brittain, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and even Cyprus! We were able to make some new friends and catch up with our old ones.

Maria was able to try out a lot of new techniques and, best of all, lots and lots of new threads. We have been wanting to get our hands on some of the new threads we have been reading about and now we have! Linda's line of threads for YLI are neon, no, N-E-O-N bright, glow-in-the-dark bright, wonderful deep jewel tones and even pastels that will show up on anything. We tried polyesters and rayons, anything shiny and new. We even managed to bring home a suitcase full of them to play with some more!

Happy quilting, Marybeth