Tuesday, June 30, 2009

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

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