Thursday, October 29, 2015

Quilt Festival Day One

Oh boy - this trip is so reminiscent of my trip in 1999 - it is scary. 

The day started by having breakfast with a few of our group. They were getting ready to leave for the airport and I was getting ready to go to the convention center. I left here at 8:30 AM and I got back shortly after 8 PM.   But there is so much going on - that well - I have to be part of it all!!!!!

Started off by signing up for some classes. Now here is where I had a very DUH moment.  I picked classes that I thought would be fun (of course) and that wouldn't require a lot of supplies.  I was working from the printout that I had printed at the office.  When I picked up the class book yesterday - for a souvenir - god knows why?   I couldn't for the life of me figure out what the middle section was a duplicate of the outer section.  First class - no problem - we needed a pen. Second class - oh boy - we needed a crap load of stuff.  Hmmmm - turns out the middle section is the list of supplies required for each class.  DUH!!!!!  I'll come back to that in a moment.

The first class was with  Cheryl Sloboda - she has a web site which I haven't been to yet.  And it is hard for me to put links in on the tablet. She quilts on the side as she has a full time job in the cartoon business. The topic was "Time Strategies for the Busy Quilter".  I signed up for that one on a whim when I was at registration. Of course - the class is all the way to the end of the convention center and it was freezing in the building. I had on a T-shirt and my short sleeved cardigan and I thought I was going to freeze.  I think I might be taking my pashmina with me today!!!!

OK - back to the class. The attendance was not great - everyone who signed up came, but we were few. I have to say that I was a bit disappointed by the class.  I think I had way more information than Cheryl did (OK - I know - who am I to tell the big names what to do - perhaps next year - I should try and teach!). I did learn two very useful tips so I have to say that I learned something, but the class could have been done in a 1 hour 15 minute lecture.  I did put that on my evaluation sheet. And I should qualify that - I learned one tip that I think will help me - especially as I have a crazy schedule before Christmas and the second was a great concept to do which I absolutely love. The big question is how to fit that in the schedule. 

It is all about doing quilting for ME or making samples for work and class.  One I don't have a choice about, the other I do.  BUT - I have committed to teaching this next year and I love it.  I think the long arm is going to be the one to go.  But only after I have quilted the commitments I have in house.

Then a two hour lunch break.  There are lectures one could attend, but I had no desire to go to the lecture. I had my book with me and I grabbed a table and read. I've barely read while I've been here so it was nice to just sit quietly and read. Although I did have a conversation with the ladies who sat at my table. You see I still have my Market badge on and people are always asking about that.

Time to get to the second class.  Textile Treasures: Font - Classy Text. This class was taught by Julie Haddrick from Australia.  AH - now I get what the middle section of the book was.  The SUPPLY LIST for each class.  DUH!!!!    Well - I didn't have any supplies with me.   And the kind lady beside me showed me all the supplies and there were a lot. Oh boy - well I decided that I could still learn in the class regardless so I stayed.  Not sure what happened to the lady in front of me - she had a huge plastic case full of stuff and well - she abandoned class very early.   The lady next to me said she would loan me supplies, but I was happy to observe.  Then Julie came over and gave me a Sharpie to use on the kit materials that we had purchased when we enrolled for the class and well I had no choice.  While the others had meticulously made their stencils, I free formed it and it turned out fine!   Basically we were making tools to use for stamping and printing on fabric.  I ended up with three of the four tools (and I had brought NO SUPPLIES) and I didn't mooch anything either - other than a pair of scissors and a Sharpie.

Then the class did some stenciling/printing on fabric and we could use Julie's stuff.  I didn't print anything because I didn't want a lot of wet fabric to deal with and secondly - I have done my share of printing and stamping and screen printing when I was at Sheridan.  I wasn't really there for the techniques - I was there for the ideas and did I get ideas?????   Oh yes - my head is swimming and fortunately the ideas from the second class will gel nicely with the ideas from the first class so that is a good thing!!!!!   I am very glad I didn't find that supply list because I would have been in a panic and I don't think they used most of the supplies that they brought. Well - aprons and gloves for the printing part.

That class ended at 5 PM and the Winner's Circle Celebration started at 6 PM.  This was the presentation of the award winners of the International Quilter's Association show. They made a point of telling us that NONE of these are purchase awards - the quilters get to keep their quilts. A line was already forming when I walked past the ballroom, so I just got in line and read my book for a bit and chatted with some of the quilters. So exciting to be amongst so much talent.  Then we were able to get in the doors and of course everyone rushes to the front of the room.  I managed to snag an aisle seat four rows from the front.  It was a perfect angle to see the stage. Picture this - the front and sides of the ballroom are swathed in black drapes that go floor to ceiling - very dramatic.  As I was sitting waiting for the ceremony to start, I realized that there were secondary drapes hung and behind those drapes were the winning quilts.  AHA - this is going to be fun.

As the ceremony started, it was announced that there was a special guest amongst the crowd. Someone who had been ill and was not back.  I knew it couldn't be Eleanor Burns as she is home with strict orders for rest after a valve replacement and double bypass, I thought of Pat Campbell, but no it was Libby Lehman.  She had an aneurism 2 1/2 years ago and she was back and yesterday was the FIRST she has quilted since she fell ill.  She was sitting with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson and they were just a few rows behind me in the next section so I had a clear view of them all.  I took a class with Libby years ago when she was in Toronto at CreativFestival.

Anyway - one by one, the sponsors got up and announced the winners.  The competition is truly an International affair with quilts received from all over the world.  Mostly the United States, then I think Japan was second and Canada had 11 or was that 7 entries?   Let me just say the awards ceremony was so inspiring - it went fast (two hours) and it was beautiful.  I'm so glad I went. One by one, the black drapes were raised on the 1st place quilt in each category (and the viewer's choice).  It was spectacular.   Two winners were men.

There were a LOT of winners from the US of course, A LOT of winners from Japan and a good part of the winners were in attendance. There was one quilt from Japan that wasn't a show stopper.  It was very weird and personally I wouldn't hang it in my house!  I will try to find a picture of it or go on-line - the wnning quilts were posted last night - see if you can spot the one I am talking about.  It won't be difficult to pick it out. While all of the quilts were beautiful - it was hard to see the detail.  Some were whole cloth quilts which you can't appreciate until you see them in person.   There are a couple that have given me inspiration and I need to get more detail on those quilts.   Tonight is the preview night so will try over the next three days to get to see them.

We did get to see the new president of Bernina - for those who care.  Fifth generation family member is taking it over - a young man.  There is a lot of family business in the quilting world. He made a presentation to one of the winners.

Many wanted to stay to look at the quilts - too much congestion for me so I zipped out and was headed back to the hotel where I was meeting Rich who is staying so we can both walk the Festival floor on Thursday.

Ever the networker (and my business cards are always at the ready), everyone left the ballroom and headed left to go down the escalators,  I turned right and was catching up to a woman who had also turned right.  The hallway was deserted.  She asked if I thought the escalators would still be working - I said, if not - I would walk down them.  So we matched our pace and walked and talked.  Turns out she works for AccuQuilt.  We traded cards - nuff said!!!!   Oh my god - Joyce would have a fit if I ever used one!!!! 

Speaking of networking - I am on the lookout for new designers and a few people to create things for me.  While I was in the text class, the lady next to me and I got chatting about the Modern Quilt Guild.  I now have a new contact in that world!!!!   Oh yes - no time goes to waste for me.  

Back to the hotel where I met up with Rich and while we had dinner - we schemed and talked about work for hours!  It was after 11 when I finally came up to my room. I was wiped - but a very very productive day!!!!!   It is so fun at the classrooms to walk by the doors and see what the others are learning and see all the big name quilters!!!

I am signed up for another class today and the only supply needed is a pair of scissors which I still have from my sewing kit that I brought with me.  Everything else went on the crate, but I knew I needed the scissors for this class  Can't wait to see what we do with the scissors.

On that note - it's time to get ready for the day.  Breakfast at the buffet - AGAIN!   And then back to the convention center. My FitBit has died and I forgot to bring the charger so no calculating steps for a couple of days. It is going to be another LONG LONG day, but I'm holding up just fine.

Have a great day!!!!!!


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