Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A learning curve

So sorry about forgetting to publish that post yesterday.  I had done a lot of research in the morning about what class I could take.  I saw that I could get into EQ7 so I had breakfast and zipped off to the convention center. I was thinking that the class started at 8 AM so I was in a bit of a rush. I arrived at the classroom only to find it completely empty. After looking at the schedule I realized that it started at 9 AM and ended at 5, not 4.  Oh well.  Not a problem. I also thought we had one hour for lunch and so after rushing at lunch only to find that I had one more hour.  It appears that I'm not good with times or something!

I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to the others from our office as I was gone. But that's OK.  It's a bit of a bittersweet moment.  They get to go home and I get to stay. Which is the better of those two worlds?  Afterall, it's now Quilt Festival and there are literally hundreds of people with stuff to sell to me and I haven't seen the quilts yet.  I'm OK with staying. BUT one week from today, I'll be in the car on my way to a sewing retreat. A very well deserved sewing retreat and I can't wait.  I think I'll have to rejig what I threw in that laundry basket or just take it and wing it.  As long as I'm sewing and advancing projects, it doesn't really matter what I sew.

The class I ended up taking was EQ7.  For those in the industry, you'll be wondering why I took this class when EQ8 is on the Market. And how did I get into such a class at the last minute?  Because it was EQ7 and NOT EQ8.  If it had of been EQ8, I wouldn't have gotten near it.  However what people don't realize is that many of the functions are the same - it's just the look that has changed (I know there are improvements, but the underlying functions are the same).  And as compensation, we all got a FREE copy of the EQ8 upgrade.

Barb Vlack was the teacher and honestly, she was amazing.  This was the BEST class that I've taken in a long time. It was for confident beginners and I was a bit worried as I've been using the product for a long time. But I knew that there were things that I just don't touch and I would say that within the first hour, I had more than recouped my money.  What was nice is that while Barb had an outline that she was following, she did allow us some questions outside of that outline and things that I had really wanted to know how to do better.  I could have asked more questions, but my head was already swimming with information and best to get really comfortable with what I now know.  Get used to all that and then go back!  What I really must do when I get home is to download the manual to the tablet and go through the darn thing.  I keep saying that everytime a new version comes out and I never do. But after doing that with the sewing machines, I know that a lot can be gleaned from the manual!   AHA - writing the word tablet made me remember that I had to charge up the iPad so it'll be ready for this evening. All plugged in and ready to go.

I even tried to use my phone as a hotspot when I realized that I hadn't posted the blog, but I couldn't get it to work.  My computer couldn't find the phone.  I must ask Ronda about that next week.

 Then after the class, I made it back to the hotel to dump off the laptop and then hustle into the line back at the convention center to be part of the awards ceremony (the audience part!).  I knew that Audrey and Marilyn would be there as we had been messaging all day.  Those girls are like Thelma and Louise. I'm not sure I would trust them!  But it sounds like they have a good time. When your quilt wins something at these major shows, you don't know know what.  You just know you have won. Marilyn won a Judge's Choice. The judge was David Taylor which was funny because they know each other.  But when the judges are judging, they have no idea whose quilt is whose. They might guess from the style, but they don't know.   I'm absolutely thrilled for Marilyn.

And it sounds like it was a huge ordeal to judge the quilts which happened around the time of the hurricane.  The quilts had to be moved down five flights of stairs because the elevator shaft was full of water.  Anyway, there was much thanking last night because of the huge efforts of people to make this show happen and all the while some of them were dealing with the hurricane on a personal level.  HUGE KUDOS to the staff at Quilts, Inc to make that happen.

For those of you who don't know Marilyn, you should!  She is an award-winning quilter, not just at this show, but she's won at Paducah and QuiltCon and probably a few others that I can't remember. Her machine quilting is to die for and well, we just love her!!!!   I'm not sure that I should say this, but Marilyn's quilt almost didn't make it to the judging process because of a couple of SNAFUs which is a very entertaining story.  But the bottom line is that when you send anything via courier or even the mail, make sure that EVERY piece of information from the previous shipping is completely obliterated or use a new box!!!!  Gosh - I remember when we wrapped boxes in brown paper before sending them.  Does anyone else remember doing that?

Marilyn and David Taylor
I'll try to get a better picture on the floor.  It was hard to get this picture because there were so many people milling about and wanting pictures but we shooed them away so we could get this.  We need to get Marilyn some web presence.  I know she has a blog and Instagram - I just can't find the link this morning.

We had a number of winners from Canada and Kathie Wylie won first place in the Traditional Applique category.

Kathie Wylie and her winning quilt

Oh - that picture is even fuzzier.  It's very hard to take pictures in that ballroom because of the lighting. I'll try again for a better picture.  There was another first place for Canada in an art category and I can't remember the category. It was Ana Buzzalino from Calgary.  I also can't find the list of winners on the website. Perhaps it will go up the website today!

The workmanship in those quilts is amazing.  I will never get to that level because I NEVER EVER want to spend that much time on one quilt.  I would die of total boredom. And there would never be an excuse to buy new fabric!   A lot of winners from Japan and a lot of them were in attendance last night.

Back to the hotel where I had dinner with a couple of the others that had already finished up but the baseball game was on.  The stadium was packed with people and so there was a heavy security presence again. Police on bikes, police on horse, helicopters hovering. I'm sure the snipers were in place again. However it was a subdued crowd that left that stadium.  While I'm not a baseball fan, it's hard to not get wrapped up in the excitement of being here.

I booked a couple of lectures and the winner's circle luncheon today as I have nothing else to do. The preview night opens at 5 PM until 10 PM and my experience in previous years is that the place will be packed!  Tomorrow will also be a long busy day and then the remaining three days will be significantly calmer so that means we get to get out of the booth for a bit.  I plan to get to the convention center two hours before the show starts and you can do and see a LOT in those two hours. It makes for an extra long day, but that's just the way it goes.

I think I've blathered on for long enough!   I'm out of here to have a leisurely breakfast and get ready for my first appointment of the day at 10.

Have a super day!!!!


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