I had a great time teaching at the Road to California show in Ontario, CA last week! It was my first time there–as a teacher and as a visitor. The students were great and the quilt show had some really wonderful work in it by some of my favorite artists.
I taught my Artful Improv class on Thursday, my Fearless Curved Piecing class on Friday, and my Fire and Ice Bargello class on Saturday and Sunday. All three classes were full, with 20 students each.
Artful Improv is a fast paced, fun class based on my book, Artful Improv: Explore Color Recipes, Building Blocks, & Free Motion Quilting. My approach to Improv is “no patterns, no templates, no rules – no worries!” We talk about choosing colors and using simple design principles to create artistic compositions using five techniques that I use to create my own work. I want to encourage my students to explore their own creativity to make art quilts that are uniquely theirs, and it’s always inspiring to me to see how students are able to take some of my ideas and make them their own. In any class, no two quilts will be alike and none will be exactly like mine, either–that’s creativity!
Here are two examples of work from the class:
The next day, I taught my Fearless Curved Piecing class. This one is always fun. Students are often nervous about trying to piece curves without templates or pins, but usually by the end of the class they have a lot more comfort with it. We were working on the table runner, narrow wall hanging format so students could focus on the curves. One student, Jean, told me at the end of the class that this was her first quilt ever! That’s exciting!
Here are a couple more:
The third class was my Fire and Ice Bargello quilt. This is one of my most popular patterns on Craftsy. This class was a little different because it was based on a specific design I created several years ago. But I encouraged the students to make it their own. This class was held over two days, because there’s a lot of stitching required, and I like for my students to be able to make enough progress in class that they can finish on their own at home.
Here’s my version:
Some students opted to make the quilt very similar to mine–you can see them below.
Others decided to do something different–using a another color scheme or another size altogether.
Thanks to all the students who spent the weekend with me–it was fun!
And then there were the show quilts!
Here are a few of my favorites in no particular order:
I loved the colors and lines in Go Green by Linda Evans, above.
I had the good fortune to meet MJ Kinman last September when we were both in Ohio filming our segments for Quilting Arts TV–we’re even in the same episode! Check PBS for listing in your area, or visit https://www.quiltingcompany.com/quilting-arts-tv-series-2100/ to order your copy of the entire season.
I love Jenny Emry’s work above-she’s been creating improvisationally since before improv was cool! And she’s a member of my guild in Virginia.
And I was fortunate to have a small piece in the show myself–Pastel Impressions:
I made it large so you could see the stitching, but in reality it’s just 14″ square.
The only drawback was I came home with the flu–so I’ve been in bed most of the week! This has been my view–it’s times like these that I really miss my cats who used to keep me company when I wasn’t feeling well. Thankfully I’m feeling much better now.
Thanks for reading to the end of this long post and I love to hear your comments, as always!