IQF 2012: Monday!

Monday’s Fine Finishes class, all about edge finishes and bindings, included a large contingent from Brazil!

Fine Finishes is one of my favorite classes to teach.  It included PERFECT mitered bindings, facings, piping and couched yarn edges, plus other techniques depending on the student’s speed.  So far, every single student has been able to get a perfect miter and corner–in part because I show them WHY they get rounded or dog-ear corners instead.  Then, I’ll have them do a couple INcorrectly on purpose so they can write notes right on the sample to remind them later what to do.  WOOT!  I really am going to write a book, I promise!  Someone find me an extra month or two, OK?   Anyway, my teaching week began late on Sunday when I arrived in Houston, went over to the awesome IQF Teacher’s room, and sorted and organized the things I had shipped ahead to be ready for each day.  On Monday–the last day of Quilt Market (for the trade only), I had a nearly-full class which was awesome.  On the left I had about seven ladies from Brazil, and one was kind enough to translate for the others whose English wasn’t as strong as hers:  thank you Leticia!  Great results all around!

Here, some students come up to look at my samples up close and take photos to remind themselves when they get home. I’ve found that the samples tend to get buried under papers and whatnot if students take them to their machines, so am now asking students to come up and examine as long as they wish but leave the samples up so others can do the same! Plus, they’re more interesting to look at than a blank convention center wall!

Janome-America has been SO GOOD to me for over 8 years now, including me in the artist and teacher program.  Because I’m familiar with Janome machines, I always ask to teach in a Janome classroom.  For Monday’s class we got the 3160, a smaller Janome that is a great travel-to-class/retreat machine as well as a good machine for at home. It’s not heavy like my beloved 6600/7700s but has almost as many features.  The students did great on them!  Thanks to Janome for sponsoring various machine classrooms at IQF!

Students working!

Happy! Learning to make a couched-yarn edge which is great for small pieces, fabric postcards and other small items. Would even work great on a light-use vest!  Note the white fabric in the practice sandwiches:  students can write notes to themselves right on the sample so the notes don’t get lost!  The samples are sized to fit inside a plastic page protector and can then be put into a binder for future reference.

One student who worked quickly wanted to learn prairie points, so we whipped out Susan K. Cleveland’s Prairie Pointer tool (see it here). Prairie Points can be inserted into a facing, as here, or if you want the to point towards the quilt, insert into a traditional binding.  Check out the rest of Susan’s stuff…. her books are GREAT!

Another view of the class, with my samples on the large 4×8 sheets of foam core at the front. I selected small quilts with a wide range of edge finishes to share so students can see how to apply what they are learning in class to their own quilts.

One goal for my week in Houston was to go to the original Ninfa’s, on Navigation street, more than once. I started with Mexican food at Guadalajara on Sunday evening (walking distance from the convention center), then went to Ninfa’s on Monday….for the first time!

OH MY….. my stomach gets happy just LOOKING at this photo. The plate in the bottom center is mine: El Henry: a taco, tamale and enchilada with frijoles and rice. The absolutely astonishing fact is that I did not put on weight that week! And I ate myself silly-happy!

Susan Brubaker Knapp and I met online and became friends…. we both have two kids about the same age, work as teachers and authors, and love machine quilting!   When we realized we were going to be in Houston together, dinner was a must!  Susan knows Kelly Jackson of I Have A Notion (here), so we gathered up a group and went to Ninfa’s.  Believe it or not, we were NOT tipsy in this photo, just totally relaxed and happy and having fun!  I was on the phone calling the hotel shuttle (Thank you to Embassy Suites…and now that I have secured my reservation for next year, I can tell you how SUPERLATIVE the service was at the hotel!).

Left to right: Kelly Jackson from I Have a Notion website (great name, great site!), Susan Brubaker Knapp and me, sitting on the patio (yes, there were heaters).

I roomed this year with the wonderful Mary Ellen Kranz, who is a part-time resident here in Maine and a dear friend of one of the local quilt guild (Coastal Quilters) members.  I am SO glad she talked me into using her reservation at Embassy Suites instead of mine.  The hotel was fabulous.  The suite was fabulous. Mary Ellen was fabulous! On the way out of the hotel the last evening, I said I hoped to be able to snag a reservation there for next year.  They took our email addresses and, glory be!, sent us a heads-up email saying when reservations would “go live” since hotels usually sell out within a couple hours of taking reservations.  So I was ready and have my reservation.  NICE…and typical of the great service they offered.  Can you tell I was really pleased?  WELL worth the small extra cost per person to stay there.

Looking at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston (about 1/3 mile long!), site of International Quilt Festival, and the lights of Houston, from our 19th floor suite at Embassy Suites.

I’ll be back with more!



One Response to “IQF 2012: Monday!”

  1. Jean Says:

    Looks like you had a fun time. Glad you met Kelly. She’s a one of a kind and a good friend of mine.