Monday, April 13, 2015

MQX 2015

OMG, what an amazing experience. This was my first year teaching at MQX and I am so glad I got out of my own way, dealt with all my stupid (yes, stupid) insecurities, conquered my nerves, and did it. Janet-Lee and Mary had been pestering me (in the best, nicest way) to get off my nervous tushy and teach. Thank goodness they were persistent, because even with all my anxieties, it was one of the most fantastic experiences ever!

I'll start off by saying I did not take nearly enough photos. I know this is hard to believe because I always take way too many!

One of the first photos - sunrise, shortly after takeoff

Why yes, that is IS snow down there!

I am kicking myself. After I arrived on Tuesday I had the wonderful opportunity to help Cathy Wiggins set up her exhibit. Guess what? Yep, didn't take a single picture! It was quite the experience though, and I'm really glad Cathy didn't mind me sniffing all her leather quilts - the leather aroma is fabulous.

And, as if being one of Gammill's Quilting Artists wasn't reward enough... here is a rare sight, Jearld and Mike (two of Gammill's best technicians) helping to load fabric for one of my sold-out hands-on classes. This is not part of their normal job detail as techs -- it just goes to show how much Gammill really is family!

My first packed-full hands-on class.

And guess what... SNOW!!  I know all of you wonderful peeps from up north have had more than enough, but for me, this was a real treat!

Here's a quick front and back view of Joey's quilt, It's a Jungle. The backing is one of Sondra Millard/She's Got Mojo ice dyes.

And thanks to some students I actually have a couple pics while I was teaching!
photo courtesy of Terry Burris

photo courtesy of Colleen Nunes
A peek at downtown Manchester:

One of the awesome honors that every teacher at MQX gets is the ability to award their Teacher Ribbon.  I did manage to wander around on preview night to find my favorite. I chose Inspiration by Lousie Brogan.  Her story touched my heart, as quilting was also a source of healing for me a few years ago.

Here are two more fabulous Gammill Girls, as well as peeps I like to call friends - Jodi Robinson and Gina Perkes.  And don't be shocked, I'm letting my greys grow out, we'll have to see how it goes. I've got my fingers crossed that it's gonna be really cool as they are only at my hairline around my face - what do they call them, wisdom highlights - we're gonna have to see!

Here's a pic snapped during my photo shoot with Bonnie McCaffery -- she makes you feel totally at ease.  I can not wait to get my head shots back!
photo courtesy of Gina Perkes
And a really cool candid shot Bonnie snapped during the shoot. I absolutely LOVE this pic!
photo by Bonnie McCaffery
A totally awesome wall mural of Manchester in the convention center

 Another sold-out hands-on class

And finally, one of my favorite creativity classes - Spontaneous Art Quilt.  I have to share that when I was explaining what we would be doing in class I had a bunch of open-mouthed stares.  But, ten minutes into the class there was a giant mess of fabrics and findings everywhere and the students were having a ball creating away - a few finished project pics follow.

I especially have to share this lovely lady - this is Mary, she is 17 and this was her first time ever using a longarm.  Mary Shilke (MQX) scholarshipped her into the class - totally awesome, kudos to both Marys as we must share our art with the younger generation -- they are the future of this industry!

Here are just some of the finished projects:

Like I said, it was a fantastic experience - a giant thank you to both Janet-Lee and Mary, as well as each and every one of my students.  I can only hope to be asked back again next year!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Journeys Thru Art - Famous Female Faces

The 2015 theme for my art group, Journeys Thru Art, was Famous Female Faces.  You might remember a few of my previous posts about Lucy (if not just type Lucy in the blog search bar).  Well, today was our deadline.  We met for photos and our celebration lunch.  The projects were all so awesome, I just had to share them here:

Lucy (43x53) - Karen Marchetti

Diana (39x38) - Pam Post

Carmen Miranda (31x36) - Marian McCoin

Lady Liberty (38x46) - Natalie Carlton

Mary (36x48) - Nancy Parsons

Pebbles (39x47) Kathy Rentz

Georgia's Pride 949x35) - Nancy Smith

Tina Simply the Best (33x42) - Barbara Lacey
Aren't they just the greatest!! And here is the awesome group of ladies creating these beauties:

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

MQX - My Quilts and ME!

The other day I received this awesome email from MQX. Nice!

Lucy, my project for this years Journeys Thru Art challenge, was accepted. Awesome! I had been wanting to do a Lucy quilt for a while now, and when Journeys decided on Famous Female Faces I knew I'd be making a Lucy quilt.  I went back and forth between different techniques and kept coming back to using purple. I ordered a yardage bundle of Cherrywood Hand-Dyed Fabrics in the eggplant gradation colorway. My friend asked why I chose purple, and I just blurted out "it was Lucy's favorite color" - I had no idea of this, I was joking. Then my curiosity got the best of me and after a little google research I found out that purple was one of her favorite colors so it turned out pretty cool!
So here's Lucy (I still need to square and put the binding on):

It's a Jungle was also accepted. More awesomeness! It's a Jungle was started eons ago as a bed quilt for my son. I pulled it out and made a serious attempt to finish it for Christmas. Well, that didn't happen, and I guess it's good, because now it gets to go to MQX! It is truly a bed quilt, the pattern is Bound to the Prairie by Moda University. Of course I didn't follow directions and went my own way with colors, or should I say my reduced number of colors. And just wait until you see the backing for this quilt! It's an ice-dye by Sondra Millard/She's Got Mojo. I had sent her pics of my fabrics and she created magic (like she always does). This quilt is still being quilted so these are the only pictures I can share right now:

And do you know who else is going to MQX New England?... ME!  I'll be teaching!!  A couple of my hands-on classes have sold out, and space is limited in my others, so go check it out soon!!  Will I see you there?

Monday, February 2, 2015

East Coast Gammill/Statler Conference!

I just returned home from the East Coast Gammill/Statler Conference -- what an incredible event! I couldn't have asked for a better venue to start my teaching journey. Lori & Steve Clayton from Threads Run Thru It were excellent hosts and really pulled off a spectacular event. Lots of thanks also go out to Gammill Quilting for their hand in the event - I am honored to be a Gammill Quilting Artist!

Introduction of the educators at the Meet & Greet:
photo courtesy of Jennifer Smith/Gammill Quilting
A view of my classroom -- it wasn't quiet for long!

I was so nervous about teaching. For those that know me, I have anxiety issues -- lol, I should just say I have issues, I'm still not at total ease with the lecture part of teaching, as I often struggle to find words. I am so much better at the let-me-show-you part. But I do think I found a good balance point to start from.

Here are some pictures from my Spontaneous Art Quilt class - this class was a blast! So much creativity happening I just had to snap some pics:

and here's a picture of the group:

I don't have pictures from my other classes (insert frowny face), but Jen from Gammill snapped this one while I was speaking (and I managed to keep my hands still):
photo courtesy of Jennifer Smith/Gammill Quilting
And, of course, a few candids with some of my favorite people:

I didn't get a chance to snap a pic with our wonderful hosts, Steve and Lori.  This weekend was a wonderful experience. I met so many fabulous people and was thrilled that I was able to share my knowledge with them. I can only hope to be asked back next year, and you can make sure I'll get that picture with Steve and Lori!