The International Quilt Festival in Chicago is over, and I'm recuperating. So is my wallet.
I was able to take quite a few classes this time around, and took away quite a bit. The first class was a day-long class from Wendy Butler Berns on a machine applique technique. To get our feet wet, we worked with one of her patterns: Captivating Coneflower.
The fabrics were our own that we brought in and arranged to finish out the design of the piece. I was surprised at how easy this technique really was. I have been living and working in fear of the dreaded applique, but in the end, this isn't that much harder than fusible applique. One of the things that I really liked about it was that there was no flipping of the design; we worked the entire time from the front of the fabric and the design. Edges were turned under, toward the back. This made it pretty easy to see how all the pieces fit together.
I was happy that I finished enough of the design to be able to transport it safely. All that is left to do on the quilt top is to add a dragonfly in the sky above the flower. This will be done with fusible, simply because the details are a little bit finer, making the process of turning seams under bulky and difficult. Then I can run a zig-zag stitch around the edges of each piece, and then it's ready to go.
One of the other classes I took was exceedingly fun. Bonnie Langenfeld taught a class on Saturday on creating a landscape with thread painting. It felt like there was no doing wrong with the stitching; it was so relaxed. It was very freeing, and already I'm addicted to the process and buying more luscious threads. A fiend has been created!
I actually finished the piece in class, too! This was a first for me, and many of my classmates.