Thursday, October 13, 2011

PIQF - Day 2

I had one of the most fabulous classes of my life today, learning all about hand quilting with Dierdra McElroy. Didi is one of the best teachers I've ever experienced - she approaches the skill of hand quilting from a scientific perspective (she has a degree in Veterinary Medicine) and has done incredible amounts of research into the elements of hand quilting regarding ergonomics, and has come up with some remarkable techniques to make it a totally enjoyable procedure. The entire 3-hour morning segment of class was a riveting lecture on basting, fabric, batting, thread, hoops and frames, thimbles, needles and quilting design. Whoa!! You just don't sit down and stab a needle through a quilt sandwich and wind up with a quilting masterpiece! So much to consider... it's downright, damn awesome, and Didi presented it in an exciting, learned and totally professional manner.

The afternoon session was the "lab" portion of the class, and did, indeed, feature a lot of stabbing of needles through quilt sandwiches, but, armed with the massive amount of knowledge we'd been fed in the morning, it was a pretty exciting experience. It was a little hard to get a grip on it at first, but after a few frustrating fits and starts, most of us grasped the concept with varying degrees of competence. I actually managed to rack up a count of 10 stitches/inch - pretty good for a beginner. The fact that the stitches went like /\/\\///\/ didn't seem to be important... we were promised this defect would clear up with practice. I've done a bit more since returning to my room this evening, and am beginning to think I'm actually getting the hang of it. Now I just need to toughen up the index finger of my left hand so that it can deal with a bunch of needle pokes until I REALLY learn how to do it properly.

Okay, as promised, here's some more quilts...

The winner for "Best Use of Color"...

'Ice Poppies' by Grace J. Errea

One of the Judges' Choice winners, and, unfortunately, this photo doesn't do it any justice... this piece was quilted to within an inch of its life... it was simply drop-dead amazing!

'Montana Tigers' by Karlyn Bue Lohrenz

Another Judges' Choice award, this one for exceptional hand work, which, alas, isn't visible in the picture, but it was incredible!

'Georgia On My Mind' by Nancy S. Brown

Yet more cool pieces...

'Rain Dance" by Ann Horton

'Just Doodling' by Loretta Armstrong, Pat Dicker & Sandra Harrington

'The Tsar's Decree' by Megan Farkas

'Begonia Picotee Lace' by Pat Durbin

Are you ready for this???

'Jack' by Sandy Curran

Last, but not least, a few more critters...

'Dogs' Day Out' by Barbara Confer

'The Squirrel's Speech' by Barbara Barrick McKie

'Ringo' by Helen M. Bruke

'First Kisses' by Kathy McNei

'A Simple Touch' by Pat Rollie

Tonight's dinner plans went to hell in a hand basket, so I spent a quiet evening in my room, editing photos and whacking out a few more hand quilting stitches. My "under-the-quilt-finger" is pretty banged up from being repeatedly stabbed by my untrained needle hand, so I've soaked it a couple of times and it's feeling marginally better. Didi says the best thing for this problem isn't Bag Balm, or Vitamin E, or any of a bunch of other healing ointments, but... dig this... Preparation H!!! Hmmm...

Rosalie will be arriving any minute, and I expect we'll be up most of the rest of the night laughing and scratching.

Tomorrow is another day with Dierdra, this time for Hand Applique... another skill I've been dying to learn how to do RIGHT!

No comments: