A few weeks ago in this blog I recalled the fun that I had attending the AQS Quilt Show in Des Moines in the middle of September. But the fun didn’t end when I finished viewing all of the amazing quilts that were juried into the show. Oh no! That was just the beginning.
After seeing the quilts I headed to the vendors as I had a shopping list which included thread from Superior and a wall calendar from AQS. Might as well save on those shipping costs! In that area I also had the good fortune to run into my quilting friend, Sara Kenny, who is our State Coordinator for Quilts of Valor. She always has good tips and fun stories to share. She told me about a new thread color to try, a quilting workshop being held in Lincoln within the next few weeks, and a Quilt of Valor presentation happening at the convention. I was so tempted to look closer at the booths filled with fabric and kits until I remembered what I already have in my sewing room back home.
After a quick lunch I attended the Quilt of Valor presentation. The veteran had served during the Vietnam war and had training in Morse Code. At one point he and others in his group were captured by the enemy. Upon returning home he received training on what to do if he was captured by the enemy! The presentation itself was interesting to me as I could compare how this group managed it with the way that my group does it.
In the afternoon I attended a three-hour class called Rulers Are Your Friends: Learn Ruler Work on the Long Arm. The instructor was Kristina Whitney, a Handi-Quilter studio educator. I have followed many of her YouTube videos so it was fun to learn from her in person. A great majority of the class had little or no experience with rulers but I still came away with a few new tips. I learned how the dotted lines on my rulers can help to keep my stitched lines even. And I learned how to do a Zentangle - a fun design that I can use in squares. I also tried out some different rulers and ended up purchasing one that makes mini scallops.
In the late afternoon I attended a trunk show by Gina Perkes-Tidwell entitled How Do I Quilt This? Most of the quilts she talked about were shown via a slide show but she gave helpful hints and explained her process in choosing designs for her beautiful quilts. We also viewed some quilts that were constructed by members of the audience while she gave the maker ideas on how to quilt their creation. She was highly entertaining so the two hours went by very quickly.
My second day at the show consisted of another class taught by Kristina Whitney entitled Expanding Your Free Motion Skills on the Long Arm. A portion of a Dream Big panel was loaded on each of the machines which was the perfect canvas on which to try some new designs. Kristina also showed us some ways to discover new designs on our own.
Overall it was a fun couple of days. It was fun to see the great show quilts. It was fun to browse through the vendors. It was fun to take classes and learn new tips and tricks. It was fun to get some freebies - thread and rulers - to try. It was fun to talk to quilters who speak my language. Now I can’t wait for another opportunity to attend a national show.