Tuesday, November 4, 2008

IQF - Part 1

I had the privilege to attend the International Quilt Festival in Houston last week!  It's not the first time - I've been twice before - but my last visit was in 2005.  Even though I've been a couple of times, I still find the experience to be exciting and full of inspiration and fun.  I've tons of news and pictures to share so will update you on my time there in a couple of posts over the coming days.  I have much to do this week, so please bear with me as I write the posts in my spare time.

One of Ricky's quilts from the workshop quilt show
From Ricky Tims' Super Quilt Seminar

We flew to Houston last Wednesday afternoon so that I could take workshops Thursday through Saturday.  I started off with a 2-day workshop Thursday and Friday with Ricky Tims, Alex Anderson and Libby Lehman.  I was certainly looking forward to time with some of the bigwigs in the quilting world and assumed it would be a pretty small class.  WRONG.  I think there were close to 100 people in the room.  However, it was actually really well-organized so that everyone could see. They had the speakers on a raised platform, had a videographer and a projector and screen so that you could really see the demos that the instructors were doing, etc.  I was fortunate enough to get there early enough on both days to get a seat in the third row.

While we didn't do any actual sewing over the course of the two days, we did receive a 120+ page "syllabus" (not available for sale) that described how to do all of the things that they showed us.  And we covered a lot of ground, including Ricky's Caveman, Convergence, Kaleidoscope, and Rhapsody Quilts; Libby's applique and sheer ribbon illusions techniques; Alex's hand quilting, color and fabric shopping tips; as well as techniques for flip 'n sew, paper piecing, curved piecing, set-in corners and circles, and piped bindings.  Whew! That's a lot!

At the back of the room, there was a small "show" of Ricky and Libby's quilts hung just for us to look at, and they had two tables with samples that we could touch, feel, and inspect.  If you'd like to see images from this private quilt show, you can check out my album from the workshop.

While I have a lot going on right now and won't have time to start any of the projects covered in the seminar, I really, really, really want to make one of the kaleidoscope quilts. It's way easier than it looks, and you can see Ricky putting one together on a design wall here.
Ricky shows the Kaleidoscope Quilt Process
From Ricky Tims' Super Quilt Seminar

All of the instructors were good and put a lot of humor into their presentation.  I was also impressed with how well they managed time and the transition from slides to live action and back.  And the PowerPoint slides, while duplicating some of the material in the "syllabus," weren't copied exactly word for word, so it was entertaining and you felt like you really got something out of being there, as opposed to having gotten the same thing out of simply reading the syllabus.  I especially liked the personal stories that the instructors told about how they got into quilting, what their sewing space looked like, mishaps in design and sewing processes, etc. All that being said, there were a few times where I felt like we were in church and the seminar was being run with call and response tactics to "make us converts."    

It was also quite interesting to see the demographic represented.  At one point, Ricky determined the age of the oldest person in the group.  Would you believe that one woman was 81? And another was 80! Good for them!  The next day, he did the opposite process and had people stand by decades of age ranges, moving downwards to see how many people were in each group.  There was one woman in her 20s, and two of us in our 30s!  Being amongst the youngest was enough to score me a free DVD.  Isn't that cool?
Libby Lehman Quilt From Ricky Tims' Super Quilt Seminar

More about other aspects of the show soon.  But most importantly, don't forget to exercise your civic duty today: get out and vote!!

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