Classes at the Quilt Show

This past week I was fortunate to have attended the American Quilters Society "Quilt Week" in Grand Rapids, MI. Since 2013, AQS has brought this show to DeVos Center which is about 45 miles from my home. The show will be here in 2018, but I don't know if that will be the last year or not.

I have saved funds through the year so I could take classes. I was not disappointed in my choice of instructors! I have taken classes in the past and have added some new skill or technique to my repertoire.

Wow! What a wealth of quilting knowledge to be had. When I take a class I do not go with expectations of learning everything these quilters can do. But if I go away with one new idea, or accomplishment that I can try at home, I am very happy. I am extremely pleased if I take away more than one thing. And I never expect to complete a project in the class, there is just not enough time!

This year I attended these half day classes:

Machine Lace and Bobbin Work with Phyllis Cullen

Bodacious Big Thread Applique with Susan Cleveland

Introduction to Paints, Inks, and Foil with Kathy McNeil

Fearless Feather Fun with Linda Thielfoldt


Improv Blocks with Sheila Frampton Cooper

We used heavy, decorative threads or yarns in the bobbin. These are the threads and crochet yarns I brought.

The sewing machine dealer set the bobbin tensions for us. Phyllis suggested some ways to adjust our bobbin tensions at home--the one I would choose is to get another bobbin just for adjusting and leave my regular bobbin as it is for sewing. We used the bobbin winder spool, but held the threads with our hand and wound slowly!

We worked from the back side of the piece, layering the fabric, right side down on the table, then a layer of batting, and on top of those layers, a piece of embroidery stabilizer (with the drawing reversed on it).

An embroidery hoop held it all taut and we moved it as we sewed. This is what I got done in the class-- part of the body and the wings shown below.

Phyllis did say that the top thread color should match the heavier threads in the bobbin so they blend. It is sometimes impossible to get the top thread to pull tight enough to bury itself in the heavier threads. You can see that on my wings where the white thread shows over the black yarn.

As this week progresses, I will post more about the classes I took during the week. Tell us if you have taken classes while attending a show, such as the AQS and what you took away from it.

Happy Quilting!

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