Riley Blake’s Fabric Fest – a recap

I had to do a quick recap of Riley Blake’s Fabric Fest last week. The preparation consumed my life for the past weeks, but it was so fun to finally get there and be around lots of fun people and all kinds of fabric-y inspiration. It was also a little bit surreal to see quilting legends like Eleanor Burns and Jenny Doan live and in person. (Did you know Eleanor Burns has written over 100 books? Ho.Lee.Smokes.)
The folks at Riley Blake went all out to make it a great event! They even had a fashion show (that included quilts too) one night – sadly, my pics didn’t turn out great of that.  Local Las Vegas quilt shop Quiltique set up shop in one of the Ballrooms with dozens of bolts of Riley Blake collections and basics. It was hard to resist, I tell you.
I taught a few different classes. (Four actually. Hence the reason my life has been crazy the past few weeks.) The first class was an introduction discussion of Modern quilting, which included an improv-inspired, quilt-as-you-go project. I was so nervous but everyone in the class was great and it seemed to be a new technique for a lot of people. I loved seeing what people came up with.  The bag on the right wasn’t made in the class, but was another quilt-as-you-go project that I spotted and loved.
The ladies in the class for the Union Jack bag did such an awesome job!! We ran out of time to finish in class, but many of them came back to open sewing that night and finished! I was so proud of them. I am planning to write and publish the pattern for this Union Jack block and bag. When life calms down a bit. A HUGE thank you to Pellon for sponsoring the batting and Peltex for this project. We used the Utlra Firm Fusible Stabilizer (Peltex 71F) for this project and it worked splendidly.
My other two classes didn’t have specific projects attached to them. One was a scraps class with lots of ideas for sorting and using fabric scraps. It was so fun to see the creativity that came out of there. We also made storage cubes inspired by Amanda Jean’s tutorial.
Remember this bunch of solids I was bundling together into kits? It was SO MUCH FUN to see the way the different class members used those solids.
This class was about Modern Quilts inspired by traditional quilting. (I started a pin board with some of the examples I used.) We talked about staying true to our aesthetic and style, but pushing the boarders of that box a little. I LOVED what everyone did and the variety of ideas that came out of that same bundle of solid prints.
This one is by Heather. I think I need to make a whole quilt inspired by her creation. Loved it.
Finally, the best part of sewing retreats are the people. Always. Thank you SO MUCH to all those who introduced yourselves to me. Each one made my day even better. I have loved the people I’ve come to know through quilting and through writing this blog. My roommate Melissa from the Polkadot Chair is one of those people I came to know virtually and has become a great friend. We rarely see each other in person, so this was fun.
Jenny Doan was one of the key note speakers at lunch one day and said something to the effect that “People’s hearts are changed through this (sewing and quilting) hobby.” We start out creating something for ourselves, then loved ones, and then sooner or later, you’re creating with the desire to share and bless other people who need some love in their lives. I loved when she said that because it rang true to me. I’ve always tried to pin down why quilter’s are such good folks and I think Jenny summed it up – because something about this kind of creativity changes our hearts.

Comments

  1. says

    I love all your photos of the event. Looks like you couldn't help but have a blast there! Thanks for the eye candy and words of wisdom regarding quilters… I couldn't agree more!

  2. says

    i was there! it was so amazing :) i saw you a few times and wanted to tell you what a huge fan i am…but it always felt so stalker-ish haha anyway, im a big fan :)<br />p.s. wasn&#39;t eleanor burns hilarious?!

  3. says

    That was a lovely post – not only eye candy and creativity inspiration but those words at the end from Jenny Doan. I&#39;m glad you had such a good time and I have to say – I&#39;m loving that Union Jack bag.

  4. says

    I hope you got some sleep this last weekend….you needed it after all that teaching! I wish we would&#39;ve had the chance to chat more….we need to do that soon.<br />Elizabeth

  5. says

    Thank you for sharing, I really wanted to go but it was the first week of school here in Canada (I had one starting Kindergarten so BIG moment!) Maybe next year. I can&#39;t wait for your Union Jack bag pattern, I have a very dear friend who is a British ex. pat and this would be such a perfect gift for her!

  6. says

    Hi Amy! I&#39;m glad I had the pleasure to meet you in Vegas and take the class about Modern Quilts inspired by traditional quilting. (I&#39;m the one wearing a polka dots cardigan!). I&#39;m gonna make a post about your class soon. I also have a picture with you! I&#39;m looking forward to the next Riley Blake Festival!

  7. says

    oh how fun! I especially loved the ironing board photo through the lobby I saw somewhere this week…IG? I am so glad you were able to go and share your wealth with what looks like a great group of quilters! I would love for you to come to Texas sometime!!!!!

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