Friday, May 9, 2014

Quilt classes with Kona Solids + an Olympian

I mentioned a little while back that I was asked to teach simple quilting class at a blogging conference called SNAP. I was slightly terrified because while this was a conference that attracted a lot of crafty people, when I have gone in years past I have been one of the only quilters there. I really worried that the response to a quilting class would be minimal. (I'm a chronic worrier.)
I tried to talk the organizers out of it, but they kept moving forward with the idea (they had more faith than me), so that meant I needed to come up with a simple quilt project, geared toward beginners, that we could accomplish in an hour and a half. I wanted to go with something just a step up from basic squares so the perfect answer: Half Square Triangles. Something ultra-versatile with lots of design options that could be easily made into a 16" pillow.
Robert Kaufman fabrics was kind enough to sponsor the class, providing everyone with a charm pack of Kona whites and brights. This left a lot of room for personal expression and playing with color.
My original plan was to alternate the bright colors with white (as you can see by the blocks above.) Then I started playing with only the brights. It was a fun exercise away from my normal "pair-everything-with-white" comfort zone. Inspired my my Kona solids blocks quilt. I need to do more stuff like this.
The conference took place at the end of April. The Sewing Room at SNAP was organized by the wonderful Elizabeth and Liz from Simple Simon and Co. They pulled together some great classes with wonderful teachers (I was seriously honored to be included). Check out that sewing machine - you can read more about the blinged-out sewing machine here. And the best part: people came to my class! Yay! And they were super fun people! Check out Bev, Kim, and Jennifer rocking those quilt blocks.
One of my favorite things about teaching (especially beginners) is seeing people's own creativity and personal style come through. Here you can see Melissa, Katy, and Mandy working on their creations. For most everyone in the class, this was the first time they had sewn together a quilt block. It was so much fun to see them get a taste and hopefully, catch the fever. ;) I am totally kicking myself that I didn't get a better group shot of a bunch of the blocks - there were some really great ones! A few other quilt blocks are Amy's (below) and Bobbie's.
For my major "D'OH!" moment of the weekend, 45 minutes before I was supposed to teach my class I accidentally locked my purse, phone, quilts, class supplies, and KEYS in my car. ARGH! So I tried to patiently meditate in the hotel parking garage for 30 mins while I waited for a locksmith to come rescue me and all my stuff! Fortunately Glen pulled it off and I made it to my class in time to set up. 

In contrast to that low moment of the day, the key note speaker that night was Noelle Pikus-Pace. Being the Olympics-nerd that I am, I happened to recognize her sitting quietly at the table right behind me waiting for dinner. No one else was around at that moment so I thought, I'm going to just go tell her how much my family loved cheering for her during the recent Winter Olympics. So I did. At which point I totally started crying. (Such. A. Dork.) She is a hero to my girls and I got weepy feeling grateful that there are women like her for them to look up to. Fortunately she wasn't scared and let me take a picture with her. I felt a little more justified when she had the whole ball room in tears at the end of her speech. 

Good times.
One more thing. Speaking of Kona solids, I have something fun to share. In June I am hosting a Mystery Quilt workshop for Craftsy!! (Woo!!) This workshop will feature a brand new quilt design using the Kona New Bright Collection roll up. It is SO cheerful and perfect for summer. Sign ups have already started for the workshop, which includes the fabric for the quilt top, and it is currently discounted 25% off! This workshop is not one of the Craftsy video classes, but a series of exclusive tutorials available only to class members. Let me know if you join the fun. I'm so excited to share!

20 comments:

Sandra Louise said...

Hi Amy, what a cool event. I can totally relate to the crying. I'm afraid that'll be me next year at QuiltCon!

Kristyn @ Melon Patch Quilts said...

Ha ha ha I thought Glen was your husband, until I saw the logo on the locksmith truck. Sorry you had so much stress minutes before your class, but looks like you kept your cool and carried on! The blocks that the students made look great- bet they were all so proud.

123-Nadelei said...

nice Colors blue & green

Thimbleanna said...

Ohmygosh, I got teary when I read that you started crying! It sounds like you had a great time. I love your sweet blue pillow!

Jess (a.k.a. Rosie) said...

Sounds like you had an amazing time!! I've totally done that before with locking everything in my car and the most inopportune time.... with the car running even! I just checked out the workshop and I think I'm going to sign up! Looks like alot of fun!

~ Jess ~
Everything Is Coming Up Rosie

RCWfamily said...

I signed up for the class....VERY excited!

Ecochic said...

I signed up for the class, too!

Sigi G said...

Oh Amy - been there - when you told about locking 'everything' in the car. I just agonized with you when I read that part. Stories to tell and 'laugh' about later, but just awful when going through the experience. I'm so glad that everything after that was a wonderful time! The blocks are amazing, especially after hearing that for some it was their FIRST time making a block. What a wonderful feeling for them and for you!

Lucy @ Charm About You said...

It looks like a lot of fun! Great that you got to meet someone so inspirational! I imagine I would cry like a dork if I met you ;)

dolores said...

You are just so cute in your teary eye sweetness!:)

Rebecca Grace said...

Bless your heart -- you poor thing, locking your keys in your car right before you are scheduled to teach! And OF COURSE people signed up for your class, because you ROCK, girlfriend! :-) Although the Kona charm pack was a great idea for the class, it reminded me of the essay in Megan (a.k.a. the Bitchy Stitcher) Dougherty's humor piece about teaching kids to quilt, where she buys a charm pack assortment from a stranger on eBay and then her kid finds squares of porn fabric mixed in with the school bus and dinosaurs fabric... VERY funny book, if you haven't read it yet -- called Quilting Isn't Funny. Anyway. But I do love Kona and I'm challenging myself to start stashing and using more solids. For years I've been hoarding every wild print that jumps up and down and begs to come home with me, and then whenever I want to make something I have to go back out to the LQS and buy more fabric because nothing in my stash plays nice with anything else. It's like I have a cupboard full of opera divas who refuse to work with one another. ANYWHO -- I'm glad your class went well!

Shannon said...

I'm signed up for the Craftsy workshop! My fabric arrived and is sitting on my cutting table, driving me crazy because I don't know what we're going to do with it! Can't wait for June 1st . . . .

Shar said...

I'm going to look into taking the class it looks like a lot of fun!

Catherine said...

Just wanted to say thank you for signing my copy of your book. It arrived so quickly here in the UK too

Martha Cook said...

I just signed up yesterday for the class. Looking forward to it! Love mysteries.

Colleen said...

I received my material yesterday Amy and I'm so excited to have a workshop with you!
Happy Mother's Day dear one!

SewPsyched! said...

This is so awesome! You rock, Girl!!!

Sue Hall said...

I love the first photo, such beautiful blues make the design stand out and the angle of the cushion with the bowls and books is great. Just the sort of picture I struggle to take. Thank you for sharing your photos.

Jess (a.k.a. Rosie) said...

Just signed up and ordered my kit yesterday!! Can't wait for June 1st to get started!! I'm a newbie quilter and have never done a mystery quilt or anything. So excited!!!

Jan aka StampQn said...

I'm signed up for the class and have my kit.