I had a terrific time with my blogging buddies in Long Beach, California!
The picture below is dark, sorry....but there are Barbara, me, Debra, and Rian, about to be served our lunch after a long morning at the show for them, and in class for me. We cleaned our plates, let me assure you....
Our time together was everything I knew it would be...so full of easy and stimulating friendship, lots of stitching talk, and late night storytelling in our pajamas, all of us sharing one big hotel room. What a great gift, for us bloggers to get to spend time together...
I only had one class with Paula Scaffidi, a mere three hours, but it would have been worth the entire trip to Long Beach just for that.
Entitled "Luscious Fruit", the workshop taught how to create three-dimensionally shaded felted fruits, for applique or needlefelting onto textile projects (could be wearables, too, as these items were constructed to be washable).
I am an ethical blogger, so will not post step by step pictures of how I made my fruit...Paula worked hard to put together a class that was just aces....and she deserves to be paid for her great information.
Visit her website to see pictures of the incredible work she does.
I will say that one of the reasons her presentation was so strong was that she made optimal use of her PowerPoint capabilities. As we went through the steps of creating our fruits, she would tell her helper, "Lights down!" and present clear sequential pictures on a big screen of the technique she wanted us to learn next. She even had videos embedded in the Powerpoint that showed her doing what we were supposed to do...again, these were perfectly in sequence so that the class just flowed.
I truly think the efficiency this gave us all allowed her to present much more content than a normal 3 hour class.
Here is a sample screen shot I took from my seat. This shows how to lay out our roving to make a more rounded looking shape.
When a question came up, she had her flipboard all ready to illustrate her answers.
And here is my class project, after 3 hours....
The piece of inner brocade background is 9" X 12", to give you an idea of the scale and size. My little cherries don't have their stems yet, and I need some more velvet leaves.....
I can't wait to finish this!
Paula says she has a book coming out next year, and she intends to include a DVD with it that will illustrate her techniques the way she used videos in class. This is so innovative, don't you think? Her book will set the standard for needlefelting, of this I have no doubt.
Thank you, Paula!
Speaking of standard-setting books, on the flights down and then back home, I had the enjoyment of reading Cindy Brick's new one, Crazy Quilts: History, Techniques, Embroidery Motifs. (It is available on Amazon, but the first printing is almost sold out. A second printing is due to ship by mid-August. You can order it from her website, of course, which is actually better because I think she gets more profit that way!)
I found it to be a very classy production. It is informative, written in an engaging style, and with lots of pictures of wonderful quilts. The printing and production of the book itself is of very high quality. Cindy includes some new techniques to try when making your own crazy quilt, as well as the tried and true traditional methods.
There will be more about this book in an upcoming review in CQMagOnline.
From my reading I felt much more informed about what I was looking at when Debra, Rian and I happened upon a very fine pile of crazy quilts from the 1880's at a vendor's booth. I was allowed to take some pictures of my favorite CQ element...fans!
I love how narrow these fan blades are. These are the exact same colors I used for the fans in my "H" quilt....I was going for this look, as you can see:
Pretty cool that I actually got that right!
Here are some more of the fans from that quilt in the booth....
And here is a detail shot....
I include this because it shows how the stitcher very cleverly solved a big problem with these narrow-bladed fans. The seam treatments get really smashed into each other in the little round corner, because of course the seams are so close together there.
Look what this lady did: she provides stitching detail on the seams, but it is not continuous. The eye reads it as such, but really there are just dots and singly spaced Turkey Track stitches that suggest lines of stitching.
I'm going to remember that one...
But what of the quilts hanging in the show?
Alas, what was there was pretty much a retread of what won in Chicago and Houston, with a TON of journal quilt pages on display. The same art quilt exhibit from Studio Art Quilt Associates, the same Tactile Architecture quilts, the same almost everything. Not that there wasn't some outstanding work there, but overall I found this rehash quite disappointing.
But between hanging with my good buddies, studying with Paula, reading Cindy's book and also getting some quality time with my father-in-law while staying with him in Manhattan Beach last night....it was a terrific trip.
Always good to be home, though!
Let's hope they do better next year and include a competition.