Monday, March 19, 2012

Teaching Travels....

Hello Everybody, I am back!

In the last 10 days I have traveled to Santa Cruz, California and Olympia, Washington, given two lectures and three all-day workshops, with a final trip yesterday to the Trends show at E.E. Schenck Distributers here in Portland--they sell to quilt shops all over the country.

My classes were filled with wonderful students, my audiences were generous and kind, and the hosts from the guilds who put me up treated me like a was just lovely, start to finish.

There is so much to learn about how to teach a good workshop--every time I go out I come home with a lot to think about and incorporate into "next time"--and I am grateful to everyone for hiring me while I am still learning.

I will say that my role seems to be shaping up into providing an environment where students feel free to relax and really truly play.  I want to give as much technical instruction as I can, in as efficient a manner, engaging the diverse skillsets of my students...but most of all I want to hear them say, "That was really FUN!"  And I did hear that, to my great delight!  Because that experience will hopefully carry into their quilt work at home.

So come along to last week's classes with me...

Here are my Pajarjo Valley quilters after working hard all day learning two methods of curved "piecing".  I pushed them for hours and they were still smiling, willing to wave to my camera.

In the second day of classes, the indomitable Rachel Clark, art garment artist and teacher extraordinaire was my student.  She was sitting across from a lovely lady who had never taken one embroidery stitch in her life.  Filling both their needs was a challenging balancing act! 

There is no one like Rachel.  I absolutely adore her.

As an aside, I want to show you something that another student brought in to show me.

Please note the price tag on the left.  Yes, it says, $.99; this heirloom piece was purchased at a thrift shop.  If this isn't a commentary on how our work is valued out there in the cold cruel world, I don't know what is.  What it says to me is that value has absolutely nothing to do with money.
Fortunately, all of us know this!

After my two days of classes and before my evening lecture the next day, my very dear friend and host Tracey Brookshier took me for a little hike at Point Lobos, on the Monterrey Peninsula.

How I love California's magical coast.
Tracey and I have been friends for quite awhile, and so spending the long week-end with her and her husband Joe was a true joy.

Thank you, T!

A brief stop to regroup in Washougal, then it was time to load the car and drive north to Olympia, where the Washington Star Quilters gave me a very warm welcome, first for my lecture, and the next day for my "Pretty Crazy" class, teaching from my pattern of the same name.

My hosts were Larry and Beverly Dunivent, who is a quilt historian, appraiser, lecturer....but most of all, quiltmaker.  I met Bev last September when I hired her to do official appraisals of all my quilts.  (I highly recommend her.)

Bev and Larry live in Bev's childhood home, the one her parents built as they were living in a tiny cottage on the property.  That tiny cottage is now Bev's studio.  You have to see it. (The following pictures are from both last week-end and last September.)

This is obviously the old kitchen.
But now it is my kind of kitchen...

Who wouldn't rather have bolts of fabric and piles of batting in their potato and apple bins?

It's a cozy space divided into two areas by the cabinets.  This is the wall across from the kitchen, filled with antiques, all of them with long family association and meaning for Bev.

Coming around into the sewing space, you'll see organized drawers of projects and antique blocks, labeled boxes of threads, lots of's all just so inviting.

One corner has these nifty Ikea shelves filled with folded fabrics just ready to be used.

One of Bev's many quilts on display is this one of the childrens' note how she handled the cedar shakes, so inventive!
This quilt depicts the real cottage next to the house, built in 1925 and where Bev played as a young girl.

Her grandchildren play there now!

Larry was the cook and fed me a great spaghetti dinner and hearty breakfast in the morning to get me all fueled up for teaching.

These are photos on Bev's design wall of her and front of quilts that he made.  He is proud of his work and making more, too.
It was such a privilege to stay with them....

...And to teach the great gals of the Washington Star guild.

Here they are gathered around a family crazy quilt that Janet brought in to share.  It's a particularly bright one for the 1880's, we all agreed.

I was humbled and thrilled by the generosity of Janet and Beverly when they gave me fabrics from their stashes from Japan, France, and....the 1930's.

Janet purchases kimono fabric from Ichiro & Yuka Wado of the Kimono Flea Market ICHIROYA in Osaka, Japan.  Janet loves doing business with them and thinks of them like family.  The selection here is a small part of her stash...but enough for me to do a whole is very inspiring silk.

Beverly gave me some authentic charm squares from Provence, France...and...

...a vintage block (pieced on newsprint dated 1947) alongside some reproduction fabric Beverly designed many years ago, from fabrics in her collection.  These I will treasure...

I pretty much floated down Interstate 5 to get home after class....

Then Sunday I met my friend Michele Muska of Simplicity Creative Group at her booth at E.E. Schenck Distributers.  Here we are in front of my quilt, hanging in her booth.

She is a very talented designer. Watch for her project on the cover of Knit Simple magazine next month!

Obviously I have been richly fed in many ways over the last ten days.  I have a lot to digest.
I'm grateful to everyone...and send my love and thanks to them all.


kerrykatiecakes2 said...

What a wonderful trip it sounds like you had Allie! Glad you enjoyed yourself!

Debra Dixon said...

Gracious! What a time you've had!

Judy said...

It sounds like you had a grand time, with wonderful scenery and nice visits with friends!

FredaB said...

Hi Allie

It is wonderful to be able to do what you love and teach it to others while having a great time. Such wonderful friends you are making along the way.

I remember meeting Rachel Clark in the past and it had something to do with a wonderful coat she made but I just can't remember when or where - except it was gorgeous.



Marty52 said...

That cottage is soooo cool... so much organization and space to create. Lovely.

melanie b mcfarland said...

Hi Allie,
it was a delight to meet you at Road to CA in January & see your deliciously rich quilts. Our exhibits were hung and we had time to visit. Good to hear you are taking it on the road and teaching. Loved the cozy cottage story and the class details and photos. So much history in quilts!
Best wishes,

Vivian Helena said...

Hi Allie, Please check out my blog for you Liebster Award, would love it if you would pass it on.
Thank you so much for sharing your talents.. you seem to be on whirl wind tours. Love reading about your beautiful creations and how you are now traveling all over and sharing your art. hugs, vivian

Judy S. said...

Welcome home, Allie! It sounds like you've been really busy and accomplishing a whole lot. Have you had snow at your place? We woke up to a dusting again today. What happened to spring?

Rian said...

What a fun, fun post. It sure looks like you are having a great time. You rock! Thanks for sharing.

NickiLee said...

Allie, As one of the lucky ones to be one of your students last year, I envy those who were with you this time. It looks like ya'll had a blast! I can't wait for the day I'm close enough to take another class with you - you Rock girl!!!!

Suzanne Kistler said...

How wonderful to travel doing what you love!!

I, too, enjoyed meeting you in the flesh at Road - you were stitching in the foyer, waiting for Stevii. I had stepped out of the judging area.

One of these days we'll lure you to the Central least that's one of my goals!!