This is kind of a repeat subject, but I thought it might be fun for you to consider if you can’t go to Houston. Develop and take your own personal quilting retreat with a certain amount of commitment while other quilting friends are off carousing in Houston.
Shortly after I bought Fritz (my Bernina Q20 sitdown longarm), I took a week and had my own private quilting retreat that inspired me, gave me time to practice quilting on my new machine, and to take some really fun online classes. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes feel I should be doing something else when I’m spending time on these activities. So setting aside a period of time and designating it as “a retreat” to myself and family gave me a lot of fun without that nagging thought that maybe I should be working on something else or cleaning or some such. It actually felt like I was at a retreat and it helped me learn a lot and just have some fun. The cost was limited to the purchase of the online classes and the supplies for them, and I bought them on sale and pulled most of the supplies from my own stash. The cost of going Houston is quite a significant amount more unless you live there, and you can review the classes whenever you want to.
I approached this just as I would have preparing for any retreat: I put together a stack of small quilt sandwiches, some of which I marked with grids and lines, and some had no marking for my practice. I bought several online classes and made sure I had all the supplies for them, and I did do a little cleaning prep of my studio beforehand. These are some classes I recommend from iquilt.
- Divide, Design, and Fill for Beautiful Quilting: Lisa H. Calle
- Machine Quilting on the Grid: Gina Perkes
- English Paper Piecing by Machine: Karen K. Stone
- Step by Step Quilted Landscapes: Kathy McNeil
- Three Embellished Fabric Bags: Rami Kim
I also recommend these classes from Craftsy.
- The Perfect Finish: How to Bind a Quilt: Susan Cleveland
- The Machine Embroidery Inspired Quilt: Susan Stewart
- Scrap Quilting: Pepper Cory
In addition, if you are a member of The Quilt Show, (and if you aren’t, why not?) it’s a nice time to review or see some of the shows and the little Bernina videos (most techniques applicable to other than Bernina machines).
- Select TQS shows, which I played while I was quilting (I have a small TV in Studio Fritz). I think this moved my quilting forward.
The first thing I did was just play the classes through while I was practicing my quilting on Fritz. Then I watched a couple of them with care and did some form of the projects. I think it would be fun to have a friend join me for a similar private retreat sometime here in my studio. Any volunteers?
Sew happy everyone! I highly recommend you carry out your own personal quilting or sewing retreat and let me know how it goes for you and what classes you took.