Thursday, November 28, 2013

Holiday Post


I’m off for a Thanksgiving Feast with family and friends. I hope you have/had a wonderful day!

More Later!  Beth

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Houston Classes

I had 2 classes. Both of them all day.

The first class was called Navigation- Charting A Course For Your Soul with Lesley Riley, she has a blog here. It was an interesting class with a couple of unique questions, but I’m not sure that I have a style or a course to chart. I don’t think I am a ‘free’ enough thinker to be truly original in my design or process. I don’t think I am an artist with a statement to make… I am probably more of a ‘crafter’ with a vast amount of ‘crafty’ knowledge. We were provided with a ‘journal/sketch’ book to work in. Ms. Riley supplied a sheet of questions, quotes and exercise outlines and an ‘art journal’. Our first exercise was an interview with a partner… where we answered the questions and the partner wrote our responses in our journal for us. The second was a scribble to open ourselves to options. Another was over our lunch break; to either take pictures or notes about quilts that caught our eye in the show and to find a common thread as to why we liked it; and then as a collection.

IQF class proj

Based on the pictures I took, (I did not go through the whole show, just a couple of rows for these), I was drawn mostly to bold graphic quilts and bright colors.

Another exercise was about time, something I don’t really have a problem with, other than just getting up to the sewing space and using all the time I have!!! I think my bigger problem is focusing…. and choosing a project to work on especially if I don’t have a deadline.


In the morning, Ms. Riley put an apple in front of each of us. The she said that we should describe the apple and that we had a time limit of 5 minutes. We repeated the timed exercise twice more; with no instruction other than to describe the apple. It was my favorite exercise of of them all … I think I would like to take a course with more of these types of exercises… to work on my creativity… rather than the course for it.

The last exercise was to go through the interview again… answering the questions from possibly a new perspective after the exploration. There was also a discussion about using a journal… for sketching, but my feeling about sketching is similar to the one I have about writing… I am not good with the pencil… and showing/using my rudimentary drawings makes me feel as self conscientious as writing in a journal does.

My second class was Beginning Electric Quilt 7 with Barb Vlack, she has a web page here. Yes the beginning, and very basic. Not having used the program… and whenever I tried, I found it to be NOT intuitive. So I thought a class would help. It will, but I must make a plan to open and play at least once a week. We spent the whole day on just the basics. I signed up to be the “teachers pet” when I saw that there wasn’t one for the class. I am sure glad I did, because the number of ladies that could not keep up or had equipment (not familiar with their laptop computer) issues would have kept us from even getting half way through the syllabus, which was only 10 pages, half of which were images! Another was the number of students that had opened and tried to use the program and came with personal stumbling blocks (pun intended) that ate up valuable class time.

I think it is very difficult to pick a class from the limited description given in the catalog, and often going to an instructors web page is not much more helpful. My friends Wolfie signed up for several classes, but only got into 2 of her choices, and my friend Trish signed up for 2 and only got into one.

Have you picked a class from the description, only to find the description did not adequately describe the class?

More Later!!!-


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Houston IQA

I am home from Houston…. I had a great time!!!! Only one glitch, was the headache I got from carrying the laptop to and from class. It ruined Saturday totally for me. But after a bottle of Tylenol, a nights rest…. (and a massage at the show) I was good as new by Sunday morning.

Meeting my friends was the best!!!! Trisha and Wolfie!


Lisa Sipes - Trisha - Wolfie!

The only hard and fast rule was getting to the convention center… on time. Of course the rain storm on Thursday morning…. got in the way of that. I was late for my class. The last time I attended Quilt Fest the car I had reserved was gone, so they upgraded me to a mini van. So I didn’t really put much stock in getting the car I reserved, and of course this time we got the true economy car, that I reserved. We got a Nissan Note…


I thought for sure it would drown a couple of times on our way to the convention center!!! There was so much water on the road, rain still coming down in buckets and no where for it to go… Water was pouring off the overpasses, huge standing puddles on the highway and roads, coming down faster than the wipers could clear the windshield. For some reason, the “fast” setting on the wipers was not all that fast….

We stayed off site, out on the west side of Houston in a very friendly Fairfield Inn by Marriott. The staff was the most friendly ever. Greeting us each time we came to the lobby. Always smiling and asking if we needed anything… at all.

I took 2  classes…. Navigating/Charting my Course to Creativity with Lesley Riley. We created a journal…. and did a bit of exploring…. some exercises…. that may prove useful… some where in my creative process. But since I don’t seem to be truly inspired most of the time or have a personal vision for my ‘quilty-self’, I don’t think it will help me much…. I am also not a journal keeper…. I would probably find some really fun ideas… down the road, but I am just too self-conscious about a journal… to keep one. One thing I did discover…. after traversing most of the continental USA is that Lesley Riley lives and works just across the Potomac River from me in Maryland!

I also took a class on EQ7. This program has eluded me since loading it in 2010. It is not intuitive in the least, even though it is on the Windows Platform. It was a great class and now that I have a basis… for the tools and how the program functions… a bit… I may actually use it. This was another case of going around the world to see the instructor. Barb Vlack is a master in the program and comes from the Chicagoland too. Oh well, we do live and learn don’t we?

I will post more about the show and quilts I saw… later… in the mean time, on Sunday we took a little bit of a road trip. First, because we were a bit early, we took Wolfie to a Michaels Craft store and then to a Joann Fabric Store.


We then made our way to a local sight, the Beer Can house”, but for some reason the curators partied the night before and didn’t see a reason to open the house on Sunday for visitors. NO explanation, just didn’t show up. I called the number and got an answering machine that indicated that Saturday night was some party… Thanks! Next we went south to the Kemah Boardwalk. We spent the afternoon walking around and taking in the area. The number of boats going in and out was amazing… although the water seemed a bit rough….


On the way back to Houston we drove to the Nasa Space Center…. we opted not to go in, but we walked the grounds and looked at 2 of the outdoor exhibits. The Space Shuttle Independence has been moved here, and is still undergoing preparations as an exhibit. It is massive in size! At the front entrance is a little park called the T-38 park and had one of the lunar modules and 2 T-38 jets on display. Pretty cool…. actually.


After 4 very long days… we turned in the glorified roller skate, we called a car and headed for our separate homes. Trish to Wisconsin, Wolfie to Sweden and me back to Virginia.

As always more LATER! Beth