Monday, October 31, 2016

Irene Blanck Workshop

Last week we had the pleasure of having Irene Blanck come to town to do a workshop for our TAS group. I met Irene when I took her class in Houston last year and we discussed the possibility of her coming to the St. Louis area to teach when she returned to Houston this year. I was thrilled when everything fell into place to bring her here for a couple of days before she headed off to Quilt Market. 

Our workshop project was Irene's Mosaics quilt from her book with Quiltmania.  It was a great choice for a class as we covered both applique and English paper piecing.  Irene's method for EPP is different from what I have always done and although I am still working to get used to it, I think it is a better technique for ensuring stitches don't show.

Here's a picture of Irene's quilt (part of it, anyway - we had to get creative go we could hang it over the TV mounted on the wall):

And here is my basted center sans dots (which will be added once the rest is stitched). Irene helped with the selection of fabrics for the bird.  He's pretty wild!  I did a little bit of stitching on the circle over the weekend but haven't gotten very far.

We tried to get pictures of everyone's centers.  I wasn't able to get up high enough to get a good angle but you can see the variety.  The dark backgrounds look really striking!  

We are hoping to have Irene back to do another workshop when she is in St. Louis for Spring Market in 2017.  She is an excellent and very fun teacher!

The past few weeks have been a little crazy and I haven't had much time in the sewing room, but I have managed to get a few things done. I caught up on my guild BOM blocks, finished two each of the Magic of Christmas blocks 10-13 (I'm sort of caught up!), and last but definitely not least finally finished quilting this monster!

This was my first large quilt on the long arm. It was definitely the quilt from hell! After taking it off the frame to pull out almost a full row of quilting (which took many, many hours), I reloaded it and didn't get it lined up correctly so I ended up having to rip out more stitching. I finally was able to get everything lined up well enough and quilted down to the last section and found that my backing was not long enough. It was about 2" short. I was so tired of this quilt that my initial thought was to just trim all the borders down to match and be done with it, but after sleeping on it I decided to take it off the frame AGAIN and piece some backing from the site onto the bottom. I reloaded again and once again didn't get it lined up perfectly (I've since learned how to avoid that problem in a class I took at MQX Springfield last weekend) so I have a few places where the quilting overlaps.  I decided that I would just let it go...I was more than ready to be finished with this one!  So it is FAR from perfect but I never intended for it to be on a bed anyway.  It doesn't look half bad folded! I definitely learned a lot from it and am hoping my next one goes much better!


Susie Hoover said...

I am so grateful for all the work you put into getting Irene Blanck to teach us. You're so right .... you was FUN! I'm looking forward to the Spring 2017 class. SIGN ME UP! ;-)

Sorry your quilt gave you so much trouble on the long-arm. Glad you persevered and got 'er done!! Good job! You win!

wendy said...

Will she be teaching at your shop or only at market? Where can I get info about this? I live in Indianapolis, but may be able to convince my husband!