In Anna Maria's class, she showed us some of her beautiful hand stitched projects, talked about her philosophy on the hand stitching process, and then broke us into smaller groups to show us her hand quilting technique.
One of my favorite things that she said during the workshop is that she doesn't worry about how many in-process hand stitching projects she has going at one time. The point of the projects isn't to finish them, but instead to enjoy the slow process of hand stitching. The projects get finished eventually (hopefully) but the goal is the stitching itself, not the finishing. I found that a very refreshing way to look at these types of projects since I too always have several WIPs at once and feel like they never get finished! I tend to feel guilty about unfinished projects, but not anymore! :)
One of my favorite projects that she brought with her was this adorable little hand-tied baby quilt with tassels, called Flying Goslings. It's made completely out of voile and was so soft! I immediately bought a bunch of voile when I got home just to make something similar!
Since I had never tried hand quilting before, it was really nice to watch someone else demonstrate it in person. Anna gave us lots of tips and tricks and then we got started stitching our little quilt sandwiches. She has a post on her blog explaining her techniques in case you're interested in learning too.
By the end of the class, I didn't even finish quilting around a single flower, but it was a nice relaxing way to spend the first day at QuiltCon!
Anna Maria had brought a bunch of books, patterns, fabric, and kits in case we wanted to buy some extra materials, so I took it as a sign to buy her new Needleworks book that I've been wanting anyway, as well as those pretty perle cotton sets!
After the class she graciously signed our books for us, and I asked her if she would mind signing something else I had brought with me. I was very excited when she said she'd sign my x plus quilt, since I had lugged it all the way to Austin just for this purpose!
Since I don't belong to any local quilt guilds or anything, I've never had the opportunity to show and tell other than on my blog of course, so it was fun for me to get to show this quilt to one of my favorite people in the quilting industry! She even took a picture with me and the quilt :)
My second workshop, Textile Printing with Lotta Jansdotter was on Friday morning. I was really looking forward to this one as I've been really interested in learning more about fabric printing and design, and I really love Lotta's work.
We did block printing first. Lotta showed us some examples of her work, talked about the supplies that she uses, and then taught us how to carve our block. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do for mine, so I got to work carving right away.
We printed on paper first to test our blocks, and then moved onto muslin. I found that the carving blocks we used were a little too soft for my preferences, so I struggled to get a clean print. It was all just supposed to be practice though, so I kept going.
I decided to print a second color (neon pink!) of triangles in the opposite direction to nest the shapes together. I really like how it turned out! The pink didn't show up the best on the fabric but I think that might have just been the ink we used.
Next we moved onto stenciling. Again, Lotta showed us her techniques and then we moved on to try it ourselves.
I didn't really have an idea for another print, so after doodling for a little while, I went with some arrows. I mixed two different blue inks to get slightly different colors for each one. I was happy with the design but wished I had made the arrows a smaller scale.
I preferred the block printing method over stenciling, I think it was just more fun for me! I've stenciled before so maybe it just wasn't as new and exciting? I definitely want to continue block printing, and plan to buy the supplies to do it at home soon. I guess I thought there was a lot more involved than what it really is? You just need ink, a brayer, blocks, carving tools, and fabric! And ideas of course, which I always have plenty of!
I had to ask Lotta for a photo after class, she was just so nice, funny, and open! I really enjoyed spending a few hours learning from her.
So those were my two workshops! I wish I could've taken a bunch more, they were definitely one of the best parts of QuiltCon for me.