Monday, November 7, 2011

Class with Noriko Endo

I taught three classes at International Quilt Festival last week, and I took two classes, too! On Tuesday, I took Noriko Endo’s “Confetti Naturescapes” class. (I blogged earlier this year about Noriko’s new book with Dragon Threads; you can read about it here.

I really loved Noriko’s teaching style, and this class, even though her technique and process are so totally different from the techniques I usually use in my work. But that was the point: I always try to take classes that will teach me something, and something I don’t normally do. I always learn something new, and often it ends up helping me in my own work. 

Noriko had us dicing up tiny pieces of fabric like this before sprinkling it on batting to create the background of our pieces:

When she showed us her rotary cutter technique, I was stunned. She moves almost at the speed of light with that dangerous blade!

We were all working from our own photographs. Here is the one I chose; it is of the ancient sugar maple in our front yard, taken several years ago. We will probably have to have this tree taken down soon, as it is now half dead, and if it goes over, it could hit our house. This makes me so sad, as I have loved this amazing tree, and watched it changing through the seasons for 15 years.

As luck would have it, a woman I had met last year was in my class – Julie Creus, a talented pattern designer who owns La Todera. I adore her stuff. (And she gave me a few of her patterns that I’ll be giving away soon in a blog post, so stay tuned!)

Me with Julie Creus
Julie came with her friend, Cecelia Koppmann (from Argentina), whom I had met the day before. 
Cecelia and Noriko
It is always fun to take a class when you are sitting next to friendly and interesting people, and we had a blast getting to know each other better while we sliced, diced and sprinkled. Here is Noriko demonstrating her cutting technique to Cecelia:

 Julie created a fabulous piece with red-and-white toadstools, the symbol of her company:

Here is Noriko conferering with Julie about her piece:

Julie and Noriko
Here you can see more of Noriko’s work pinned up in the front of the classroom. It is breath-taking!

Here is how my piece looked at the end of class. I still have a lot more thread work to do; I’m going to do some of the smaller branches with thread, and add some more detail. But I’m pretty happy with it!

On Monday, I took Nancy Eha’s “Crazy Beading” class. She taught us how to create beaded patterns that replicate the elaborate embroidery stitches on crazy quilts. Nancy is a great teacher, and I learned a lot and had so much fun. I forgot to take my camera to class, so I don’t have anything to show you from it, but once my 60 pounds of stuff I shipped back home from Market and Festival arrives, I will post to show you what I did. 

Yes, 60 pounds!!!

Aurifil Designer of the Month for November – and a giveaway!

“For Ella‘s Sister” by Jacquelynne Steves
Aurifil’s Designer of the Month is Jacquelynne Steves from The Noble Wife. Her free project, “For Ella’s Sister,” is shown above. Pat Sloan has interviewed Marianne on the Aurifil blog. (That’s where you go to download the pattern for her free project!) 

Jacquelynne with Alex Veronelli of Aurifil
Each month this year, a different designer has been giving away a free pattern on the Aurifil blog (my month was January). Remember – if you make any project from the design team, load a photo to our Aurifil Flickr group; this puts you in the running to win an Aurifil thread prize!

Each month this year, I’m going to be giving away a pack of Aurifil minispools (like the one shown above) when the new project is announced. Just leave a comment after this post telling me if you have ever tried Aurifil thread.
I'll pull a name at random on Saturday, December 10 at noon EST. The sampler pack includes great colors in different weights. AND THE WINNER IS… Made by Herbie Hands