Visiting, quilting, shopping

Okay, I’m sure you all thought I fell off the planet, but I really am here, life (and quilting) just got in my way for a bit. I spent ten days in the States last week and the one before for a machine quilting workshop with Diane Gaudynski at the Museum of the American Quilter’s Society. The workshop was absolutely incredible! By the first day at noon, I’d gotten my money’s worth I think, and it only got better from there. I learned so much that I’m still just digesting it all (and hoping I’ll remember it all, as well!).

It’s really hard to shop at Hancock’s in person, I think, since there’s just so much fabric there.

So, let me back up a bit, and start at the beginning, and hopefully tell all in the coming days. I had to fly into Nashville, and my buddy Dawn met me at the airport. We crashed in Nashville for the night (I do mean crashed, since I’d just come off an international flight, and she’d driven in from South Carolina, no small thing in one day). We headed for Paducah and Hancock’s Fabrics the next morning. It’s really hard to shop at Hancock’s in person, I think, since there’s just so much fabric there. It’s all arranged by manufacturer and fabric line, instead of color. I didn’t buy much, even though I thought I would since it’s cheaper there than the other shops that we planned to go to while I was there. I had one specific color/fabric that I was looking for, and they didn’t have it.

On we went to the Museum to set up for the class. We wanted to get there early and get good seats! They have a really great classroom there, with a whole table for every student, and I was able to borrow a Bernina 440 for the class. I tried out the new Bernina Stitch Regulator, and reaffirmed my first reaction to it: don’t need it or want it, and I can actually get better machine quilting stitches without it. I think the bottom line on that thing is that if you already know how to free motion machine quilt, it’s just going to get in the way, and I’m not at all sure that you would ever get used to it enough to make it really work for you. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great for quilters who don’t already know how to free motion quilt, it’s just not for me.

On the other hand, I really liked the free motion foot on the Bernina 440, as well as the light! The foot is so much less bulky than the Pfaff free motion foot, and you have a lot more visibility. The light on the machine is perfect; it’s a u-shaped light that surrounds the foot area on three sides, left, back and right, so that there are virtually no shadows to obscure the quilting area. This is the light all machines should have. Now if only the rest of the sewing machine companies would get with the program on that! I don’t want to have to buy a Bernina just for the light…Ugh!!!

Stay tuned for more about the workshop!

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