This trip confirmed for me that teaching and sharing the wonderment of quilts is the right career for me. To say that I enjoyed this trip is an understatement. Bonnie Browning and the staff of AQS made it easy to just be the teacher.
My only flight event was Marcelle (from AQS) calling to let me know that our driver couldn’t park outside the exit for us due to a heightened terror alert. No biggie, I met Karla Alexander & Kim Brunner at the baggage claim area and I phoned the driver, he came right over and loaded our luggage, driving us safely to the hotel.
Just a note: I brought my camera and I have very few pictures. Yes, you read that correctly, I have very few pictures. When I was teaching I’d forget that I had it as I’d get so involved with my students and then while wandering the quilt show the camera stayed in my purse.
This pic was taken after our teachers meeting and I was preparing for my first class on Wednesday morning, Beginner Machine Quilting. I arrived early for the first class to talk with Kathy Bond, the Janome Educator to give me a little tutorial on the Janome Horizon 7700’s we had in the classroom. I like to be able to teach on any machine that my students bring to class the Horizon 7700 made it easy. Kathy let me know where Janome presets the machine tension which allowed me to explain to the students how to adjust appropriately for tension issues.
The students in all of my classes were great, working on the exercises and listening to me talk about needles, thread, tension & pairing them well. If you’ve been in my class you’ve heard me say, “Speeding Violation #…” a few of these were issued over the course of the 3 days I taught.
Paula Reid let me show her Batt Scooters to my students, with the humidity making the air so dense it could be cut with a knife having some kind of help moving the quilt under the needle was essential. Like me Paula doesn’t like to wear gloves while quilting. I don’t even like to wear gloves while gardening. (Ok so my husband does most of the gardening these days however when I do, the gloves stay off). Paula & I were buddies all week. I was so grateful! There was a sense for a little bit of feeling entirely overwhelmed. Paula and the other instructors that I met: Karen Stone, Laura Wasilowski, Kim Brunner & Karla Alexander were just amazing! Paula & I had lunch with Bonnie Browning on the afternoon they served BBQ. I was pining for some really good southern BBQ – and this was decent!
The show pin for the Knoxville Show is quite beautiful. I pinned it to the Fiskars bag that I use for teaching. See where the pens are above? that’s where I put the pin. My roomie Mary Ann Scheblein-Dawson put a ribbon on so I’d remember her, she was a great room mate and Zentangle Instructor. I mentioned in one of my classes that doodling and Zentangling are part of how I practice quilting…one of my students went & took Mary Ann’s class.
I had Julia Graber & her sister Polly Yoder as students for Let Your Foot Loose, Be Fancy & Free. Their mom was a Bernina dealer for 35+/- years. She taught them to use the foot pedal with their left foot so they could use the knee lift with their right foot! I had an aha moment when I asked Polly about this – I never wanted a knee lift until I saw her stitching. These sisters are amazing quilters in their own right and I enjoyed every minute of having them in class.
The convention center is in downtown Knoxville. There’s a foot bridge from the convention center side of the street to midway up a hill near the Hilton on the other side. One morning as I walked across the foot bridge to get to the Hilton for coffee & oatmeal (Starbucks) I saw this empty whisky bottle on the bridge. The first time I crossed the bridge I felt it bouncing crazily….at first I’m thinking that either there were huge trucks in the area or earthquake. (I check the USGS site regularly so I know that occasionally very small earthquakes happen across the country.) Then the runner passes me. Yep, the runner was making the bridge bounce, which didn’t ease my sense of security crossing the foot bridge.
I do have pics of three of the winning quilts that I will share with you tomorrow. I’ll also have pics of the 12 spools of silk thread that followed me home & some gorgeous hand dyes from Karen & Laura that will require bib wearing to view. Restaurant reviews too!