Wednesday, August 10, 2011

2011 International Quilt Festival/Long Beach

During the school year I attend a weekly sewing techniques class. During summer break I decided to get my class-fix by attending the Long Beach International Quilt Festival.

This was my first visit to any of the three International Quilt Festivals.

This was also the first time I had taken any classes at a quilt show, and I wasn't sure what to expect.

Thursday July 28th - Preview Night: At 5pm people who had signed up for classes and IQA members had free admission to the exhibit space. I walked past hundreds of booths and marked the floor map so that I could return to those that particularly interested me.  Although there had been a long line waiting outside, the exhibit area was not nearly as crowded on Preview Night as it would be the next three days. I also got a start on viewing the magnificent quilts on display.

At the Make It University demo area I entered a raffle to take a $15 class on mixed media technique taught by Liz Kettle. We made "Silk in the Meadow" - a fiber necklace using image transfer on cloth, strips of torn silk, silk cocoons, embroidery thread, and assorted beads. Later, at 8:15 Pokey Bolton gave away dozens of prizes from Cloth Paper Scissors and I won a DVD!

Long Beach Arena. Not the Aquarium
Friday, July 29th - Friday morning I walked around the Long Beach Arena, where 12,000 Jehovah's Witnesses were having part of their convention. Just about everyone of the men and little boys was wearing suits and the women and little girls were dressed up.  Most wore "Venga tu Reino" (Let God's Kingdom Come) badges. They all seemed to be having a good time.

Friday afternoon I took a class by Marlene Glickman called "Stencil Sensations Sampler"
It was only three hours and I wish it had been longer. It was not just about stencils. She showed us how to use her silk dyes and make our own stencils, and I had a lot of fun. Can't wait to try it at home.

Playing with stencils, stamps, and dyes.

Saturday, July 29th: I took an all-day class with Gyleen Fitzgerald called "Got Fabric? Let's Use Your Stash".  My mistake here was not reading the description of the class carefully enough.  I just saw the statement "you can't go wrong" in the class catalogue and thought it would be more Gwen Marstony. This class turned out to be on how to make Gyleen's new patented "butterfly seam".  Measurement was very important. I was dismayed when she looked at what I had been working on for over half an hour and said "Your pieces are off by at least 1/4" " A hush spread over the room and I kept waiting to hear the sirens of the accuracy police.  I spent the next half an hour un-sewing, re-cutting, and re-sewing.  I guess it won't hurt me to learn to measure. The teacher made sure that everyone got attention. Bernina supplied the sewing machines and had two technicians there to help us, which was great. I should add that Gyleen is an engineer, and also a poet. Anyway, here is a butterfly seam.

Easy if you measure correctly!
Saturday Night Sampler:  A ballroom with 25 teachers stationed at numbered tables. As we waited in line they gave us a large stapled handout which included a page about each booth. The cover listed the instructors, their topics, and the table number.  With only two hours there was no way you could visit everyone, but I was able to visit

Barbara Confer, Fabric Painting With Soy Wax Resist
Jerry Ferguson, Watercolor Effects on Silk (my favorite booth - great hands-on experience) 
Stacy Michell, Riding the Rails
Andy Perejda and Jeanne Surber, Creative Screen Printing
Mary Tabar, Stencil Surprises
Deborah Weir, Laminating Paper to Fabric
Claudia Dallas Gomez, Fantastic Fabrics through Tray Dying (hope she will get a website)

This was a good opportunity to get a little taste of a lot of things, but after a while the room got quite noisy. 

Sunday, July 31st: Sunday Shuffle.  This time the attendees were split into five tracks and each smaller group spent a half hour with each teacher. Each teacher also gave us a small kit to finish later.

Cathy Van Bruggen: Applique the Easy Way - Needle-turn applique
Marlene Glickman - Knot Hard to Dye - I had had this teacher on Friday, but she showed two different techniques for dying silk scarfs
Esterita Austin - Sheer Illusions 
Darlene C. Christopherson - Hand Cutwork Applique - a different technique 
Dawn Farrier - New Sew Patchwork Ornament. A delightful young lady being assisted by her mom.
I added the braid to cover the seams. Don't know what I'll cover the braid with.

My track had only a half-dozen people.  I think the low attendance for Sunday Shuffle was because a lot of people already know some of the techniques being offered.

Last look:

A last look at the quilts, photos and haiku on display.  Spent my last $3 a buying buttons I hadn't been able to find anywhere else, then home.

All in all, a good experience.

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