What I did at International Quilt Festival/Chicago

This year’s IQA/Chicago festival was so much fun, and I will be sad to see it move out of my local area.  That said, I am already planning to travel to the show in Cincinnati, OH next year.

Because of the competing C2E2 comic book show, I was not able to start the IQA festival until Friday this year.  I kicked it off with a wonderful day long class with Pam Holland.  Pam is a lovely teacher from Australia and she was teaching us “Amazing Quilting”.  I loved the technique and the project, a duck that you first draw and color with fabric pen and then quilt over.  It’s so life-like.  Pam is working on a major work involving the Bayeux Tapestry,  and her quilt of a rhinoceros based on Albrecht Durer’s woodcut is to die for.  We learned the exact same technique, and I can’t wait to try it out on a work of my own.

I also took a class with the ever wonderful Melanie Testa, who demonstrated her “Machine Quilting Sampler”, which you can also find in her fantastic book, Inspired to Quilt. Melly Mells is a gentle teacher who focuses on imparting the heart of the process.  I didn’t feel bogged down by “HOW” she did things, more about “WHY” she did them, and the process felt more artful because of it.  I especially liked the “body memory” exercises, and realized that was what I have been doing all along with sketching before actually quilting. 

At the show, I happen to be a bit of a Quilting Arts groupie.  I love the MIU classes on the show floor, and whenever I have a spare chunk of time I try to sign up for one of the classes.  I did Surviving the Runway again, and also too Belinda Spiwak’s graffiti fabric class.  I saw lots of people taking classes throughout.  

So what else did I do?  Well, I had dinner with some amazing people Friday and Saturday nights… please allow me to name drop because I was so honored to be counted among them…  Kelli Perkins, Melly Testa, Belinda Spiwak, Holly Holloway, Pokey Bolton, Pokey’s niece Lindsey Murray, Sally Murray, Nina Perez, Judy Coates Perez!  My special thanks to this awesome group who talked with me about what it is to count yourself among artists and encouraged me to dust off my article I want to submit to QA, and for your support in general.  It meant so much to me!