If you didn’t make it to Craft Napa this year, you have to make it next year! Really, this is a magical event like none other. This year I got to be both student and teacher and I’m still excited about the experience. How much better does it get: teaching my first day and playing with Melissa Averinos and Lynn Krawczyk the next two days?
Craft Napa is like an ultimate play date for adults. I have such a hard time putting it into words. It was non-stop fun and creativity!
Wed started pretty early with a morning presentation at the Northern California Quilting Council. NCQC is a treasure to those of us that teach and those that hire teachers. It is a venue for teachers to show what they do and for guilds and shops to see us in person and make hiring decisions. Most of my work originates from NCQC so I was eager to sign up for their first ever “Sampler” format event. I presented “10 Top Tips for Free Motion Quilting” seven times in the morning…at least I think it was seven. It was an even more intimate way for teachers, guilds and shops to meet each other. I’m glad I made it happen on the way to Craft Napa.
Pokey had a great kick-off party for us all, complete with music and swag and food and fun. It had originally been planned that us teachers were going to each dance out to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy”. Sounds like fun, huh? But me, DANCE?? Yikes, fortunately that plan did not happen. I would have banned any video of me trying to dance!
Okay, not a great photo, but THIS is one reason why Craft Napa is so cool. All the classrooms open up to the atrium. Usually there is some great snack set up but this was before everything was prepared. It just makes for such wonderful mingling and cross-fertilization of ideas and inspiration. Classes put their drying pieces out there for all to see and there are no cliques-everybody is just happy and chill!
Another part of the whole Craft Napa vibe is the two hour lunches, with some of The Best of restaurants nearby. Groups form spontaneously and everyone goes off to a great lunch. Sigh, it was so fun!
Of course I forgot to take photos during class, kinda busy with my students, but they rocked it! I love to teach Intro to Fearless Free Motion and see the transformation as class progresses. Yes, they were tired at the end, a happy tired I’m pretty sure. It’s so cool to see students realize they CAN free motion quilt their own work! I loved working with every single student and there was such a positive vibe in the room.
We got to work on the new 765 Rose Gold BERNINA’s so I was especially jazzed-a whole room of rose gold BERNINA’s-be still my heart! Meissner Sewing provided fabulous support for all of us, allowing more time for me to spend with students. I wish you could have heard that wonderful sound of a room full of free motion quilting…. And no, I do not get intimidated by having Notable People in my class. We all want to be students sometimes!
And I always learn things from my students. Look at this tote-love the design and her fabric choices!
If you followed social media you would have seen these wonderful photos of everyone after class each day. Well, getting those photos was like herding cats. This is more representative of what it’s like trying to get a bunch of creative types organized!
On Thursday I got to be a student in Melissa Averinos’ Making Faces class-love her! I was a little apprehensive about her class but Melissa is so very talented and an excellent teacher and encourager. It was So Much Fun! I think every student in the class confessed to being horrible at faces, all 20 of us. Melissa told us we would be making faces in 20 minutes and she did it! Okay, I can’t figure out how better to present the progression, so bear with me.
This is where we start, marking just the top and sides of the head.
Let’s add a marker for nose, mouth and eyes.
Let’s begin to build the eyes.
Add some eye lids, nose and mouth.
This nose is much better.
Ah, some cheeks-it’s getting better. I was fortunate to be seated next to Linda(?) who generously shared her Kaffe Fassett stash with me.
And here’s where she ended up at the end of the day. Funny thing is, this face was the one she had us assemble in 10 minutes, right before lunch! That forced us to be intuitive and not over think it. Yes, her eyes are probably a wee bit too close together and she definitely is a little sly, but I love her attitude! Of course the free motion quilting was added later.
Much better than this over-thought Grinch face, don’t ya think? What a fun class-I learned a ton!
More Notable People in this class too. That’s how it is at Craft Napa, we’re just all having fun!
Thursday night was the Maker’s Market and the atrium was filled with all sorts of goodness from jewelry to jam, fabric, original art, books, paint, ink, oh my! And also Pokey hung the tribute to Yvonne Porcella, a bittersweet moment. It was wonderful to see all the quilts together again, but there was a sadness for the incredible woman we lost. My quilt is the second from the right on the bottom row with hydrangea-looking flowers.
I was uncharacteristically restrained in my purchases but I am tickled with each item: a kit from Melly Testa to print my own fabric(!), cool hand knit fingerless gloves, some of Lynn Krawcyzk’s hand-printed fabric(!) and one of Libby Williamson‘s adorable hand-painted dolls.
And my dolly girl ended up in my office, right across from me as I walk in-see her there next to the bookcase? I love her and she makes me smile! I purposely have very little art up, only two pieces now, including Libby’s dolly girl.
It was so weird, every morning I walked, early. But there was NO ONE out, no one at all! I’ve never been someplace where there is no one out. So. Weird.
My last day I got to take Lynn Krawczyk’s UFO Collage class. I really need to let go, have fun and get outside my comfort zone. Lynn is a great teacher, chill, encouraging, creative, talented, with a fabulous dry sense of humor.
I didn’t have UFO’s but pieces that I detested, plus I had a duplicate of the blue piece, so this is where I started. The piece with the circle cut out is Kraft Tex, a paper product. The whole idea was to take all these unrelated projects and make something unexpected and fabulous using all manner of ephemera. I got a significant contribution from my friend Helen, some exquisitely pieced blocks that added a delightful touch to the collage.
My table mate produced this lovely cohesive piece. Gorgeous!
On the other hand, I produced chaos! This was just one layout that Lynn helped me with. I’m THAT student that needs a little help to get started.
I ended up making it into two separate collages. These are far from done and I anticipate adding beads, stitching and cuts from the sheer parts of my starter quilts. It’s something I can work on at night or even when I travel. I loved this process! And I have parts to make a third, fourth, fifth…..
I put up my memories onto my design board when I got home. Sigh. Such a wonderful time-new friends, old friends, new creativity and spark, great food, amazing teachers, great weather (mostly) and Pokey Bolton puts on The Best Events ever! So do sign up for next year and tell your own story.
I’ll be linking up with Nina-Maire’s Off the Wall Friday. For the first time in my over 6 years of blogging I did not post last week. I accidentally left my spam protection lapse and my site was doing weird things-too much for me to figure out. Onward!