This was my fourth year at Craft Napa -what a thrill! Craft Napa is The Most Fun venue. I finally figured out what makes CN unique: the students it attracts are so engaged, so creative, so open to learning. It IS a different experience at Craft Napa! I wish I had taken more photos to capture the moment.
It was intense for me as on Thursday I taught from 9AM – 9:30PM with breaks for lunch and dinner. I was thrilled that my energy did not flag, not once. I was so pumped by what was happening in the class, so engaged in the moment that I forgot to take many photos!
The day started with Free Motion Quilting – Start With a Square. This has become a favorite of mine, for good reason. Students start with a square of large scale fabric, fused to an 18″ quilt sandwich of a solid fabric.
I start this class by teaching 4 particularly useful motifs. From there, students choose motifs that they want to learn and I demo’ed motifs as requested for the rest of class time. We covered 11 motifs in one day! If a student was not interested in that particular motif, they continued on with their piece. What I love about the class is how students begin to figure out their own style and how to combine motifs. Each piece is different and personal.
It took me 2 hours to get my classroom set up. I was kind of kicking myself, thinking, how hard can this be? Every room is different and this room was filled to the brim with brand spankin’ new BERNINA 770’s which made display and set up quite challenging. I was so glad I brought these boards at the last minute. They were perfect to display the many choices of motifs for my students.
As soon at students set their things down they were at the board, looking at motifs, asking questions. I giggled at this photo. I love photos of people taking photos!
There was a wide variety of experience level from beginner to experienced. I am super proud of how each student embraced the challenge.
Some of the practice pieces were beautiful in themselves!
Not everyone wanted their piece included on the blog. I love the unique nature of each of these pieces. I am a proud instructor! Everyone made significant progress in class. Maybe half completed their pieces and several more were almost done and everyone quilted at least 3/4 of their sandwich. Given all the instruction time that happened, that was really good!
It was such a fun class! Look at the smiling faces. I know I look ridiculously happy there but there were several photos taken and all pretty much looked the same – happy students and Jenny looking kinda stupid-happy.
After a fairly short break I taught a 3-hour How Do I Quilt That? class. Students submitted photos of their quilt tops ahead of time and I designed a quilting plan for them. We then discussed it in class, with other students contributing and asking questions. Did I take ONE photo? No!
But what a fabulous class! The 3 hours flew by as we discussed, examined and designed upon 9 quilts that ran the gamut of style and size. We covered everything from design to thread to basting and batting, a little bit of quilt history and the fun and meaningful stories behind each piece. I was touched by the stories of the quilts.
How Do I Quilt That? is a very challenging class for me. As an instructor you want to be uber prepared. For that class I do research, sketch out several different plans and hope the maker likes them. And once the plan is presented there are almost always some tweaks and changes during class which keeps me on my toes. It’s fun but challenging. Wish I’d taken photos!
The following day I got to take a class – Libby Williamson‘s Tea Bag Revival. That is the most fun I’ve ever had in a class! Libby brought all the “stuff” for us to play with and all we had to do was have fun!
This Welcome Banner graced the classroom wall – awwwwww!
This is a good example of Libby’s unique and creative work. Search and you will find much detail there with paper, tea bags, fabric, hand and machine stitching, and bits and pieces of who-knows-what.
Detail. Don’t you love that zipper?
This is so Libby: note the cereal necklace and the paintbrush holding her hair in place!
Libby frequently demonstrated her whimsical techniques. She had scads of painted paper, thread, needles, fabric, paint and other ephemera to work with. It was so wonderful to just grab materials and create!
Here’s a peek at the piece I’m building from the tea bags I did in class. By next week I hope to be done.
As soon as class was over I rushed up to my room to grab my merchandise for the Maker’s Market on Friday night. Pokey Bolton graciously offered each teacher a table for Market.
I sell at quilt guild gigs but this was my first time to have a table at this type of venue. I didn’t expect much. And it was pouring rain. I am happy to report that my book sold very well – yahoo!The first hour was pretty good and then it went completely dead. We closed shop early, much to everyone’s disappointment.
As luck would have it I was next to the adorable and incredibly talented Maria Shell. At the next table you can see one of my C&T Publishers, Todd Hensley. Once things got slow, it was nice to be able to chat and mingle with the other teachers and vendors.
You NEED to be at Craft Napa 2020, Jan 8 – 12, 2020. Be there! Linking up with Nina-Marie’s Off the Wall Friday – you must check out the links!