I had a grand time at the Santa Barbara Quilting Retreat a few weeks ago when I studied with Betty Busby. Betty is a very popular teacher and I knew her a little bit from SAQA, so I was pretty sure I was going to enjoy the class.
It exceeded my expectations for several reasons. I thought I would feel intimidated but I was not, a shock to me! Surface design, fabric painting and design in general are not something I am confident in. I’m usually a bit rattled in general by the whole taking-a-class thing. But I felt totally comfortable in Betty’s class. I emerged from class confident in my ability to pick up a paint brush, a marker, a pen or a pencil, and that is huge for me.
The class had a lot of previous Betty students in it, maybe half? Plus, there were some highly accomplished artists and Notable Names in the crowd. The class had this wonderful vibe of pure creative bliss, each student to their own vision. It was delightful to play in that atmosphere.
The retreat itself is well thought-out. I wish I’d thought to get a photo of the organizer, Cathe Hendricks. We had a huge, well-lit space to work in, each of us to an 8′ table. There is only one teacher/week so it’s very focused. Cathe provided constant chocolate so that helped too!
Our meals were simple and rotated each day with great food brought in by local restaurants. We chose our meals in the morning from a selection of soups, salads and sandwiches plus pizza one day. All our needs were taken care of so we could just play!
It’s a beautiful drive to Santa Barbara. I had this great plan to visit Fine Fabrics of Santa Barbara on my way.
FFSB is one of the best fabric stores I’ve ever shopped at. The proprietor, Suzanne Chess, knows her fabrics and stocks fabulous fabrics, mainly for garments. Every time I go there I score a great find of some unique fabric. Ah, but I did not realize she was closed on Sundays!
I was deeply disappointed but I did enjoy the beauty of the town and vegetation before I left for the site of the retreat in Carpenteria, “Carp” to locals.
Each day before class I walked the beach and most evenings too. I think the beach in Carpenteria is even prettier than that in Santa Barbara:
Now, this last one:
I walk a lot so I see this a lot: poop bags, full, left at the scene of the crime. Really people? Pet peeve (no pun intended:-)) Do they think they are doing the environment a service by bagging the readily degradable poop in a decidedly un-degradable bag? I get highly annoyed when I see this! I’m off my soap box now, the post will continue…
Betty brought a few quilts for show; sorry I do not have titles:
She also walked us through the process of partially building this piece:
I wish I’d gotten more photos of other student’s work:
Betty has a great teaching style. You know there will be lots of demos and individual help. (Thank you Schatzi for the photos!)
A little bit of my work:
My project using laser cut flowers, hand-painted background and dryer sheet leaves that have been dyed with some Shiva paint stick work added. It’s not done! I want to add some other kinds of leaves and shapes. Even if I don’t finish this, it is a win. I now have a variety of surface design techniques that I am confident using. Pretty cool!
So that Craft Napa apron was completely free of paint before class. I need to take more classes to acquire more “patina”, no?
A few giggles:
I learned a LOT and had a lot of fun, all in a beautiful location with an outstanding teacher. It couldn’t have gone better. I’m undecided whether I will go again next year, it’s a matter of having enough time. I’ll link up with Nina-Marie’s Off the Wall Friday. You;ll find great links with all kinds of fiber artists.