I’ve got two completely different subjects this week, so you’ll see two posts. I took a class this week from Spanish quilter Cristina Arcenegui Bono. If that name is not familiar, I’ll bet this quilt of hers is:
Cristina has been quilting professionally for over 15 years and I met her at Houston in 2019. Her work has ribboned at a number of major shows including Houston and Paducah and she is now teaching internationally online. Cristina’s work is delightfully whimsical and I wanted to learn how to quilt more whimsically.
Cristina offered a class a Road@Home, Appliquilting, and I was excited to be in her class.
The process was straightforward, but Christina provided great tips to make it more whimsical and fun. She also showed the effect of a variety of batting choices and even foam. I forgot about using foam stabilizers like Annie’s Soft and Stable. I loved the way appliquilting looked on foam:
She also showed a few pieces using her technique that were quilted on various battings and it dramatically impacted the look of the quilt.
I was crazy busy that week and arrived in class late (I hate to arrive late!) and I had not chosen my fabrics – I was THAT student! So I dug into the “fabrics used for my book” bin and just haphazardly pulled fabrics. Fortunately they worked well together. We were a gregarious class and there was pleasant chatter and discussion among the students. We had a wide variety of experience levels and Cristina handled that well. There were students from 3 countries in class so that was fun too.
I was rocking along and started in with some red thread and I HAD to stop in my tracks – this reminded me of COVID! I could not let that be, so I ripped it out. I don’t normally rip stuff out like that but I could not stand having it remind me of COVID. I’m glad I did – I wanted this quilt to be happy!
I ended up with this and I am delighted! It was fun and so light-hearted. If I put my critical art eyes to work I see ways that I could improve it. But no, I like it the way it is!
I have a whole philosophy about the work I do in class. When I am a student, I embrace what the teacher is showing. I will do it his/her way for class and later, if I decide I want to change it, I do. But first, embrace what is taught.
The other thing I make a “rule” about is to not make it too precious. If I try to make something that will find a place on a wall or a show, I get too worried about each choice I make and it sucks the joy right out of the class.
I did not break any of my own rules for this class: I completely embraced Cristina’s whimsy and I am thrilled with the outcome. I look at this piece and it makes me smile. The whole class was so fun and I found Cristina to be a charming and creative teacher. It was a great day with an excellent teacher, making a fun and happy quilt. I love my little piece!