Sunday, July 01, 2007

At last - on to the other days at Primitives of the Midwest. Friday I was signed up for an all day class with Sue Spargo, whose work I have long been a fan. She has a refreshing folk-art style with a unique, colorful palette. She uses embellishments and fabrics that are beyond anything I have ever tried before. I looked forward to this day with great anticipation and was not disappointed.
Our project is a wall hanging that consists of 12 blocks, each with different flowers in applique. The background pieces and applique are mostly wools, but cottons, silks, velvets will all find a place in this little piece. Sue had a lovely selection of wools (all hand dyed by her sister) for us to select our backgrounds and beyond. Then she opened the door to 'Embellishment World' with threads, beads, rick-racks, buttons, and new embroidery stitches all to add personal, one-of-a-kind touches to our work.
I have to admit that I was not brave enough to step too far outside of my comfort zone when selecting my background pieces and I really wanted to buy a piece of hand dyed velvet for a flower or two , but I just wasn't quite ready to go there. With assurances that we would be able to order from her website, I didn't have to worry that I was making an improper choice if I decided I needed it later down the line. I did get a subdued piece of silk in a coral color. It was as daring as I could go for the first day.
It was an exhilarating class - so many new, fresh ideas. Sue is a wonderful teacher, giving instruction and guidance (and without judgement) to anyone who asked or just looked like they needed a helpful hand.
This is my first block. I am going to wait until all the blocks are done and put together before I embellish. Sort of like quilting, I want to keep the embellishment even across the face of my piece. We'll see how long I hold out before I just have to add a bead or something.Saturday brought an entire day with Lynda Hall of Primitive Pieces by Lynda. Again I was just so excited to have an all day class with a teacher whose designs I have been a fan of for some time. Lynda has such a primitive flair. I don't think I have ever seen a pattern that I didn't like and I have collected quite a few. When I saw the sample photo for this wall hanging, I knew I found my class - Shirley, Goodness and Mercy. These 3 angels are gals that I need looking after me.
There was an excellent photo of the sample on the class schedule, so I chose to bring fabrics from home rather than purchase the kit. I had a great time assigning personalities to my angels as I selected their backgrounds, faces and features. I have nothing but glowing things to say about Lynda as a teacher - she was open to the variety of applique styles that were employed and so helpful to each student and any concern they had over techniques, sizes, color choice. She was generous with offering embellishment from her personal stash to make hair of wool roving or buttons from eyes. Another outstanding day.
These are my gals so far. Poor Goodness - she looks like she might be in the federal witness protection program. She and Mercy will have their features soon enough and I'll share them again so you can see their personalities.
After classes on Saturday, we were invited back to Quilters Station for a pizza party. A time to share some of the projects, chat with the other participants, and do a little last minute shopping. I sat at a table with Linda Brannock and we had such a delightful conversation about fabrics stashes, gardening, her beloved Miss Jump and a woman of similar importance from my growing up. I must have just had stars in my eyes.
I have been to a couple of quilting retreats before but this was head and shoulders above anything I could have hoped for. It was so well organized and seamless - I'm sure there was a glitch here and there, but nothing that disrupted the participants. Each of the designers that I had classes with were so free and giving of their knowledge and supplies. And most refreshing of all to me - each seemed to delight in the creativity of the participants. They did not demand that we strictly adhere to the pattern provided - so open and appreciative of new ideas.
Sunday morning came awfully early, but I was ready to get on the plane and get home. I will never forget the new friends that I made, the sights of cornfields, cone flowers growing wild on the roadside, fireflies dancing in the evening, and the chance to learn from and interact with quilters that I admire. I'm sure I've said it a hundred times or more already - but I just can't wait until next year.

21 comments:

Pieces From Me said...

Thank you so much for sharing your trip with all of us. What a great time! Lots of good memories. I love the name of the angels! Too cute. And Goodness does seem to be hiding from something. Can't wait to see your embellished blocks.

Judy said...

It was a fabulous 5 days!

Linda said...

Libby it sounds like it was a terrific retreat, the sort we all dream about attending, and lucky you, you got to go. Love the names of your angels, just too cute. Look forward to seeing them finished each with their own personality.

Carol said...

Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful time with all of us. Your blocks are great. What a spectacular retreat!

Chookyblue said...

sounds like you had a wonderful time.... looking forward to the rest of your applique blocks.........

Linda_J said...

I have truly enjoyed reading both your accounts of the retreat and Judy's. Sharon really made your visit fun as well!

What adorable names for your WIP. Witness protection program, LOL--good one, Libby!

Angie said...

*sighs of bliss* Oh Libby...it sounds like absolute primitive quilters heaven!

Darlene said...

Thanks so much for sharing this trip of a lifetime with us. It's been fun!

Love your wool project but those Angels are adorable.

Guðrún said...

It seems like you were having just the perfect trip, thank you so much for sharing with us.

Connie said...

I enjoyed reading today's post! Sounds just wonderful.

kjquilts said...

Oh! I want to go next year too! I love your projects...those angels are so cute!

May Britt said...

Wouldn't it be fun to just make a little bit of embellishment just to see how it would look like :) LOL Your work is beautiful and I can read you had a wonderful time. When you got teachers like this it has to be perfect.

Rabbit Stitchings said...

What a wonderful time you had! Your experiences sure make me want to go next time! I assume they do this every year? I have never attended anything like this, but I think I should!... Thanks for sharing...

I can't wait to see your Sue Spargo piece done, with velvets, silks,beads, trims... will be gorgeous I know...Your Angel piece is going to be just lovely, they have great names ...

Knot Garden said...

It sounds magical, what great memories you will have.

Katie said...

Thanx for taking me along. Sure enjoyed it!

atet said...

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences. It sounds just wonderful!

Wendy said...

I've enjoyed all your posts about the wonderful retreat. It's fun to read about the teachers and see the projects you done. Thanks for sharing your adventures.

Finn said...

Love your projects! I think you chose carefully and well. They seem perfectly suited to you, my friend..*VBS* Can't wait to see more of the sampler as it grows, as well as 'the girls'...gotta love those names...LOL.
Have you ever caught the Hallmark production called "Grace and Glory"? It' about 2 women. I think you'd like it, it involves making a quilt. Your 'girls' would fit in perfectly with that movie. Sending Libby and Harper hugs, Finn

Marcie said...

Oh wow, oh wow, and oh wow! What a trip! Plus, I think your pig is laughing--just look how the crackle is in just the right place!

Dawn said...

Gosh, it sounds like a wonderful time! I may have to try and go next year. These girls look a just a bit creepy at this stage though!

Patti said...

Reading your comments almost makes me feel like I was there too. What a marvelous time you all had. I'm green with envy thinking of spending time with all those designers I so admire. I can hardly wait to see your finished projects!