From April 12 to 16 this year, I had the extreme pleasure of attending Machine Quilters Exposition East (MQX) in Providence, RI with my quilting buddy, Mary. Mary grew up in Newport, RI and had wonderful tales to tell about those years. We rented a car and toured the streets in Newport where her family home had been, her school, the beaches, favorite haunts -- each with a tale of its own. The day was grey and blustery, but that didn't dissuade us from our mission one bit! Lots of laughs along the way, despite the cold and occasional rain.
Eventually, it was time to end the nostalgic sightseeing and go to the Westin in Providence, next to the Convention Center where the show and classes were being held. The picture at the top of this page is just an example of the startlingly intricate quilts that were in the show, and the one above this paragraph illustrates the finely detailed quilting that could be found in all of the quilts. After all, this contest was showcasing the quilting more than the piecing -- just the opposite of the usual quilt show. I was humbled by the expertise demonstrated here. Although I don't think I ever want to drive myself crazy doing such intense quilting on any of my (or my customers') quilts, I really appreciated the fine work done by each and every entrant in the contest.
I took a variety of classes this year, but the best -- and most relevant -- ones were given by this cheerful lady, Crystal Smythe. What Crystal doesn't know about the Intelliquilter computerized robotics system hasn't been invented yet. When I attend these classes, it is as much to confirm that I am up to date as it is to learn something new, which doesn't always happen if I am really up to date -- a sort of IQ catch-22. However, Crystal was able to pass along at least one new use of my system (or remind me of one I hadn't used yet) in each of my three classes with her, as well as make the time fly so quickly that I thoroughly enjoyed her unique personality and its painless delivery of highly technical procedures.
Back in our room, Mary and I each had projects we had brought -- knitting for her, crochet for me, reading for both of us. However, one that we shared was this adorable scissor fob that I had brought along for each of us to do. The kit was by Sue Spargo. These are some of the pieces. You can see more on Mary's blog as well as her version of the bird. She thinks outside the box better than I do.
My little bird, complete with felted balls for the feet and top, beads, buttons, and hand sewing.
After a very full week, we headed for Home Sweet Home! Tomorrow I'll show you some goodies I bought to try out during my machine quilting.