I was fortunate to be able to spend all day Friday and Saturday taking classes from HandiQuilter Educator Harriet Carpanini at our local quilt shop.  Harriet is an excellent instructor and I would take more classes from her in a heartbeat. I learned so much and am trying to process all the information she shared.

The four classes we took were Needles, Thread & Tension; Working with Stencils; Ruler Work; and Fabulous Feathers. Okay, so my feathers are nowhere near fabulous and won’t be for quite some time, if ever, but I still really enjoyed that class.

Class size was limited to 12 people, and we had a great group of ladies attend. Having a small class allowed everyone to have a lot of hands-on time on the machines. Harriet is one of those instructors who wants the student to practice what she’s teaching, not just watch her do it. My favorite kind of teacher!

It was so eye opening to see all the different quilting designs that can be created using simple grid stencils – things I never would have thought of. An example is the flower pictured below. I used a “X” stencil to give me reference marks and then freehand stitched the flower.

Quilted Flower Design

Here is the entire block, with a flower in each corner square:

Quilted Flower Design FMQThe petals are not perfectly shaped, but they are so much better than they would have been had I not marked the reference points with the stencil. I never would have looked at that stencil hanging in a store and thought that it could be used like this. That’s why I think finding a group of people who quilt to hang out with and talk to is so important. Our class shared so much information with each other and everyone was taking notes.

I marked the stencil lines using a pink chalk Pounce pad. The label says it needs to be washed out, but I’m surprised at how well it seems to disappear with a good brushing. I will definitely wash this quilt though, as I’m sure there will be chalk residue on the top.

As you can see, I kept my promise to myself and got started on the quilting on Checkered Past. I finished quilting all the checker blocks in a continuous line pattern. I love the secondary circle pattern that is created with this design.

Continuous Line Quilting DesignThe circles are not perfectly round, and now I kind of wish I had waited until after the classes to start – I think they would have looked better. But, I’m not ripping all that stitching out now, so I’m calling it an organic quilting design. Ha!

I love the texture that design creates. Here you can see it on the back:

Continuous Line Quilting Design

I can’t wait to finish this quilt and wash it up. I think the texture is going to be amazing!

Since taking those classes, I have so many ideas floating around in my head and so many things I want to try. Hopefully I can get them all written down before I forget them!

In other exciting news, I have been asked to teach a couple of quilting classes for my quilt pattern ‘Floating’ at our local quilt shop, Bolts & Quarters. We have dates scheduled for September and October and I can’t wait to do these classes. Both the quilts I made with this pattern (twin size and baby size) are still hanging in the shop – it’s so much fun for me to walk in and see them hanging there!

You can get your own copy of Floating on Craftsy or Etsy.

Finishing up Checkered Past, trying out some new quilting ideas, and getting prepped for class is what I am crushing on and what will be happening in my sewing room this week. How about you?  I would love to see what you are working on or what has you excited to be in your sewing space. Remember, your crush can be anything sewing/quilting related – new fabric, a new tool, a new technique you’ve learned, or any project you are working on. Come join the party!

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