4 hours ago
Tuesday, 21 August 2012
4 days + 400 workshop attendees = 2 weary ladies
I was so excited to be asked by the lovely people at Sizzix UK to help out with workshops at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham this past weekend. I said yes as soon as they asked, as I was planning on going anyway and it seemed like a great way to spend the few days I was there. Plus I have a sizzix big shot, I use my sizzix big shot a lot and I really like it, so there'd be none of that awkward promoting a product I didn't really like much - I could happily talk for hours (and I did) about how useful it is (especially for scraps)
We even had a celebrity come and take a workshop. Granted she does happen to be one of my friends. I wonder if anyone else at the tables knew they were sat with the superstar quilter that is Tula Pink? (Most of them, I would suggest, did not know)
I even managed to sneak in early and get some cutting of my own done for scrap vomit (thanks to Vicky that dropped me off some AMAZING scraps with all kinds of animals on)
Every hour at half past the hour we held free workshops on how to use the big shot to cut the drunkards path block and everyone had enough fabric to make a cushion cover. For free. You don't get much for free these days, so you can imagine we were busy. So busy that people were lining up to catch the following class as soon as the first was finished.
All in all we gave almost 30 workshops and had 400 people attend. 400 over 4 days. Am I exhausted? Yes. Did I have an amazing time? Yes. Do I miss Angela and the fun we had together? You bet I do. I was nervous before I met her properly (we both were!). We had met briefly at the Fat Quarterly retreat but I saw her just as she came into the building and then I was off to teach a workshop so I didn't get a chance to see her again, this time we would be spending all day every day together. What if we didn't click? What if she was a bit bossy? The sizzix quilt blog is her baby, she does all the sewing and is really knowledgeable about the product, so what if I was the useless assistant that didn't do things right? I needn't have worried - we clicked right away and the entire time was spent laughing and having an absolutely fabulous time showing ladies (and a couple of men) how to use the big shot. I just hope we get a chance to work together again soon.
Look at these 2 lovely ladies. They hand stitched their blocks together in their hotels over the weekend and brought them in to show us. Vera (on the right) had a different quilted bag for each day of the show and co-ordinated her outfit to the bag. I'm looking forward to seeing her next year with her pink drunkards path bag - she decided to follow a different path to the others and instead of a cushion, she's making a bag. They were my class pets, 2 hilariously funny ladies and for me just summed up the festival as a whole - happy, smiling, having fun with their friends and shopping for fabric.
It's easy to get caught up in the whole modern/traditional thing too often and especially for those of us that spend a lot of time online. Vera is what quilting should be - she buys what she likes because she likes the colours and the patterns, she makes what she likes because she thinks it'll make a great bag to wear to her next show and matches something in her wardrobe, she doesn't care what's written on the selvedge. The Veras of this world made Festival of Quilts 2012 a really refreshing change for me, and it was amazing to see that side of the coin for once.
It is nice to be home though, and to be able to sit down for a minute and catch my breath!
Posted by Katy Jones at 08:00
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