15 April, 2015

MQX - Observations From A Newbie

I was gone last week, my husband and I drove up to New Hampshire for a post-Easter visit with my parents; we literally stepped back in time, weather-wise! As we went farther north the temperature got cooler and the snowbanks began to appear along the sides of the road; dirty, black, compacted snowbanks that have been there for awhile. New England was still within winter's tight grip. Thursday morning I was up bright and early for a drive to Manchester and two classes at the MQX (Machine Quilters Expo) Quilt Festival.

My brother-in-law volunteered to drive me down; I was more than happy to take him up on his offer as this was the view through the windshield, four inches of snow had fallen overnight and it was still snowing as we traveled!

My first class began at 8 AM; I was there in plenty time to check in and receive my name badge and "swag bag"... nice! I was informed that as a "newbie" I should wear a pin designating me as such, it was incredible how many people noticed that and warmly welcomed me, they were more than generous with all sorts of valuable information! The venue was smaller than I was accustomed to at Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival; there was general atmosphere of congeniality and camraderie, everyone that I met was friendly and more than happy to be there. It reminded me a lot of the Applachian Quilting Parties that I used to attend back in the 1990's in Boone, NC.
The morning class that I took was a hands-on longarm class taught by the uber-talented Judi Madsen. We learned Judi's method for creating fabulous background fill stitches and spent lots of time practicing each one. Judi is a sweetheart; she was gracious about sharing her expertise as well as encouraging and enthusiastic with each student, it was an all-around amazing learning opportunity.
We all left the class happy quilters!
All I can say about this picture is that Judi makes it seem so easy I can do it with my eyes closed! 
This is was my class take-away souvenir, I am eager to put some of these techniques to work!
I can't say enough good things about Judi; if you ever have the chance to study with her, go for it!
After class there was only time for a quick bite of lunch and a run-through of the quilt show and vendors before my afternoon lecture/demo class began. As I expected, the quiting displays on the show-quilts were completely awe-inspiring! I lingered over the "Sew Kind Of Wonderful" row, incredible examples of gorgeous quilts made using the Quick Curve Ruler. I bought one a few months ago and it hasn't been removed yet from the package; okay... now I know, it's time!



Aren't those all drool-worthy? Oh, yes they are! 
I had to skeedaddle to class to get a seat, the room was already packed. My afternoon class choice was... who else... Judi Madsen, again! There were lots of other instructors, just not for me, I chose to have an all Judi day! The afternoon lecture/demo was on ruler work; Judi made it look so effortless!

This quilt of Judi's was on display and representative of what we learned. I can see, now, how using a straight ruler and combining that with the background fills that we learned in the morning can provide some absolutely stunning results. I need to devote myself now to some serious practice time. 
After class I had a little bit of time to run through the vendor's mall and pick up a few items while looking at the remaining quilts on display. I took a photo of this "Be Attitudes" quilt to remind myself to finish the one that I started quite a few years ago! I love the bright colors used in this one. 
The quilting on this wallhanging elevates an already beautiful quilt up to an entirely different level.

And last, but certainly not least... this is the most beautiful Swoon quilt that I've ever laid eyes on. It is made entirely of silk! The quilting is phenomenal and the colors are vibrant against the soft gray background. I'm serious when I tell you that this quilt literally shone from across the display area!

All in all it was a wonderful perfect day; Mr. Goodneedle and my parents picked me up late in the afternoon, we stopped for a delicious dinner on the way back home, meeting my sister and brother-in-law at the restaurant. When I think back on this experience, and I will, nothing but good and happy memories remain; it just doesn't get any better than that... even with the snow.
Life is Good! 


16 comments:

Quiltdivajulie said...

Oh, what a wonderful day you had!

Janet O. said...

What a great day--full of quilting goodness, being chauffeured,and being taken out to dinner! Does it get any better? : )
Went to a trunk show by Judy last year at HMQS. She is incredible! And Jenny's quilting is always amazing.
Your practice piece is impressive. I look forward to seeing how you apply what you learned.

Mama Spark said...

How awesome!! I would love to be able to study with Judy, but I think I need a quilt machine first.

LizA. said...

I am green with envy! The Spokane machine quilters guild is working to get Judi out next year. We had Kimmie Brunner last month unfortunately I didn't join early enough to sign up for her classes but did get to go to her trunk show and lecture.

quiltkeemosabe said...

I know you were head over heels in love with all of it!!!! And you'll take what you learned/saw/experienced and do great things with it! Can't wait to see!

Allison CB said...

Thanks for sharing the photos - looks like you had a wonderful time!

Karen said...

What a great post. I know meeting Judi must have been a thrill. I've admired her work for several years. And I also have a QCR ruler that I need to get up my courage to use. Can't wait to see what you do

Laura Chaney said...

Looks like you had a wonderful day and had a great class!!

Tanya said...

What a fantastic day and fantastic experience! How I would love to have seen some of those quilts up close (though your photography was inspiring) and have a class with an experienced quilter! Not that I have a long-arm... but still. Were each of the students in the class given a machine to work with? Such beautiful work! And love that curved quilt ruler...

lindsey said...

I am in awe of people who carry out this beautiful work, I had a go at free motion quilting at a workshop and found it really hard. These quilts and amazing and your take home sample very impressive!

Judi said...

You are such a sweetheart and what a beautiful post! It was a delight to meet you. Thank you for making my time at MQX just wonderful!

jude's page said...

Thankyou so much for the quilt show. Lots of inspiration there, and looking forward to seeing your quilting in the future.

Colleen Yarnell said...

I love Judi! Ive followed her blog for years and she seems sweet and very talented.

cityquilter grace said...

thanks for the lovely show....beautiful quilts....i've seen snow so i skipped those pix...lol

45th Parallel Quilter said...

Sounds like a WONDERFUL day! Thanks for sharing ... the quilting is GORGEOUS!! Linda

JL said...

So glad you enjoyed your day with us.

Janet-Lee
MQX Founder