Quilt Seminar – Impressions

Yesterday, I got the chance to attend one of the free quilting seminars and take some pictures to share with you.

The demonstrator for this seminar was Mary Ourecky – and as you can see in the picture, she had a full house! There were 110 people who attended her shows that day. She had lots of great ideas to share with everyone, and her projects really did cover a full range of quilters – from the very new, to the very experienced. Quilts included: modified log cabin, t-shirt quilt, memory quilts, applique quilts, simple panel quilts, and MUCH, MUCH more.
space

At the beginning of the show – Mary had all of her projects neatly folded up and ready to explain to us. The folded quilts sat on the table, quietly teasing us, as the last minute preparations for the show were carried out. And believe me, everyone’s eyes kept wandering back to that table as we waited for new chairs to be located and set out.
space

space

Mary started the show by letting us take a peek into her sewing room – basically, she had all of her favorite notions that she wanted to show and explain to us. And during the show she often returned to these items, explaining how this specialty sewing foot, or that ruler was designed to make a particular project easier. One of the favorite tools she mentioned was the new Wrights Sidewinder Bobbin Winder – if you haven’t checked this out yet, it’s a great tool! It’s only function that of a bobbin winder, but it has adjustable tension (so bobbins can be wound tighter or more loosely as needed), and it can be operated by battery or by AC adapter (which is included).
The back of the store rang with laughs as Mary explained to us that she had discovered the bobbin winder could be used when you were stopped at a red light on your way to your quilting class! – But she did warn that when the stop light turns green, you should put down the bobbin winder. Tongue Out 11

Even though I am not a quilter myself (I still have pieces of a log cabin quilt in a bag in the back of the closet), I do admire and enjoy the quilts – and believe me, this show was a feast for the eyes. Mary did not make all the quilts herself, she asked for volunteers from throughout the area district to help her out, and they delivered. Some quilts followed a simple pattern that even a novice like myself could recognize, while others were beautifully intricate. One quilt was even designed ‘on the go’ by the quilter who made it – no pattern was involved. Below are some of the quilts that Mary had to show us.
space

spacespace

Those who have read the blog before may recognize the first quilt from Happy Days Quilts (Sheila recently made a towel with the fish appliqués), and the second quilt which is Sheila’s own design for the Nana’s Hankie Fabric – quilt is called Hankie in your Pocket.
space

Mary not only displayed the quilts for us to see, but took the time to explain some of the work that went into each – and give a few tips on how we could accomplish the same look.
space

space

As you can see from the pictures above, Mary even took the time to show how a tool could be used to create a specific look. Here she is showing how to use the Marti Michelle ruler to make triangles that fit together perfectly and don’t waste fabric – you cut a strip as long as your triangles will be tall, then you simply lay the ruler onto the fabric and flip it over to cut the triangles as you go, each one lining right up against the next. The picture on the right shows the finished quilt. (Earlier in the year, Sheila posted a feature about another of these great rulers – the Log Cabin Ruler.)
space

space

The show wasn’t only about quilts – but it was about quilting techniques, so we saw some quilted bags, quilted purses, and quilted pillows as well. This year there were no quilted garments in the show – but I know that has been done as well.
space

As the show ended, that nice pile of folded quilts became a stacked pile of quilts that needed to be refolded to get ready for her next show – but everyone in the audience was surprised at how quickly the hour and a half had gone.

I got a chance to sit down with Mary after the show (and after she’d had a chance to get a bite to eat), she was still very excited from the show, and was more than willing to talk about the process of getting ready for it.
space

space

She told me that the weeks before she does a show like this are “like Christmas, with all the new projects coming in all the time.” She enjoys opening the boxes and getting to see what different people have used as inspiration for a quilt or sewing project. “I like that this is a collective effort to create all the projects, seeing the colors that different people put together. Sometimes I see a quilt and am surprised by how much I like the color combinations – something I wouldn’t have thought to put together myself.” I couldn’t agree with her more, I was quite taken by a quilt that was in the show made with lots of brown and muted colors (it didn’t photo well in the lighting we had), and yet if I had seen the colors laid out in front of me – I wouldn’t have turned them into a quilt to have in my house. Mary felt that more of the colors quilters were using these days seemed to relate to the younger sewers. I suspect this is because the colors we see used in decorating trends carry through to our quilts.
space

But a word of advice – do call at least a day before the show if you can – Mary had more than double the number of expected people at her show, and attendees were sitting on every chair that could be located, and a few that were borrowed!
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing
Heather

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s