All of that was awesome, and it really would have been plenty. But what I want to celebrate most about 2015 is the fun and excitement I experienced through teaching over the past 12 months. I've been teaching locally for about 12 years, but things really switched into high gear this year! I adopted a "just say yes" attitude and decided with my two kids pretty well grown-up and a very supportive husband, I would accept all teaching offers that came my way and let the family fend for themselves (everyone survived, yay!).
Temperature Check, 2013
It is difficult to accurately pinpoint the catalyst for all of the amazing gigs I got this year. About 80% of the workshops I taught were for the little Temperature Check quilt, above (or the improv piecing technique I call Improv Under the Influence). Published photos of Chess on the Steps (simply a size large version of Temperature Check), word of mouth, my guild presentations, blog readers inviting me to teach for their guilds, referrals from other quilting instructors and connections via the Modern Quilt Guild all lead to great opportunities. What I'd like to share with you are photographs of the workshops themselves, featuring amazing quilters that I had the pleasure of meeting and teaching over the past year, as well as their inspiring work. For many students, this was their first ever foray into modern quilting or working exclusively with solids or trying their hand at improvisational work. As always with teaching, there are many opportunities for me to learn just as much from participants in the workshops...I will share some of that learning amongst the photos below.
The Seattle MQG is super friendly!! This workshop took place at the incomparable Drygoods Design on historic Pioneer Square.
I think orange is the spirit colour of the Modern Quilt Guild of Victoria
Small, isolated quilting communities are very open to trying new things and trusting people they've never met before (at least Inuvik is). I didn't even mind that a couple of students ducked out of class to watch the annual migration of the domestic reindeer herd because they gave up most of the Muskrat Jamboree weekend for quilting!
Stitch at Sea, Alaska cruise
Oakshott colourshotts make gorgeous kits for this workshop! I curated 4 different Alaska themed bundles: Glacier, Midnight Sun, Fireweed and Northern Lights.
Teaching the workshop over 2 days allows students the freedom to learn the piecing technique,then use a design wall to come up with their own exciting layouts. This one is by Dianne Ritter and it is even more impressive now that it is quilted!
More often than not, quilters work with the same colours as their wardrobe! Here you can see Louise is doing just that.
I enjoy spending time with elder quilters. This isn't something I learned this year, but it was humbling that so many elder women signed up to learn something new from me! Two of the women in this workshop had the cutest argument over which one was older (they are both 78). Best line of the debate " Oh ____, you always want to be the oldest, but you know my birthday is 3 months before yours and we have to do this every time we take a workshop together!" They totally cracked me up.
Sometimes a charm pack of Denyse Schmidt modern solids will do! Carolyn with her super fun and colourful little Temperature Check quilt.
Another wardrobe-inspired original layout by Sabrina. The Whistler gals made full use of their design walls over two long days with fabulous results!
Did you notice anything in particular about all of these photos? Quilters are pretty much the same no matter where you travel, aren't they? We all love to play with fabric and create in the company of like-minded people. Most of my workshops were with traditional quilters and I could not be happier that so many are curious about "this modern quilting thing" and willing to give new ideas a try. People wrote me the loveliest emails after workshops, telling me that they'd never had so much fun quilting, or that they were excited to play with this technique some more on their own and that they picked up so many tips from my classes they never thought they needed to know.
I feel extraordinarily lucky.
Bring it on, 2016!
Happy New Year, Friends!
P.S. I think it is very evident from this post, but if you would like me to visit your guild or shop and teach a workshop, just say the word. I'm there.