The Empty Spools Seminar that I took at Asilomar was a 5-day workshop in machine quilting with Jill Schumacher, Quiltmaker to the Queen. I knew that this was a skill that I couldn't pass up. Boy was it the best time ever. I learned so much and am now ready to machine quilt my quilts beyond the allover squiggle and straight lines.
We worked on practice squares the first day. I wasn't convinced that I'd get it but I kept at it. Then the next project we worked on was a mini 20" wholecloth quilt. I used Radiance fabric in aqua (it's 55/45 silk/cotton) and made a rope border with a feathered wreath. Still I wasn't too happy and didn't spend the extra time to work on the background fill stitches. But the next project was different. I used a Moda Marble cotton for the top and that made quite a bit of difference for me. This one was a trapunto design and I really got into the groove with this one. The only reason why I didn't finish this is because I wanted to get help on how to mark my Ohio Star quilt top.
Jill also showed us how to fit a stencil to your border so I was able to choose from her collection of over 1200 quilt stencils and marked the quilt top. Of course the long part will be to begin quilting on it. I couldn't help but choose dragonflies and bumble bees as a bit of whimsy.
This was so very worth making the time to take Jill's class. I learned a LOT. Some of her tips were worth the admission alone. Plus the ladies in the class were very nice. In fact one is a fellow blogger in northern California. She goes by the name of ThreeUnderTwo and blogs at Lit and Laundry ... she's a prolific quilter, cross-stitcher and all around maker. You should see how her quilts turned out. She even got one bound and rinsed out before the last morning of class! One lady turned out to be my roommate and we talked until late every night after the late session of class work. Another one and I walked around to all the classrooms to see the work then relaxed with a glass of wine near the fireplace in the Phoebe Hearst social hall. It was a wonderful group of people and an outstanding class. So if you're ever able to take one of the classes from the Empty Spools Seminar at Asilomar I say go for it.