Meet Me in Santa Fe!

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Among the teaching events that we’re most excited about in 2020 is the Madeline Island School of the Arts (MISA) five-day class in Santa Fe, New Mexico from April 20-24, 2020. If you’re unfamiliar with the Madeline Island School of the Arts, it’s a beloved retreat center on Madeline Island near Bayfield Wisconsin on Lake Superior. The island is only accessible by boat so when the lake freezes over in the winter, MISA staff takes their classes to warmer climes in Tucson, Arizona and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The retreat takes place at the luxurious Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza. Weeks will be teaching Modern Kaleidoscopes but the class will include lessons in color, composition, precision piecing, mastering curved piecing, fussy cutting and learning how to play with fabric repeats to create bold quilts. We’ll also discuss quilting your quilt, binding and other details. The class will be small with 20 students at most so there will be lots of time for one-on-one questions and help. Students will be able to choose from a variety of projects that are based on the idea of playing with fabric repeats or design their own related project. Weeks will bring bilaterally symmetrical fabric for those who struggle to find it locally. You can work on one large quilt or make several smaller pieces. For students nervous about what to pack, Weeks will send a video link to participants explaining which types of fabrics will work best for the class projects so you can relax about knowing what to pack.

Sometimes people sign up for workshops on one topic and then ask us to help them learn a totally unrelated technique which proves frustrating for all. So while you’ll have lots of choices for projects and of how to use this technique, this class, like all of the classes we teach, is limited to the topic in the class description. If you haven’t taken a class with me before, I have one very simple goal: I want my class to be the best class you’ve ever had and I’m going to harness all of my education and experience and patience and good cheer to give it my best shot. I hope you’ll do the same!

Members of the class will also be invited during breaks to participate in the making of some blocks of our Friends All Around quilt that will be used to raise funds and then donated to the International Quilt Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska. Weeks will bring precut blocks for students wanting to practice the curved piecing taught in class. The completed blocks will be included in the finished quilt and the names of all participants will be included in a notebook that will become part of the archives of the International Quilt Museum. There will lots of time for recharging, exploring Santa Fe and making new friends. There will be surprises, good ones, and that’s all I’m going to say about that.

I have to add that we rarely get a chance to teach five-day classes because it’s such a big investment of time and money for students and it’s hard for us to clear that much time as teachers. However, there are alumni of some of our five-day classes from 15 years ago who still meet annually and we’re in touch with several members of the first five-day class we ever taught 20 years ago. Meet me in Santa Fe. It’s going to be a beautiful, inspiring, productive, fun and unforgettable.

"Did you get my email?"

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It’s wonderful to get invitations to teach all over the world and to work with great students, guilds and event planners. The tricky and stressful part is keeping up with the thousands of questions we get via email. My computer says that in the last few years I’ve responded to over 13,000 emails but I still have too many I haven’t gotten to. Our studio manager handles emails related to orders and our website so that helps us a great deal. However, the ease of email has meant that we get countless emails from real people asking real questions each day about everything from teaching availability and contracts to requests to help them with their quilting projects. Unfortunately there just aren’t enough hours in the day to answer all of them.

Please understand that we’re working long hours every day to answer your emails. It’s frustrating to us as well that we can’t answer them as quickly as we would like but we are truly doing our best.

You CAN Make It: Mastering Curved Piecing

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As we sat in our booth in Houston at Quilt Market and Festival in front of our Lavish quilt, we heard a constant and frustrating refrain of people loving the quilt but saying, “I could never make that!” It’s one of those quilts that’s not hard to make at all but for whatever reason has psyched out lots of people who have the skills to make it.

Wanting to support quilters who want to learn something new, we started Modern Quilt Studio’s Lavish Quilt Along on Facebook for those who want to be able to share their progress on making the Lavish quilt or a version of it. In addition, we have decided to launch an all-out campaign next year to get quilters comfortable and familiar with our simple and fail-proof method of curved piecing. So although we’ve shared the other videos for the quilt along just in the Facebook group, we’ve added another tutorial to our YouTube channel with the hope that others not in the group will realize that they too can be successful with curves. If you’d like to join the Lavish Quilt Along group, click here. If you’d like to watch any of our video tutorials, including the tutorial on piecing curves or subscribe to our YouTube channel, click here. If you’d like to purchase our Modern Circles templates, click here.