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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Birthday Class

OMG I had the best time the last two days!!!!!!  I turned 60 on Friday and my mom turns 80 on Monday and rather than have a big birthday party we decided to bring in a terrific quilt instructor, Kathy McNeil, to give us a class on landscape quilting.  We could have a total of 20 folks in the class so we opened it up to the Table Rock Quilt Guild art quilt group and quickly filled the 18 open spots.  We have been planning for a few months and finally on Friday a bunch of us set up the room at the United Methodist Church and Mom and I picked up Kathy at the airport.

Kathy's flight was due to arrive at 9:30 p.m. which meant mom and I were going to be out after dark. So exciting!!!!!  Geez, I'm getting old.  Her flight was on time but unfortunately American Airlines left Kathy's quilt stands in Dallas so it took about an hour to get all that straightened out which means we didn't drop Kathy off at the hotel until about 11:30 p.m.  Not a great start to our class weekend especially since Kathy is an early to bed woman.  But the weather was good, she was here and we were a go, plus American Airlines promised to get the quilt stands to the church on Friday morning. So basically it was all good.

I picked Kathy up at the hotel bright and early Friday morning and she was ready to go all bright eyed even though her toiletries were packed in the suitcase we left in Mom's car.  When we got to the church Mom and a few others were already there.  I brought in the lunch stuff that I'd made the day before, and received birthday greetings from the ladies.  It was delightful.  I just love my birthday unlike my daughter who would prefer to forget hers.  I enjoy my special day, nice to have the attention.

Kathy started the class right on time and gave a great presentation for about 2 hours.  Her presentation was so good.  How to give your quilt dimension, various types of applique, how to use color to your advantage.  I'm pretty sure everyone learned a ton.  I know I did.  She is a very good presenter, very clear, informative slides, and did a good job of reading her audience to make sure people were following along.  At about 10:30 the quilt stands arrived!!! (Thank you American Airlines) so we hung the quilts Kathy brought: one of her show quilts and 7 quilts that were the samples of the patterns we were making in the class. OMG they are gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!!!!!!

After the morning lecture we all started working on our own quilts and I headed to the kitchen.  I'm not much of a cook but there are a few things I can make and I recently found out I can make my mom's favorite cheese soup.  A few months ago I tracked down the recipe for cheese soup from the Hotel Fort Des Moines and made it for her.  She thought it was orgasmic and proceed to tell the Art Quilt Group about it in a way that only she can.  So when we were trying to come up with a menu for the class, the cheese soup seemed perfect.   I think most everyone liked it and a couple of people even had seconds.  Yea me, I cooked for 20 and didn't run out of food!!!!!!!!  I was a bit worried about that.

The afternoon went quickly as Kathy helped us with our projects and new processes.  I was stoked to try two of the new applique methods she introduced to us, the sizing method and Apliquick.  Check out her video on Apliquick, such a cool way to do applique.  I found it pretty exciting and purchased the stick tools as well as the special interfacing.  I'm going to use it on the Jenny Beyer quilt I'm working on.  I wasn't happy doing a raw edge blanket stitch on such a beautiful quilt so this method is going to be the answer to that problem.

At about 2:30 p.m. Nancy Ryder-Frew delivered the cake and what a cake.  She took inspiration from Kathy's winter cabin quilt.  Not only was it a gorgeous cake but it tasted great.  I know everyone enjoyed eating it.

After the class, Mom and I took Kathy on a quick tour of the area while it was still light and had dinner in Branson.  Kathy liked the beer batter fries at Drafts Sports Bar.  She had an awesome looking Buffalo Chicken Salad and I liked my veggie burger, mom's burger was bit too big for her "little mouth" but it tasted great.  The conversation was pleasant too.

Day two of class Kathy hung another of her award winning quilts.  AMAZING!!!

Kathy packed in a ton of great information during the day.  We got a lesson on sewing your applique by hand or by machine.  I have to remember 1.5 and .03 zig zag.  In addition, she showed us how to free motion embellishments using, organza, and thread. Gotta love water soluble stabilizer.   I even helped in the demo!!!!  Such fun.

My aunt, Debbie Parks, made walking tacos for lunch and they were such a success that we decided to serve them one day of the upcoming Table Rock Quilt Guilt retreat at the library.

Later on in the day, Kathy gave a demo on the power of painting on fabric.  She demoed these awesome fabric crayons from Switzerland called Neocolor which she swears by.  They stay put and have intense color.  I'm looking forward to trying the ones my mom bought.  The last lecture dealt with ways to quilt your art quilt with some great pointers on horizon lines and borders.  Kathy is big on mitered corners. UGHH so hard to get those straight so they quilt nicely.  Something to strive for. She also gave us a hint about how she does borders which she doesn't share with most people so I'm not printing that here.  But I'm going to have to try it on my next quilt.

Here are some of the examples of the work being done in the class.

There was time the second day to continue working on our projects and even though none were completed I think most everyone was pretty happy with the results.  

I just wanted to thank everyone who helped set up the room and who stayed to help clean up.  It really helped us out a bunch.  Also wanted to thank Kathy for a great class.  What a wonderful birthday.  


  1. It looks like so much fun was had!
    I like your glasses too!!!

  2. Happy belated birthday! Kathy is a sweetheart, what an epic birthday party :-)