Friday, February 5, 2016

I Love Teaching!!!

So January was a complete whirlwind of quilting goodness!!!   I had the wonderful opportunity to teach at 3 different retreats in January and loved every minute of it!!!  I know I have said it here before, but I absolutely love teaching quilting classes!!!!   There is just such a joy in being able to share my love and passion with others ;)   I had so much fun teaching, and it has been such a whirlwind, that I haven't had time to go through all of my pictures and share with you.  So I finally sat down over the last few days and started editing and grouping and all the like and now you get a full fledged 3 Retreat Teaching Post!!!  Are you ready???  Here we go ;)

Cedar Chest Quilter's Guild Retreat
Last weekend was the Annual Cedar Chest Quilter's Guild Retreat.  This retreat is held in my home town of Cedar City, Utah and it was their 10th Anniversary so it was super special ;) One of my favorite things about this retreat is it always starts off with a meet the teacher night and then a Show and Tell.  Everyone gets to bring finished quilts that they have taken classes on in previous years.  I can't begin to explain how fun it is to see those block starts from classes come back as finished quilts!!!

These were some of the quilts from the Petal Pop Class I taught last year.

Aren't they just so fun!!!  I love how different a quilt can be by just using different fabric ;)

And up next was the Wonky Irish Chain Class I taught last year as well.  I just love how happy and fun these quilts all are ;)  Doesn't that lime green background just make you wish for Spring ;)

The next day was my first class.  I taught The Village Square from my Irish Chain Quilts book.   We had such a great time in class and everyone enjoyed the super easy applique.  I don't think it will be long before these little houses turn into villages ;)

On Friday morning I really treated myself and actually took a class!!!   I don't get to do this very often so I was so looking forward to it!!  Sandra Workman taught us her Improv Quilt as you Go Bag and I so loved it!!!  Talk about fun!!!   And of course, I made mine from all of my purple scraps ;)  Now all I have to do is get it put together ;) 

On Friday night of the Retreat, we all were in for a very special treat!!!  Amanda Herring  and Sandra Workman were the National Teachers of the year and put on an amazing Trunk Show that was also doubling as a fantastic and inspiring presentation on Creativity.   They shared their top 10 aspects for your Creative Journey which were 1- Take Risks 2- Inspiration 3- Patience 4- Dream Big 5- Be Curious 6- Challenge Yourself 7- Creative Source 8- Believe In Yourself 9- Be Generous 10- Live a Creative Life :).   It was absolutely amazing and left me feeling so incredibly blessed to be able to do what I do.  

Following the trunk show we had the All Night Sew!!!  And yes, this is just waht it sounds like.  150-200 women gather together and the sewing machines start humming.  We sew, and sew, and sew, until we can't see anymore ;)  I made it until 3 am but my last class was the next afternoon so I figured I best get some rest ;)  Oh, and did I mention along with sewing, they give out prizes, prizes, and more prizes!!!   So much fun!!!

And that afternoon class I mentioned above was my In Your Neighborhood pattern.  I absolutely love teaching this class.  It is so fun to see when the design clicks for everyone and it has lots of letters in the cutting so I get to play alphabet soup when teaching it.  Love it!!!  All together an absolutely amazing retreat.  I had such wonderful classes filled with wonderful people!!!!  What a joy :)

Winter Quiltfest Retreat
The weekend before was the Annual Winter Quiltfest Retreat held in Logan, Utah!!  This was my first time teaching at Winter Quiltfest and I can say I surly hope it isn't my last.  I loved, loved, loved it!!!!   What an amazing fun retreat :)  The retreat is run my Amy Maxfield and her family and they were just amazingly wonderful people to work with.  What a joy!!!

As soon as I arrived I got to say Hi to my wonderful friend Amy Smart and also got to meet a brand new and incredibly amazing friend, Jen Kingwell.  They were both the Featured Teachers of the retreat and I just loved being able to sit and chat with them.  I got to catch up with Amy as we normally only get to see each other at Market, and I got to learn all kinds of wonderful and amazing things about Jen.  So fun!!!

The next morning was my first class.  I taught my Braided Irish Chain pattern and what a fun class it was!!!  Everyone picked up on the pattern so quickly and the machines were just humming away.  I love that this design is put together with three different blocks because it is so fun to see how excited everyone gets when their little blocks turn into a giant block and they see the design come together.   What an awesome class this was and I just loved getting to know all of these amazing ladies!!!

In the afternoon that day, I taught my Petal Pop class.  And once again, it was full of just some amazing ladies!!!  So much fun!!!  This class is always a little worrying at first, because the block seems like it goes together backwards, but everyone picked it up quickly and was turning out blocks in no time.   I even got an email from a class member this week who finished her quilt top already!!  See it in the bottom corner.  So fun!!!

The evening finished with an amazing trunk show by Jen Kingwell!!!  And oh my, can you say jaw dropping!!!  This gal blows me away!!!  She hand pieces her quilts, yes I said hand pieces her quilts!!!  And I absolutely love how full of color all of her quilts are.  She uses 200 plus different fabrics in her quilts.  Just amazing!!!  My only regret of the retreat was that due to my schedule, I wasn't able to take a class.  I know I am a horrible hand stitcher but I sure would have loved to learn from the master.  

I was only there for a day, but oh my goodness, I just loved it!!!  The classes were amazing, the food was absolutely delicious (seriously, I was tempted to take a picture of my plate and share it ;)  and everyone was so nice and friendly!!!  I am so looking forward to making this an annual trip ;)  What a wonderful retreat!!

Quilt St. George Retreat
And last but not least, in the first week of January (yes, a month ago) I was able to teach at the Quilt St. George Retreat in St. George Utah.   This retreat was a little smaller and I have to say, there is something really fun about having a small class every once and a while.  I really got a chance to sit and get to know these ladies more.  What a treat ;)

I taught two classes at the retreat both from my Irish Chain Quilts book.  I had the Two Paths Crossed class and had so much fun.  These ladies were great and got their blocks put together with beautiful precision.   And we all enjoyed a lot of good laughs in the process ;)

And I also taught my String of Pearls class.  And even though these gals were a little camera shy to be in their pictures, they were absolutely lovely to teach and get to know.  We had such a wonderful time in class.

And I finished the evening out with a Trunk Show from my Irish Chain Quilts book.  I got to share the quilts from the book and a bit about the designing, inspiration, and joy in writting the book.  And of course, I didn't think to give my camera to anyone to take any pictures.  But it was fun, just trust me on that one ;)  It was a wonderful finish to a wonderful day!!!!

Oh, and on a side note . . .  I will be sharing my Irish Chain Quilts Trunk Show next Thursday at the Red Rock Modern Quilt Guild once again in St. George.  So if you are in the area, come check it out ;)  Hopefully this time I will remember to take some pictures ;)

And I think that just about wraps up my Teaching in January 2016!!!  Did you stay with me to the very end.  Wow, that turned out to be quite a post ;)  But honestly, what a treat it has been.  I just can not say enough how much I absolutely love to teach quilting!!!  I love sharing my passion and I love that I always come away learning new things as well.  Quilters are just the most amazing people and I love getting to meet and share with them at these incredible functions ;)

I hope you all have an amazing weekend filled with lots of Happy Quilting!!!!

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  1. Oh I would've loved to be in you In My Neighborhood class; I received that pattern in your giveaway last month and have been chomping at the bit to use it. One day I'll get to a retreat or day...

  2. Your descriptions made me almost feel as if I were there! I wish I lived closer (I'm in Michigan), so that I could be there some day!!

  3. I love your recap(s)! It was great to see you at Winterquiltfest 2 weeks ago. Who knows when I will be out in Utah again? :-)

  4. So great and looks you have fun.Love all the projects and pics.

  5. I wish I could have been there to take one of your classes, but some years are good for traveling, and some aren't! :-) So glad you had lots of fun and got to take a class yourself!! Your pic with your bag is so cute! :-) Thanks for sharing your trips with us!! Have a wonderful week! Hugs, H

  6. You sound like the most natural and contagious excitement kind of teacher Melissa, but then we already know that from Happy Quilting! Someday it would be a real joy to take one of your classes!


Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I just love hearing from you!!
Have a Happy Quilting Day :)