Sunday, March 15, 2009

Quilt Whisperer class in Sacramento

What a great week-end. Terry and I flew up to Sacramento so I could take a class from Carla Barrett, an award-winning quilter, who teaches the Quilt Whisperer class at High Sierra Quilters in Cameron Park east of Sacramento.

We have not been on a trip in a while so this one was fun. If you have ever read my blog then you know my feelings about flying Southwest. Well, I have something good to say about them this time. As we stood in our numbered slots waiting to board the plane, a soldier in camouflage uniform toting a GI bag approached the line to board the completely full plane. I didn't see the Southwest employee but I heard him say to the soldier

"Thank you for your service, please go to the front and welcome aboard".

Both my husband and I are veterans so this show of support and courtesy went straight to our hearts. I am so happy that our fighting force gets this kind of respect from the people who enjoy the freedom provided by these guys and girls in uniform. God bless America and Southwest Airlines.

We had reserved a car for our drive from Sacramento International Airport to El Dorado Hills where our hotel was located. I think that 2 people (5'11" and 6'2") and their accompanying luggage and class notebooks need space. It is pure folly and probably comical to watch somebody my size get into one of the economy cars that these rental car companies have. So we reserved a "full size" car. The confirmation email had listed a Taurus or something comparably sized. So we ride the rental car bus to the rental car terminal and check in at Budget for our full size car. Ah, no. They had a choice between a Mitsubishi or a Hyundai Sonata. Is this a joke? There is not a shoe-horn big enough to get me into a Mitsubishi. What about a Taurus? No Taurus. They consider Mitsubishi a full size car. And maybe that is fine for a family of short people or even skinny young people. We are not those people. We upgraded to the next level.....which is really what Budget expects people to do when they see that so-called full-sized Mitsubishi. So we rented the Bat Mobile in a lovely pearl color. I call the Chrysler 300 a Bat Mobile because that is what it reminds me of. It was very roomy, good power and ran great. Other than Terry's problem figuring out how to open the gas tank (push the tank door), we had no trouble with our car.

We drove thru some beautiful countryside with rolling green hills and valleys and many, many trees. It was a lovely drive and as we crested a hill, we were amazed to see the snow covered Sierras span out on the horizon in front of us. They must have been 30 miles away but they were magnificent.

Carla had invited me to her studio for a tour. It was fabulous, only a few of her ribbons were on the wall. She was working on the border of a blue and white Feathered Star It was fun to see a work in progress in this studio. She also showed me several of her quilts. I got to see the purple beauty named In the Garden that took 4 ribbons at the Folsom Quilt show. Best of Show, Viewer's Choice, Best Machine Quilting. You can see some more of Carla's work here. But (she said smugly) I got to see it up close and personal. No white-glove ladies here. The sun was pouring in through the windows and I got up close, it is fabulous. That's where you can really see the details of her work. Unique fills flawlessly executed, original florals draw your eye to her quilting and several areas of double-line work that emphasize the key parts of the quilt. Her quilting is inspirational. Even though she does not consider herself a Diva, she rates Diva status. Sorry, no photos, like so many of us, Carla is camera shy.

The next morning was the class. There were seven of us. Laura from Vacaville and LaurieG from Vallejo, who I know from the APQS chat, traveled to Sacramento for this class. There were 3 locals and a quilter from Chico. 5 of us were longarmers. Carla presented the class so that it covered the aspect of longarming and domestic quilting. Lot of ideas, resources and sharing. We learned about marking, thread, stencils made from products found in the kids toy aisle. She shared tools to use for various quilting things, including her favorite frogger for "unquilting" a mistake.

The last part of the class, we pulled out our quilts. This is where the whipering part is. No, there really isn't any whispering. The class was named as a joke and it just stuck. But when you think about how certain people seem to have insight into problems that you and I cannot decipher, well, they whisper back and forth with the quilt. The quilt tells a story. Most of us longarmers have had these "stand and stare" moments; you hold them up to see the quilt and then you stand and stare and wonder "How am I going to quilt this?". She walked us through the entire process in class. I picked up several techiniques. I also got to see a quilt through Carla's eyes. Several of the students jumped in with ideas on how to quilt a certain area. It was great. I want a committee like that the next time I get stuck on a quilt.

I would recommend this class to all skill levels. There is something there for everybody. Bring a sketchpad and notebook.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Ramona, it was fun meeting you, too! Btw, you have my permission to share studio pics if you want. You can also say you met Rex the Wonder hound and spent time visiting my home on the hill inside a ranch.

Hugs, Carla

My life has changed in the last couple of years - some bumps, I retired from quilting, and then I moved to Texas. I'm anxious to see what new adventures await me in the next phase of my life.

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Ramona, California, United States
I started quilting when a quilt shop opened in our little town in January 2004. I have been hooked ever since.

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