This is me with my new best friend, Kaye England. Lol! Last week the local Bernina shop, A Different Touch, had Kaye come and speak about tools and cutting techniques. That, and push Bernina just a little, which was like preaching to the choir. Kaye, as you may know, is a very entertaining speaker. It didn't take much to get her off message and talking about her childhood in Tennessee and corn cob fights in the barn. She still lives on a farm, though now in Indiana. She has llamas and goats and at least one chicken that she spoke of that gives her one egg a day.
Of course she stressed the importance of accuracy in cutting and in sewing and in RULERS. She has helped to develop a line of rulers for Nifty Notions that she guarantees are the best and most accurate. You can find them on her website. Kaye touted the importance of a straight-stitch throat plate (single hole rather than slot) for accuracy in quarter inch stitching. Apparantly the slotted throat plate that comes with most all machines can cause the fabric to cave from the pressure of the needle, distorting the seam allowance. Huh! Who knew? Well, as you can imagine, there was a run on straight-stitch throat plates at the cash register! Mine is on order.
Probably the coolest thing that I learned was to use two colors of thread when sewing. If you have a different color in the bobbin then it is easier to take out the seam should you need to. She says you can just pull the bobbin thread, if you know which one it is. Is that cool, or what? Yes, it's good to get sewing tips, but who ever gives great seam ripping techniques?
Finally, here is my favorite piece of advice: "Art is a personal decision! If you put it (fabric pieces) together, it goes together!" I totally agree. Too often we look for everyone else's opionion to validate what we do and what we, personally, like. What a fun day!
And then came the quilts! You are probably familiar with Kaye's Voices of the Past series. The quilt here with the flags is called Betsy Ross-surprise! The next one below, with the very scrappy stars and chain blocks is Amelia Earhart. Oddly enough, one of my designs is the same pattern, which happened to be hanging on the wall, and Kaye pointed it out! How funny is that? Mine is called Tea in the Garden, and has a little bit of applique on it. Obviously a traditional pattern in the public domain. Each beautiful and very different. I have actually been wanting to do a scrappy version, so now I know just about what it would look like.
I hope you enjoyed this little tour of England. I sure did! *VBS*