Thursday, June 11, 2015

Learning from the pros


A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to take a class on hand piecing, applique and hand quilting from Jen Kingwell and to say it was wonderful is the understatement of the year. There were twenty of us in her class and everyone was just buzzing with excitement. We listened to Jen tell us her quilting journey and then she started showing us her quilts.

I. Can't. Even.

Her work is scrappy and patchy. And whimsical. And bright and playful. And all done by hand. I asked her how long an average quilt of hers takes her to make and she said about a month. By hand! She's amazing.

She was so gracious with her time and knowledge and taught me tricks to make my hand stitching more precise and faster. The first quilt I ever made, I pieced entirely by hand. It really taught me the importance to accurate cutting, accurate seam allowance and how to maneuver fabric to make it do what you want. I loved the process then and being in Jen's class reminded me of that.

She signed my copy of her book and inscribed the nicest thing. Loveliest thing as her Aussie self would say. And now I've got the corners bent marking the pages of three quilt patterns that I want to make right this very second. I think I'll start with Glitter. Or maybe Flea Market Dash. Oooo! Wait! Maybe I'll start with For the Boys. . .

-dana

9 comments:

Jacque. said...

Dana...sounds like you had a wonderful time...quite an experience! Really looking forward to seeing what you come up with out of this. Stitch on!

dolores said...

I know what you mean...I had a class with her at the FQ retreat in London last year....she is wonderful. Did you get a great pincushion ring?:)

I am making a "Medley of Jen" quilt using three of her patterns and the book...have made 8 glitter blocks...love them!:)

Kar said...

Sounds like an fabulous way to have spent the day. Jen's quilts are the best. : )

Jenny said...

oh what a fabulous opportunity. i would love class with her.

The Cozy Pumpkin said...

How fun! Looks like it was a great time.

Chris Tart said...

Nearly 10 years ago, when Jen had a store in Melbourne, just down the road from the train station, (before she became a superstar!!) I did a course with her on hand applique. One night for whatever reason it was just Jen and I. She is so fantastic, so skilled and so generous with her time and her knowledge. No skill was off limits. Seeing her now, so big in the world of Quilting just makes me so happy for her. Christy

Jackie said...

I love it when you can find something in life to be enthusiastic about, or find that someone that puts a little excitement back into your hobby/passion/fun thing to do. It's a great feeling. :) Makes me want to pick up quilting, or take a class.

Laura Chaney said...

You know it's a great book (and class!) when you just can't decide which project to work on first!

Shasta Matova said...

How wonderful that you were able to see her. I too admire all the whimsical fabric choices, and want to be able to emulate that some day.