Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What a day!!

Bill, Me, and Weeks at the Fun Quilts Studio

I recently had the opportunity to spend some time with modern quilt powerhouse team Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr, of Modern Quilt Workshop fame. How, you might wonder??? I had the crazy awesome luck of winning a 30 minute Skype session with this husband-wife quilting team during a recent book blog tour for Quilts Made Modern. Then I realized they were located in Oak Park, not too far from my old stomping grounds in Chicago. And, coincidentally, I had a family trip planned to Chicago within the coming weeks...and, coincidentally again, my sister-in-law and I had planned to do some quilt shop-hopping while I was in town. And what do you know??? Weeks and Bill were having a fabric sale on all the bolts in their studio during the same time I was planning to be in town! Did the stars line up, or what?! They graciously invited me (and my sister-in-law!) to do the Skype session in person. What an opportunity!

I can't say enough about how sweet and welcoming they were. When I mentioned I love their quilt called Big Dots from their latest book, they quickly said, "You want to see it?" Next thing I knew, we were in their living room (their studio is on the lower level of their house) looking at this gorgeous quilt that was hanging on the wall!! I mean, seriously! How sweet is that??!!

I brought my quilt top and backing from the Kona Solids Challenge for the Modern Quilt Guild and they gave me wonderful feedback. In the above picture I am standing with them with the quilt back behind us on their design wall. Based on their feedback, this will now be its own separate quilt, which is great because I love it!

They also showed us how to do inset circles. I had such a fear of these but Bill walked us through each step and was so encouraging. Look how it turned out!

This was fabric from their "scrap pile" - and they packed up a bit of it to send home with me for continued practice. Again, how sweet is that?! My mind is reeling with the quilt possibilities.

Here is a little pouch I made for them as a thank you for inviting us to their studio. I felt like a kindergartener handing over a tiny scribble to the master artists, but I knew they would appreciate a handmade item from the heart, and they did! (And I threw in some sea salt dark chocolate, which never hurts...)

Not only are they clearly very talented designers, but their love of teaching is obvious and so genuine. They graciously shared so much of their time, talent and wisdom, and I truly felt like it was my birthday and Christmas and all kinds of fun stuff all rolled up into one day! Truly, I enjoyed every second and to this day, it's like I'm still processing it all as I remember little tips they shared about design, or color placement, or scale of pattern combined with scale of fabric...so many things! A huge thanks to Weeks and Bill (and their lovely daughter) for a day I will never forget!

(Weeks wrote about our day in her blog Craft Nectar - check it out!)

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