I'm attending as a representative of A1 Quilting Machines, what a joy to be able to work in the classrooms as the "bobbin changing momma" (tech support) for eager students taking hands on classes from national longarm teachers....ah but I'm getting ahead of myself...
This weeks journey began in the wee hours prior to my Saturday morning plane...yep, typical quilter, working wee hours on a "deadline quilt" (grin). This little butterfly quilt will be in the Fil Tec booth this week, Fil Tec is the maker of Glide, my new favorite thread. And yes, I know the booths open today and I still have binding to do....(oh my).
I actually flew in a day early to spend with a longarm friend, Donna from MO, who I've been communicating with the past several years over the internet. Years ago Donna read of my desire to come to MQS and graciously offered her home....so we connected and I took her up on her offer! We spent a wonderful day together along with her friend Nancy playing in her studio and actually working on a quilt together. I have to say Donna's hubby makes the best BBQ ribs! Sunday morning Donna & Larry took me to worship with them at their church - it was mother's day and I was glad to be among family - God's family always have a great reunion when ever they get together (grin). Then it was on to MQS to join my A1 family to prepare for our week.
Classes began on Monday so Sunday afternoon found us preparing the A1 room for those eager students! Stewart and Justin Plank brought in table after table.... and Stewart (company president and engineer of the smoothest machine) put the finishing touches before we left by vacuuming our welcome mat.
Bright and early (and I do mean early) Justin and I made our way to the classroom to prepare the machines for students. We were to be the "in room" techies, the ones who answered to "hey you" when a student would run out of bobbin or have a question about the operation of the machine. Monday had three four hour classes running from 8 am to 10 pm. We were in the room the entire time and really enjoyed helping the students.
Justin has a way of amazing the ladies! And he's a good quilter too (grin) they just love watching him make his feather puffs - oh and did I mention that he quilts one handed in non-regulated mode? Yep, pretty amazing that partner of mine!
Char is a returning student! She met Justin last year as he was the tech in the A1 classroom. They had a great reunion as she was in several of the A1 hands on classroom this week. We know we'll see her again next year as she's an avid student and knows how to really enjoy class!
Myrna Ficken was also a teacher in the A1 classroom - here's a sampling of what her students went home with after their 4 hour workshop.
Hands on classes were Monday and Tuesday. DeLoa Jones taught two different workshops and amazed her students with her "chicken" - you'll have to google DeLoa and visit her website to see her "chicken" and newest book.
Judy Woodworth was the most delightful teacher. Her students really enjoyed her positive can do attitude. Judy gets my vote for a fabulous teacher!
The beauty of a hands on class is the attention a teacher devotes to the success of her students. Lots of practice time and many many design inspirations come out of MQS!
Hands on classes concluded at 5 on Tuesday, now it was time to move the machines to the showroom in prep for vendor mall which opens Weds at 3 PM. A1 teacher Kim Stotsenberg came to help set up - she's a real champ - even mopped the flooring and has the blisters to prove it. By 8 PM though Justin, Kim, and myself were saying "where's the food?" (grin)
Okay, that's the short version - off to set up the machine for demo classes downstairs and finish setting up the showroom upstairs. So far MQS has been everything I've dreamed of...and there's so much more to come. Stay tuned, the Quilter Rambler will bring more reports!!