I spent an action-packed weekend in Lynnwood Washington with Ricky Tims, Libby Lehman and Alex Anderson – oh, and 500 other quilters. It was the Ricky Tims Super Seminar, and I learned everything Ricky knows (and quite a bit that Libby and Alex know) about quilting in 2-1/2 days.
It’s revolutionary, really. Most quilting teachers can handle about 20 students at a time, working on one quilt technique, with everyone trying to keep up. There might be class handouts. There might be a finished project at the end, but usually it’s just another addition to the pile of UFOs in the sewing room. With the Super Seminars, it’s different.
There seems to be no limit to the number of people who can attend, first of all. There were almost 500 people there at the Lynnwood Convention Center (handily located just across the parking lot from a Hancock’s Fabric store). We started and finished exactly on time, no matter what was happening, and during the 2-1/2 days we learned about:
“Caveman” style quilts
Flip and sew paper piecing
Precision Curves Piecing
Kaleidoscope quilts design and construction
quilting by machine, including trapunto
Ricky’s famous piped binding technique with or without scallops
Hand quilting from Alex
Ribbon thread work from Libby
Reverse machine applique from Libby
Whew! Happily, we didn’t even have to take many notes while we were inundated with all this information: the class syllabus is excellent (including pictures of quilts and how to do the techniques), so all we had to do was take it all in. There were Power Point presentations as well as demonstrations at the machine — all projected on big screens so we could all see clearly, better than we would if were all clustering around the machine in a small class. And QUILTS! Ricky brought many of his famous quilts with him, as did Libby. Alex had a few of her quilts too. We went back again and again to look more closely at them, as we learned about how they were constructed. And on the side, there were lots of small samples of the techniques, not finished, so we could see them in progress.
This was a really impressively organized event. Ricky’s (and Justin’s)dedication to detail meant that everything the three of them use in their quilting that was mentioned in presentations were available to purchase there. Including Bernina sewing machines!!! (All three of these teachers are National Bernina artists.) There were lots of Ricky’s hand-dyed fabrics and stabiliser, Libby’s threads, Alex’s books. The people who bought a sewing machine at the event got them all personally autographed by the three teachers. There were autograph and photo opportunities.
AND Ricky still had the energy to give us a lovely concert too. He is in Nashville just now, mixing his new Christmas CD, which sounds like a huge project. I’m not surprised: Ricky thinks big. But how does he keep going? He must have been exhausted at the end of the seminar.
I would highly recommend this seminar to anyone who has an interest in learning new quilting techniques. There were many seasoned quilters in the audience, and likely some newbies, but everyone was satisfied at the end. It was worth every penny.
Did I have fun? YOU BET I DID! I went down with friends from Victoria and we did some “retail therapy” on the way. But on the way back, we were shopped out, believe it or not, and our heads were very full.
Now — in the next week before we leave on tour again, how much of this can I use before I forget it….