Saturday, September 1, 2012

AQS Grand Rapids

Well, I have noted that my last blog was a month ago.  Sheesh, I have been busy though, and thinking about blogging, just haven't taken the time to do it!
This is what kept me busy for one week!  Hubby and I took a road trip to Grand Rapids, MI and attended the AQS show in Grand Rapids.  I have got to say, that this was a great show!  The venue was awesome!  Lots of room for the quilts and the vendors!  The classroom space was awesome!  The food court was awesome!  Even the restrooms were great!  Never stood in line once!  And plenty of great places to sit and chat with other quilters!
This is just a partial shot of the entrance hall of the DeVos Center.  Lots of light, definitely no claustraphobic feeling!
This is a view from the balcony.  I ate outside everyday and enjoyed the view of the river.  The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum is across the river, and looks like a great place to visit, also!
I took 4 classes while I was there!  Yes, I am a class junkie, I just want to learn, learn, learn all I can about quilting.  That, and practice, practice, practice!  I think that truly is the secret to success.  The first class I took was a half day class with Leigh McDonald on how to use a sketchbook.  She showed us some of her sketchbooks, and we got to work on some color and texture ideas in our own sketchbooks.  She had us bring watercolor pencils, which I had never used, and had a lot of fun with them!
The next day I took an all day workshop with Sue Nickels on making whole cloth feather designs!  I can't tell you enough what an awesome teacher Sue is.  I could have taken a whole week of classes with her!  I was so sorry when the end of the day came!
Plugging right along, the next day I took a class with Sally Terry called "Can't Leaf it Alone".  Awesome class!  It was only a half day class, and again, I could have spent a week with Sally learning from her.  I did buy her books and DVDs and will be spending time learning more on my own!
My final class was with Anita Shackelford, and it was on designing infinite feathers.  I have had her book, but didn't have the template.  Now I do, and know how to use it!  Another great class, and I am going to be using all this newly learned information to hopefully take my quilting to the next level.
And speaking of taking my quilting to the next level, look what followed me home!  I have been thinking about a sit down long arm for a while, especially after getting the Bernina 550, with its shorter throat space as compared to the Janome 7700.  I tried APQS' George, I tried the Tin Lizzie-18, but I kept coming back to the HandiQuilter Sweet Sixteen.  Hubby went with me on Saturday to the show, and watched me try out the different machines, and he felt like this was the best machine for me also.  So with his encouragement (and also his fabulous bargaining skills!) we struck the deal for one of the classroom demos!  I have already finished one stalled UFO (which I will show in a future blog).
And what is a quilt show without meeting with friends!  Patti Perkins has been a quilting internet friend for years through The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims.  And we finally got to meet in person!  Patti is such a delight.  Hubby and I had a great time visiting with her.
Speaking of The Quilt Show, here's Alex Anderson manning the booth for The Quilt Life and recruiting new members for TQS.  I really have to admire Alex for her stamina.  She always has a smile on her face, and such a great personality!
Another friend I was so looking forward to meeting was Stephanie Peterson!  We also have been internet friends through TQS.  We had a great time visiting, and went to eat at a fabulous tapas bar in downtown Grand Rapids.  That was a new adventure for hubby and myself, and we all had a great time! And yes, that is an empty beer glass in front of me!  I had two of a local brew from Kalamazoo (that was rather poetic, without even meaning to be!)


  1. Maggie, Looks like you had a great time at AQS Grand Rapids! Envious of the great classes and getting to meet fellow TQS members! Also interested to see you got a SS 16....I hope to eventually get one....have been lurking in the Yahoo HQ SS16 online group for awhile now, and I'm anxious to eventually get my own! Enjoy your new toy, and looking forward to the wonderful quilting that will result from this trip! Nancy

  2. What an awesome trip! The friends I have who have a SS 16 love them. Enjoy! I'm a bit green that you got to meet Patti in person! Someday I hope to get to meet her in person too. She is such a delight!

  3. Looks like you had just a wonderful time. I really enjoyed having dinner with you guys. Didn't eat until dinner the next day, I was so full! I enjoyed hearing about all the classes. I am a class junkie, too. Lately, they just haven't worked out well for me. I love that you went home with an HQ Sweet Sixteen! Can't wait to see what you do with it. I know you'll work quilting magic with it!

  4. You look like you had the best of times! And welcome to the HQ family :-)

  5. Maggie, it looks as if the Grand Rapids show was tons of fun and what a sweet souvenir you brought home from your trip. I hope you post from time to time about your experiences using it. I'd be interested to learn whether it is complicated to use.