Monday, March 20, 2017

Old Dogs DO Learn!

Even with a king-sized quilt finished off in big-stitch quilting, I attended a workshop Saturday on that very topic at Old Town Fabric Shop in Chillicothe. The guest speaker was Corey Yoder of Coriander Quilts, who designs fabric for Moda and creates pattern, as well.

When I did my quilting, I had no prior instruction, nor anyone giving me tips or advice. I just did what I thought made sense as a seasoned quilter. Attending this workshop/seminar would let me see things I ought to have considered, methods I might have tried, and simply dozens and dozens of examples.

The day began with a trunk show, and gosh, for a young woman, Corey sure has finished a LOT of quilts! At her age, I was still mostly just dreaming about making quilts (and buying fabric).

Here is Corey in the upstairs classroom at Old Town Quilt Shop. See the pile of quilts beside her? She has already shared all of those, and I didn't take a single picture. I thought I'd go back later and take a few, but we were just too focused on our mission to allow time for that. *grin*  Everyone in attendance created a circle - albeit loosely formed - and we showed the project we brought and shared ideas for possible big-stitch quilting. Corey was great in this segment of the day, as she has "an eye" for seeing what the resulting quilt will look like. All the sharing was really helpful, making it a wonderful give-and-take for everyone. Sometimes, we end up doing something we had never previously ever considered.

The many expressions of our speaker - what a sweet thing. She was so well-spoken, super supportive and most encouraging. She didn't rush us; she didn't come across as a know-it-all; in fact, I'd invite her over for our next sewing session without a moment's hesitation. Down to earth. Easy-going. Friendly. Personable. That's Corey.

After a 30-minute lunch break, we went to the next room to spread out our work and begin quilting! Corey roamed around, stopping when a quilter needed help or encouragement.  It was very informal and quite comfortable. We chatted as we stitched, and helped one another, too.

I mentioned the lunch break. I can't forget to show you the tremendous feast that Cindy and Kelly prepared for us! My goodness, look at the mountain of fresh fruit! This was truly fresh and delicious! The sandwiches came from an Amish/Mennonite store in the Frankfort area, Old Home Place. Delish!

I said in Saturday's post that I would share what I learned from this seminar. First, let me just say that now I can make the official "quilter's knot." I know! I've been quilting all these years, and never knew how to do this! I learned to make a knot from my mother or grandmother, and I've always continued to do it that way. I am now reformed!

Second, I used 505 Spray Baste. Oh my goodness. This will be life-changing. I dislike stretching a back and batting and layering on the top, and then keeping it taut without wrinkles and puckers. This will make all that so much easier. I can't believe I've come so late to this game.

Third, I generally use whatever needles and thread I have on hand, and since I have all of Grandma's stuff on hand, most is no longer labeled and pretty darned old. I bought 4 spools of Aurifil 12 wt. thread (recommended by Corey) along with a package of #7 embroidery needles. These made quilting very easy, and I finished fast because of it. It helps to use the tools that are designed for the task you are undertaking. I will try to keep the needles together and not let them get lost on a pincushion, never to be properly identified ever again.

I'm sure I learned more, but those are the big ones. Here's a cute, sweet anecdote Corey shared. She told about going back a long lane to her grandmother's house and playing under the quilt frame with her cousins. Her Grandma Lulu (thus the name of the new line of fabric) always quilted, and the children spent many hours there while their mothers all quilted at the frame with Grandma. She said they'd get scolded for flicking the scissors or thread from underneath, and making them hop unexpectedly on top, startling the quilters. I can so envision that orneriness!

Finally, as the day wound down, I shopped. Oh gosh, I just couldn't resist, and you don't get 10% off every day, now do you? The store had a sweet display of Corey's products - patterns and precuts - so I splurged. I only bought fabric; I will figure out my own patterns. If you click on her website, you can see some of what I passed up. Let me tell you, a couple patterns were really calling to me, however my rule of thumb: fabric always trumps patterns. So there.

I hope Old Town continues to do these fun seminars with nationally known designers. I've attended two (my first featured Laurie Simpson of Minick and Simpson) and both have been totally worth it.

Happy Quilting, Friends!


  1. Sounds like a fun and informative day, nice to learn new things.

  2. That sounds like such a good day - thank you for taking the time to share your photos and some of the things Corey taught you all. As you say, having the right tools for a job really does increase the pleasure of doing it and enhance the results. We are never too old or too experienced to learn new things ☺


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