International Quilt Festival 2016

This past weekend I experienced my first Quilt Festival in Houston, TX. The festival has hundreds of classes, an enormous exhibition of all types of quilts, and more vendors than you can imagine. I spent 3 days helping Amalia Morusiewicz (Fun from A to Z) with her lectures, giving 5 Open Studios presentations on Knit and Crochet, working the festival, and spending all other spare moments wandering.

Below are my Open Studios presentations --

Rag Rugs : I went over how to crochet a rag rug -- from making fabric yarn to working in the round and troubleshooting on how to keep your rug as flat as possible. All of this knowledge is based on what my mother and grandmother have taught me.

Dish Cloths : I brought a handful of different patterns -- some of my crocheted favorites from Petals to Picots as well as a simple knit seed stitch (a tutorial can be found on the Craftsy site, the company that sponsored Open Studios!)

Rag Rug workshop

Working on some cotton dish cloths

Working on some cotton dish cloths

Granny Squares : Granny Squares are a classic way to crochet a blanket! As with quilting, there are many traditional patterns but also some newer modern ones. This pattern is a personal favorite from Nitty Bits. We went over the general method for making Granny Squares as well as how to join yarn and change colors simply. 

Experimental Crochet : My focus in Experimental Crochet was on working three dimensionally with crochet. The main reason I really love crochet is that you can build, grow and play as you work. There doesn't have to be a huge amount of planning and it allows for a little bit more inventiveness. I used my fabric yarn from the Rag Rug presentation to build and play as I went, making some sort of blobular sculpture in the end. 

Experimental Crochet presentation

Drop Spindle : For this presentation, I showed how to hand spin yarn with a drop spindle. I had two different sized drop spindles, went over the various types and how they're used and also showed a couple different fibers and how they spin differently. I did some troubleshooting with a few visitors who knew how to spin but for most it was a new skill and they excited to see it in action!

 I had a blast teaching all of them! Visitors wandered through and stayed as long as they pleased. 

My fabric haul from the weekend

A classroom full of longarms!!!!