Saturday, September 22, 2007

Quilting in the Garden

Alden Lane Nursery has been one of my very favorite places for many years. So it was such a treat to be able to teach a class there. Unlike today (I hope the rain has finally stopped!) yesterday at the nursery was just perfect.

I got to spend the day with 8 wonderful ladies in the "old building" at Alden Lane. How's this for a classroom? Bright, airy, full of quilts, plants, pots and the sound of fountains right outside.

Here's the view out one set of doors...

if you get tired of looking out that way, you can always peek into the attached greenhouse and meet these ladies.

New since the last time I'd been there, Alden Lane's carniverous plant section.

These oddball things, these bug-eating "pitcher" plants, absolutely fascinated me...I could not stay got to the point that one of my students suggested I was attracted by their pheromones. Does this mean she thinks I'm a bug???
But seriously--someday I'm gonna get one of those freaky plants. And probably immediately wonder what I was thinking...but pretty cool, huh?

And it was easy to keep an eye on my industrious ladies...

Here's what was great about this each quilter put her own individual spin on the project.
At the first table, Alicia was adding leaves to her letters, taken from her border fabric. Her upper letters were also made from (Fairy Frost??) so her banner has a very elegant and sparkly look.

Her sister Rose was auditioning different leaves and pumpkins for her banner.

Lupe was going for a similar look--she had a wonderful batik for her letters and was using variegated thread for her applique. She was so precise with everything she did--trust me--her banner will be perfect when she's finished.

Poor Liz! Every time I teach an applique class, someone has bad luck with the fusible web. And yesterday that someone was Liz. She had to do her letters 3 times before the day was through. She also forgot her matching thread and was not too pleased with her stitching. And to top it off, I go and manage to take her pic with her eyes shut...I do believe she'll be pleased with her banner once she's finished--she's chosen great fabrics and the high contrast of her stitching actually added a very interesting element to her project.

The second table is where the machines were running at top speed. That whole part of the room positively vibrated!

Barbara's project was completely different in every way. She'd never appliqued before but wanted to make a throw in honor of her niece who plays volleyball for Amador Valley High. She'll be adding those flannels to make a super lap quilt. Please don't tell my sons that I had anything at all to do with Barbara's project...LHS and Amador enjoy a not-too-friendly rivalry and I could end up living in my car if they get wind of this.

Peggy was mighty worn out by mid-afternoon...but man, was she ever determined. I'm so glad she finished her banner top--like several other ladies, she made her letters run vertically and I think she did a great job.

Sue was finished first--she's unbelievably fast--and even got started on a "Spring" banner! Her projects will be store samples for the shop she works at in Southern California. I'm sure she told me the name of the shop, but it escapes me.

Last, but certainly not least, was Lisa. Isn't her banner gorgeous?? She's got tons of talent and has several quilts in this year's show. Which I certainly hope are now hanging among the oaks (this rain is bizarre!).

Well, it's back to a dirty, dusty house and getting what appears to be several miles of binding sewn on. Hope everyone's having a great weekend.


Anonymous happy zombie said...

How absolutely wonderful!

Wonderful "classroom", wonderful gardens, wonderful quilts, wonderful teacher, and wonderful teacher who showcases her students masterpieces for the world to see!

Though I am disappointed this post isn't about these beautiful AUTUMN quilts going to a few lucky commentors!!!!

5:18 PM  
Blogger mar said...

So nice to see a "sunny" view! The class looks like it was very successful!

8:53 PM  
Blogger PamKittyMorning said...

I love how those leaves look! What a clever idea!

11:17 PM  
Blogger Mary Anne said...

Wish I could have been there !!! Talk about the perfect setting for a quilt class -- of a really great quilt banner ! (I LOVE words on quilts -- that way they can keep doing the talking for me when and if I'm ever ready to shut up!)

6:24 AM  
Blogger Vicky said...

It looks like your class was a huge success! Such a beautiful project!

7:55 AM  
Anonymous jennifer Paganellli said...

I like the leaves too!!!

3:36 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Oh what a wonderful place to sew!

4:26 PM  
Anonymous blop said...

Oh Elizabeth, I wish I could have been there (was in spirit, tho), the class, setting and project look wonderful. I have used your book for several projects, now I just have to get to those banners, they are wonderful!

9:38 PM  
Anonymous Sharon said...

Elizabeth, it looked like a lot of fun. Sue works at The Calico House in Yorba Linda, CA. Very nice lady for sure.

10:12 PM  
Anonymous Karen said...

What a lovely and inspiring place to spend the day sewing in. Looks like you and the ladies had a great day.


7:10 AM  
Blogger Angelina said...

The banners all looked like they turned out well. I hope in the near future I'll be in a position to take some classes like these at my local quilt shop, it seems like it would be so fun hanging out with a bunch of quilters.

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Sharon at American Harvest said...

Hi Elizabeth,
What a great way to welcome Autumn. Talent really does abound in our "neck of the woods". Thanks for sharing all of the beautiful pictures of the quilts, plants and Alden Lane Nursery.

8:52 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Alden Lane is another place I have got to explore! What a great venue for your class. The banners are amazing! I want one for every season!

8:57 AM  
Blogger Heidi Kaisand said...

Isn't everyone at Alden Lane the best!. I loved being there last year and hope I can go back sometime.

6:48 PM  

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