Back in August last year I met the really fun & charming Luke Haynes. And in February of this year I traveled to Wisconsin (in heaps of snow) to meet the amazing Karen McTavish. Karen is one of the reasons I got a longarm. I had seen a video of her McTavishing and her movements and designs were so fluid and gorgeous that I thought 'that is what I want to do'.
Wisconsin was really REALLY cold this February (-32F!).
T-shirt at the airport spoke the truth .....
The glowing wood stove was blissful!!
Meeting Karen was so strange. I was way more excited to meet this lady than if the young John Travolta arrived on my doorstep.
We went over McTavishing (I've been doing it all wrong!) We went over Victorian Feathers (I was doing that right) we talked about where I want to go with my quilting, competing (eek!), we watched TV together while she taught me how to trim trapunto and she fed me and opened up her home to me for two days while her son tried to imitate my English accent.
Karen has coined this injury sustained by trimming trapunto 'trapunto thumb'.
I learnt her love of all things skulls. Her quilting on this piece is SO beautiful.
I was both in love with and terrified of this big boy - an English Mastif - the biggest dog I've ever met who was a total softy but had just a 'slightly' intimidating woof.
We played with hundreds of stencils (i.e. I threw them everywhere ...)
.... and Karen guided me through designing my first whole cloth.
It was seriously wonderful 2 days!
I feel blessed to be meeting so many wonderful people whose inspiration, work and kind words help me push myself just a little bit further with every project.
Karen has recently opened up her new quilting studio in Duluth where you can rent a longarm or take classes from her. If you can go and visit her do!