Pieced Together by a Common Thread

This past week was spent in Clifton Forge, Virginia with Marcia, Suzie and Kendra. Suzie drove the 16 hours to and from and we enjoyed two audio books and each other's company. While the railroad ran through town, Clifton Forge was once a booming and bustling community in the Allegany Mountain area. The mountains frame the town on all sides and a little waterway ran under the historic Masonic Theater where our classes and retreat were held.

Kaye England, Nina McVeigh and Gayle Hillert were our hosts for the week. Inspiration was all around us. Kaye brought pieces from her private quilt collection, as well as other quilts she herself has designed, taught and published. We were there to learn, share ideas, experience new techniques and to improve our own skills.

We came prepared with our quilts all cut out and our machines ready to sew. All the patterns we selected were designed by Kaye England herself and our color choices were our own. Marcia, Suzie and Kendra all were able to complete their first project and move on to the next.

Meanwhile, my quilt remains in pieces. I chose Kaye's "Amber Waves of Grain," pattern from her Signature Scraps series. I have always loved the thought of a signature quilt to mark important life milestones. This particular quilt was designed to mark the 50 states. Mine, will be used to mark a family milestone.

Kaye was there to hold our hand, coach us, diagnose us and cheer each and every one of us on.

Nina McVeigh gave a presentation on "Beyond the Piecing." Her focus was on the finishing which included, ruler work, controlled quilting with a walking foot and decorative stitches, free motion quilting and so much more. She added class with beads in the binding, along with various techniques for binding beyond the traditional approach and I look forward to her bringing this presentation to all of you here at Pine Needles.

Gayle Hillert offered creative ways to use our decorative stitches and our quilting module (embroidery module) along with trims, piping, lace, beads and so much more to finish off our quilts in unique ways. 

I loved every moment and I can't wait to try some of these beautiful and inspiring techniques.

Happy Stitching! Joy

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