I have been taking part in an online machine quilting course called "Quilt Whisperer 101" which is organised through MQ Resource with the teacher being Carla Barrett of Feathered Fibers. Carla is an amazing quilter and I had been following her blog for quite a while. The class taught the technique of "quilt whispering" or reading a quilt. It is a design class, taught over three weeks, which gives you an understanding of how a quilt needs to be quilted. The class also taught a large number of quilting designs. Part of the class involved uploading photos of your creative exercises which were then shared through a forum - it was amazing and very inspirational to see everyone's work. Also included were a number of videos which were great to watch.
The class included a number of fabulous creative exercises. I learned the joy of drawing quilting designs with a white gel pen on black paper. The result is beautiful and is a great reference to show customers. Here is one of my samples:-
The next creative exercise was to quilt out some of the drawn designs onto black fabric with a contrasting thread. Quilting with contrasting thread is usually out of my comfort zone but I was very excited with the results.
If I were to quilt these designs onto a quilt I would probably just choose a couple of different elements. However, I had a great time quilting this little sample and practicing a wide range of designs.
I would highly recommend the Quilt Whisperer 101 Class to all quilters - it is a design class not specifically for longarm machine quilters. Quilt Whisperer 101 is being run again in January 2010 - I loved it!