Monday, September 15, 2014

A Day with Lizzy House!

I have quite a few things I've been meaning to blog about - my Hadley finish, my first (real) commissioned quilt, etc.  I'll get to those soon enough.  What I want to blog about now was a super awesome experience I had yesterday - Meadow Quilt Class taught by Lizzy House herself!  WOO HOO!!!!!

When a member of my guild posted to our Facebook page that Lizzy was doing a Meadow Quilt tour, I got overly excited at the opportunity!  Lizzy is one of my favorite fabric designers and her fabric is just AH-MA-ZING.  Plus, her Pearl Bracelets line is such a hit and a super versatile fabric.  I feel like nearly all of the modern quilts I look at lately features at least a snippet of Pearl Bracelets somewhere in the quilt.

Sunday was a tough day for me.  I was extremely tired from an overnight work camping trip on Friday night (I can't bounce back like I used to) and it was resulting in a fun combo of tired, grouchy and slightly nauseous from lack of sleep.  But, I needed to solider on - Lizzy was waiting!  I planted myself in my seat, setup my area and tuned into Lizzy.

Lizzy with the Meadow Quilt
Let me tell you - Lizzy is an amazing person!  She's adorable, smart, talented, relateable and a super nice person.  You can tell she pours her heart and soul into what she does.  In fact, the reason she teaches Meadow as in-person only pattern is because of some critical feedback in the past on her patterns (how dare they!) when people used them incorrectly.  She didn't want Meadow - which is a very important and emotional pattern to her - be ripped apart by critics.  Not to mention, the pattern is all curves with "open" edges, so there is quite a lot that can go wrong if you don't learn in person.  I don't blame her.  Pretty cool fact: Only about 50 people so far has taken the Meadow class, so we were among an elite few!

Class opened with Lizzy talking about herself a bit and her pattern.  We all introduced ourselves and spoke about whey we were taking the class.  The next part had Lizzy walking around and helping us each choose and group our fabrics.  Let me tell you - having hands-on help and guidance from a major fabric designer was just incredible.  I had my groups pretty well made, but Lizzy helped me tweak and refine my choices and make sure the overall layout of the quilt flowed well.  I was also paying rapt attention while she was helping my classmates so I could learn as much as possible from her.  It think it was just wonderful that she took the time out to help each of us individually.

The start of my fabric groupings.
The rest of the day was cutting, sewing and learning - with more chats with Lizzy tossed in!  Our small group of 12 made it so that we could all just chat with her as we liked.  I got to ask her some questions over lunch that I've been dying to know more about - how you get a deal with a manufacturer, the creative process, how contracts work, etc.  It was really neat to hear it all from her.  Did you know that Lizzy knew she wanted to be a fabric designer ever since she was 6?  And hustled to make it happen, despite being beaten down with polite "no's"?  Listening to that story was one of my favorite parts of the day.

Lizzy teaching.
More demoing.
At the end of class, Lizzy explained her inspiration for the quilt - which I won't share as I don't want to spoil it for anyone taking her class in the future or to spoil Lizzy's story.  It was an emotional journey for her and the story was really sweet and inspirational.  She shed some tears, which in turn made us shed some tears (guilty!).  She's such a real person.  It makes all the difference.  I feel lucky to have been part of the experience.

While we were cleaning up, Lizzy took the time to take pictures with us and chat with each of us.  She was genuinely interested to talk to each of us and she asked me if I'd be at QuiltCon (which you already know my feelings on - I won't be...wahhhh!).  I WISH I had a chance to see Lizzy again - some day!  We shared a big hug and sadly it was time to go.

Our creative space (aka messy space). 
My finished blocks of the day.  Great start!
Lizzy is the kind of person I wish I could be - creative and making a living at her craft.  She's genuine and an open-soul, expressive and kind to all.  I feel that way inside, but have trouble expressing it externally (plus I'm not nearly as nice of a person, in  It's refreshing to see people living out their dreams even if I need to work a 9 to 5 (I wish those were my hours, actually!) and deal with being creative outside of work.  I can't explain how much the class meant to me and how great of an experience it truly was.  Huge thanks to Lizzy, my guild for arranging and Christie's for hosting!

Me and Lizzy!
I sadly have a few WIPs and some "obligation/deadline" sewing I need to get out of the way before I can work on my Meadow Quilt again.  I can't wait to pick it back up and remember the great day we spent sewing with Lizzy.  This quilt will be all for ME!

You can also read the write-up on the day here on our Guild's blog!

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