I have just spent 2.5 of the most incredible days I can remember–at the Ricky Tims Super Quilt Seminar. I was unfamiliar with his quilting career and his work but the woman in my guild who organized our group discount claimed it was an opportunity of a lifetime. She was right. He is an incredibly creative person who graciously signed books and posed for photos in all our breaks and still managed to begin and end each session on time–amazing since there were over 350 attendees–and he did it with so much humor it barely felt like we were absorbing mammoth amounts of information.
Everyone in my guild group kept asking each other “What are you going to try first?” My answer is the Kool Kaleidoscope. Here’s the one he explained piece by piece. I can’t wait to clear a space in my quilt room so I can get started on my version.
Ricky claims that none of his techniques are complicated. He sure made everything look easy but I’ll let you know after I try some! In my opinion, his most amazing work is his group of Rhapsody Quilts. They are (simply put) pieced tops with fusible applique applied to most of the pieces. In reality they are spectacular. If you ever get a chance to see them, look at the precise double blanket stitching in contrasting colors around all the applique pieces. Here are two examples.
Toward the end of the last day, there were descriptions of bobbin quilting with fancy metallic thread. Since this has to be done by quilting on the back, here’s the method Ricky uses to get this thread right on the edge of his applique. He first quilts around the motifs from the top with water-soluble thread in both the needle and bobbin, then flips the quilt to add the “Razzle Dazzle” via the bobbin by quilting over the thread he has just put in. When that, along with the rest of the quilting is done, he soaks the quilt in the washer to dissolve the water-soluble thread. He said he views the first stitching (which will disappear) as quilting practice.
He ended the session with a demo of how he does his wonderful piped binding using size #3 pearl cotton embroidery thread. When using the piping, he can sew the finished side by machine, right in the ditch between the binding and the piping. A real time saver on a large quilt.
I can’t begin to describe all the techniques and tips he shared with us. Alex Anderson and Libby Lehman also led informative sessions which I will save for another post. Then there was the surprise speaker Bob Purcell of Superior Thread who entertained us with lots of interesting info along with a 15-page handout. A few times every day, Ricky randomly picked names from the attendee list to receive a yard of his hand dyed fabric and the last day there was a drawing for an AccuQuilt Go–no I did not win anything 😦 If this seminar ever comes to a city near you, try not to miss it. Whoo-hoo!