Monday, September 16, 2013

My Day with Karen McTavish

I will be the first to admit, that I'm not really much of a class taker. It's not that I haven't taken any, when I would go to the long arm shows (yes, I used to own one) I would take classes on feathers, and marking, and fillers, etc. I rarely took hands on classes however. A lot of this has to do with anxiety in larger groups of people I don't know.

Since early on in my life in quilting I have adored Karen McTavish's work, and her in general. In a sea of women that I often had nothing in common with, here was woman I could actually relate to that was a cool kick ass quilter!

I have tried many times to get the "Art of McTavishing" down, but my brain and hands couldn't seem to get on the same page. So, for my birthday I asked hubby if I could hire Karen for a private class in my studio. I'm a lucky lady, and he said yes!

So on Sunday, Karen came to my studio for a full day class. It was amazing, fun, relaxed and so helpful. First, let me say Karen is super friendly and sweet. Secondly, she knows her "shit" as it were. Thirdly, she might be one of the most encouraging and confidence building teachers I've ever met.

I wasn't sure what to expect at first - we didn't really discuss too much in advance exactly what it was I was wanting to accomplish. I wasn't sure I knew really what I wanted. Once we started talked, and she took a look at the work that I do, she was quickly able to guide our lesson in a direction that would be the most applicable to how *I* work and the art pieces I do.

I finished up the piece we started about an hour or so after she left. I woke up this morning and I've been quilting for the last eight hours and got the majority of a new piece done as well. It still need the center circles finished, as well as some additional filler in the bigger McTavishing lines on the outside. That will have to wait until tomorrow, my shoulders and back need a break for the night.

I highly recommend doing a private class with Karen. In fact, I recommend trying that approach with any quilters you might really admire. Especially if you're not really a group or class person. With Karen, although I was learning a lot, it also felt like hanging out with a quilting friend. It also allows you to ask questions right away as they come up and lets the conversation flow - in turn this actually helped me learn a lot more I think.

Either way, taking a class or a private lesson from Karen? I absolutely recommend it.

It doesn't hurt that she made me feel like I actually have some skills in the quilting department. ;) Thanks for an awesome day Karen!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. Thank you so much for sharing! You make beautiful art, and your love for what you do really shows.

  2. I can't wait to meet her, I've been emailing with her to do just what you describe! Your work is beautiful, and you should be so proud of what you accomplished. Thanks for sharing. Donalee