Alexia was Esther Miller's student and represents her and teaches her technique. Most people know who Esther miller is, as she is very famous for her hand quilting. She has also designed the most fantastic and beautiful hand quilting frame. Esther Miller is Amish and has always quilted. When she moved to Europe in Germany, she met a group of quilters who created beautiful quilts but the quilting was not as nice as the quilts deserved. Esther discovered then that people were interested in her technique and started teaching it.
I have been dreaming of learning this technique for years. I had met Esther Miller at the Saintes Marie Aux Mines quilt show in 2006 where I had bought my Roxanne thimble and needle glider (porcelain thimble). I have used both thimbles teaching myself thanks to the only video I had found. In fact, thanks to these many years of practice, the technique was not so difficult to learn. I have also learnt many tips and I am now a lot better at quilting in all directions. In fact when I quilted on my floor stand hoop, I had the habit of turning my hoop instead of changing quilting direction. Now, I prefer to change direction and not turn my hoop.
Another reason, I had organized this class is that I really wanted to try quilting on a traditional floor frame before acquiring it.
Many people have been interested in the class and we were 12 people attending. I had to make room at home to welcome everybody for two days.
It was fun, filled with laughter and sharing time.... nothing can beat a bunch of passionate like-minded people together.
Alexia's professionalism, attention to each and every one, her clear explanations and demonstrations have helped us all learn the technique. We have not only learnt about quilting but also about batting, needles and thread! Now, only practice will help us master the technique.
I think that I can now quilt easily in every direction using Roxane's thimble when I quilt towards me vertically and diagonally, and Ted Storm's thumb thimble when quilting away from me vertically and diagonally. On my left hand, I wear the needle glider which is a porcelain thimble which helps make tiny little stitches.
Since this class, I have been quilting a little bit every evening. It is a good, relaxing time after a long day at work and I have found that it is also a reflective time that I enjoy more and more every day.
But I suppose you would like to see photos, right?
I had made room in my winter living room upstairs so that the three frames could fit. I also had decorated every corner and shelves with stitched and quilted projects I had made.
A few friends were staying overnight, so I had decorated the bedrooms and bathrooms with fresh little bouquets of flowers from my garden in jam jars and had put magazines in case they could not sleep because of the excitement of these two days ;-)
As you can see on the following photos we were all very concentrated...
The lighting was good on each side of the frame.
Seeing the demonstrations is of great help to master the technique. That's why I think that taking a class is really important.
The workmanship on the quilt frame is incredible, just the frame is a piece of art!!!
Alexia had brought a few quilts that she had hand-quilted.
And one quilt that she had machine-quilted. Alexia is not a hand quilter snob like me and does beautiful work with her long arm too!! So if you look for a long-arm quilter, you can contact her.
I want to thank Alexia for this fabulous class and all the people on this photo. I knew some of them but there were people I didn't know before and I think we all have made new friends :-)