I fancy myself a decent free motion quilter. No, I won't win any prizes for my quilting, but I do think I can do some fun things. That being said, it is good sometimes to push your limits.
This weekend I took a machine quilting workshop from Ana Buzzalino. Ana is a member of my Flying Needles Quilt Guild and an amazing quilter. She can do incredible things with a New York Beauty Block. And her art quilts, which involve painting and stitching are at a level that is both beautiful and well-recognized. Oh, and she is ridiculously nice, genuine, and funny.
Ana's style is so far removed from mine. That alone would discourage many quilters, particularly those of us who identify as young and modern, from taking a class with her. It shouldn't, though. It should inspire us to try something new and push our boundaries.
When you take a class from someone whose work is different than yours the best thing to do is immerse yourself, learn something, then figure out how to apply those lessons to your own work. Do not let style, age, or perception keep you from a new challenge or experience.
I am so glad I took this workshop. Sure, I love dense quilting, but maybe not as dense as Ana was teaching. I still doubt I'll try silk or rayon thread, but she had great tips regarding thread, period. I have more intent in my stitching, some new patterns to try and new inspiration for my own, and I'm heading into the next round of quilts with a boost of confidence in my free motion skills. And next month she's teaching feathers!