I spent Thursday and Friday at MQX in Manchester. What beautiful quilts and quilting were on display! I had originally registered, months ago, with the intent of choosing a longarm quilting machine. However, as I, quite surprisingly, made the purchase of my APQS Millenium in March, my reasons for attending the show changed. As the intent of this show had originally been to study longarm machines, B. had agreed to join me at the show. He did not back out when the reason changed and he was a great help absorbing all the information thrown at us. In addition, I signed up for three classes. B. signed up for one.
We took the machine maintenance class together. Dan Novak of Nolting was the instructor. I am now supposed to have confidence when I have to take the machine apart for certain repairs, which I hope never to have to do. Seeing the tension thingy (yes, I’ve already forgotten the official name, but a rose is a rose by any other name) removed from the machine and broken down into six pieces and then successfully put back together does provide a certain degree of confidence in knowing, on an intellectual level at least, that I can repair this machine. However, this machine will never break down…I am offering this thought to the universe. This class also enabled B. to understand what the heck I have been talking about on occasion; i.e., tension issues. And now when I have pieces removed from the machine he can tell me, ‘you can do this’. Everyone needs a cheerleader and B. is mine.
I then took an Edge to Edge class from Kim Brunner. As I started at the front of the machine practicing custom designs, I thought I should step behind the machine for some all over designs, hence her class. More than anything, she confirmed plans and practices I already had in place.
Today, I took a Machine Quilting Business class. It was interesting. This again confirmed my rough business plan and prospects. Valerie of A Needle Runs Through It was entertaining and knowledgeable. As I have been in business for myself before, in another industry, I knew what information I wanted from this class and she delivered.
We stayed at the Radisson Hotel Manchester, which is in the middle of the two exposition areas. B. and I were fortunate enough to be in a newly renovated guest room; i.e., the first people ever to be guests in this fully renovated room. What a joy to not have to worry about debris from prior guests!
B. even had thoughts of moving to Manchester. First, he got the best haircut he’s had in years…and he’s been on a search. Second, we went to the Strange Brew Tavern and all their beers were $3.00 all evening-this was a huge hit. As we were only two blocks from the hotel, B. enjoyed drinking whatever beers our lovely waitress recommended. However, everyone looked like us and we found that rather disconcerting although not uncomfortable as we have found in other areas, but disconcerting nonetheless.
Here’s the view from our room. It’s not Paris, London or even Boston, but we found our stay there quite charming, and the activity on Elm Street would lead me to believe Manchester might be in a renaissance of its own. Regardless, I have a fondness for Manchester as my mother was born there.
As you know there are many opportunities for spending money at a show like this. Prior to attending, I had determined what I wanted to buy versus study, and that kept me in line. This is what I purchased:The thread is Fil-tech. I purchased it because they said the thread was made in the USA. I’ll try it and do some research to see if in fact it is made in the USA. If it is and I like it I might change my ‘go to’ thread. If not, I’ll stick with Omni. I purchased three pantographs from Annie Bright. One sparse, one dense, and one simply because I loved it.This is the sparse one, loose flowers: Lightly Flowered.This is the more dense and more complicated one: Aviary. Double Dutch is in the middle regarding denseness and complexity. I didn’t take its picture.This is the reading material from the show. I look forward to reading it at my leisure and fine tuning my plans.