by Sandie Gregio
Maggie Tinnin and I attended a three day class at Quilting by the Bay in Panama City, Florida given by Nancy Mahoney. It took us two days to drive to Florida since flying with a sewing machine is difficult, and we took our husbands. After checking into our hotel, I drove to the quilt shop to scope it out. Quilting by the Bay is a full service quilt shop with plenty of temptations. They have a vast variety of fabrics, patterns, books, notions, and long arm quilt service. The staff was friendly and helpful.
After arriving at the quilt store, I looked next door a literally gasp. They had a separate build for an education center. The education center was the nicest place I have ever attended classes. It housed a small classroom, a large classroom, an eating area, and restrooms. We met in the large classroom. The walls were all design walls which held Nancy Mahoney’s amazing quilts. There were probably 25 6 foot tables, plugs under each table, and 10 pressing areas. There was plenty of light and beautiful views out the windows. This building was design for sewers in mind. It was heaven.
This is Nancy standing behind her display boards for our first day’s class. It was a feathered star wall hanging. There are two of her samples behind her. If you have never attempted a feathered star quilt, it is difficult to get it to lay flat. She taught us a new technique that worked every time. Her written instructions were wonderful and her teaching was patient.
Nancy is the author of several quilt books and she has a new book coming out in March about paper piecing. If you go to her website, she has plenty of free patterns ready to be downloaded.
Here is what I accomplished on day one of class. The blue at the bottom is mine below Nancy’s sample with the beautiful Hawaiian appliqué in the center. I learned the technique, it all fit together and laid flat. This is more than I have ever accomplished on a feathered star before. I didn’t get a picture of Maggie’s feathered star, but she used a fussy cut chicken for her center square. It was beautiful.
On the first two night after class each day, Nancy held trunk shows. We got to see many more of her beautiful quilt and listen to her talk about her inspiration and special challenges in making them come to life. I will post some of those pictures at the end but it made for long days. It was worth every minute.
Day two had us making a paper pieced pineapple wave wall hanging. This is a picture that Maggie took of me and Nancy in front of the sample for the day. Maggie had not paper pieced before and had a good time learning.
I got four of these blocks made on day two.
Maggie made her blocks out of her favorite colors of green and grey. It was stunning.
Of course, we will have to finish these quilts at home but we got a good start on them. It was fun to spend the days sewing with like minded people learning new things.
Again, in the evening, we attended another trunk show.
Day three was a computer only class on Electric Quilt. For those of you not familiar with Electric Quilt, it is a software program that aids us in designing quilts. For more information, here is the website.
There is also a ASG group dedicated to Electric Quilt that Maggie leads. This group has been meeting for at least 10 months of the year for about 4 years. Maggie is very knowledgeable about this software and does an excellent job leading the group. Even with this Nancy Mahoney taught us some things we did not know, and surprised us with some of her tricks she uses.
Maggie and I both had a great time at Quilting by the Bay. They run a professional program. I would recommend them to anyone wanting to take classes. We would love to go back again.
Here are some pictures from the trunk show.