Yesterday I received an email that the class list is available for this show. I attended last year and took 11 classes, so feel that I can highly recommend attending. Many (probably most) of the teachers from the Machine Quilter’s Expo in Rhode Island were also present at HMQS. However classes were much smaller (10 people vs. 30 to 50) and the atmosphere was more relaxed.
In one of my longarm classes, the teacher asked how many people used their longarm machine for a business. I was shocked that it was only 10% of the class, whereas, in the northeast, it seems that 90% of us longarmers are doing it for profit. From my informal survey, most of these women had a smaller machine (like a Handiquilter 16″) and I didn’t run into anyone with a computerized machine.
I can’t stress the importance of attending classes, especially for the novice. It is fantastic to see the work of these professional teachers, and to decide what you like (and don’t like) about their styles. Many classes cover the use of rulers and templates, or give ideas of non-traditional fills for your quilts. Other classes cover the basics, such as how to load a quilt, how to make sure your quilt is square, how to resolve tension issues, and how to maintain your machine. I have taken all of these classes and learned from each one.
Another benefit of conventions is being able to network with other longarmers. At another convention, I was relatively new to longarming and having a terrible time with tension on my A1. I ran into numerous people with A1’s who gave me excellent advice. I ALWAYS introduce myself to the person beside me and love talking quilting with people from all over the country.
Salt Lake City is beautiful. It’s surrounded by mountains and breathtaking. The city is easy to drive in, the convention center has plenty of parking, and my convention hotel was close by. I had many adventures on both my inbound and outbound flights, but that wasn’t the fault of HMQS and I’ll skip complaining about the airlines on this post!