An Adventure in Crazy Quilting

Allison Aller © 2011

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Hartford, Connecticut was the scene of a gathering of crazy quilters in early April, at a conference organized and hosted by Maureen Greeson, owner of Maureen’s Vintage Acquisitions ( and a loyal sponsor of this magazine. She was assisted by Susan Elliott, who was Mistress of Ceremonies during the event. Readers might know Susan’s blog, Plays With Needles (  I was one of three teachers holding classes for three days, the others being Betty Pillsbury and Sharon Boggon.

I also had the opportunity to be a student attending one of Sharon’s Three Day class series—these were held both before and after the “Adventure” proper. So I had a rich experience from both sides of the teacher’s desk!

Students came from all over the country and even from Europe. Many “knew” each other from online, so the meeting of “old friends yet to be” was one of the most wonderful aspects of the conference. We also got to see each other’s creativity on display during the Show and Tell of the first night…this was very inspiring. Many attendees brought their wares to sell during the boutique held each evening, so much stash was enhanced. There were two evening lectures, one by Betty on antique crazies and the other by Shirlee Fassel, who told about her training at the storied Ecole Lasage in Paris, France, ( where she learned couture embroidery techniques. The work she showed us was stunning.

The focus of the gathering, of course, was the classes. Sharon taught design and seam stitching, Betty focused on how to work with velvet, and my class was on three dimensional flowers. Each student had all three teachers over the three day event, staying in their same group of 20 throughout. I thought this was a brilliant way to organize things, and my students all totally rocked!

It was a real treat to study with Sharon, whose experience teaching art at the university level—as well as her deep knowledge of stitching—qualified her to give real insight into what makes a block work design wise. She also stressed how understanding the structure of a stitch enables the stitcher to vary it in so many ways. She brought her famous quilts and the 75-foot band sampler all the way from Australia for us to refer to during class. This was rare eye candy indeed.

Maureen attended to every detail with such loving care that the conference went smoothly and everyone felt special. We all hope she will hold it again next year!

Betty shows one of the many gorgeous antiques crazies from her personal collection

Shirlee displays one of her Lesage course pieces

Sharon demonstrates a technique to her very interested students

Maureen and Susan during the closing event


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