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7 6 5 4 3 2 and 1 You're a Designer "in person" Retreat

In this hands-on in person 3 day retreat you will:
- Design 1 or more 20” square mini quilt tops
- Learn how to use magic numbers in an alternate grid layout
- Understand the interaction of saturation and value in your fabric choices
- Utilize your knowledge of constructing fundamental quilt blocks using Studio 180 Design tools.

Student Level: Intermediate quilting skill level, prior experience with the Studio 180 Design tools is required. (We can offer private tutorial in advance of the retreat if you are unfamiliar with the required tools. Contact store for more information about that.)

What’s with the name?
- 7 – Values
- 6 – Tools
- 5 – Notions
- 4 – Layouts
- 3 – Days
- 2 – You & Me (Susan Madu of Modern Blended Quilts)
- 1 – You’re the Designer

Is it possible to learn everything about designing a quilt in one workshop?
- Completing a fulsome course on designing quilts in three days would be a daunting task.
- Not only would it be difficult to cover all aspects in this time frame, it could be very overwhelming.
- We will narrow our focus on a few design and color concepts to help you be successful.
- To guide your journey, a 35+ page workbook will be provided as part of your registration fee

Required Fabric Kit (included in your course fee. Value of $68):
You will choose a pre-cut kit in either a neutral, warm or cool pallet. The photos are only examples of what you could create with the kit fabrics. Your kit will include 7 fabrics (each 3/4 yard) in appropriate colour values for you to learn about placement and colour choice. This kit has been carefully curated by Susan Madu and Watergirl Quilt Co. to optimize learning.

Your kit also includes a Gray Scale & Value Finder and a printed workbook, hole punched and ready for you to put it into your own binder. Please indicate in the notes of your order which of the three colour palettes you would like: Neutral (natural,grey,black), Warm (red/orange) or Cool (green/blue). The fabrics will be a combination of Northcott Colorworks Solids and Northcott Chroma.

Additional Required Supplies (not included in course fee):
- Studio 180 Design Tools (6)
  o Tucker Trimmer   
  o Magic Wand  
  o Wing Clipper   
  o Square 2  
  o Split Rects  
  o Corner Pop

  o Acorn Seam Align Glue (link to the various Acorn products)
  o Acorn Easy Press Pen & Refill Solution
  o Bohin Sewing Needle Book or Sashiko needles *
  o Spool 12 wt. Aurifil thread *
- Coordinating scrap fabrics (anywhere from 2 ½” x 3” or larger) about ½ yd of at least 10 – 12 solids and prints and a 13” x 17” piece of fabric & batting *
- Sew Fine Thread Gloss *
- Mini design board
  o 24” square of foam core covered with batting or flannel; a tutorial will be provided for registrants in advance of the retreat
- Pencil and white plastic eraser
- Paper scissors 
- Sheet protector & dry erase marker (fine)
-  Digital camera or telephone
- Basic Sewing kit, including but not limited to o Basic ruler 8 1/2” x 24” or 6” x 24”
  o Parchment paper
  o Fabric marker
  o Pins
  o Sewing machine (in working order and manual), sewing kit, cutting mat and rotary cutter. 
  o 50 wt. piecing thread

* An optional, kit will be available for purchase at the retreat for $25.00 and will include the above * itemsThese items are for a low-keyed hand sewing activity that is a bonus activity offered by Susan. You will learn how to make a placemat using the Kawandi technique.

Registration Fee Includes:

-3 lunches and 2 suppers (served in our condo community room)
-coffee and tea

-fabric kit
-grey scale finder
-35+ page workbook (please bring a binder)
-3 days of instruction with Susan Madu
-bonus mini project instructions for Kawandi * hand sewing project as a bonus project instructed by Susan.
-use of cutting mats, ironing boards and irons


Day 1
8:30 – 9:00 am Arrive & Initial Setup
9:00 – 9:30 am Welcome & Overview
9:30 – 11:00 am Modern Traditionalism, Elements of Design, Principles of Design
11:00 – 12:00 pm Our Blocks: Studio 180 Tools & Resources
12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch Break**
1:00 – 2:00 pm Layouts: 4 – Alternate Grid Layouts, Magic Numbers, Magic Numbers Exercise
2:00 – 4:00 pm Design a Layout Drafting your design Using the cutting charts
4:00 – 5:00 pm Mindful stitches Kwandi Placemats – Our hand stitching project*
5:00 – 6:00 pm Dinner Break**
6:00 – 8:30 pm Open Studio Sewing Time

Day 2  
9:00 – 9:30 am Recap & Feedback
9:30 – 11:00 am  Color & Value Concepts, Relative Color Exercise – Joseph Alberts, Saturation Group Exercise, Value Group Exercise
11:00 – 12:00 Your Palette: Start with 3 & Add 4 Solids
12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch Break**
1:00 – 5:00pm Using your Palette: Build units & design
5:00 – 6:00 pm Dinner Break
6:00 – 8:30 pm Open Studio Sewing Time

Day 3
9:00 – 9:30 am Recap & Feedback
9:30 – 10:30 am What if? Refining your Design
10:30 – 12:00 Using your Palette Build units & design
12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch Break**
1:00 – 3:00 pm Using your Palette Build units & design
3:00 – 4:00 pm Show & Tell
4:00 – 5:00 pm Learnings & Feedback
5:00 pm Group Photo 

**All meals are included in registration fee. Vegetarian and Gluten Free options are available.  All participants will be contacted 2 - 3 weeks prior to event to confirm such dietary requirements

Where do you lay your weary bones after that busy day of learning and designing?

1. Drive back home to your own comfy bed where you will probably get to sleep under one of your own quilts. Leave your sewing machine and supplies safely waiting for you in our classroom for the duration of retreat.

2. Book a room at one of our local accommodations. Here are some links for you. This is a great excuse to treat yourself and a friend to a weekend away.

Zens Inn bed and breakfast style, single traveller rooms with shared bathrooms. Very modern. Walking distance to our store.

Ships Anchor Inn on the waterfront with pool. Historical setting. Less than 10 minute walk to our store.

Dewars Inn and Cottages Riverside cottages and motel rooms. 5 minute drive from our store.

There are also a few Air BNB rentals in Prescott.

Cancellation of Classes or Retreats
Should you decide to cancel your registration for an event, class or retreat, you will receive a full credit to a gift card as long as the cancellation is made more than 2 weeks prior to the class date. After that time, you will forfeit your full registration fee.

If you are unable to attend, you do have the option of finding your own replacement participant but Watergirl Quilt Co. will not assist with this or give any fee credit to the original participant. You would be required to email us the name and contact information of your replacement.

For more details on our "Refund policy" please refer to FAQ on our website

Skill Level: Intermediate
Skill Details: Intermediate, prior experience with the Studio 180 Design tools is required
Materials Included: Meals and Design Retreat Handouts
Requirements: Please bring your own sewing machine or rent one of our floor models. You may use our irons, ironing boards and cutting mats.
Instructor: Susan Madu
Instructor Bio: Susan is a retired chartered accountant and a passionate creator and quilter. She will have just finished teaching at Quilt Canada 2023 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is never without a sketchbook or some project in her hands. Susan designs and teaches under the "Modern Blended Quilts" banner. A central theme of her patterns is blending together elements of traditional and modern quilting. Take your traditional stash and blend it up modern with modern textures, solids and styles for stunning results.
See list of inclusions

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Included Materials



This class cannot be purchased online. Please contact the store for more information.