You have an outstanding opportunity to spend 7 days with two extraordinary teachers aboard Holland America Line's ms Koningsdam. These fantastic instructors were chosen because they are exceptional instructors who are friendly, fun-loving and warm.
Chardel Blaine is an award-winning quilter, beader and metalsmith whose work has been juried into numerous Pacific Northwest events. Nationally, her work has been juried and displayed at the Nassau County Museum of Art Craft and Fine Arts Fair (Roslyn Harbor NY), produced by the American Concern for Art and Craftsmanship; Uncommon Threads Art-to-Wear Show, Fine Line Creative Arts Center (St. Charles, IL); and in "Multiplicities: New Directions in Fiber", IMAGO Foundation for the Arts, IMAGO Gallery (Warren, RI).
Blessed with parents who valued creative and independent thinking, there was always some sort of creative experience around the house. Most were done at the kitchen table or in the basement workshop with supplies that Mom and Dad brought in with care and sacrifice. Chardel's mother and grandmother taught her to sew, and her father taught her to saw a shape and pound a nail. Her favorite projects involved designing components that fit, then measuring twice and cutting once to ensure that they did. She has learned how color, texture and unique materials embrace the "what-ifs" and happy accidents that occur when one has backed into an artistic corner and must find a creative means of escape.
Chardel managed and taught at a local quilt shop and bead store for 15 years, exposing her to the latest techniques and materials and feeding the creative beast. Fiber art and jewelry, often combining the two, became Flying Goat Studio where she shares her work. And as editor of Create Whimsy, she shares the stories of renowned artists and makers who inspire creatives to get their hands busy every day. Needle and thread consistently bring her joy. She still gets a rush when she turns on a power tool – and that includes a sewing machine!
I started quilting about 25 years ago after seeing a quilt in a magazine. I tackled my first quilt on my own and made every mistake in the book! I enjoyed machine piecing for a long time until I got the taste for needle-turn applique. I started out making quilts using patterns produced by others and eventually decided to try my hand at making my own-for myself. Eventually I found there were many quilts "inside my head" that needed to be put down on paper-and so began my love of designing applique quilts, hand pieced quilts and English Paper Piecing.
I mostly teach needle-turn applique, reverse applique, the use of glue-NO pins, and preparing and making hexagons. I encourage quilters to make a complete block so that it is portable and can be completed anytime, anywhere. One of the main things I have found when teaching is that people can be very hesitant about choosing fabric. I enjoy this aspect of my designing and try to instill confidence in my students about choosing color-and particularly not stressing out with this process! I like to think of my classes as "sit-and-sew" sessions– or "mini quilt ins" where we have a fun and relaxing day, chatting to friends, as well as learning a new technique or perfecting on techniques.