Rhonda Blasingame’s Thread Painting Class

As I signed up for this class, I remembered a day-long class my friend Paramjeet Bawa did one March in her bright-with-natural-light basement, hours of instruction, a little bit of several techniques. I remember thread painting a tree – my first experience using zig-zag in quilting. The best part of that class was crossing the boundaries, stepping outside the rules; Paramjeet encouraged us to TRY NEW THINGS and not to be afraid of failure.

Rhonda Blasingame has the same grin; you can tell that she is never happier than when she is ‘working,’ and that she loves her work so much that much of it is play. She will jump into anything, and isn’t afraid to fail in search of something that will work.

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Sometimes when you take one of these classes, you learn something about yourself that you didn’t know. I learned that I don’t like branching out of colors I think go together. I didn’t know this! Rhonda looked at a piece I was ‘painting’ and suggested a color I would never have chosen. When I tried it, it was OK, but there is something in me that did not want that color there.

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What was very cool was that I saw beginners take what she had taught them and run with it. I could see the delight on their faces as they went beyond, as they added colors and ended up with a great product.

I admire Rhonda for her technical knowledge – and her ability to jump beyond. I love the way she sees things differently. I love the way she prevailed over our circumstances – we were in a indifferently lit room and – on one of the hottest days of summer – the air conditioner was struggling, and failing. We were a hot mess, but Rhonda soldiered on, and we learned.

Another cool thing about these classes, for people like me who are lacking creativity in some areas, was that I saw the lady next to me using a shiny lavender that looked metallic; it reminded me how much I liked silver, so I tried thread painting with a metallic and love the way it looks. I know Rhonda could take it to another level entirely, but knowing my own limitations, I am delighted with how this part is turning out.

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