Class, after decompression

Yesterday, I needed to decompress and let my mind rest and let my body be busy. I've been so excited about teaching the class on Saturday that I needed some time to relax and clean up my sewing space and put away the hundred and one quilts and 57 spools of thread and 13 different needle sizes and books and papers and all the other stuff I pulled out to get ready.

So, how was class for me?

I was both excited and nervous when it started. I got there plenty early and we really brought everything so that I could be prepared. It gave me a comfort. I woke up Saturday morning at 2:30 and kept thinking about how I was going to fit 6 people into the space and tables I had and the only way I could think was to take everything with me and have it there...just in case.

Turned out there were only 5 signed up, so Rob and Sydney dropped my stuff and the store staff set up everything and got it ready for me and then I started pulling my stuff out and when people got there, I was sitting at a table quilting on my class sampler. I didn't get much done before people started getting there and I did the hardest thing of the day. I got started.

I walked up to the first lady and shook her hand and introduced myself. And, it was all downhill from there. I shook each of their hands and we started to talk and I don't remember much after that until it was 4:20.

First, they had a tiny bit of piecing to do and some ironing and while they were doing that, I was pulling out quilts and talking about different techniques. I talked about my inspiration to quilt and I showed my first quilt and talked about how I had lost the pattern and ended up with something nice anyway. I pulled out my Mosaic quilt and showed the really complex pattern I had hand quilted into the quilt and showed how you really couldn't see it because the piecing and colors are so bold. Then, I pulled out quilts and showed different ways to quilt a quilt; all over pantos and filling individual pieces with quilting.

I talked a bit about blocking a quilt and how that can make the quilt look better, but we'll talk a lot more about that next time. I talked about the two feet we'd use and what they were each used for and I talked about needles and thread and combining them and I showed my sampler of different thread sizes and how they looked on the quilt. I'm going to pull that out again next time because I think it will make more sense next time. We talked about tension and I found out that most of them can't change their bobbin tension, so no need to really talk about that too much. I'll talk one on one to the lady that can change that setting about how to do it.

Then, we talked about quilt marking and I handed around my tools and people picked tools they liked and everyone broke their top into 9 sections and traced a shape from a templete into 4 of them...oddly enough, the hardest one to do was the boot and it seemed to be everyone's fave. They were impressed that their boots looked like boots. After everyone had quilted their 4 muslin squares, I had them quilt all around the flowers in one of the print squares and that was fun to watch. Everyone had their own impression of how taht should be done and I did not make enough of that. Next time I want to make a bigger deal about that because they should each see how the others did it for ideas. Each person had their own idea and needs to see the other possibilities.

Then, we pin basted the sandwich and they came over and watched over my shoulders while I quilted in the ditch line and along the other drawn lines and then they went and did that. At this point, I could tell they were chomping at the bit to free motion quilt, so I quickly showed them the everyday knot and illustrated how I FMQ and sent them off to it. And, funny, I watched as they relaxed. I really didn't know what to say, other than to relax, but I watched them all and saw them release their deathgrips on the quilts and just start to sew and chat and eat chocolate and enjoy it.

At 4:20, I asked if there was anything they wanted me to go over again and no one had anything. I showed them the homework assignment; to trace something onto fabric and make a quilt sandwich and quilt it on the lines. Just focus on the lines for now. I had my sandwich below and it was just drawn. It was pretty unimpressive at that time. i want to be able to show how the quilting changes that drawing into a work of art, no matter how plain it starts. I have another one where I'm going to trace a picture out of a coloring book and quilt it into the fabric. I want to show multiple ways of doing things.

And, then it was over and I was exhausted and Rob and Sydney came and picked me up and took me to chinese for dinner and then home and I started unpacking and yesterday, I sewed almost all day and finished putting things away and other than some trash cans stacked on my cutting surface where they were put so I could vacuum, it's pretty darn clean in here. I'm feeling good.

My one regret. I had them buy a book and apparently, I used the wrong edition to create the text references for the class, so I'd say such and such a page and that wouldn't be it. It would be one or two pages ahead or back from the one I said. So, I'm going to type up all my text references and hand them out next time. That's the only way I can think to solve that and make that expensive book worthwhile.

I played with this yesterday and put in the microstippling this morning.

This morning, we're waiting to see when the A/C repair guy will get here and I was out, enjoying the flowerbeds when Rob snapped some pictures of me and Mable.

Something had been in the yard last night and Mable was going nuts, trying to find it.

Okay, so everybody have a great Monday. Quilt, quilt, quilt.



Impera_Magna said...

A good teacher reflects on the class experience ... I can tell you did a great job! Lucky participants....

Hope your a/c repairman shows up soon!

Tammy said...

Hi Lane,
It sounds like your first quilting class went very well. I'm sure you are a good teacher. Thanks for the photos of you and Mable, you both look great. Books arrived in the mail just before Easter..I'll be sending you a little something along with postage cash, as soon as I get it sewn.

vivian said...

I'm glad your class went well! I wish I had your grass! My yard is shady and I have spent a small fortune trying to grow grass and have finally given up!

Shevvy said...

I'm exhausted just reading about it all. I know what you mean about being prepared though, I've never been a just wing it sort, especially with something new. I hope your students realise how lucky they are to have you!

Kath said...

gosh, did you lose your voice Lane?
Mabel is looking very relaxed, she's such a pretty dog.

lw said...

Teaching does take a lot out of you. I used to have costume workshops at my house before the Renaissance Faire every year-- 5 or 6 women with sewing machines, all day long with everyone needing help. I couldn't do much the next day either.

Miss Mabel, the mighty hunter. It looks like she's protecting you in the lawnchair shot-- what a great dog!

Becky said...

The class sounds like everyone was really into it and looking forward to more! That Mabel is a sweetie! She has captured my heart, anyway! Have a great week.

One Minnesota Quilter said...

Whew! I would have taken a long bath and said, "Calgon take me away!"

Nice picture of you and Mable. :)


Vesuviusmama said...

Hooray for you! I'm so glad the class went well!