I've spent a couple of days getting ready for tomorrow's class. I've rewritten my lesson plans at least three times and taught the first 4 hours of the class in my head about three times to get it down to four hours with a purposeful break for homework and practice. That's meant pushing some basics to the second week, like how to diagonally piece a quilt back, but that's okay. It's going to work.
Here's my sampler, like the ones we'll be working with in class.
18" square muslin back and batting with a 15" square top, one third of which is a medium to large scale print. I picked that so we can quilt around the print in one section and quilt over it in another. The top is split into 9 squares, each of which we'll handle a bit differently; some with marking and some free hand. Some with background filler, some with words.
Four of my squares are already marked from templates. I've had this boot template for years and have never used it. Finally, I'll get my money out of it. I'm taking all my templates for the class to share.
This is my sampler for tension, thread and needle matching. The right side is me, setting the tension to free motion quilt on a brand new machine that I've never tinkered with the tension on before. On the left side, I've quilted with a bunch of different thread weights and needle sizes and tension settings to show how thinner and invisible threads look different than heavier thread and how a thread will look one way in straight lines and completely different in free motion.
I am so prepared. I will likely never be this prepared to teach a class again. The first time to do something is sooooo sweet, isn't it? The adventure. The newness. The excitement. No more doubt about whether I'll like teaching. Instead, it's thinking about when I can teach another class.
Okay, so this part's about my good man. I asked him to build me a sewing machine surround that I can sit on any table and use around my Bernina. To quilt anything larger than about a foot square, I need lots of surface around the machine that's the same height as my machine bed and I am way too cheap to spend $150 on one of those really cool plexiglass surrounds.
I gave him the description and he took about a thousand measurements and asked me a painful number of questions and then he toddled off and drew for a while and a bit after that, he brought in the top surface, cut in an L shape. We made a few adjustments and then he went away again.
Next time I saw it, he had grooved the wrong side to accomodate the legs and we did another fitting before he nailed and glued them on. (see below)
The way the legs are set in, the front of my surround can hang off the edge of the table that it and the machine are sitting on, giving me some space to bunch up a quilt on my left hand side.
Then, he primed it and painted it with a semigloss white paint and gave it to me to finish.
I've sanded and painted and sanded and painted with glossy paint until it's smooth and soft and starting tonight, I'll add three coats of paste wax to the top. That should leave me with a surface that's as good as plexiglass for sliding fabric on. He even took all the sharp edges off so I don't get a splinter in the soft skin of my forearm.
My man is a good man. He can make me crazy with all his "exactness" because I'm more of a fly by the seat of my pants kind of guy, but he built me exactly what I asked him for.
On one week's notice.
Did I say he's a good man?
Oh, and with the addition of a slim volume of verse to give the machine extra height, it fits around my featherweight. Tee-hee