I put myself through a lot of unnecessary angst sometimes when I have to make a decision, especially decisions that put me in front of a group. The weird thing is that every time I do a presentation, I enjoy it immensely. You'd think that experience would make it easier. But it doesn't. Its still very very hard to make that decision. If you followed over the last few years, where I've had to decide whether to teach at my LQS and whether to do a guild presentation, then you've read (and maybe rolled your eyes) at how hard it is for me to put myself out there.
Self confident people are so lucky.
Rob is a self confident person. He always has an easy smile and he can talk to anybody. That makes him a great foil for me. I'm just one bad odor away from being a cave dwelling hermit.
I've been asked to teach at a guild workshop. It was suggested that I teach something related to free motion quilting. But I've taught FMQ and it's hard work. Might not look like it, but it is. It's a complex topic and people often approach it with unrelistic expectations about what they can learn in a few hours. And it takes a lot longer to teach than these guild workshops provide. Plus, i don't have any experience with modern machines, with all their computerized settings. Imagine the first time I explained tension adjustment, one of the basic fundamentals of a good FMQ stitch, and was told that tension couldn't be manually adjusted on one participants model. Unfortunately, she broke a needle about every 6 minutes of practice, which discouraged us both.
Anyway, you guys know how obvious ideas sometimes alude me until i have one of those "hit myself in the forehead" V8 moments, when the answer becomes clear. Somebody suggested I teach something other than FMQ. How obvious. Unfortunately, at that moment, she had my right fingers round my back and touching my left ear as she tried to twist my arm into a commitment, so it took a few hours for me to hear the logic of what she said.
Okay, so here's a funny story from my childhood. When I was in elementary school, I was supposed to perform in a choir concert. It was the winter concert and I had either a solo, or a speaking part from the Bible, or both...can't remember. Anyway, for a reason I don't quite remember, I decided I wasn't going to participate. My choir teacher tried to pressure me. And, the more she tried, the more I dug my heels in. So, my classroom teacher tried. And, at that point, my heels were dug so far in, there wasn't anything she could do. So, my Mom tried. But, by that time, she couldn't have gotten me on that stage with a buggy whip. I've always been this way. The more pressure, the more I resist.
Anyway, once my mind grasped the concept that I could teach something else, I started thinking about things I do well, and different than I've ever seen them done before, and that brought me to Foundation Paper Piecing. I use Judy Mathieson's freezer paper method from her book Mariner's Compass Quilts, Setting a New Course. I love that you don't sew through the paper, so you don't have to remove all those tiny little bits. But, I also have a unique way of measuring and preparing the fabric pieces that is different than Judy's.
I'm going to draft my own block to teach, because pattern copyright stuff is getting crazy complicated, but it will be slightly based on this block, except a little simpler, with only 8 points instead of 16. This is the QNM Birthday Star block that they offered in 2008, to celebrate the QNM birthday. I made the quilt from the pattern in the magazine and it started my love of star and mariner's compass blocks and paper piecing.
I even have my first set of fabrics picked out. This is the challenge block for the Georgetown Quilt and Stitchery show, sponsored by Handcrafts Unlimited. I've entered quilts in the show, but this will be my first time to enter a challenge block. As soon as I saw the fabrics, I knew I wanted to piece a star. In all the shows I've attended for this group, I've not noticed a star block in the competition. I can add a small amount of additional fabric, but I think all I'll need is a medium green.
I'll use this to create one class sample, and other fabrics to make another. I need to make sure I can teach this block in three hours, so I plan to take it with me to bee this weekend and time myself while I complete the whole process, from needle punching the freezer paper, to piecing one quarter of the block. I think if we piece a quarter block in class, the participants will have all they need to finish the block at home.
So, that's the plan. I wish it hadn't taken three months to make the commitment.
But, that's apparently my process. Whether I like it or not.
I also need some help with an English to English translation, I'm trying to help a friend in the UK with old fashioned cooked starch...if you're of a certain age, that's the kind we cooked and cooled and thinned and then dipped shirts in, way back in the olden days, before starch came in a spray can. We've run into a difference in terms, and I'm betting that I have followers that can help us with that. I suggested she try corn starch. Is that the same thing as corn flour in the UK? Also, I suggested rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol). Is that the same as surgical spirits?
Everybody have a great Wednesday. Thanks! Lane