Wow! That’s all I can think to say. I was a lot overwhelmed by the Gift of Quilting event sponsored by my guild this weekend. I’ve been trying to think of what would be my favorite thing. Was it teaching, learning, shopping…but it wasn’t. It was the collection of quilters, gathered in one place, all intent on the same thing. You could feel the excitement like a warm spring rain. I left exhausted and exhilarated and inspired.
On Saturday, I took Eve’s Delight class with Martha Thompson. I”ll leave it to Martha to tell her story, and I’m sure glad she’s back. And, she’s doing original and innovative things again. My favorite tip was marking the foot on my machine so that I didn’t have to mark match points on every block. That was a very good idea. And, she didn’t pin. That’s right. She taught us to sew curves without pinning. And, on my class sample, I only pinned at intersections…and when I put the borders on. I especially needed them for the red border because I was working with both curved and straight lines. The red border is half apple core blocks, and the corners are quarter apple core blocks. Then, that little floral inspiration border and I was set to go. I can’t wait to show it at guild meeting tonight.
I bought a template to make these. It’s a great template, made by a local company. They had them in three sizes and I wish I’d bought all three…but the big one was kind of expensive. Martha taught us to draft the block, so you should watch this space for a baby quilt, made of larger apple core blocks.
As a test class for an upcoming book, Martha offered to let us make some test quilts for the book. And, I’m interested and she’s interested in having me participate, so that’s another thing that might have come from the class. She also suggested that I send a picture of the finished quilt to the manufacturer of the template and let them put it on their website.
Is it okay if I’m excited about those opportunities? I hope so, because I’m very excited.
My class went swimmingly. I promised everyone that we’d have fun. And, we did. Lots of laughs, lots of sharing and talking while we pieced. Most of the class finished a whole block, the rest finished at least a quarter block and had the skills to finish the block from home. EVERYONE learned something new and liked that. Everyone was impressed by the precision. I talked a little and then sent them off to do something, then I’d talk some more and they’d do something else. Then, I set them to sewing…and where I could, I did ripping. And, a few times, I was able to prevent mistakes.
I was talking and saw a lady about to sew through the paper. I walked up, still talking and laid my hand on her piece to stop her. She thought I wanted her to be paying attention, I think, and she pulled it out from under my hand and aimed it at the needle again. And, I put my hand on it and kept talking. She looked up at me with a what the heck? look and when I’d finished my sentence, I squatted down and folded the paper back and said “now sew it.” And, we had a good laugh.
In the Apple Core class, I sewed a couple seams as practice and a friend called me an overachiever. She was in my class the next day, and she was the one that was ahead of the class and working through her block fast. I slipped past her and whispered “overachiever” and kept walking, leaving her to explain why we both laughed out loud.
We had our share of frightening moments…missing machine parts and a machine that just suddenly decided it wouldn’t sew and “iffy” plugs. But, we never blew a breaker and I gave lots of breaks so that those running behind had chances to catch up. I helped where extra help was needed and I watched blocks come together. And, I saw other people’s visions of my block be born. There was one with a tartan plaid background…who would have thought of that? But, it made a beautiful block. And, there was one that was all browns and another that was all greens. One was 7 different brights and one was all muted shades. One had black on white circles in a bold background that I thought would compete with the block. But, it didn’t. Each and every block was wonderful and every time someone held up their work, everyone commented on how different it was from their own and how lovely. Quilters inspiring quilters, and I got to be part of it. It was wonderful.
I bought my four fat quarters for my May feathered star block…but I don’t quite know where they are right now. I know they made it in the house, so they’ll turn up. And, I found a hand quilting frame that I couldn’t resist. I’ve been inspired by Tim Latimer’s hand quilting and when he got his new frame, I started shopping. But, I just wouldn’t spend the money. I watched for someone that was selling one they knew nothing about, for a rediculously low price, but I never found it. So, when I found this very nice, handmade one, that was half the price of the others I’ve seen, and I wouldn’t have to pay shipping, I couldn’t resist.
I loaded a quilt into it and can’t wait to sit and quilt…whenever there’s time for that again. It will keep the quilt off my lap and it’s height adjustable. My previous frame was not and out of all the sitting surfaces I own, none of them is the right height for that frame. And, the hoop tilts for even greater access.
I’ve never seen one quite like this. There is a solid inner hoop with grooves along their length and an outer hoop with a line that fits the groove. The corners are leather, so as they stretch, they’re adjustable to tighten. The closure of the hoop is a board along the left side in the photo below. Release the board and the outer hoop opens and falls away. Close and hook the board and the quilt is held tightly.
It holds the quilt perfectly. So, that was the reward I gave myself with the money I made teaching.
I love teaching. I’m so sorry I got discouraged by my previous efforts. I’m pretty sure I’ll reach out to a LQS and see if they’re interested in me teaching this class in their shop. I think I’ll get good word of mouth recommendations from the class that will help me to fill another class.
It’s Monday and I’m still tired. I think that just proves how much fun I had. I stood and squatted so much that my legs hurt yesterday. They didn’t hurt enough to keep me from watering in the garden and making a batch of bread and butter pickles and a spice cake.
I love my life. It’s so expansive and I get to experience so many things. Good, bad, scary, exciting, challenging, exhilarating.
Rock on, That Man.
Everybody have a great Monday. Tonight is a big show and tell night. I’m going to show the Apple Core and my class is bringing their blocks to show and I have the Civil War Stars quilt. Big night.
Happy Star Wars Day! “May the fourth be with you!”