Thursday, August 27, 2009

On the Road -- Salt Lake City UT

Today I'm in the air -- Southwest Airlines, to be precise -- on my way to Nuttall's Sewing Centers in Salt Lake City, Utah. This isn't a teaching trip; it's a learning trip! Since I rarely get to take classes, I am very excited to be doing this.

I actually get to spend two whole days learning all about the new Bernina 830 -- doesn't she look beautiful in my sewing room? I've been doing demonstrations on the Bernina for a few months, but have barely scratched the surface of her capabilities, so I am so looking forward to doing the "deep dive" and strengthening my skills.

My biggest knowledge gap is in what I call "embroidery world". The hooping was such a pain in the butt and I just knew I couldn't spend the time learning this while I was getting so frustrated with the whole hooping and re-hooping thing. However, there is a new hoop to go with this machine, the Jumbo Hoop; it's so big that it eliminates a lot of re-hooping on projects. So I will definitely take another look at that.

The paramount reason to learn this? Sometimes, when I am teaching free motion quilting or another quilting technique, such as trapunto, students feel that their skills aren't up to the task. They may have a physical disability that makes control difficult or they may not have the time to put in the practice hours or may not want to. For those students, I would like to be able to demonstrate another way to accomplish the technique -- namely, using the embroidery features of the sewing machine. I was talking this over with Rhonda Lopez, owner of Nuttall's, and she invited me to take this class.

With that in mind, I'm planning to spend Friday and Saturday exploring the machine in class and Sunday working with Eric and Chad, two of Rhonda's sons, on the embroidery aspect of my quest. I'll post from Salt Lake City and keep you up to date on what I learn!

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